Operation Hannover

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Operation Hannover
Part of World War II
Date April–June 1942
Location near Vyazma
Result German victory
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany Soviet Union Soviet Union
45,000[1] 20,000[1]
Casualties and losses
2,200[2] 10,500,[2] 20,000 taken prisoner[3]

Operation Hannover or Operation Hanover (sources vary) was a German operation in April–June 1942 aimed at eliminating Soviet partisans, airborne troops and encircling Red Army soldiers near Vyazma (Smolensk Oblast). The operation was a complete success for the Germans.


Soviet partisans had been disrupting the rear of Army Group Center (and the German 4th Army in particular). In January 1942, they were strengthened by Soviet Airborne Troops (the Vyazma airborne desant operation, part of the Battles of Rzhev).[3] The Soviets hoped that the airborne troops and the partisans would be able to secure territory and disrupt the German logistics long enough for the Soviet offensive to reach them.[3] However, the Red Army offensive involving the 33rd Army and the 1st Cavalry Corps failed to advance far enough and the Germans were able to concentrate on destroying Soviet troops in the rear.[3]

German forces from the 4th Army and the 4th Panzer Army, having stopped the Soviet offensive, engaged airborne troops and partisans.[3] These airborne troops and partisans fought a conventional battle with German forces and sustained a major defeat.[4] The partisan forces in the area were so thoroughly decimated that the Soviets were unable to recreate any significant partisan activity in this region for the remainder of the war.[4] Operation Hannover is seen as the most successful German anti-partisan operation ever; this is attributed primarily to the fact that the partisans decided to challenge the German forces in open battle.[4]

At the same time, Operation Hannover II, near Moscow, resulted in the elimination of encircled Red Army troops (the 39th Army and the 22nd Cavalry Corps).[4]


  1. ^ a b World War II Timeline
  2. ^ a b Martin K. Sorge, The other price of Hitler's war: German military and civilian losses resulting from World War II, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1986, ISBN 0-313-25293-9, Google Print, p. 57.
  3. ^ a b c d e Christopher Chant, The encyclopedia of codenames of World War II, Routledge, 1986, ISBN 0-7102-0718-2, Google Print, p. 77.
  4. ^ a b c d Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-521-55879-4, Google Print, p.430

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