Eastern Front

Eastern Front

The Eastern Front during World War II includes the area of military confrontation involving the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The Soviet Red Army and the Nazi Wehrmacht clashed along the extended Eastern Front, which stretched thousands of miles from the Black Sea in the south to Finland and the approaches to the Arctic Circle in the north.

Red Army scouts report the findings of a recent foray to locate the Germans in the northern Caucasus. The Germans were not uniformed against the harsh Russian winter and suffered tremendous casualties as a result.

Eastern Front

Russian Commanders: Marshal Semyon M. Budenny

By Blaine Taylor

At 8 am on the cold, blustery morning of November 7, 1941, the 24th anniversary of the Russian Communist Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, a dashing lone horseman galloped out of the Spassky Gate of the Kremlin onto snow-covered Red Square. Read more

Eastern Front

Manstein’s Victorious Panzers

By William E. Welsh

Deep snow blanketed the steppes surrounding the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov on February 6, 1943. The soldiers of Major Kurt Meyer’s reconnaissance battalion of SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler shivered from the cold. Read more

Eastern Front

Meat Grinder at Yelnya

By Pat McTaggart

The smell of victory was in the air as the forces of Field Marshal Fedor von Bock’s Army Group Center continued to drive deep into the Ukraine during the final week of June 1941. Read more

The Soviet Union’s two primary antitank rifles saw wide use in World War II despite the limitations of their small calibers.

Eastern Front

Russian Antitank Rifles

By Christopher Miskimon

The German panzers approached the Russian artillery  column as it moved to a new position. As the troops trudged toward their new firing point, six panzers appeared, rampaging into the Russian rear area, no doubt searching for vulnerable targets to destroy. Read more

A Finnish pilot at the controls of his Avro Anson FAF LeLv46 AN101 reconnaissance aircraft based at Tikkakoski, March 7, 1940, shortly before the Winter War ended in a truce. The Finns successfully blunted the Soviet invasion, thanks in large part to their air force.

Eastern Front

David vs Goliath

By Glenn Barnett

When Stalin and Hitler signed a non-aggression pact in August 1939, they secretly created spheres of influence. Besides dividing up Poland, they agreed to allow each other free reign over nations and territories they deemed important. Read more

A column of Waffen SS soldiers slogs through snow during the Operation Spring Awakening advance in Hungary. The German offensive was hampered by snow, rain, and deep mud, which bogged down tanks and other vehicles, requiring foot soldiers to undertake much of the fighting with limited mechanized support.

Eastern Front

Desperate Offensive for Oil

By Martin Dougherty

The winter of 1944-45 saw Nazi Germany in a grim position. The Allies were well established in Europe and advancing quickly. Read more

Polish troops engage in field exercises in April 1939, just five months before the Nazi invasion of their country and the outbreak of World War II. Some Poles initially thought the Soviet Army was there to help them.

Eastern Front

Invasion from the East

By John W. Osborn, Jr.

It was a quiet dinner on a side street in Berlin the evening of June 26, 1939, but more than food would be devoured that night. Read more

American OSS officers accompanied by Chetnik guerrillas on the move from the original evacuation airstrip in Pranjani, Serbia in anticipation of Soviet Red Army advances, September 10, 1944. The OSS officers were part of OSS operations Halyard and Ranger.

Eastern Front

Hazardous Balkan Air Rescue

By Kevin Morrow

Black puffs from flak bursts began blossoming in the air around Lieutenant Tom Oliver’s Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber high over the town of Bor, Yugoslavia. Read more

A German tanker stands on the Russian steppe near Voronezh after emerging from the turret of his PzKpfw. III tank. In the summer of 1942, Hitler mounted an armored thrust to the south along the Eastern Front, and it led to ruin.

Eastern Front

Derailing Case Blue

By Pat McTaggart

After the brutal defensive fighting during the winter of 1941-1942, Adolf Hitler was ready for another round with the Russians. Read more