Deception & Surprise
Army Group North
Army Group Center
Army Group South
Battle of Smolensk
Battle of Kiev
Siege of Leningrad
Why Did Barbarossa Fail?
In the Media
The Road to Stalingrad
Battle of Kiev
The Battle was a major defeat for the Soviet Red Army, with the Germans encircling the entire Southwestern Front, and capturing approximately 665,000 Soviet prisoners. Four Soviet Armies (the 5th, 21st, 26th and 37th Armies) with 43 divisions were almost entirely destroyed, and the Soviet 40th Army suffered heavy losses as well. As a result of the battle, the Soviets lost control of most of the Ukraine, including Kiev itself, and the city of Kiev itself was not liberated until November 1943.
The circumstances of the battle were important for the overall Barbarossa campaign, and despite the German victory in the Battle of Kiev, were arguably one of the reasons why the Germans failed to capture the Soviet capital, Moscow. What happened was that during and immediately after the frontier battles, Army Group Center advanced much more quickly than Army Group South. As a result, the Germans in Army Group Center formed a huge salient, and large forces around Kiev, although lacking mobility due to the loss of most of their tanks, nevertheless threatened the flank of Army Group Center.
Germans Generals Halder, Bock and Guderian, wished to continue the advance to Moscow as soon as possible, however Hitler prioritized attacking Kiev and the Ukraine. Hitler's orders (Supplement to War Directive No. 34) issued on August 12th represented a compromise between Hitler's and the General's views.
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