The Voronezh Front (Russian: Воронежский Фронт) was a front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. The name indicated the primary geographical region in which the Front first fought, based on the town of Voronezh on the Don River.
The Front was established at the end of June 1942 when tanks of the German Wehrmacht's 6th Army reached Voronezh during the early stages of Operation Blau. It was a renaming of the earlier Bryansk Front.
Voronezh Front participated in the battles of Voronezh, the defensive operations on the approaches to Stalingrad, and in the December 1942 Operation Saturn, the follow-on to the encirclement of German 6th Army at Stalingrad where it destroyed Hungarian Second Army. Following Operation Saturn the Front was involved in Operation Zvezda (Star), which included the Third Battle of Kharkov, which resulted in a long-running battle from 2 February to 23 March 1943, and the reversal of much of the Soviet gains by the Germans. During Zvezda the Front included the 38th, 40th, 60th, and 69th Armies plus the 3rd Tank Army. The 3rd Tank Army was so badly battered by the operation that it was reorganized afterwards as the 57th Army. In the Battle of Kursk in August 1943, the Front operated on the southern shoulder, during which it commanded the Battle of Prokhorovka on the Soviet side.
During Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev, which began on August 3, 1943, the Front included 38th, 40th, 27th, 6th Guards, 5th Guards, and 1st and 5th Guards Tank Armies. During this battle both 1st and 5th Guards Tank Armies made their main effort in the 5th Guards Army sector, and succeeded eventually in taking both Belgorod and liberating Kharkov. One of the divisions in 5th Guards Army was the 13th Guards Rifle Division. The Front also fought in the subsequent liberation of eastern Ukraine.
Voronezh Front was renamed to become 1st Ukrainian Front on October 20, 1943.
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Sources[edit | edit source]
- Ericksson, J. 'Road to Stalingrad'
- Ericksson, J. 'Road to Berlin'
- Glantz, David, From the Don to the Dnepr, Frank Cass, 1991
- Nemeskürty, I. 'Untergang einer Armee'
- Ziemke, E.F. 'Stalingrad to Berlin'
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