1st Ukrainian Front

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1st Ukrainian Front
Парад Победы на Красной площади 24 июня 1945 г. (5).jpg
The commanders and soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian Front at the Moscow Victory Parade. June 24, 1945.
Country Soviet Union
BranchRed Army flag.svg Red Army
TypeArmy group
RoleCo-ordination and conduct of Red Army Operations in Ukraine, Poland, and Germany
SizeSeveral Armies
Hube's Pocket
Lvov–Sandomierz offensive
Vistula–Oder Offensive
Silesian offensives
Siege of Breslau
Halbe Encirclement
General Nikolai F. Vatutin (October 1943 – March 1944)
Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov (March – May 1944)
Marshal Ivan S. Konev (May 1944 – May 1945)
1st Ukrainian Front Standard for Victory Parade - at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow

The 1st Ukrainian Front (Russian: Пéрвый Украи́нский фронт) was a major formation of the Soviet Army during World War II, being equivalent to a Western army group.


During the first months of the war from 16 regions of Ukraine military enlistment offices mobilized about 2.5 million people. 1.3 million militiamen from the left-bank and southern regions of Ukraine fought against the enemy. In 1941, about 3.185 million citizens of the Ukrainian SSR were sent to the Soviet Red Army and Navy. Replenishing mostly the units of the Southern and Southwestern fronts, the Ukrainian people formed the basis of the 37th, 38th, 40th armies, 13th and 17th infantry brigades. Thanks to mobilization actions, the share of Ukrainian citizens in the units fighting in the south-western direction reached 50%. This significantly exceeded the percentage of Ukrainians from the army as a whole.[1]

During 1943–1944, the Red Army recruited, more than 3 million people or 10% of the total population of Ukraine (in the Volyn region, this figure was 16%). In the troops of 1–4 Ukrainian fronts (mainly in infantry units and other formations), Ukrainians accounted for 60–80% of Soviet Red Army soldiers.[2]

The Ukrainian people were mobilized to join all four Ukrainian fronts, and this process lasted until the end of 1944. According to Vladislav Hrynevych, Candidate of Historical Sciences, in the summer of 1943 in the Donetsk region 12,860 people were called up and mobilized by advanced units. In Sumy region - 24,031 people were recruited. Military enlistment offices also established their work in the Ukrainian areas liberated from the Germans. Such a system acted like a double razor blade - those who avoided mobilization by the army were mobilized by the military enlistment offices. According to researchers, during 1943-1945 about 4.5 million Ukrainians became Red Army soldiers. After June 1944, the Soviet Red Army consisted of almost 40% of Ukrainians. The losses of the Ukrainian people during World War Two account for 40-44% of the total losses of the USSR.[3]

On October 20, 1943, the Voronezh Front was renamed to the 1st Ukrainian Front. This name change reflected the westward advance of the Red Army in its campaign against the German Wehrmacht, leaving Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic behind and moving into Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The front participated or conducted battles in Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia during 1944 and 1945.

During 1944, the front participated with other fronts in the battles of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyy, and the battle of Hube's Pocket in Ukraine. It conducted the Lviv-Sandomierz Offensive, during which the Front was controlling the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army, 3rd Guards Tank Army, 4th Tank Army, 3rd Guards, 5th Guards Army, 13th, 38th, and 60th Armies. It then took part in the battle for Ternopil'.

In 1945 the front participated in the Vistula-Oder offensive, and conducted the Silesian and Prague Operations, and the siege of Breslau. It also participated in the Berlin operations in Germany and Poland. The front also conducted the major part of the Halbe Encirclement, in which most of the German 9th Army was destroyed south of Berlin. By this time the Polish Second Army was operating as part of the Front. Finally 1st Ukrainian Front provided the defence against the counter-attacks by Armee Wenck which aimed to relieve Berlin and the 9th Army. The Prague Offensive was the final battle of World War II in Europe.

Following the war, the Front headquarters formed the Central Group of Forces of the Red Army in Austria and Hungary till 1955, and reinstituted in 1968 in Czechoslovakia as a legacy of the Prague Spring events.



The armies that were part of the 1st Ukrainian Front included:

Later composition[edit]


  1. ^ "Ukrainians in the Second World War Igor Vityk, Candidate of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23.
  2. ^ "Ukrainians in the Second World War Igor Vityk, Candidate of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23.
  3. ^ "Ukrainians in the Second World War Igor Vityk, Candidate of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23.
  • Konev, I.S. Aufzeichnungen eines Frontbefehlshabers
  • Konev, I.S. Das Jahr 1945
  • Ziemke, E.F. Stalingrad to Berlin
  • Tissier, Tony Slaughter at Halbe
  • Duffy, Christopher Red Storm on the Reich
  • Antill, P., Battle for Berlin: April – May 1945.

Further reading[edit]