Thursday, December 13, 2018

September 16, 1941: Soviets Encircled at Kiev

Tuesday 16 September 1941

Luftwaffe in North Africa 16 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Luftwaffe officer checks his flare gun in North Africa on 16 September 1941 (Billhardt, Willi, Federal Archive Picture 101I-433-0859-09).
Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht scores a major success on 16 September 1941. German General Hans-Valentin Hube's 16th Panzer Division (General von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group) meets 3rd Panzer Division (General Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group) at Lokhvista, Ukraine, 125 miles (201 kilometers) east of Kiev. While the German line still needs to be strengthened, this meeting is the first major step in trapping four Soviet armies (5, 21, 26 and 37) and over 600,000 soldiers at Kiev.

Marshal Budyenny, in command of the Southwest Direction, already has asked for permission to retreat. Joseph Stalin has denied that request. General Timoshenko of the Stavka does authorize a withdrawal by Budyenny today. However, the order must be ratified by Stalin, and he does not do so for 48 more hours.

As most military historians would agree, major encirclements generally require the cooperation of both the attacker and the attacked. The Soviets are cooperating in this encirclement of Kiev.

Italian submarine Smeraldo 16 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Italian submarine Smeraldo is presumed lost due to a mine somewhere between Sicily and Tunisia around 16 September 1941.
The Germans make more symbolic progress toward another major objective. Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, commander of Army Group Center, gives the upcoming attack on Moscow the code name "Unternehmen Typhoon." This is in accordance with Adolf Hitler's recent Fuehrer Directive authorizing the attack.

On the Black Sea coast, Romanian troops make a little progress in their attack on Odessa. They capture the heights northwest of the Gross-Liebenthal district of Odessa, Ukraine. The Soviets quickly send troops by sea from Novorossisk in the Caucasus to reinforce the reeling defense of Odessa.

At Leningrad, the news is a little better for the Soviets. The following day, Recently arrived General Georgy Zhukov manages to halt his troops' withdrawals at Uritsk despite continued fierce fighting in the city’s suburbs. Army Group North Commander Field Marshal von Leeb now has run out of time, as he is under orders to transfer his panzer troops south for the upcoming Operation Typhoon.

General Reinhardt and General Kruger 16 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Generalleutnant Georg-Hans Reinhardt (in goggles) and Generalmajor Walter Krüger in 1941 (Tannenberg, Hugo, Federal Archive Bild 101I-209-0076-02).
Accordingly, General George-Hans Reinhardt, commander of XLI Corps, begins pulling the 1st Panzer and 36th Motorized out of the line. He makes plans to move his corps headquarters to move with the 6th Panzer to deploy for Operation Typhoon. Panzer Group 4 Headquarters also prepares to move southeast for the offensive. This brings to a close the Germans' attempt to take Leningrad by force. Now, the only option is to starve the city into submission. Leningrad has been saved, but its worst days lie ahead.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-98 (Kptlt. Robert Gysae), on its fourth patrol out of St. Nazaire, torpedoes and sinks 4392-ton British freighter MV Jedmoor, which is traveling with Convoy SC-42 in the Western Approaches. There are 32 deaths and five survivors. Among those lost in the Jedmoor is Merchant Navy Able Seaman Percy Wilfred Turner, age 55, the son of Captain William Thomas Turner, the captain of the Lusitania when it was sunk in 1915.

Smeraldo 16 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
RN Smeraldo, sunk ca. 16 September 1941..
Battle of the Mediterranean: Italian submarine Smeraldo, which departed on a patrol on 15 September 1941, is not heard from after 16 September 1941. It is presumed that Smeraldo hit a mine and sank at some point between 16 and 26 September 1941, the latter date being its scheduled return to port.

Partisans: Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel orders that for every German soldier killed by partisans (who the Germans call "bandits"), 100 Russians are to be executed. This is one of a series of very controversial and illegal orders that Keitel issues in the summer of 1941.

Luftwaffe in North Africa 16 September 1941 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Stuka crew assembles its equipment in North Africa on 16 September 1941 (Billhardt, Willi, Federal Archive Picture 101I-433-0859-12).

September 1941

September 1, 1941: Two Years In
September 2, 1941: Germans Pushed Back at Yelnya
September 3, 1941: FDR Refuses to Meet with Japanese
September 4, 1941: Hitler Furious at Guderian
September 5, 1941: Germans Evacuate Yelnya
September 6, 1941: Japan Prepares for War
September 7, 1941: Hitler Orders Drive on Moscow
September 8, 1941: Leningrad Cut Off
September 9, 1941: Germans Attack Leningrad
September 10, 1941: Guderian Busts Loose
September 11, 1941: Convoy SC-42 Destruction
September 12, 1941: Starve Leningrad!
September 13, 1941: Zhukov at Leningrad
September 14, 1941: Germany's Growing Casualties
September 15, 1941: Sorge Warns Stalin Again
September 16, 1941: Soviets Encircled at Kiev
September 17, 1941: Iran Conquest Completed
September 18, 1941: Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in Action
September 19, 1941: Germans Take Kiev
September 20, 1941: Death at Kiev
September 21, 1941: Raging Soviet Paranoia
September 22, 1941: Defense of Nickel Mines
September 23, 1941: Air Attacks on Leningrad
September 24, 1941: Japanese Spying Intensifies
September 25, 1941: Manstein at the Crimea
September 26, 1941: Kiev Pocket Eliminated
September 27, 1941: Massacre at Eišiškės
September 28, 1941: Ted Williams Hits .400
September 29, 1941: Babi Yar Massacre
September 30, 1941: Operation Typhoon Begins

2018

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