Talk:Battle of Kiev (1941)

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The consequences paragraph bugs the heck outta me. Why is this sort of thing so frequently written from the German point of view? Wouldn't it make more sense to say something like:

While the Soviet forces suffered heartbreaking losses in the battle of Kiev, they at least bought time for the defense of Moscow, thereby contributing to the eventual Allied victory.

That is faulty reasoning. The fact that throwing hundreds of thousands of troops and armored vehicles away coincidentally led to a positive future outcome doesn't change the fact that it was a big tactical and strategic mistake. New books written by historians analyzing Operation Barbarossa show that the war in the east was really lost when it started. There was no way that Germany could have made good their losses and won against the USSR unless there was some political division within the USSR leading them to a negotiated peace or a lack of "desire to fight." German intelligence of the Soviet Union's military might was very poor; they frequently underestimated Soviet tank strength as half of what they actually had, for example.

The only way Germany could have beaten the USSR in a direct frontal attack would be if they had really stream-lined their production capacity and let Albert Speer run the armaments industries efficiently from an earlier date. The Germans had much better tactical officers and better trained men and Hitler should have let them do their job. Thankfully for us they didn't succeed, although the USSR was a terrible regime also.

{WW2 guy} — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

With no reply to my previous note, I have no marked the former consequences paragraph as "consequences from the Nazi point of view", and written a new "consequences from the Soviet point of view" paragraph. I don't realy think this is a great "end state" for the article either, but at least it should be a better starting point for further discussion than the former state of affairs. William Jockusch 08:58, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Well isnt that then from the allied point of view, "heartbreaking losses?" give me a break. Were German losses not heartbreaking too? -CM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I was the one that wrote that paragraph and initially that article. But saying that this is a nazi point of view is misplaced. I have this point of view from Alan Clarkes Barbarossa, who was one of the foremost western historians on this conflict. Maybe true that it is a litte too western point of view, but calling it a nazi point of view is certainly misplaced. ----Lucius1976 08:21, 18 June 2006 (UTC) 08:15, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Decisive Victory[edit]

I'm not sure if this is right. Whilst it was an operational victory surely the failure to subsequently take Moscow makes it a strategic defeat? --J.StuartClarke 21:08, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

...I agree, if this were decisive the Germans would have ended up winning the war (or at least the Eastern front) as a result of this battle. They didn't, but they managed to destory the South-Western front which makes this victory strategic. Bogdan 18:18, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

What bugs me more than anything else about what historians say about the Eastern Front is that the capture of Moscow would have ended the war and therefore, turning 2nd Panzer and 2nd Army south was a strategically unsound decision. Because Hitler was such an horrible person and a terrible general, historians automatically discredit every decision he ever made. The truth is that while Hitler was usually wrong, he was occasionally right; the Lotze decision was correct; the capture of Moscow did not mean the fall of the USSR. The main importance of Moscow in the USSR was that it was the center of communication. Lets say that for a few months after the fall of Moscow which would have happened as early as October 1 communication between the fronts and Moscow has broken down and that the bueracracy essentially apart, even though it is likely that communication would quickly return as there was a real plan to abandon Moscow. At worst the USSR becomes more chaotic, every man for himself, but in that philosophy the USSR survives. Communism is built and survives off of chaos; during collectivization millions of people died but the USSR held together. And even if Stalin is essentially powerless for months, the motivation of knowing that surrender means death would prompt soldiers to fight as hard as ever. As long as the manufacturing and resource base for the USSR remained, everyone keeps on fighting. The only decisive victory Germany could deliver would be the loss of the Caucasus mountains and its nothern vulnerable flank, namely Stalingrad. When the Caucasus region falls (for good), the Axis has control of the Black sea, Turkey joins the war, and the USSR has no supply on oil; it would run out in about 18 months at most. German force would be supplied via the Black sea and axis forces move south into the middle east. The USSR's only hope is to cut off the axis in the mountains but with the securing of the Black sea and Turkey in the war they could still be supplied and hold out until the USSR has no oil.--Stephen Cefali 8 June 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stephen cefali (talkcontribs) 02:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Not every battle has a clear strategic result of its own, and Battle of Kiev is certainly one of those that doesn't. The outcome of the Battle of Moscow does not need to overwrite that of Kiev. Saying that Kiev was a strategic failure because some other battle hundreds of miles away was so, is ridiculous. That being said, Kiev may not exactly qualify, in general, as a decisive German victory. A decisive victory often tips the balance of power in a war by completely denying the opponents their objectives while completely achieving one's own objective. Kiev nearly did that in favour of the Germans but eventually didn't. The Germans achieved all the objectives set for the battle of Kiev and thoroughly denied the Soviets their own goals but still failed the tip the balance of power in the war. And some would even argue that the Soviets partially succeeded in one of their objectives, which is the diversion of German forces from the Smolensk-Moscow axis. Whether this was indeed the Soviet intention is debatable. EyeTruth (talk) 00:47, 8 June 2013 (UTC)


Something wrong with numbers. 700 total strength cannot give 300 dead + 650 captured. mikka (t) 2 July 2005 01:44 (UTC)

Ok maybe someone got the numbers wrong but the fact remains that a lot of people died and were captured.

This is an extremely impressive victory. However, it also gave Hitler a big ego and over confidence which would doom him at Stalingrad.

Well, it had more consequences on the subsequent Battle of Moscow, because it delayed the latter for 4 weeks, which proved decisive. --Lucius1976 12:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

it is high time that wehrmacht self-congratulatory overestimates of soviet losses inflictid be no longer automatically accepted as gospel but understood to be essentially nonsense. after all the germans conducted no census of prisoners captured except in the summer of 42' and the winter of 42-43' when it emerged that intial estimates of prisoners were quite fantastically exaggerated. the pitiful cold war legacies coupled with an unwillingness to admit how thoroughly scondrouls like Rundstet,manstein and guderian decieved post war military "historians" in the shoud make way for a greater reliance on Soviet records marked by circumspection rather than the automatic rejection charecteristic of the ignorant

NOT AGAIN! I have corrected the grotesquely inflated soviet casualties figures only to be reverted. again I reintroduced the correct figures but this is becoming revolting. I cannot avoid the feeling that the author or authors of the articles on the nazi-soviet war are pathological wehrmacht worshipers attempting to retroactively undo the ww2 defeat oe the forces of racial nobility through such articles, for similiar defects uglify the article on kursk. should not the matter be somehow remedied and another thing. why must my incurable revertor insist on citing the soviet commander as budyenii. it was kiroponos

Well get an account first and then there is mostly only one person who goes around and minimizes axis losses and maximizes allied ones and that is Kurt Leyman (talk · contribs) he has been doing this ever since he started on wiki so trying to create an article or just keeping one is very difficult because he goes around and changes the numbers and removes key paragraphs as he sees fit. Create an account and then you can report him for vandalism. (Deng 11:10, 25 April 2006 (UTC))
The German army's casualties are ridicolously high. How could the Wehramcht suffer a 30% casualty ratio in Kiev, but a 17% casualty ratio in the Battle of Moscow? I have not found any sources that state Soviet casualties as 300,000 captured.

Citation from the article: "Nearly the entire Soviet Southwestern Front of the Red Army was encircled with the Germans claiming 650,000 captured, as this was the initial paper strengh of the encircled divisions, as revealed to them from captured records. In reality, however, these had by then dwindled to 452,000 of whom 150,541 later escaped , nonetheless the Soviet losses were astonishing." So the Wehrmacht thought they had captured 650,000 POW, because they had found "records" of the Soviets that said so, but in fact they had only 300,000 POW? Excuse me, but that is too ridiculous a claim. Please provides sources. Please provide sources for the German losses. They are grossly inflated compared to all numbers I have seen so far. 14:17, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I've done some superficial editing to the article as I felt the language contained was severely lacking, including the overuse of & and several words.

According to David Glantz's archival research, the Soviets reported that they lost around 400,000 troops, not 650,000. In fact, there is every reason to believe the Germans would inflate Soviet casualties since the battle was Hitler's idea, and he wanted it to be portrayed as his Canae against the Russians. -Chin Cheng-chuan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

== Lotzen decision ==\ who the heck typed this?

There is no article for this. That wouldn't be bad, except in this article and one other, I found explicit reference to it ("see Lotzen decision"). Kind of a teaser to do that and then have no article for it. Presumably, in context, it explains why and how the decision was made to divert the German Army Group Center south to help out in Kiev, which did help out that effort, but in retrospect, given the winter that occurred, may have doomed the Moscow drive. If nobody else wants to, I suppose I could do it, but I would have to do some research. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bigmac31 (talkcontribs) 18:44, 18 December 2006 (UTC).

German and Axis victories are being discredited?[edit]

Why does it seem to me that many of the battles conserning Axis victories on the Eastern Front are being discredited. --Kurt Leyman 15:59, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Do nazis deserve admiration?Rex 17:38, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
How exactly are they being discredited? Bogdan 18:15, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

"Do nazis deserve admiration?" No one said anything about nazis or admiring them. I must first say that I find it most "amusing" when people like Rex play with the word nazi and generalize every German during World War II as one as they do so. --Kurt Leyman 18:21, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Let me rephrase that then; "Do nazis deserve credit for what they did?" As for "All Germans being nazis", I never said that. But just for the record, I do hold the idea that the overall majority of the Germans were nazis, and for that statement I have history on my side.Rex 18:32, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

"Do nazis deserve credit for what they did?" Again, that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. If you can't do this without trying to mix nazis with this then I suggest that you stay out, for I have no desire to discuss such here. "I do hold the idea that the overall majority of the Germans were nazis, and for that statement I have history on my side." And I have read and posses several books which say quite the opposite. Your "history on my side" is limited, and not world-historical community wide. --Kurt Leyman 18:35, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

The day world-history claims that only a minorty of the Germans were nazis has yet to come, and if you believe it's already here, you live in a fantasy. You claimed that nazis/germans were being discredited, so I ask you very simply "what do they deserve credit for?". You refuse to answer. Rex 18:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree the minority of the Germans were Nazis. However, the supreme commanders were, the war was a Nazi war of conquest, hecne all battles and axis victories were Nazi, rather than German victories. Arnoutf 20:03, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

There can be decisive victories without winning the war, that's obvious. What kind of logic is that of yours? Saying that Germans indeed had decisive victories is same as praising Nazism? Nice.... In which way this victory was unbeneficial to the Germans tactically? --Pudeo (Talk) 12:39, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Read before you comment. User: Kurt Leyman claimes the nazis/germans or whatever he likes to call them are being discredited. This has nothing to do with "decisive" battles. It's a mere fact wether a battle was or wasn't decisive, and has nothing to do with credit.Rex 13:03, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

You clearly did not read the title. "German and Axis victories are being discredited?"

"This has nothing to do with "decisive" battles." Quite the opposite. --Kurt Leyman 13:52, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

No were did you specify or indicate this whatsoever. You whined about nazi victories being discredited. You didn't even take the effort to mention in what way and now it's suddenly about decisive battles. Please. Rex 14:34, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I read the comments. User:Counterstrike69 has changed a lot of battles' results from Decisive victory to Strategic Victory because he thinks they can't be decisive if Axis lost the war. Atleast in one case he was perhaps correct (Dieppe Raid), but obviously wrong about Winter war battles. What are you bragging here about Nazism? We should be discussing about the significancy of this battle, not Nazism (and your bitterness for humiliating Netherlands?) PS. that Counterstrike69 had put very suspicious material on his user page: [1] If you actually read the article, you'd know the victory is closer to tactical than strategic victory for Germany, if decisive is not accepted.--Pudeo (Talk) 18:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Decisive is differen't from strategic or tactical. A decisive battle decides the outcome of a war. Usually these battles take place at the end of a war. Examples are Normandy, in which the Nazi grip on France effectively collapsed and Kursk, the turning point in the East Front war, and El Alamein which was a turning point in Africa. This battle decided nothing in the long term, the Allies were reinforced and later pushed on to kick the crap out of the Germans/nazis all the way to berlin and beyond. Not very decisive.Rex 18:31, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Press history on the page and scroll down to April 24 and see what Kurt does, it is clear that he is a fan boy who wants to paint a positive picture of the murdering scum Twicemotor 16:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

-This is exactly the reason that most academic institutions don't take this site seriously, these articles are written with opinion not fact. An encyclopedia is usually a very boring thing to read, theres no color, only fact. What the original poster said is in fact true. Axis victories on this site cannot be mentioned without mentioning some kind of silver lining for the allies. "Even though the soviets lost and entire fronts worth of soldiers in one engagement, they still won in the end and Stalin didn't like those guys anyways..blah blah" What happened at Kiev was disastrous for the soviets and an extremely impressive feat for the axis, and giving credit to that isn't glorifying Nazism... its that kind of attitude that stifles discussion on these topics... its pathetic really. - Blake

The problem with calling Kiev a decisive victory is that Kiev was a mistake. John Keegan believed, for example, that the city never should have been invested, as General Guderian had loudly denounced Hitler's decision to diverting his panzergruppe for the Kiev Operation, believing that the true prize was Moscow, the political neural center as well as the main troop concentration of the USSR. Never the less operation was completed on Hitler's whims and wasted valuable time. Thus, while Kiev was an impressive feat of arms on a tactical level, it was neither a decisive battle nor an operational success. Chin Cheng-chuan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Ensured that the article is within project scope, tagged for task forces, and assessed for class. --Rosiestep (talk) 02:46, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


The article needs some references. I thought about adding the Krivosheev study for soviet casualties, as reliable souce. The only problem is that it is for the large preiod 07/07-26/09 and seems to include operations like Uman in it, which are separate articles. Glantz "Barbarossa 1941" would be a good book to reference as it is a recent study, unlike Erickson's book. I will try include some of the references and appropriate additions over the next month. D2306 (talk) 19:37, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

After The Battle[edit]

I entirely agree with the opinion expressed in this section. However it is an opinion, and does not seem to be apropriate for an encyclopedia article without substantial references, at least as currently presented. (talk) 23:26, 14 April 2011 (UTC)madmax

I moved it into a new section. But this has become a problem in multiple articles. It seems like every battle in the East now has an essay of David Glantz opinions attached to it. This is especially bad if Glantz is the only opinion presented. (talk) 05:33, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree. These summary statements are of questionable value if they only reflect one opinion. If the article is to have a summation for what the battle meant to the conflict overall than an effort to find a broader base of opinion and consensus would be helpful. Gunbirddriver (talk) 23:23, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Decisive, again[edit]

This has already been discussed, I see, and the word "decisive" removed from the result. But it's there again, so I've removed it (again). To be clear, the word "decisive" means something was decided (a campaign, a war, a course of history). What, exactly, did this battle decide? It was a major German victory to be sure, but it "decided" nothing; Barbarossa still failed, and the Germans were still, in the end, defeated. Xyl 54 (talk) 15:07, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
(Unless the argument is that the diversion of Army Group Centre ensured Soviet survival (though that's debatable) and thereby denied the Germans any hope of a final victory in the east; in which case perhaps we should list it as a decisive Soviet victory... Xyl 54 (talk) 15:16, 4 November 2011 (UTC))

And it keeps getting re-added. I agree it should not be labeled "decisive". (Is there a term for an "anti-Pyrrhic victory", that is, a victory with such low casualties and ease that it gives you the overconfidence to lose the war?) Just plain "victory" is best. I added a comment to this effect after "German victory" in hopes to deflect some of this in the future. --A D Monroe III (talk) 15:50, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Beyond the fact that the Kiev affair lead to the late Moscow offensive and ultimately to the German defeat. Uspzor (talk) 15:53, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

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Stalin's Fault?[edit]

The article for the Eastern Front section attributes blame to Stalin for the loss at Kiev, yet this article makes no mention of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

As effective Commander-in-Chief of the military, Stalin takes overall responsibility for all battles, including this one. But we can't just blame Stalin for this loss, per Wikipedia guidelines at WP:UNDUE. If Eastern Front (WWII) does so, that needs to be fixed there. Please highlight the misleading statement at that talk page (I couldn't find the statement). Thanks. --A D Monroe III (talk) 15:13, 16 January 2015 (UTC)


I just watched a documentary which told me that 650,000 alone in the Battle of Kiev were taken POW. I guess some of these were wounded, but there were more soldiers involved maybe?! Ff the docu was right with its 650,000 POW... I could imagine that they tried to come from the East to help Kiev and that the number of soldiers on the Soviet side increased by this way, maybe also a few tanks, trucks, rocket launchers on trucks etc... Greetings Kilon22 (talk) 16:31, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

That was the figure the German military reported after the battle. The actual number reported was 665,000 prisoners, and it was for both the Battles of Uman and Kiev. This number quickly became a propaganda tool for the Nazis, but it had a very military origin, and therefore credible in its own way. There is a known discrepancy between number of prisoners taken by the Germans and number of missing Soviet troops (reported as such by the Soviets); for 1941, the former is much higher than the latter. Part of the reason is that in those chaotic days of 1941, the Soviets raised dozens of divisions literally in the heat of battles, and many of these were destroyed just as quickly as they were raised. Recordkeeping suffered in the process. Another reason, but less popular (and probably a lesser factor), was that the Germans captured more than just soldiers. EyeTruth (talk) 05:47, 17 January 2017 (UTC)