Operation Barbarossa - Army Group Center Animated Map


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war; operational history; army; Germany; Soviet Russia; Hitler; Stalin; Army Group Center


Battle movement of German and Soviet units during the early phases of Operation Barbarossa (July - September 1941). The map shows the German advances (left) against Russian defenders (right, symbols with stars). The map depicts division level units. The lines depict the average German (gray / black) advance and Soviety (red / pink) retreatbearings. After ten days of movement the battle stagnates just past Smolensk. The Soviet troops (marked with stars) resiliently block the advance of the German forces. The map also shows that the troop density at the front increases, rather than decreases, which is evidence of hard fighting. The Panzer divisions (pink squares) are also heavily and constantly present on the map, similarly indicating significant enemy engagements. They are constantly opposed by new Soviet armored troops sent in to block them off. We see that the battle of Smolensk was a much harder fight than what the classical histories often depict. Only in part a battle of movement, the clash was hard-fought and it cost the Germans a significant number of casualties, which ultimately delayed and weakened their advance to Moscow.

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