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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

January 29th, 1944 - The Battle of Korsun

Conflict: World War II

Combatants: Germans vs. Soviets

Location: Ukraine

Outcome: Soviet victory


By the winter of 1944, the tide was turning against the German invaders in the Soviet Union. With the cold weather hardening muddy roads and freezing over rivers, the Red Army launched a counteroffensive along the Eastern Front in Ukraine. The First Ukrainian Front, commanded by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, from the north while Second Ukrainian Front attacked from the south trapping two German army corps in a salient near Korsun.


Tank Assault force at Battle of Korsun (RIA Novosti archive, image #606710 / I. Ozerskij / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Over the next two weeks the Germans, under the command of Field Marshall Erich von Manstein, launched desperate counterattacks. The German efforts, however, were hindered by blizzards and poor road conditions. By the middle of February, the Germans had suffered nearly 200,000 casualties and the Russians were continuing to advance.


Field Marshal Erich von Manstein at the Kerch Front in Ukraine by an unknown photographer

Points of Interest:

  • Manstein was relieved of command at the end of March. By this time, the Red Army had swept the Germans out of western Ukraine. Manstein would serve eight years in prison after the war and later served on a committee to advise the German government on military matters.

  • Zhukov would later head the military administration of occupied East Germany and served as Minister of Defense for the Soviet Union.


Marshal Georgy Zhukov with General Dwight Eisenhower by an unknown photographer

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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


Slaughterhouse: The Encyclopedia of the Eastern Front (2002). New York: Aegis Consulting Group.

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