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10 Soviet Storm - The Liberation of Ukraine
Episode 10 of a documentary series about the German invasion of the Soviet Union made for Russian television.
After winning the Battle of Kursk (August 1943), the Red Army launched an offensive along the entire line. The Germans realised that they were in a weak position and made a strategic retreat to the Dnieper and destroyed all the bridges to prevent the Red Army from moving their armour across.
As the Germans retreated they pulled up the railroads and destroyed all bridges to make it more difficult for the Red Army to move equipment to the front. Some buildings in strategically important regions were burned. This tactic was invented by an American General named Sherman who did the same thing to the confederacy during the US Civil War during his march to the sea.
The Red Army's attempt to establish a beachhead across the river and build a bridge across took four months (August - December 1943). After crossing the Red Army retook Kiev (November 1943) and then successfully encircled 60,000 German infantry near Cherkasy / Korsun. This began the Battle of the Korsun-Cherassy Pocket (Jan-Feb 1944). Hitler's determination to help the troops break out of the pocket and Stalin's determination to prevent him became the main focus of the fighting in early 1944.