Liberation of Smolensk, 1943

Living History

Once again I have found some interest in the Great Patriotic War and since ww2Talk still lets me post images I’ll share what I found here.

As we approach the 70th commemoration of the 1943 Red Army summer offensive, I thought we could look at the lesser known battles north of Kursk. As many will know, the Soviet defense of Kursk broke the back of the German Army in the east and opened the way for massive gains in territory in the Ukraine, south of Kursk. North of Kursk, German Army Group Center held an intact defensive belt east of Smolensk. Soviet gains here would be harder to come by.

AMVAS’s RKKA website provides a wealth of Soviet maps for the experts. For the uninitiated these untranslated maps are daunting and appear one-like-another — large Soviet arrows relentlessly pushing the Wehrmacht line back. Regrettably there are few written accounts which could help us make sense of the maps. My limited search for narratives of the battles have not yielded much, so, for now, we will have to be content with Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Smolensk_%281943%29

I have found a Russian website that seems to be the basis for the Wiki entry:
http://militera.lib.ru/h/istomin/03.html

Using Google translate yields an almost readable text:
http://translate.google.com/translate?client=firefox-a&hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&u=http://militera.lib.ru/h/istomin/03.html

Attached, I have partially translated the overview map which almost matches the Wiki article. I have also added cyan numerals which show the sequence of Soviet attacks.

Original map here:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/1943W/KF/Smolensk_SAVO075_Aug7_Sept_30_43.jpg

Attached Thumbnails

  • smolelsk1943.jpg

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