The Bloody Triangle: The Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukraine, June 1941

The Bloody Triangle: The Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukraine, June 1941

by Victor Kamenir

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It was a tank battle exceeded in size and significance only by the famous defeat of Germany’s Panzer force near Kursk in 1943. And yet, little is known about this weeklong clash of more than two thousand Soviet and German tanks in a stretch of northwestern Ukraine that came to be known as the “bloody triangle.”

This book offers the first in-depth account of this critical battle, which began on 24 June 1941, just two days into Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Author Victor Kamenir describes the forces arrayed against each other across that eighteen-hundred-square-mile-triangle in northwestern Ukraine. Providing detailed orders of battle for both Wehrmacht and Red Army Forces and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet and German tanks, he shows how the Germans slowly and decisively overwhelmed the Russians, apparently opening the way to Moscow and the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union. And yet, as Kamenir’s account makes clear, even at this early stage of the Russo-German war the Soviets were able to slow down and even halt the Nazi juggernaut. Finally, the handful of days gained by the Red Army did prove to have been decisive when the Wehrmacht attack stalled at the gates of Moscow in the dead of winter, foreshadowing the end for the Germans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616732394
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 01/12/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 390,360
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Victor Kamenir is a student of Russian military history. His writing has been published in the magazines Military History, Military Heritage, and WWII History. Born in Russia, Victor’s family emigrated to the United States when he was fifteen. A ten-year army veteran, he is now a police officer working near Portland. He and his family live in Sherwood, Oregon. This is his first book.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I Opposing Forces

1 German Plans, Dispositions, and Organization 1

2 Soviet Military on the Eve of War 9

3 Dispositions of Kiev Special Military District 29

4 Organization and Strength of Kiev Special Military District 33

5 Creeping up to War 51

Part II The Border Battle

6 We Are Under Attack! What Should We Do? June 22 75

7 Creaking to the Sound of the Guns, June 22 109

8 Hold What You've Got! June 23-24 125

9 Piecemeal Forward, June 25 159

10 Battle for Dubno, June 26-27 175

11 Continue Mission, June 28 213

12 Fall Back to Old Border, June 29-30 229

13 The Last Convulsion, July 1-2 245

Conclusion 255


A Abridged Order of Battle: Army Group South 263

B Kiev Special Military District Order of Battle 265

C Order of Battle of Soviet Mechanized Corps 271

D Organization of German Motorized Infantry Division 275

E Organization of German Panzer Division 275

F Organization of Soviet Antitank Artillery Brigade 276

G Organization of Soviet Mechanized Corps and Tank Division 277

H Organization of Soviet Motorized Rifle Division 278

I Organization of Soviet Rifle Division 278

J Unit Symbols 279

K Comparative Strength of Armored Units 280

L German Armored Vehicles 282

M Soviet Armored Vehicles 284

Maps 288

Notes 301

Bibliography 307

Index 311

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Midwest Book Review "During the summer of 1941, a marshy area of the Ukraine witnessed a battle between over 2,000 tanks in a pivotal, early armor clash of World War II. Victor Kamenir details the little known battle between Soviet and German forces that was a harbinger of things to come on the Eastern Front…Told largely in the words of the men who were there, this informative history shed new light on how the Soviet tank units melted away under the merciless onslaught of their determined and well equipped adversary. From the early planning stages, when German intelligence realized the Soviet command structure would more than likely be slow to respond to a rapidly changing tactical situation, to the final unsuccessful counteroffensive by the Russians, this book offers a complete picture of the entire event. Kamenir's insightful analysis also compares and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment utilized by both sides in the struggle."

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Bloody Triangle: The Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukraine, June 1941 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The virtue of this book is that it takes one beyond cryptic little symbols and gives you a sense of what was happening at the level of the corps and the division in the Soviet Red Army in the opening weeks of the German invasion. Kamenir gives particular emphasis to the rather ramshackle state of the Soviet units, the impact of the purges on the Soviet military leadership, and how the failure to mobilize in a timely fashion hamstrung both the Soviet command-and-control capability and the mobility of the artillery and logistical units; in the last case much was expected of civilian assets destined for use in wartime.One also gets the flavor of Soviet generalship, particularly that of Mikhail Kirponos, commander of the so-called Kiev Special Military District; and the flavor is not sweet. Kirponos owed his rapid promotion to the bloody season of the Great Purge and he appears to have been inept as a military technician and lacking the guile to either deal with his commissar or with high-powered military delegations from Moscow. This is as compared to the soon-to-be-famous Konstantin Rokossovskiy, who handled his ill-prepared mechanized corps about as well as could be expected, while at the same time keeping intrusive political officers at arms-length.Another plus is that there are an adequate number of maps and the order of battle data is rather good.The downside of this book is that the author has been let down by dodgy editing in terms of too many instances of poor spelling having been allowed to pass uncorrected and the insufficient use of appropriate articles of speech; it's as though war had been declared on the words "the" and "an." There's also the small matter that I have no sense of author's reputation for veracity, though on the basis of this book I would certainly read another of his works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read