VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > K. World War II, 1939–1945 > 6. The Campaigns in the Soviet Union, 1941–1944
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
6. The Campaigns in the Soviet Union, 1941–1944
1941, June 22
GERMAN ARMIES INVADED THE SOVIET UNION, opening hostilities on a front of 2,000 miles, from the White to the Black Sea. The German invaders, with their allies, the Italians, Romanians, Hungarians, and Finns, were estimated at over 3 million men. The Russians were credited with 2 million men under arms, and an indefinite reserve. Churchill promised that Great Britain would extend all possible aid to the Russians. The German invasion of the Soviet Union, combined with conquests in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Balkans, brought millions more Jews under Germany's influence. The Nazis already practiced extermination against “Bolsheviks,” and special “intervention squads” (Einsatzgruppen) accompanied German attack forces with orders to liquidate Communist Party officials and Jews.  1
June 29
The Germans reached Grodno, Brest-Litovsk, and Vilna.  2
July 1–2
Riga, capital of Latvia, was occupied by German troops, and the Russian retreat continued with heavy losses, especially around Bialystok.  3
July 13
A pact promising mutual aid was concluded between Great Britain and Russia.  4
July 16
The Germans captured Smolensk.  5
Aug. 1
Britain severed relations with Finland, which the Germans were using as a base for their invasion of Russia.  6
Aug. 19
The Germans claimed all Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper except Odessa.  7
Aug. 25–29
British and Soviet forces invaded Iran (See 1941, Aug. 25).  8
Sept. 4
The Germans commenced the investment of Leningrad, a state of partial siege that was not ended until Jan. 1943.  9
Sept. 19
Kiev and Poltava were stormed by the Axis forces, which continued their victorious advance to Orel (Oct. 8), Bryansk (Oct. 12), Viazma (Oct. 13), Odessa (Oct. 16), Tanganrog (Oct. 19), and Kharkov (Oct. 24). By the end of October the Germans had entered the Crimea on the southern end of the vast front and had commenced the siege of Moscow in the north. The Soviet government transferred its headquarters to Kuibyshev.  10
Oct. 1
The FIRST SOVIET PROTOCOL, signed at Moscow, provided that Great Britain and the U.S. would supply materials essential to the Russian war effort for nine months. Purchase of American supplies was speeded by extending the Soviet government a credit of $1 billion (Oct. 30). This was supplemented (June 11, 1942) by a master lend-lease agreement whereby the U.S. promised to supply the Soviet Union with such materials and services as the president might authorize. In return the Soviet government pledged that such articles or information would not be transferred to a third party without the consent of the president. The arrangement was to continue until a date agreed upon by the two governments and materials unconsumed were to be returned to the U.S. at the end of the emergency.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.