Lost Victories - Study Guide Chapter 15- The Defensive Battles of 1943-4 Summary & Analysis

Erich von Manstein
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The Germans failed to destroy Soviet reserves. Manstein wanted to withdraw forces from the Donetz basin in the southeast, but Hitler blocked this. Manstein wrote O.K.H. Chief Zeitzler that Manstein was given no freedom of action to block the Soviet attack. In the Battle for Belgorod and Kharkov, the enemy attacked on August 3rd and broke through on a 35-mile front. Army Detachment Kempf, soon to be renamed Eighth Army, was outflanked and threatened with encirclement. It withdrew from Kharkov at the last minute, actually against Hitler's wishes. The enemy was stopped, but he clearly intended to soon push on toward the Dneiper River and Kiev. Soviet forces broke through at the southern end of the Central Front and in the sector of Fourth Army. In the Donetz basin, the new...

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