Beginning of Fatherland war of Soviet people (June 22, 1941 - 1942).
Organization of rebuff from Moscow to Stalingrad
According to "Barbarossa" plan, nazi Germany, breaking the agreement about non-assault, attacked the Soviet Union on the dawn of June 22, 1941. Germany had satellites in the campaign: Romania, and, in a few days, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Finland. The group of armed forces, that had been hammered together specially for the assault to the USSR, numbered about 190 divisions (including 19 tank and 13 mounted ones), with membership of 5,000,000; it had 4300 tanks and assault guns, 47,200 cannons and minethrowers, 4500 craft and 192 basic class ships.
The fascist bloc troops were confronted with Soviet Armed Forces, converted from border military circumscriptions into the North, Northwest, West, Southwest and South fronts, having in them up to 186 divisions, numbering over 3,000,000 people, more than 47,000 cannons and minethrowers, 131,000 tanks (only 38,000 in good repair) 8700 planes (6400 of which were in good repair). The sea borders on the flanks of the Soviet-German front were protected by the North, Baltic and the Black-sea fleets, numbering 182 basic class ships and 1400 units of aircraft.
The events at the front in Summer and Autumn of 1941 developed in a sweeping and tragic way. The situation demanded to convert the country into a one military camp, and to adjust national economy for the needs of defence. Urgent measures were taken for removing the train of economy to the military metals, which demanded certain changes in the structure of federal administration.
In late 1941 total compulsory military training was introduced, which covered 9,800,000 people.
In 1941 July the enemy developed its offensive on the whole length of the front. But on the Western direction, in Smolensk battle, the troops of Western and Central Fronts during acerbate fights could manage to stop the "Centre" Group of Armies, and on July 30, 1941 made German soldiers, aspiring to Moscow, take defensive positions. Simultaneously defensive fights were running high at Luga barrier, close to Leningrad. The long defence of the city began. Leningrad Front under the heading of marshal G. Zhukov in association with the Baltic Fleet and all the city inhabitants stopped the enemy and defended the city for 900 days and nights.
Debacle of Soviet troops in the Ukraine enabled Vermaht to resume the offensive along the three main directions of the Soviet-German front. In the South the adversary intervened the region of Donbass (abbreviation: The Don-river Coal-mining Basin), potted the city of Rostov, broke forth into the Crimea. But here German troops were stopped by the Sebastopol defence.
The main German Army efforts in the Autumn of 1941 were pointed to seizing of Soviet capital - on September, 30 Moscow Battle began. Since October 20 the city was announced under siege. German attempt to attack in the centre of West Front failed. The bleeding "Centre" group of armies had to proceed to defensive (successful offensive operations of Russian troops at Tikhvin and Rostov helped as well).
The campaign "summer-autumn 1941" lasted 5.5 months. It was the heaviest campaign in the whole war. Our Army stepped back 850-1200 km into the depth of the country's territory. The most important economic regions happened to be in the adversary's hands. Nevertheless German blitzkrieg was aborted. The enemy had to proceed to strategic defence along the whole front. Soviet troops achieved that by a very high price: irrevocable and sanitary loss of army came to 5,000,000 people only for the second part of 1941. German troops lost 750,000 of manpower, 2400 tanks and other pieces of machinery, 25 divisions and 13 brigades were destroyed.
Since the second part of 1941 discussions about creating anti-Hitler coalition grew more and more active. The USSR, the USA and Great Britain were at the head. As early as on 22 June, 1941 Winston Churchill's government announced about their support to the Soviet Union in its war against Hitler, and on 12 July a Soviet-British agreement was signed in Moscow about mutual actions in the war against Germany. On 24 July the USA President Franklin Roosevelt declared, that "his country would render all kind of assistance to the Soviet Union" in its struggle.
As the main efforts of the fascist bloc in summer-autumn of 1941 were concentrated on the war against the USSR, activity on other parts of the front of the World War II noticeably decreased.
The chief results of Moscow Battle and of the following Soviet troops' counter-attack were: (1) that the threat of losing the capital and the North Caucuses was liquidated; (2) strengthening of Leningrad defence; (3) liberation of over 60 Soviet cities; (4) routing of 50 enemy's divisions.
Nazi leadership turned out to be before a perspective of a lengthy war. The Soviet Army's successes strengthened the USSR's position in international arena. But the final goal - putting to rout basic German forces - wasn't reached. The USSR's General Staff overestimated offensive ability of Soviet troops. Army's commanders were equipping the troops with arms novelties at that time, but unfortunately didn't fulfil the process. Stalin set the main problem for the Army for summer-autumn campaign: overwhelming triumph over Vermaht forces and liberation of all the USSR's territory from nazi troops. But undervaluation of the Nazi and overestimation of Russian Army resulted in a tragedy. In course of German offensive on Kertch peninsula in May 1942 only for ten days the whole Crimean Front was broken into matchwood (the loss came up to 176,000 in manpower). On July 4, 1942 our troops left the city of Sebastopol. In May 1942 troops of Southwest and South Fronts, beginning offensive in the region of Kharkov, suffered a bitter frustration. Irrevocable losses of manpower came up to 170,000. Consequently the adversary possessed the strategic initiative again and in late June began a general offensive.
At the same time Soviet leadership decided to deploy partisan struggle on the occupied territory.
On July 17 defensive period in Stalingrad battle (1942-1943) began. In July-November 1942 losses of German troops in course of offensive to Stalingrad and the North Caucuses came up to 800,000 of the perished and wounded. But this period was the most hard for Russia and for Russian people. Huge losses of Soviet Army were the result of serious mistakes of political and strategic character. It was either the first time for German troops in the World War II, when they suffered that serious losses. Germany and its allies didn't reach their goals and their political and military plans collapsed.