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Third Battle of Kharkov file photo [212]

Third Battle of Kharkov

16 Feb 1943 - 15 Mar 1943


ww2dbaseIn Feb 1943, the Soviets recaptured the city of Kharkov, Ukraine. In Mar, German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein launched an attack on the city of Kharkov with three SS Panzer divisions attached to German Army Group South. Several days of bitter street fighting ensued starting on 11 Mar. The Tiger heavy tanks played significant role in this battle.

ww2dbaseWhen Soviet troops reoccupied Kharkov, 70% of the city lay in ruins, with tens of thousands of its inhabitants killed. The Germans suffered 11,500 casualties, while the Soviets suffered 86,569. The least damaged unit among the Germans was the 1st SS Panzer Division; while inflicting as much as 40,000 casualties on the Soviets, they had only suffered 4,500. The tactics used by German 1st SS Panzer Division subsequently became a case study for urban warfare.

ww2dbaseOne of the first things the German SS personnel did after re-entering Kharkov was to butcher some 200 wounded in a hospital, followed by setting the hospital on fire. "[This] was their 'revenge for Stalingrad'", said Alexander Werth.

ww2dbaseThe Germans would hold on to Kharkov until Aug after the Battle of Kursk.

William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp

Last Major Update: Dec 2006


Knocked out and abandoned T-34 medium tanks line the streets of Kharkov, Ukraine, Feb 1943General Pavel Rybalko in Kharkiv, Ukraine, late Feb 1943
See all 7 photographs of Third Battle of Kharkov


Map depicting German and Russian maneuvers at the Third Battle of Kharkov

Third Battle of Kharkov Timeline

16 Feb 1943 Soviet forces recaptured Kharkov, Ukraine.
19 Feb 1943 German Army Group South began a counteroffensive toward Kharkov, Ukraine and Belgorod, Russia.
2 Mar 1943 The Soviet 3rd Tank Army was destroyed near Kharkov, Ukraine which had only just been recaptured by the Soviets two weeks prior.
12 Mar 1943 German and Soviet troops engaged in heavy fighting at Kharkov, Ukraine.
14 Mar 1943 Germans recaptured Kharkov, Ukraine.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Ygolie Travonavski says:
27 Nov 2007 10:01:33 AM

Это было бедствие на нашей части.
2. Eugene says:
3 Sep 2012 02:25:25 AM

Always was wondered why there are so many old beautiful buildings in western Europe cities and just several of them in Kharkiv...
That's why.
3. Anonymous says:
2 Jan 2013 01:56:08 PM

Russian troops huh- thought it was Soviet troops - please revise to reflect the sacrifices of all the Soviet people.
4. Anonymous says:
22 Feb 2014 06:35:07 PM

Here we go again in Kharkov. How tragic. Do the war makers never rest.
5. Anonymous says:
2 Mar 2015 11:44:26 AM

Germans were skillfull.
6. Anonymous says:
3 Feb 2017 01:43:23 AM

My grandfather commanded the 1stSS panzer div at the time of this battle.

Think I'm joking? I wish.
7. Anonymous says:
8 May 2017 12:44:01 AM

haha, born in kharkov, dream of every driver is to afford bmw...
8. Anonymous says:
2 Mar 2021 08:25:29 AM

Shame on you. How can a human being tell that the nazi killing of wounded russian soldiers was a revenge
for their defeat on Stalingrado.

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More on Third Battle of Kharkov
» Golikov, Filipp
» Lanz, Hubert
» Manstein, Erich
» Rybalko, Pavel

» Ukraine

Related Book:
» Atlas of the Eastern Front 1941-45

Third Battle of Kharkov Photo Gallery
Knocked out and abandoned T-34 medium tanks line the streets of Kharkov, Ukraine, Feb 1943General Pavel Rybalko in Kharkiv, Ukraine, late Feb 1943
See all 7 photographs of Third Battle of Kharkov

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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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