Pages

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Defence plans

Changes in the political configuration of the Soviet Union's western frontier, which occurred in 1939-1940, brought the necessity of numerous corrections in the Soviet strategic defence plans. Since the spring of 1940 those corrections had been made at the General Staff, and involved Marshal Boris Shaposhnikov (Chief of the General Staff), Gen. Nikolay Vatutin (Chief of Operations of the General Staff), Gen. Alexander Vasilevskiy (Deputy Chief of Operations of the General Staff), Gen. Kirill Meretskov (Deputy People's Commissar for Defence), Gen. Gherman Malandin (Deputy People's Commissar for Defence), Gen. Andrei Anisov (Deputy People's Commissar for Defence), Gen. Georgiy Zhukov (Commander of the Kiev Special Military District), and many lower-ranking officers of the General Staff. More >>>

Monday, September 12, 2016

Battle for the Dnieper


The defeat of the German armies in the battle of Kursk had ultimately wrestled out the strategic initiative from the hands of the German command. The collapse of the offensive plans had forced the Germans to seek different objectives in the conditions of the Soviet strategic offensive. The German front was broken in two sectors: western and south-western. Since July Soviet armies were developing their success, and in August they liberated Orel and Kharkov. A big gap emerged between the Amy Groups Centre and South. More >>>

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Battles of Monte Cassino


On 12 January 1944 Algerian and Moroccan Arabs, fighting under the French banners, went to the first Cassino offensive. They struck against Monte Cassino, in the north of the town of Cassino. Arab divisions from the French Expeditionary Corps formed the right wing of the 5th Army. On the left wing British divisions moved along the coast. They entered action on 17 January, supported by two cruisers and seaborne troops. Some of those troops actually landed in the British rear, instead of behind the German lines, and caused a lot of confusion, but eventually the situation was clarified and the British gained some terrain with the town of Minturno. More >>>

Friday, March 25, 2016

Battle of Monte Cassino


Monte Cassino was one of the greatest battles of the Second World War, and the greatest one on the Italian front. It was the key point of the Gustav Line, which resisted Allied attacks for half a year, blocking their advance up the Apennine peninsula.

During the Casablanca conference (14-16 January 1943), the Allies agreed upon the operation Husky - namely landing in Sicily. It was a partial success of the British prime-minister Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, who insisted that landing in the Balkans could hasten the fall of the German Reich and liberation of East European countries. The American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt insisted, that the offensive against the German forces in Europe had to be driven along the shortest path - across the English Channel and West Europe. More >>>

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Breakneck pace


The attractive at the first glance theory of Gen. Giulio Douhet, prophesizing a total air war, did not fool the leading military brains of different countries. They understood that deploying heavy horizontal bomber planes against the enemy troops dispersed in the battleground would be ineffective: capable only of area-bombing, and on top of it - from high altitudes, they hardly would be able to destroy highly mobile armoured troops and motorized infantry. More >>>

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A wolf in sheep's clothing


There came the spring of 1938, and the spectre of a new war haunted Europe again! This time the ominous clouds of the new conflict had been gathering over the mountainous massifs of the Sudetes. The Sudeten-German Party (Sudetendeutsche Partei - SdP), by orders from Berlin, launched a massive propaganda offensive against the Czechoslovak Republic. More >>>

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Indian Ocean raid


In the beginning of the spring of 1942 the Japanese occupied the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The British garrisons of the islands left them earlier due to menace from the north, where the Japanese took Rangoon on 8 March, and the south, where the Japanese landed on Sumatra. The enemy presence in the Andaman Sea, in the north-eastern section of the Indian Ocean, meant in the first place the menace to the main forces of the Eastern Fleet in Colombo on Ceylon. The base did not possess any adequate anti-air defence - either anti-aircraft artillery or aircraft. After all, the British air forces in the Indian Ocean was weak as far as the quantity and quality of the equipment is concerned. The forces of the Royal Navy comprised three aircraft-carriers, but the Japanese could oppose them with six ships of the same class. More >>>