Operation Barbarossa and the Holocaust


Operation Barbarossa is put into effect

June 22, 1941

the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Russian Army

June 29, 1941

Russian army forces are encircled at key cities across the Soviet Union.


July 3, 1941

Panzergruppe 2 and 3 now form up as part of General Gunther von Kluge's 4th Panzer Army


July 9, 1941

Gurderian's army moves south towards Mogliev.

Soviet Defenses

July 9, 1941

Soviet defenses at Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, Volkovysk, Gorodishche and Minsk fall to the invading German Army.

Soviet Army

July 13, 1941

The Soviet 20th Army arrives in Smolensk

Marshal Timoshenko

July 16, 1941

Marshal Timoshenkko and his 4th and 13th Armies near the Sohz River counterattack the Germans at Smolensk

The German Army

July 17, 1941

The German Army begins to tighten the noose around the encircled Soviet forces numbering some 25 divisions.

A High Command German

July 19, 1941

gives directive calls for the army to complete the destruction of Soviet forces around Smolensk and then head South to tackle forces in Kiev instead of marching on Moscow herself - this decision is viewed as the turning point to Germany's defeat in Russia.

The drive to Smolensk

August 5, 1941

The drive nets a total of 600,00 Russian prisoners of war, 5,700 tanks and 4,600 artillery pieces.