Encirclements in 1941

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The majority of the fighting and dying in World War II centered on the Eastern Front and the clash of the Nazi and Soviet armies. The Nazi invasion in June 1941 Operation Barbarossa can be viewed as a series of double envelopments, capturing huge numbers of men and machines. Also called "cauldrons", the great encirclement battles of 1941 cost the Soviet Union dearly. There were approximately 8-11 pockets in 1941, each of which netted more than 100,000 prisoners - most of them would be dead within the next eight months.[1]

  • Białystok and Minsk pockets - 324,000 POWs (prisoners of war)
  • Smolensk encirclement (three cauldrons, two smaller ones east of Mogilev and west of Nevel, a greater one between Orscha and Smolensk) - 310,000 POWs
  • Uman pocket - 103,000 POWs
  • Kiev pocket - 665,000 POWs
  • Vyazma and Brysansk pockets - 650,000 POWs
Encirclement losses for the Soviet Union
in 1941
[2]
Pocket Prisoners taken Tanks D/C Guns D/C
1 Rossizny 200 tanks
2 Bialystok-Minsk 290,000 3,332 tanks 1,809 guns
3 Smolensk 310,000 3,205 tanks 3,120 guns
4 Roslavl 38,000 250 tanks 359 guns
5 Gomel 84,000 144 tanks 848 guns
6 Dvina 35,000 355 tanks 655 guns
7 Staraya Russa 53,000 320 tanks 695 guns
8 Luga 250,000 1,170 tanks 3,075 guns
9 Reval 12,000 91 tanks 293 guns
10 Galacia 150,000 1,970 tanks 2,190 guns
11 Uman 103,000 317 tanks 1,100 guns
12 Zhitomir 18,000 142 tanks 123 guns
13 Valdai Hills 30,000 400 guns
14 Kiev 667,000 884 tanks 3,718 guns
15 Vyazma-Bryansk 663,000 1,242 tanks 5,412 guns
16 Nikolav 60,000 84 tanks 1,100 guns
17 Dnieper Bend 84,000 199 tanks 465 guns
18 Mariupol (Sea of Azov) 106,000 212 tanks 672 guns
19 Crimea 100,000 160 tanks 700 guns
20 Donetz 14,000 45 tanks 69 guns

References[edit]