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Stalingrad, February 1943. Archive photo

Historian Myagkov: Nazi exhaustion near Rzhev helped the USSR win the Battle of Stalingrad

MOSCOW, February 2 – RIA Novosti. The Battle of Rzhev helped divert key German forces that needed to be transferred south – if this happened, it would complicate the USSR’s situation near Stalingrad, Mikhail Myagkov, scientific director of the Russian Military Historical Society, told Rya Novosti. .

Exactly 80 years ago, on February 2, 1943, the USSR defeated Nazi Germany and its allies in the Battle of Stalingrad, which became one of the largest during the Great Patriotic War in terms of scale, duration (200 days) and the number of participants. War. It radically changed its course and became the harbinger of the victory of the Soviet army over the fascist troops.

“Another heroic page of the Second World War is closely connected with the Battle of Stalingrad, which has recently received the necessary attention of Russian historians. We are talking about the Battle of Rzhev in 1942-1943. <…> There are documents that the German command was preparing to transfer its 15 divisions to Stalingrad during this period, but these were never transferred because we constantly conducted offensive operations west of Moscow.”

According to the historian, the fierce battles for Rzhev, Vyazma and Sychevka, during which the Red Army “crushed” the Nazi forces, made it impossible to transfer the Germans to Stalingrad, which largely determined the success of Operation Uranus. As a result, Soviet troops surrounded the 6th German army, led by Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus.

The scientific director of the RVIO noted that the Wehrmacht units planned to be transferred south could assist the German group under Marshal Erich von Manstein in an attempt to deliver a blow (Operation Wintergewitter, to withdraw Paulus’ army from the Soviet encirclement), but were destroyed or exhausted in the battle near Rzhev.

“In November-December 1942, the Second Operation Mars, also known as Rzhev-Sychevskaya, was carried out. It is known to us that it was unsuccessful – we broke through the German front, but then we were forced to withdraw to our original positions. However, at the same time, Marshal Paulus’s 6th Army of the Manstein group. If, while an attempt was made to unblock his strike in the direction of his army, the Germans had the support of infantry and especially tank divisions deployed from the Rzhev direction, then the situation on this part of the front could become critical for the Red Army, “Myagkov explained.

battle of rzhev

Rzhev was captured by the Nazis on October 14, 1941 and occupied for 17 months. From October 1941 to March 1943, fierce fighting took place on the outskirts of the city. At the end of January 1942, as a result of the offensive of Soviet troops, a ledge, called the Rzhev-Vyazemsky bridge, was formed in the central sector of the Soviet-German front. It covered the Rzhev region and neighboring regions of the Kalinin and Smolensk regions. Here the battle of Rzhev developed.

On the 75th anniversary of the victory (2020), archival data on losses during the war were released – more than 1.3 million people died, were injured, disappeared.

Source: Ria

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