Procrastinating on June 28, 2017

In the Second Half of 1942, Nazi Germany Fumbled Its Last Chance to Win World War II...

Voronezh July 1942 Google Search

Wikipedia: Case Blue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_Blue: "The German offensive commenced on 28 June 1942, with Fourth Panzer Army starting its drive towards Voronezh...

...Due to a chaotic Soviet retreat, the Germans were able to advance rapidly, restoring Wehrmacht confidence for the upcoming major offensive. Close air support from the Luftwaffe also played an important role in this early success. It contained the Red Air Force, through air superiority operations, and interdiction through attacks on airfields and Soviet defence lines. At times, the German air arm acted as a spearhead rather than a support force, ranging on ahead of the tanks and infantry to disrupt and destroy defensive positions. As many as 100 German aircraft were concentrated on a single Soviet division in the path of the spearhead during this phase. General Kazakov, the Bryansk Front's chief of staff, noted the strength and effectiveness of the Axis aviation. Within 26 days, the Soviets lost 783 aircraft from the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 8th Air Armies, compared to a German total of 175.

By 5 July, forward elements of Fourth Panzer Army had reached the Don River near Voronezh and became embroiled in the battle to capture the city. Stalin and the Soviet command still expected the main German thrust in the north against Moscow, and believed the Germans would turn north after Voronezh to threaten the capital. As a result, the Soviets rushed reinforcements into the town, to hold it at all costs and counterattacked the Germans' northern flank in an effort to cut off the German spearheads. 5th Tank Army, commanded by Major General A.I. Liziukov, managed to achieve some minor successes when it began its attack on 6 July, but was forced back to its starting positions by 15 July, losing about half of its tanks in the process.

Although the battle was a success, Hitler and von Bock, commander of Army Group South, argued over the next steps in the operation. The heated debate, and continuing Soviet counterattacks, which tied down Fourth Panzer Army until 13 July, caused Hitler to lose his temper and dismiss von Bock. As part of the second phase of the operation, on 9 July, Army Group South was split into Army Group A and Army Group B, with Wilhelm List appointed as commander of Army Group A in place of von Bock...

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