Battle for Russia - WW2 Timeline (June 1941 - April 1942)


Germany leader Adolf Hitler made, what would eventually be proven to be, a strategic mistake in invading the Soviet Union.

'You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.'

Those words were German leader Adolf Hitler's frank opinion of tackling the Soviet Union in all out war. Where, at one time, these two nations signed a non-aggression pact to avoid direct war with one another, Hitler went on to make perhaps his greatest ego-induced strategic blunder of the war through his invasion of the Soviet Union under Operation Barbarossa in June of 1941.

Initial progress for the Germans was excellent, completely catching the Soviets by surprise. German forces pushed up to Smolensk but the questionable order to relocate this unstoppable army's resources to battle Soviet elements near Kiev bypassed a critical chance for the Germans to march directly on Moscow at a most critical moment. The move allowed for Soviet forces to regroup in other parts of the country and delayed surrender in time for the Red Army to gear up for the long war ahead.

A massive Soviet offensive in the winter of 1941 would force the Germans to retreat along many fronts of their initial thrusts. The only thing that would stop the Soviets, it would seem, was their own fatigue of having been in constant fighting for weeks on end. Supply issues then began to take their toll and ultimately delayed advancements even further. By the end of April 1942, over 1 million German soldiers lay dead.

There are a total of (11) Battle for Russia - WW2 Timeline (June 1941 - April 1942) events in the SecondWorldWarHistory.com database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.


Day-by-Day Timeline of Events


Friday, December 5th, 1941

The Soviets launch a full-scale counter-attack along a 500-mile front encompassing 19 Russian armies against Field Marshal von Bock's German Army Group Centre near Moscow.

Saturday, December 6th, 1941

No fewer than 17 German motorized divisions retreat from the Soviet advance.

Saturday, December 6th, 1941

The Soviet 31st Army cuts 12 miles into the German lines.

Tuesday, December 9th - December 13th, 1941

General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 is cut off from General Kluge's 4th Army.

Tuesday, December 16th, 1941

Amid the mounting pressures and expectations of his superiors back in Germany, Field Marshal von Bock requests reassignment away from Army Group Centre.

Wednesday, December 17th, 1941

Field Marshal von Kluge is tapped to replace Field Marshal von Bock as leader of Army Group Centre.

Wednesday, January 7th, 1942

With progress over the Germans being made on several fronts, Soviet forces launch another offensive to try and encircle Army Group Centre.

Sunday, January 25th, 1942

The Soviet movement begins losing steam after consecutive weeks of fighting. Man and machine are beginning to show their limitations.

Thursday, April 30th, 1942

Spring over Russia brings about seasonal rains turning once solid and dependable ground into a muddy nightmare for both armies. As such, offensives are limited or stalled altogether.

Thursday, April 30th, 1942

German Army forces partially regroup and recover from the constant barrage of Soviet offensives.

Thursday, April 30th, 1942

By this time, over 1 million German soldiers have been killed in action since the start of Operation Barbarossa.



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