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Rosenberg promoted the Nordic theory , which regarded Nordics as the "master race", superior to all others, including other Aryans Indo-Europeans.
In establishing a restrictive entry system for Germany in , Hitler wrote of his admiration for America's immigration laws: "The American Union categorically refuses the immigration of physically unhealthy elements, and simply excludes the immigration of certain races.
German praise for America's institutional racism, previously found in Hitler's Mein Kampf , was continuous throughout the early s, and Nazi lawyers were advocates of the use of American models.
The Nazis used the Mendelian inheritance theory to argue that social traits were innate, claiming that there was a racial nature associated with certain general traits such as inventiveness or criminal behavior.
According to the annual report of Germany's interior intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution , at the time there were 26, right-wing extremists living in Germany, including neo-Nazis.
Neo-Nazi organisations embracing white supremacist ideology are present in many countries of the world. In , it was claimed that Russian neo-Nazis accounted for "half of the world's total".
Fifty-one people died from two consecutive terrorist attacks at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre by an Australian white supremacist carried out on 15 March On 27 August , the shooter was sentenced to life without parole.
The term white supremacy is used in some academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred.
White racial advantages occur at both a collective and an individual level ceteris paribus , i.
Legal scholar Frances Lee Ansley explains this definition as follows:. By "white supremacy" I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups.
I refer instead to a political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.
This and similar definitions have been adopted or proposed by Charles W. Mills ,  bell hooks ,  David Gillborn ,  Jessie Daniels,  and Neely Fuller Jr,  and they are widely used in critical race theory and intersectional feminism.
Some anti-racist educators, such as Betita Martinez and the Challenging White Supremacy workshop, also use the term in this way.
The term expresses historic continuities between a pre— civil rights movement era of open white supremacy and the current racial power structure of the United States.
It also expresses the visceral impact of structural racism through "provocative and brutal" language that characterizes racism as "nefarious, global, systemic, and constant".
The term's recent rise in popularity among leftist activists has been characterized by some as counterproductive.
John McWhorter has described the use of "white supremacy" as straying from its commonly accepted meaning to encompass less extreme issues, thereby cheapening the term and potentially derailing productive discussion.
He claims that the term should be reserved for those who are trying to promote the idea that whites are inherently superior to blacks and not used to characterize less blatantly racist beliefs or actions.
Supporters of Nordicism consider the "Nordic peoples" to be a superior race. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer attributed cultural primacy to the white race:.
The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians , are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmans , the Incas , and the rulers of the South Sea Islands.
All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want and misery, which in their many forms were brought about by the climate.
The eugenicist Madison Grant argued in his book, The Passing of the Great Race , that the Nordic race had been responsible for most of humanity's great achievements, and that admixture was "race suicide".
Many white supremacist groups are based on the concept of preserving genetic purity, and do not focus solely on discrimination based on skin color.
Nazi Germany promulgated white supremacy based on the belief that the Aryan race , or the Germans, were the master race. It was combined with a eugenics programme that aimed for racial hygiene through compulsory sterilization of sick individuals and extermination of Untermenschen "subhumans" : Slavs , Jews and Romani , which eventually culminated in the Holocaust.
Christian Identity is another movement closely tied to white supremacy. Some white supremacists identify themselves as Odinists , although many Odinists reject white supremacy.
Some white supremacist groups, such as the South African Boeremag , conflate elements of Christianity and Odinism.
Creativity formerly known as "The World Church of the Creator" is atheistic and it denounces Christianity and other theistic religions.
Matthew F. Hale , founder of the World Church of the Creator, has published articles stating that all races other than white are "mud races", which is what the group's religion teaches.
The white supremacist ideology has become associated with a racist faction of the skinhead subculture , despite the fact that when the skinhead culture first developed in the United Kingdom in the late s, it was heavily influenced by black fashions and music , especially Jamaican reggae and ska , and African American soul music.
White supremacist recruitment activities are primarily conducted at a grassroots level as well as on the Internet.
Widespread access to the Internet has led to a dramatic increase in white supremacist websites. White separatism is a political and social movement that seeks the separation of white people from people of other races and ethnicities , the establishment of a white ethnostate by removing non-whites from existing communities or by forming new communities elsewhere.
Most modern researchers do not view white separatism as distinct from white supremacist beliefs. The Anti-Defamation League defines white separatism as "a form of white supremacy";  the Southern Poverty Law Center defines both white nationalism and white separatism as "ideologies based on white supremacy.
Use of the term to self-identify has been criticized as a dishonest rhetorical ploy. The Anti-Defamation League argues that white supremacists use the phrase because they believe it has fewer negative connotations than the term white supremacist.
They argued the existence of "a distinction between the white supremacist's desire to dominate as in apartheid , slavery , or segregation and complete separation by race".
The Tuskegee Institute has estimated that 3, blacks were the victims of lynchings in the United States between and , with the peak occurring in the s at a time of economic stress in the South and increasing political suppression of blacks.
If 1, whites were also lynched during this period, blacks were disproportionally targeted, representing Wood, "lynching photographs constructed and perpetuated white supremacist ideology by creating permanent images of a controlled white citizenry juxtaposed to images of helpless and powerless black men.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from White supremacies. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 7 December Racist belief in the superiority of white people.
General forms. Related topics. Allophilia Anti-cultural, anti-national, and anti-ethnic terms Bias Christian privilege Civil liberties Cultural assimilation Dehumanization Diversity Ethnic penalty Eugenics Internalized oppression Intersectionality Male privilege Masculism Medical model of disability autism Multiculturalism Net bias Neurodiversity Oikophobia Oppression Police brutality Political correctness Polyculturalism Power distance Prejudice Prisoner abuse Racial bias in criminal news Racism by country Religious intolerance Second-generation gender bias Snobbery Social exclusion Social model of disability Social stigma Stereotype threat The talk White privilege.
Main category: White supremacy in the United States. See also: Racism in the United States. Main article: White supremacy in U.
Further information: Apartheid and Baasskap. Francis Nick Griffin Michael H. Retrieved November 11, Although white racist activists must adopt a political identity of whiteness, the flimsy definition of whiteness in modern culture poses special challenges for them.
In both mainstream and white supremacist discourse, to be white is to be distinct from those marked as non-white, yet the placement of the distinguishing line has varied significantly in different times and places.
NYU Press. White Supremacy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. The Guardian. September 3, That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
Stephens Vice President of the Confederate States , March 21, , Savannah, Georgia Archived November 17, , at the Wayback Machine : "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.
Local insurgents seized the moment and controlled most of Lithuania, northern Latvia and southern Estonia prior to the arrival of the German forces.
Army Group Centre 's two panzer groups the 2nd and 3rd , advanced to the north and south of Brest-Litovsk and converged east of Minsk , followed by the 2nd , 4th , and 9th Armies.
The next objective was to cross the Dnieper river , which was accomplished by 11 July. Their next target was Smolensk , which fell on 16 July, but the fierce Soviet resistance in the Smolensk area and slowing of the Wehrmacht advance by the North and South Army Groups forced Hitler to halt a central thrust at Moscow and to divert the 3rd Panzer Group north.
Critically, Guderian 's 2nd Panzer Group was ordered to move south in a giant pincer manoeuvre with Army Group South which was advancing into Ukraine.
Army Group Centre's infantry divisions were left relatively unsupported by armour to continue their slow advance to Moscow. This decision caused a severe leadership crisis.
The German field commanders argued for an immediate offensive towards Moscow, but Hitler over-ruled them , citing the importance of Ukrainian agricultural, mining and industrial resources, as well as the massing of Soviet reserves in the Gomel area between Army Group Centre's southern flank and the bogged-down Army Group South's northern flank.
This decision, Hitler's "summer pause",  is believed to have had a severe impact on the Battle of Moscow 's outcome, by slowing down the advance on Moscow in favour of encircling large numbers of Soviet troops around Kiev.
Army Group South , with the 1st Panzer Group , the 6th , 11th and 17th Armies , was tasked with advancing through Galicia and into Ukraine.
Their progress, however, was rather slow, and they took heavy casualties in a major tank battle. The 1st Panzer Group turned away from Kiev for the moment, advancing into the Dnieper bend western Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
When it joined up with the southern elements of Army Group South at Uman , the Group captured about , Soviet prisoners in a huge encirclement.
As the Red Army withdrew behind the Dnieper and Dvina rivers, the Soviet Stavka high command turned its attention to evacuating as much of the western regions' industry as it could.
Factories were dismantled and transported on flatcars away from the front line for re-establishment in more remote areas of the Ural Mountains , Caucasus , Central Asia and south-eastern Siberia.
Most civilians were left to make their own way east, with only industry-related workers evacuated with the equipment; much of the population was left behind to the mercy of the invading forces.
Stalin ordered the retreating Red Army to initiate a scorched-earth policy to deny the Germans and their allies basic supplies as they advanced eastward.
To carry out that order, destruction battalions were formed in front-line areas, having the authority to summarily execute any suspicious person.
The destruction battalions burned down villages, schools, and public buildings. Hitler then decided to resume the advance on Moscow, re-designating the panzer groups as panzer armies for the occasion.
North of the Arctic Circle , a German—Finnish force set out for Murmansk but could get no further than the Zapadnaya Litsa River , where they settled down.
The combined German and Romanian forces moved into the Crimea and took control of all of the peninsula by autumn except Sevastopol , which held out until 3 July On 21 November, the Wehrmacht took Rostov , the gateway to the Caucasus.
However, the German lines were over-extended and the Soviet defenders counterattacked the 1st Panzer Army's spearhead from the north, forcing them to pull out of the city and behind the Mius River ; the first significant German withdrawal of the war.
The onset of the winter freeze saw one last German lunge that opened on 15 November, when the Wehrmacht attempted to encircle Moscow.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Panzer Army failed to take Tula , the last Soviet city that stood in its way to the capital. After a meeting held in Orsha between the head of the OKH Army General Staff , General Franz Halder and the heads of three Army groups and armies, decided to push forward to Moscow since it was better, as argued by the head of Army Group Center , Field Marshal Fedor von Bock , for them to try their luck on the battlefield rather than just sit and wait while their opponent gathered more strength.
However, by 6 December it became clear that the Wehrmacht did not have the strength to capture Moscow, and the attack was suspended.
Marshal Shaposhnikov thus began his counter-attack , employing freshly mobilised reserves ,  as well as some well-trained Far-Eastern divisions transferred from the east following intelligence that Japan would remain neutral.
The Soviet counter-offensive during the Battle of Moscow had removed the immediate German threat to the city.
According to Zhukov , "the success of the December counter-offensive in the central strategic direction was considerable. Having suffered a major defeat the German striking forces of Army Group Centre were retreating.
The main blow was to be delivered by a double envelopment orchestrated by the Northwestern Front , the Kalinin Front and the Western Front.
The overall objective according to Zhukov was the "subsequent encirclement and destruction of the enemy's main forces in the area of Rzhev, Vyazma and Smolensk.
The 20th Army, part of the 1st Shock Army, the 22nd Tank Brigade and five ski battalions launched their attack on 10 January By 17 January, the Soviets had captured Lotoshino and Shakhovskaya.
By 20 January, the 5th and 33rd armies had captured Ruza, Dorokhovo, Mozhaisk and Vereya, while the 43rd and 49th armies were at Domanovo.
The Wehrmacht rallied, retaining a salient at Rzhev. A Soviet parachute drop by two battalions of the st Airborne Brigade and the th Airborne Regiment on 18 and 22 January was designed to "cut off enemy communications with the rear.
Mikhail Grigoryevich Yefremov 's 33rd Army aided by Gen. This force was joined by additional paratroopers of the 8th Airborne Brigade at the end of January.
However, in early February, the Germans managed to cut off this force, separating the Soviets from their main force in the rear of the Germans.
They were supplied by air until April when they were given permission to regain the Soviet main lines.
Only part of Belov's Cavalry Corps made it to safety however, while Yefremov's men fought "a losing battle.
By April , the Soviet Supreme Command agreed to assume the defensive so as to "consolidate the captured ground. To the north, the Red Army surrounded a German garrison in Demyansk , which held out with air supply for four months, and established themselves in front of Kholm , Velizh , and Velikie Luki.
Initially this made some progress; however, it was unsupported, and by June a German counterattack cut off and destroyed the army.
The intent was to pin Army Group South against the Sea of Azov , but as the winter eased the Wehrmacht counter-attacked and cut off the over-extended Soviet troops in the Second Battle of Kharkov.
Although plans were made to attack Moscow again, on 28 June , the offensive re-opened in a different direction. Army Group South took the initiative, anchoring the front with the Battle of Voronezh and then following the Don river southeastwards.
The grand plan was to secure the Don and Volga first and then drive into the Caucasus towards the oil fields , but operational considerations and Hitler's vanity made him order both objectives to be attempted simultaneously.
Rostov was recaptured on 24 July when the 1st Panzer Army joined in, and then that group drove south towards Maikop.
As part of this, Operation Shamil was executed, a plan whereby a group of Brandenburger commandos dressed up as Soviet NKVD troops to destabilise Maikop's defences and allow the 1st Panzer Army to enter the oil town with little opposition.
Meanwhile, the 6th Army was driving towards Stalingrad , for a long period unsupported by 4th Panzer Army, which had been diverted to help 1st Panzer Army cross the Don.
By the time the 4th Panzer Army had rejoined the Stalingrad offensive Soviet resistance comprising the 62nd Army under Vasily Chuikov had stiffened.
A leap across the Don brought German troops to the Volga on 23 August but for the next three months the Wehrmacht would be fighting the Battle of Stalingrad street-by-street.
At the end of August Romanian mountain troops joined the Caucasian spearhead, while the Romanian 3rd and 4th armies were redeployed from their successful task of clearing the Azov littoral.
They took up position on either side of Stalingrad to free German troops for the main offensive. Mindful of the continuing antagonism between Axis allies Romania and Hungary over Transylvania , the Romanian army in the Don bend was separated from the Hungarian 2nd army by the Italian 8th Army.
Thus, all of Hitler's allies were involved — including a Slovakian contingent with the 1st Panzer Army and a Croatian regiment attached to 6th Army.
The advance into the Caucasus bogged down, with the Germans unable to fight their way past Malgobek and to the main prize of Grozny. Instead, they switched the direction of their advance to approach it from the south, crossing the Malka at the end of October and entering North Ossetia.
In the first week of November, on the outskirts of Ordzhonikidze , the 13th Panzer Division's spearhead was snipped off and the panzer troops had to fall back.
The offensive into Russia was over. While the German 6th and 4th Panzer Armies had been fighting their way into Stalingrad, Soviet armies had congregated on either side of the city, specifically into the Don bridgeheads , and it was from these that they struck in November In Operation Uranus started on 19 November, two Soviet fronts punched through the Romanian lines and converged at Kalach on 23 November, trapping , Axis troops behind them.
The Germans rushed to transfer troops to the Soviet Union in a desperate attempt to relieve Stalingrad, but the offensive could not get going until 12 December, by which time the 6th Army in Stalingrad was starving and too weak to break out towards it.
To divert the rescue attempt, the Red Army decided to smash the Italians and come down behind the relief attempt if they could; that operation starting on 16 December.
What it did accomplish was to destroy many of the aircraft that had been transporting relief supplies to Stalingrad. The fairly limited scope of the Soviet offensive, although still eventually targeted on Rostov, also allowed Hitler time to see sense and pull Army Group A out of the Caucasus and back over the Don.
On 31 January , the 90, survivors of the ,man 6th Army surrendered. By that time the Hungarian 2nd Army had also been wiped out. To save the position in the south, the Germans decided to abandon the Rzhev salient in February, freeing enough troops to make a successful riposte in eastern Ukraine.
Manstein 's counteroffensive, strengthened by a specially trained SS Panzer Corps equipped with Tiger tanks , opened on 20 February and fought its way from Poltava back into Kharkov in the third week of March, when the spring thaw intervened.
This left a glaring Soviet bulge salient in the front centered on Kursk. After the failure of the attempt to capture Stalingrad, Hitler had delegated planning authority for the upcoming campaign season to the German Army High Command and reinstated Heinz Guderian to a prominent role, this time as Inspector of Panzer Troops.
Debate among the General Staff was polarised, with even Hitler nervous about any attempt to pinch off the Kursk salient.
He knew that in the intervening six months the Soviet position at Kursk had been reinforced heavily with anti-tank guns, tank traps , landmines , barbed wire , trenches , pillboxes , artillery and mortars.
However, if one last great blitzkrieg offensive could be mounted, then attention could then be turned to the Allied threat to the Western Front.
Certainly, the peace negotiations in April had gone nowhere. Both wings would converge on the area east of Kursk, and by that means restore the lines of Army Group South to the exact points that it held over the winter of — In the north, the entire German 9th Army had been redeployed from the Rzhev salient into the Orel salient and was to advance from Maloarkhangelsk to Kursk.
The 9th Army blunted its spearhead against the Soviet minefields , frustratingly so considering that the high ground there was the only natural barrier between them and flat tank country all the way to Kursk.
The direction of advance was then switched to Ponyri , to the west of Olkhovatka, but the 9th Army could not break through here either and went over to the defensive.
The Red Army then launched a counter-offensive, Operation Kutuzov. On 12 July the Red Army battled through the demarcation line between the th and rd divisions on the Zhizdra River and steamed towards Karachev , right behind them and behind Orel.
The southern offensive, spearheaded by 4th Panzer Army , led by Gen. Hoth , with three Tank Corps made more headway.
Battle was joined on 12 July, with about one thousand tanks being engaged. After the war, the battle near Prochorovka was idealised by Soviet historians as the largest tank battle of all time.
The meeting engagement at Prochorovka was a Soviet defensive success, albeit at heavy cost. Tank losses on both sides have been the source of controversy ever since.
Although the 5th Guards Tank Army did not attain its objectives, the German advance had been halted. At the end of the day both sides had fought each other to a standstill, but regardless of the German failure in the north Erich von Manstein proposed he continue the attack with the 4th Panzer Army.
The Red Army started the strong offensive operation in the northern Orel salient and achieved a breakthrough on the flank of the German 9th Army.
Also worried by the Allies' landing in Sicily on 10 July, Hitler made the decision to halt the offensive even as the German 9th Army was rapidly giving ground in the north.
The Germans' final strategic offensive in the Soviet Union ended with their defence against a major Soviet counteroffensive that lasted into August.
The Kursk offensive was the last on the scale of and that the Wehrmacht was able to launch; subsequent offensives would represent only a shadow of previous German offensive might.
The Soviet multi-stage summer offensive started with the advance into the Orel salient. Although intense battles of movement throughout late July and into August saw the Tigers blunting Soviet tank attacks on one axis, they were soon outflanked on another line to the west as the Soviet forces advanced down the Psel , and Kharkov was abandoned for the final time on 22 August.
The German forces on the Mius , now comprising the 1st Panzer Army and a reconstituted 6th Army, were by August too weak to repulse a Soviet attack on their own front, and when the Red Army hit them they retreated all the way through the Donbass industrial region to the Dnieper, losing half the farmland that Germany had invaded the Soviet Union to exploit.
At this time Hitler agreed to a general withdrawal to the Dnieper line, along which was meant to be the Ostwall , a line of defence similar to the Westwall Siegfried Line of fortifications along the German frontier in the west.
The main problem for the Wehrmacht was that these defences had not yet been built; by the time Army Group South had evacuated eastern Ukraine and begun withdrawing across the Dnieper during September, the Soviet forces were hard behind them.
A second attempt by the Red Army to gain land using parachutists, mounted at Kaniv on 24 September, proved as disappointing as at Dorogobuzh eighteen months previously.
The paratroopers were soon repelled — but not until still more Red Army troops had used the cover they provided to get themselves over the Dnieper and securely dug in.
As September ended and October started, the Germans found the Dnieper line impossible to hold as the Soviet bridgeheads grew.
Important Dnieper towns started to fall, with Zaporozhye the first to go, followed by Dnepropetrovsk. Finally, early in November the Red Army broke out of its bridgeheads on either side of Kiev and captured the Ukrainian capital, at that time the third largest city in the Soviet Union.
This battle also enabled Army Group South to recapture Korosten and gain some time to rest. However, on Christmas Eve the retreat began anew when the First Ukrainian Front renamed from the Voronezh Front struck them in the same place.
The Soviet advance continued along the railway line until the Polish—Soviet border was reached on 3 January In the second week of January they swung north, meeting Vatutin's tank forces which had swung south from their penetration into Poland and surrounding ten German divisions at Korsun—Shevchenkovsky, west of Cherkassy.
Hitler's insistence on holding the Dnieper line, even when facing the prospect of catastrophic defeat, was compounded by his conviction that the Cherkassy pocket could break out and even advance to Kiev, but Manstein was more concerned about being able to advance to the edge of the pocket and then implore the surrounded forces to break out.
By 16 February the first stage was complete, with panzers separated from the contracting Cherkassy pocket only by the swollen Gniloy Tikich river.
Under shellfire and pursued by Soviet tanks, the surrounded German troops, among whom were the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking , fought their way across the river to safety, although at the cost of half their number and all their equipment.
They assumed the Red Army would not attack again, with the spring approaching, but on 3 March the Soviet Ukrainian Front went over to the offensive.
Having already isolated the Crimea by severing the Perekop isthmus , Malinovsky's forces advanced across the mud to the Romanian border, not stopping on the river Prut.
After two weeks' of heavy fighting, the 1st Panzer managed to escape the pocket, at the cost of losing almost the entire heavy equipment.
At this point, Hitler sacked several prominent generals, Manstein included. In April, the Red Army took back Odessa , followed by 4th Ukrainian Front's campaign to restore control over the Crimea, which culminated in the capture of Sevastopol on 10 May.
Along Army Group Centre's front, August saw this force pushed back from the Hagen line slowly, ceding comparatively little territory, but the loss of Bryansk, and more importantly Smolensk, on 25 September cost the Wehrmacht the keystone of the entire German defensive system.
The 4th and 9th armies and 3rd Panzer Army still held their own east of the upper Dnieper, stifling Soviet attempts to reach Vitebsk.
In a lightning campaign, the Germans were pushed back from Leningrad and Novgorod was captured by Soviet forces. To Stalin, the Baltic Sea seemed the quickest way to take the battles to the German territory in East Prussia and seize control of Finland.
The German army group "Narwa" included Estonian conscripts , defending the re-establishment of Estonian independence. Accordingly, they stripped troops from Army Group Centre, whose front still protruded deep into the Soviet Union.
The Germans had transferred some units to France to counter the invasion of Normandy two weeks before. The Belorussian Offensive codenamed Operation Bagration , which was agreed upon by Allies at the Tehran Conference in December and launched on 22 June , was a massive Soviet attack, consisting of four Soviet army groups totalling over divisions that smashed into a thinly held German line.
More than 2. At the points of attack, the numerical and quality advantages of the Soviet forces were overwhelming. The Red Army achieved a ratio of ten to one in tanks and seven to one in aircraft over their enemy.
The Germans crumbled. The capital of Belarus , Minsk , was taken on 3 July, trapping some , Germans. Ten days later the Red Army reached the prewar Polish border.
Bagration was, by any measure, one of the largest single operations of the war. The offensive at Estonia claimed another , Soviet soldiers, , of them classed as dead.
The Soviet advance in the south continued into Romania and, following a coup against the Axis-allied government of Romania on 23 August, the Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August.
Romania and the Soviet Union signed an armistice on 12 September. The rapid progress of Operation Bagration threatened to cut off and isolate the German units of Army Group North bitterly resisting the Soviet advance towards Tallinn.
Despite a ferocious attack at the Sinimäed Hills , Estonia, the Soviet Leningrad Front failed to break through the defence of the smaller, well-fortified army detachment "Narwa" in terrain not suitable for large-scale operations.
Three armies were pitted there against the Finns, among them several experienced guards rifle formations.
The attack breached the Finnish front line of defence in Valkeasaari on 10 June and the Finnish forces retreated to their secondary defence line, the VT-line.
The Soviet attack was supported by a heavy artillery barrage, air bombardments and armoured forces. The VT-line was breached on 14 June and after a failed counterattack in Kuuterselkä by the Finnish armoured division, the Finnish defence had to be pulled back to the VKT-line.
After heavy fighting in the battles of Tali-Ihantala and Ilomantsi , Finnish troops finally managed to halt the Soviet attack.
Whether Stalin was unable or unwilling to come to the aid of the Polish resistance is disputed. Two months later, the Soviet forces won the battle and entered Slovakia.
The Soviet Union finally entered Warsaw on 17 January , after the city was destroyed and abandoned by the Germans.
Over three days, on a broad front incorporating four army fronts , the Red Army launched the Vistula—Oder Offensive across the Narew River and from Warsaw.
The Soviets outnumbered the Germans on average by 5— in troops, in artillery, in tanks and in self-propelled artillery. During the full course of the Vistula—Oder operation 23 days , the Red Army forces sustained , total casualties killed, wounded and missing and lost 1, tanks and assault guns.
On 25 January , Hitler renamed three army groups. In the south, the German attempts, in Operation Konrad , to relieve the encircled garrison at Budapest failed and the city fell on 13 February.
On 6 March, the Germans launched what would be their final major offensive of the war, Operation Spring Awakening , which failed by 16 March.
OKW claim German losses of 77, killed, , wounded and , missing, with a total of , men, on the Eastern Front during January and February The East Prussian operation , though often overshadowed by the Vistula—Oder operation and the later battle for Berlin, was in fact one of the largest and costliest operations fought by the Red Army throughout the war.
During the period it lasted 13 January — 25 April , it cost the Red Army , casualties, and 3, tanks and assault guns. During the first two weeks of April, the Red Army performed their fastest front redeployment of the war.
While this redeployment was in progress, gaps were left in the lines and the remnants of the German 2nd Army, which had been bottled up in a pocket near Danzig, managed to escape across the Oder.
The Soviet offensive had two objectives. Because of Stalin's suspicions about the intentions of the Western Allies to hand over territory occupied by them in the post-war Soviet sphere of influence , the offensive was to be on a broad front and was to move as rapidly as possible to the west, to meet the Western Allies as far west as possible.
But the over-riding objective was to capture Berlin. The two were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won quickly unless Berlin was taken.
The executed included Mikhail Tukhachevsky , a proponent of armoured blitzkrieg. Stalin promoted some obscurantists like Grigory Kulik who opposed the mechanisation of the army and the production of tanks, but on the other hand purged the older commanders who had held their positions since the Russian Civil War of —, and who had experience, but were deemed "politically unreliable".
This opened up their places to the promotion of many younger officers that Stalin and the NKVD regarded as in line with Stalinist politics.
Many [ quantify ] of these newly promoted commanders proved terribly inexperienced, but some later became very successful. Soviet tank-output remained the largest in the world.
From the foundation of the Red Army in , political distrust of the military had led to a system of "dual command", with every commander paired with a political commissar , a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Larger units had military councils consisting of the commander, commissar and chief of staff — commissars ensured the loyalty of the commanding officers and implemented Party orders.
Following the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland , of the Baltic states and of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in —, Stalin insisted on the occupation of every fold of the newly Sovietized territories; this move westward positioned troops far from their depots, in salients that left them vulnerable to encirclement.
As tension heightened in spring, , Stalin desperately tried not to give Hitler any provocation that Berlin could use as an excuse for a German attack; Stalin refused to allow the military to go on the alert — even as German troops gathered on the borders and German reconnaissance planes overflew installations.
This refusal to take necessary action was instrumental in the destruction of major portions of the Red Air Force, lined up on its airfields, in the first days of the German-Soviet war.
At the crisis of the war, in the autumn of , Stalin made many concessions to the army: the government restored unitary command by removing the Commissars from the chain of command.
Beginning in autumn , units that had proved themselves by superior performance in combat were given the traditional "Guards" title.
These concessions were combined with ruthless discipline: Order No. Infractions by military and politruks were punished with transferral to penal battalions and to penal companies which carried out especially hazardous duties, such as serving as tramplers to clear Nazi minefields.
As it became clear that the Soviet Union would win the war, Stalin ensured that propaganda always mentioned his leadership of the war; he sidelined the victorious generals and never allowed them to develop into political rivals.
After the war the Soviets once again purged the Red Army though not as brutally as in the s and demoted many successful officers including Zhukov , Malinovsky and Koniev to unimportant positions.
The enormous territorial gains of presented Germany with vast areas to pacify and administer. For the majority of people of the Soviet Union, the Nazi invasion was viewed as a brutal act of unprovoked aggression.
While it is important to note that not all parts of Soviet society viewed the German advance in this way, the majority of the Soviet population viewed German forces as occupiers.
In areas such as Estonia , Latvia , and Lithuania which had been annexed by the Soviet Union in the Wehrmacht was tolerated by a relatively more significant part of the native population.
This was particularly true for the territories of Western Ukraine, recently rejoined to the Soviet Union, where the anti-Polish and anti-Soviet Ukrainian nationalist underground hoped in vain to establish the "independent state", relying on German armed force.
However, Soviet society as a whole was hostile to the invading Nazis from the very start. The nascent national liberation movements among Ukrainians and Cossacks , and others were viewed by Hitler with suspicion; some, especially those from the Baltic States, were co-opted into the Axis armies and others brutally suppressed.
None of the conquered territories gained any measure of self-rule. Instead, the Nazi ideologues saw the future of the East as one of settlement by German colonists, with the natives killed, expelled, or reduced to slave labour.
The cruel and brutally inhumane treatment of Soviet civilians, women, children and elderly, the daily bombings of civilian cities and towns, Nazi pillaging of Soviet villages and hamlets and unprecedented harsh punishment and treatment of civilians in general were some of the primary reasons for Soviet resistance to Nazi Germany's invasion.
Indeed, the Soviets viewed Germany's invasion as an act of aggression and an attempt to conquer and enslave the local population.
Regions closer to the front were managed by military powers of the region, in other areas such as the Baltic states annexed by the USSR in , Reichscommissariats were established.
As a rule, the maximum in loot was extracted. His opening speech was clear about German policy: "I am known as a brutal dog Our job is to suck from Ukraine all the goods we can get hold of I am expecting from you the utmost severity towards the native population.
Atrocities against the Jewish population in the conquered areas began almost immediately, with the dispatch of Einsatzgruppen task groups to round up Jews and shoot them.
The massacres of Jews and other ethnic minorities were only a part of the deaths from the Nazi occupation.
Many hundreds of thousands of Soviet civilians were executed, and millions more died from starvation as the Germans requisitioned food for their armies and fodder for their draft horses.
As they retreated from Ukraine and Belarus in —44, the German occupiers systematically applied a scorched earth policy, burning towns and cities, destroying infrastructure, and leaving civilians to starve or die of exposure.
The Nazi ideology and the maltreatment of the local population and Soviet POWs encouraged partisans fighting behind the front; it motivated even anti-communists or non-Russian nationalists to ally with the Soviets and greatly delayed the formation of German-allied divisions consisting of Soviet POWs see Ostlegionen.
These results and missed opportunities contributed to the defeat of the Wehrmacht. Vadim Erlikman has detailed Soviet losses totalling Military losses of Civilian deaths totalled Additional famine deaths, which totalled one million during —47, are not included here.
These losses are for the entire territory of the USSR including territories annexed in — Belarus lost a quarter of its pre-war population, including practically all its intellectual elite.
Following bloody encirclement battles, all of the present-day Belarus territory was occupied by the Germans by the end of August The Nazis imposed a brutal regime, deporting some , young people for slave labour, and killing hundreds of thousands civilians more.
Some recent reports raise the number of Belarusians who perished in the war to "3 million thousand people, unlike the former 2.
Sixty percent of Soviet POWs died during the war. By , 80 per cent of civilians and 20 per cent of POWs were freed, others were re-drafted, or sent to labour battalions.
Two per cent of civilians and 14 per cent of the POWs were sent to the Gulag. The official Polish government report of war losses prepared in reported 6,, victims out of a population of 27,, ethnic Poles and Jews; this report excluded ethnic Ukrainian and Belarusian losses.
Although the Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention , it is generally accepted that it considered itself bound by the provisions of the Hague convention.
This 'note' was left unanswered by Third Reich officials. Soviet repressions also contributed into the Eastern Front's death toll. Mass repression occurred in the occupied portions of Poland as well as in the Baltic states and Bessarabia.
Immediately after the start of the German invasion, the NKVD massacred large numbers of inmates in most of their prisons in Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, while the remainder was to be evacuated in death marches.
The Soviet victory owed a great deal to the ability of its war industry to outperform the German economy, despite the enormous loss of population and land.
Stalin's five-year plans of the s had resulted in the industrialisation of the Urals and central Asia. In , thousands of trains evacuated critical factories and workers from Belarus and Ukraine to safe areas far from the front lines.
Once these facilities were reassembled east of the Urals, production could be resumed without fear of German bombing. As the Soviet Union's manpower reserves ran low from onwards, the great Soviet offensives had to depend more on equipment and less on the expenditure of lives.
The Germans, on the other hand, could rely on a large slave workforce from the conquered countries and Soviet POWs.
American exports and technical expertise also enabled the Soviets to produce goods that they wouldn't have been able to on their own. German production of explosives from to was 1.
Consumption on all fronts during the same period was 1. Soviet armoured fighting vehicle production was greater than the Germans in , the Soviet Union manufactured 24, tanks and self-propelled guns to Germany's 19, The Soviets incrementally upgraded existing designs, and simplified and refined manufacturing processes to increase production, and were helped by a mass infusion of harder to produce goods such as aviation fuel, machine tools, trucks, and high-explosives from Lend-Lease, allowing them to concentrate on a few key industries.
Meanwhile, Germany had been cut off from foreign trade for years by the time it invaded the USSR, was in the middle of two extended and costly theatres at air and sea that further limited production Battle of the Atlantic and Defence of the Reich , and was forced to devote a large segment of its expenditures to goods the Soviets could cut back on such as trucks or which would never even be used against the Soviets such as ships.
This included , trucks, 12, armoured vehicles including 7, tanks , 11, aircraft and 1. Five thousand tanks were provided by the British and Canada.
Total British supplies were about four million tons. After the defeat at Stalingrad, Germany geared completely towards a war economy, as expounded in a speech given by Joseph Goebbels , the Nazi propaganda minister , in the Berlin Sportpalast , increasing production in subsequent years under Albert Speer 's the Reich armaments minister direction, despite the intensifying Allied bombing campaign.
The fighting involved millions of Axis and Soviet troops along the broadest land front in military history.
Rüdiger Overmans states that it seems entirely plausible, while not provable, that one half of these men were killed in action and the other half died in Soviet custody.
Over According to the Narkomat of Defence order No. The huge death toll was attributed to several factors, including brutal mistreatment of POWs and captured partisans, the large deficiency of food and medical supplies in Soviet territories, and atrocities committed mostly by the Germans against the civilian population.
The multiple battles and the use of scorched earth tactics destroyed agricultural land , infrastructure, and whole towns, leaving much of the population homeless and without food.
According to a report prepared by the General Staff of the Army issued in December , materiel losses in the East from the period of 22 June until November stood at 33, armoured vehicles of all types tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers, self-propelled guns and others.
Paul Winter, Defeating Hitler , states "these figures are undoubtedly too low". The Soviets lost 96, tanks, tank destroyers, self-propelled guns and assault guns, as well as 37, other armoured vehicles such as armoured cars and semi-tracked trucks for a total of , armoured vehicles lost.
The Soviets also lost , aircraft combat and non-combat causes , including 46, in combat. Polish Armed Forces in the East , initially consisting of Poles from Eastern Poland or otherwise in the Soviet Union in —, began fighting alongside the Red Army in , and grew steadily as more Polish territory was liberated from the Nazis in — When the Axis countries of Central Europe were occupied by the Soviets, they changed sides and declared war on Germany see Allied Commissions.
Most of those who joined were Soviet POWs. These foreign volunteers in the Wermacht were primarily used in the Eastern Front but some were assigned to guard the beaches of Normandy.
Hitler's notorious Commissar Order called for Soviet political commissars, who were responsible for ensuring that Red Army units remained politically reliable, to be summarily shot when identified amongst captured troops.
Axis troops who captured Red Army soldiers frequently shot them in the field or shipped them to concentration camps to be used as forced labourers or killed.
It is estimated that between 2. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Soviet Offensive For a discussion of the term itself, see Great Patriotic War term.
Soviet occupation of Central and Eastern Europe. Finland until Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Poland. Air and naval support :. Eastern Front. Soviet leadership.
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Retrieved 26 November Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses. The USSR sustained Moscow According to the same source, total Soviet civilian deaths within post-war borders amounted to The numbers for other Central European and German civilian casualties are not included here.
Greenwood Publishing Group. Leiden, Boston: Brill. We begin where we ended six centuries ago. We stop the perpetual Germanic march towards the south and west of Europe, and have the view on the country in the east.
We finally put the colonial and commercial policy of the pre-war and go over to the territorial policy of the future. But if we speak today in Europe of new land, we can primarily only to Russia and the border states subjects him think.
Central European History. Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. Stuart Stein, University of the West of England. Archived from the original on 2 March Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death … interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur Pantheon Books.
Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy. The English Historical Review. Literature of the Holocaust. University of Pennsylvania.
Retrieved 5 January Volume New York: Garland. The Journal of Modern History. UK: Cambridge University Press. University of North Carolina Press. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Simon and Schuster. University of Chicago Press. University Press of America. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Soviet Studies. Europe-Asia Studies. Slavic Review.
Payne 27 September The Franco Regime, — University of Wisconsin Pres. Modern War Studies second ed.
University Press of Kansas. Archived from the original on 8 April Retrieved 2 September This includes around 87, in the Northern Norway command Bef.
It includes all personnel in the German Army including the security units , Waffen SS, Luftwaffe ground forces and even naval coastal artillery in the East.
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