Operation Barbarossa: June 22, 1941 - February 2, 1943

The Battle of Kiev


numbers from War History Online.

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The Battle:

It was one of the greatest stages of Operation Barbarossa with attacks, resistance, and counterattacks all failing. The German Army moved quickly towards Kiev and tried to capture the city. It would be remembered as the greatest encirclement in the history of warfare.Hitler wanted to deprive the Soviets of their resources and factories, so he put in place Directive 33 on July 19, 1941. The world was holding its breath to see who would be the victor in this vicious battle between two superpowers.The German generals were against Hitler’s directives. They were of the opinion that Moscow had to be captured first. But Hitler had other ideas in mind.

Map of Kiev, 1941

Map courtesy of Military Wiki

Kiev had effectively fallen by September 19, but the encircled troops continued to put up a fight. The Red Army’s 5th, 26th, 21st, 38th, and 37th Army were captured inside the circle. They fought for about ten more days, but everything was falling apart.It’s possible that this battle subtly impacted on the course of the war. If Hitler had not rejected the advice of all his generals and had proceeded to take Moscow instead, maybe history would have been different. The Germans might have won this battle, but their delay in taking Moscow was fatal.

Video Courtesy of Eastory

Source: War History Online