The Duel in the South: February-March 1943
DOI link for The Duel in the South: February-March 1943
The Duel in the South: February-March 1943 book
The Stavka assigned the liberation of the second greatest political unit in the USSR after the Russian Federal Republic itself, the Ukraine, to three fronts, the Voronezh, South-Western and Southern. Operations in the south were conceived as pursuit, designed to bring the armies of the Voronezh, South-Western and Southern Fronts to the Dnieper on a front reaching from Chernigov to Kherson by the time the spring thaw came. The prospect of amputating the German southern wing by closing off the Dnieper crossings looked dazzling. Northwards, at Kharkov, Golikov on 17 February issued formal orders for an advance on Poltava with Rybalko's 3rd Tank Army in the lead. The race for the survival or the destruction of the entire southern group of German armies had been run terribly close. While Soviet troops were positioned to strike north and south, the presence of German place d'armes to the north and the south put the Voronezh and Central Fronts themselves at risk.