1941 - Eastern Front

22 June 1941 – Soviet Mechanized Corps in the Kiev Special Military District

Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union commenced 22 June 1941.  It was the largest invasion to ever occur in European History and included not only Germany, but Italy, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Finland invading the Soviet Union that was aided by the Commonwealth and United States through lend lease.

Prior to the commencement of Barbarossa, the Soviet theory was that the German attack would focus on the south into the Ukraine where the majority of resources were located.  When the invasion occurred, the German emphasis was on the centre region (Western District) through Army Group Centre.  In the Ukraine, the Kiev Special Military District had 7 Mechanized Corps attached to it.

The questions I would like to examine are focused on the effectiveness of soviet mechanized corps in June/July 1941.  In particular:

  1. Formation of the Mechanized Corps
  2. Location at the commencement of Operation Barbarossa
  3.  Readiness of the Mechanized Corps prior to June 1941
  4.  Operations that occurred during June/July 1941
  5.  Effect in stopping/slowing down the German forces in June/Jul 1941
  6.  Limitations
  7. Lessons learnt from the engagements and how they were incorporated into future mechanized and tank corps doctrine


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