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Eastern Front was a front line between Allies and Axis and the largest and most important front in World War II, with 5,178,000+ Axis troops dying and well over 10,651,000 Soviet, Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian troops dying. The Eastern Front was also the centre for the Holocaust. With over 30 million casualties, civilians included, it is the deadliest military confrontation in history, with more deaths than the entirety of World War One! The defeat of Germany was mostly associated with the Eastern Front being won by the Soviets.

How It Started

Both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union despised each other, but Germany wanted expansion and decided to sign a non-aggression pact with the USSR. After conquering France and failing to beat the UK, Germany betrayed the pact and together with its several allies like Croatia, Hungary and Italy, along with a vengeful Finland invaded the USSR.

Overwhelming Success

The Invasion of the USSR was a major success and in a few weeks, a large hole had been punched in Eastern Europe. The Germans quickly swept through most of the Baltics and Belorussia and captured the Ukraine before sweeping into the USSR itself. The Soviets were taken by surprise and had little defences, with millions of soldiers surrendering. Most of Soviet gear and vehicles were outclassed by Germans, except for tanks. The UK and USA anticipated the Soviets to be completely defeated by Germany in a year.

Winter

The Germans swept through Russia without a single major defeat and headed straight for Moscow, the industrial central of the USSR and where Stalin resided. However, the Germans supply line was too bad to supply all the troops and with Blitzkrieg wearing down, the Germans stopped just short of Moscow as the bitterly cold Russian winters hit. Without warm clothes, the Germans could not maintain a strong defence and many froze to death. The Soviets, warmly clothed, launched an well-equipped offensive that resulted in the first major defeat of Germany in the East.

The Thaw

When Spring finally arrived, any Soviet offensive was crushed by German troops and the Soviets were forced to be defensive again. The Germans gave up on Moscow and instead intended to capture the Don, Volga, and Caucasus, where plenty of oil resided. The German 6th army headed for Stalingrad while other forces turned for the Caucasus. They offensive into the Caucasus was initially successful, like most German plans, but quickly failed.

The Battle for Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in history and was rightly regarded as the turning point of the Second World War. With the victory at Stalingrad, rant at his generals all he wanted, Hitler had lost the war. The German 6th army had to brutally fight from house-to-house as the Soviets fought for every road and every tactical spot. Yet, the Germans slowly pushed forward and eventually capturd 90 percent of the city. However, one single house manned by 25 men held off against the Germans for two months, when General Winter struck again and the Soviets counter-offensive cut off the 6th Army. Soon, the entire 6th Army had been destroyed and the Soviets had won the most important battle in History. Every one of Germany's allies on the Eastern Front, with the exception of Finland, was destroyed by the USSR at Stalingrad and could no longer assist Germany in offensives again.

The Battle of Kursk

The largest tank battle in history, Kursk would either result in a continued German push, or a Soviet initiative gain. The Germans planned a surprise attack but the Soviets were ready and managed to hold out against them. In the ensuing chaotic tank battle, the Germans and their new Tiger Tanks managed to knock out far more Soviet tanks, but the Soviets sheer number and resistance ensured the Germans had failed to break through. After Kursk, the USSR would be on the offensive.

The Clearing of Belorussia and the Ukraine

In the following months, the restructured Red Army went on to smash through the tired German troops and quickly pushed them back out of Russia. Although the Germans put up a strong defence, it wasn't enough to stop the Russians and the Germans fell back to the Ukraine. The Germans there, although numerous was totally outnumbered by the absurd amount of Soviet troops and firepower and the German front lines were crushed and Kiev, the Ukrainian Capital was retaken. By 1944, the Germans were out of Belarus and the Ukraine. Finland, having taken back their clay, signed a peace treaty with the USSR and was encouraged to fight Germany, sparking off the Lapland War, where the Finns defeated the Germans in Finland.

The Defeat of Nazi Germany

The Soviets swept through the Balkans and Poland and soon had launched the invasion of Germany. This was made easier by the Allies launching Operation Overlord to liberate France. Two-thirds of the Soviet forces (one third stayed back in case the Allies tried to fight them) launched an insanely massive offensive that captured most of Germany and Berlin. On 9 May 1945, Germany surrendered to the USSR. With that done, the USSR moved its troops East for the Invasion of Manchuria.


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