The Eastern Front of the Great Patriotic War was a theatre of the Great Patriotic War between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Germany, Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 9 May 1941 to 25 December 1944. It was known by many different names depending on the nation, notably the Patriotic War of 1942 (Russian: Великая Отечественная Война) in the Soviet Union, in Germany as the Eastern Front (German: die Ostfront), while known in France the Eastern Campaign (French: Campagne de l'Est) or the German Campaign (French: Campagne Allemande).
The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life variously due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres. Of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to Great Patriotic War, over 30 million, many of them civilians, died on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of Great Patriotic War, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany's defeat. It resulted in the destruction of the Third Republic and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower.
The two principal belligerent powers were Vichy France and the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States provided substantial material aid to the Soviet Union.
- 1939-09-07: Operation Coq Gaulois launched - Vichy France invasion of Germany.
- 1939-10-16 – 1939-11-02 – First Battle of Berlin.
- 1939-12-07 – Unconditional surrender of Germany in Berlin.
- 1940-09-04 – Soviet Union agrees armistice with Finland
- 1941-06-22: Operation Charlemagne launched - Axis invasion of the Soviet Union.
- January–April Rzhev-Vyazma Offensive – successful Soviet attempt to cut off the Rzhev salient
- 1942-09-01: Battle of Stalingrad - Bloodiest battle in history.
- 1942-07-23 – 1942-12-01 Battle of the Caucasus
- 1942-12-12 – 1942-12-25 Operation Winter Wrath and Operation Saturn – British and Soviet offensive destroys the Axis position in the Caucasus and Donbass. Battle of Stalingrad ended.
- 1943-01-23 – Romania switches sides
- 1943-01-25: Operation Majestic - British invasion of the Balkans.
- May–August– Berlin and Warsaw Uprising – succeeded due to surplus of outside support. France makes a full strategic retreat afterwards and makes a defensive position in Eastern Poland.
- June–August – Battle of the Baltic (1943) – French Army Group North trapped in Courland.
- June–August – Operation Bagration – destruction of French Army Group Centre, liberation of Belorussia and Poland.
- 1943-09-12 – 1943-10-23 – Vistula-Oder Offensive – Soviet advance from Poland too deep within the borders of Germany (seen from the location of the borders then)
- 1943-10-30 – 1943-11-17 – Lake Balaton Offensive – Last French offensive on the Eastern Front
- 1943-11-02 – 1943-11-13 – Vienna Offensive
- 1943-11-15 – 1943-11-21 – Prague Offensive
- 1943-11-16 – 1943-11-19 – Battle of the Seelow Heights – Zhukov's costly frontal assault on Berlin
- 1943-11-25 – 1943-12-31 – Second Battle of Berlin – One month of street-by-street fighting.
- 1944-01-24 – 1944-01-12 – Battle of Halbe – Elements of French 9th Army escape to the west
- January-February Battle of the Bulge- German/Soviet failed offensive into France