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Battle of Kiev (Axis Triumph)

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Concurrent:

Siege of Minsk

Next:

Battle of Moscow

Battle of Kiev
Battle of Kiev
Beginning:

24 June 1941

End:

26 June 1941

Place:

Kiev, Ukraine

Outcome:

Axis tactical victory

Combatants

Flag of German Reich (1935–1945)Nazi Germany
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946; 3-2 aspect ratio)Hungary
Flag of First Slovak Republic 1939-1945Slovakia
OUN-r Flag 1941Ukrainian volunteers

Flag of the Soviet UnionSoviet Union

Commanders

Flag of German Reich (1935–1945)Heinz Guderian
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945)Alexander Löhr
OUN-r Flag 1941Stepan Bandera

Flag of the Soviet UnionMikhail Krasyanov

Strength

378,204 soldiers
206 tanks
310 aircraft

298,008 soldiers
201 tanks
297 aircraft

Casualties and Losses

59,342 killed
81 tanks destroyed
109 aircraft destroyed

70,105 killed
76 tanks destroyed
84 aircraft destroyed

The Battle of Kiev was an assault on the city of Kiev in late June 1941 by the Axis forces, specifically Nazi Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. The attack was successful, driving out the Red Army from the city and back into Eastern Ukraine. After the attack, Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera proclaimed the establishment of the Ukrainian Republic, a puppet regime of Germany. The Republic created a government in Kiev, and several thousand Ukrainian nationalists went to fight the Red Army for the Axis.

The capture of Kiev paved the way for the attack on Moscow, which occurred less than a week later. The Soviet forces that fought at Kiev, the 37th and 25th Armies under Lieutenant General Mikhail Krasyanov, also fought at Moscow. The German attack on Moscow was also successful.

Overview

In June 1941, Hitler commenced Operation Barbarossa, a plan to invade the Soviet Union. They made quick gains in Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania. One June 24, German troops reached the outskirts of Kiev, and prepared for an assault. The German 12th Army was joined by the Hungarian 3rd Army and Slovak 2nd Army. The Waffen SS deployed an elite unit, the SS Panzer Division "Wiking", a tank division of Scandinavian volunteers. Hitler wanted to conquer Ukraine and secure it to take full advantage of it's agricultural possessions, planning for it to "feed the Reich". For more cooperation from Ukrainians, he promised Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera that he can create his own Ukrainian state.

As a result, about 10,000 Ukrainian volunteers fought for the Axis, under command of Bandera. They advanced into the city, guarded by the Soviet 37th and 25th Armies, as well as the 14th Air Army. The Luftwaffe was unable to achieve air superiority, but destroyed many Soviet aircraft (though took heavier casualties than they did). The ground troops performed well, and both sides took heavy casualties. The Soviet losses were heavier, and Lieutenant General Mikhail Krasyanov was given an order to withdraw from the city by Stalin, in order to go defend Moscow.

Aftermath

The Axis was triumphant, though the Ukrainian nationalists were not very useful in the battle. Nonetheless, Bandera established the a Ukrainian Republic, a puppet state of Nazi Germany. Hitler told Bandera that he would not get the whole of Ukraine, but the nationalist was glad at least some of it could be independent from the USSR. The Axis forces committed various atrocities, including mass rape.

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