List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

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Von Bock
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List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 24 Oct 2022 17:35

I was wondering if anyone has a list of the biggest Russian (so not Ukrainian) cities under German control during World War II? I discovered a couple of surprising ones:

1. Stalingrad
2. Veliki Novgorod
3. Rostov
4. Smolensk
5. Rostov
6. Voronezh
7. Kursk
8. Briansk
9. Novorossiysk
10. Krasnodar

I wonder if anyone has some good data on this? It surprised me how big Voronezh actually was during the 1940's, probably around 400.000 people living there. How did the Germans keep control over these enormous cities?

Art
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Art » 24 Oct 2022 20:44

Rostov-on-Don is the official name. Colloquial "Rostov" is easily confused with an older but smaller town in the Central Russia.
From the census of 1939 we've got cities with population above 100,000

Rostov-on-Don - ca. 503,000 men in January 1939
Stalingrad - 445,000
Voronezh - 327,000
Krasnodar - 204,000
Taganrog - 189,000
Smolensk - 156,000
Simferopol - 143,000
Kursk - 120,000
Shakhty - 114,000
Orel - 111,000
Sevastopol - 109,000
Kerch - 104,000

Counting Bryansk and Ordzhonikdzegrad as one urban agglomeration we've got about 170,000 for its population.

Von Bock
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 25 Oct 2022 07:15

Art wrote:
24 Oct 2022 20:44
Rostov-on-Don is the official name. Colloquial "Rostov" is easily confused with an older but smaller town in the Central Russia.
From the census of 1939 we've got cities with population above 100,000

Rostov-on-Don - ca. 503,000 men in January 1939
Stalingrad - 445,000
Voronezh - 327,000
Krasnodar - 204,000
Taganrog - 189,000
Smolensk - 156,000
Simferopol - 143,000
Kursk - 120,000
Shakhty - 114,000
Orel - 111,000
Sevastopol - 109,000
Kerch - 104,000

Counting Bryansk and Ordzhonikdzegrad as one urban agglomeration we've got about 170,000 for its population.
Very interesting. (And I apologize for not mentioning Rostov correctly)

It seems to be me that some battles around the larger cities, like Voronezh and Krasnodar, barely have gotten any attention in the history books. Are there reasons for that? And did the Germans ever fully take Voronezh?

In recent times we have seen how difficult it is for armies to conquer urban areas. I wonder how the Germans kept control over the cities. Were there a lot of occupation troops involved?

Art
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Art » 25 Oct 2022 21:25

Krasondar was abandoned in August 1942 without much fighting. As far as I can see it was recaptured in February 1943 without much fighting either, at least in the city itself.

In Voronezh the frontline went through the city's suburbs. Although the active phase of the battle for Voronezh continued from July to late September 42, it's very scarcely described indeed, very much an unknown battle.

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 26 Oct 2022 13:14

Art wrote:
25 Oct 2022 21:25
Krasondar was abandoned in August 1942 without much fighting. As far as I can see it was recaptured in February 1943 without much fighting either, at least in the city itself.

In Voronezh the frontline went through the city's suburbs. Although the active phase of the battle for Voronezh continued from July to late September 42, it's very scarcely described indeed, very much an unknown battle.
Very interesting, is there not a single work available about Voronezh? The German Wiki says this about the battle:
Am 5. Juli erreichten Teile der Armeegruppe Weichs bei Woronesch den Don und bildeten drei Brückenköpfe, überquerten den Fluss am 6. Juli und eroberten zum größten Teil Woronesch.[4] Die Stadt selbst konnte nie ganz erobert werden und wurde am 25. Januar 1943 während der Woronesch-Charkiwer Operation endgültig durch die Rote Armee befreit.
The Don River lay (and still lays) to the left of the city, so the Germans had to cross it to enter te city. I found one picture of the front, which claims that the Germans captured everything left from the Voronezh river. (which is very wide in the city itself) But I found no other confirmation. It must have taken the Germans a lot of effort to capture it.

Image

Image

Art
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Art » 26 Oct 2022 19:38

That's the modern map showing an artificial lake formed after building a dam on the Voronezh River in 1970s. The river was nowhere that wide in 1940s. Most of the city was captured in July 1942, the Soviet side held suburbs east of the Voronezh River and (after street fighting in September 1942) - a portion of the city west of the river. See the situation map here:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=100127792

As for general books what I can find is three volume-work by V.A. Shamray published in Voronezh in 2013-2016 (with a limited number of copies. I guess). There are some English-language books on the early phase of the battle of Voronezh, as far as I can see:
https://www.amazon.com/Prelude-Stalingr ... 811738663/

Sdvizhkov has also several hours of lectures on YouTube on the same subject (early Voronezh fighting) which are still in progress.

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 27 Oct 2022 08:27

Art wrote:
26 Oct 2022 19:38
That's the modern map showing an artificial lake formed after building a dam on the Voronezh River in 1970s. The river was nowhere that wide in 1940s. Most of the city was captured in July 1942, the Soviet side held suburbs east of the Voronezh River and (after street fighting in September 1942) - a portion of the city west of the river. See the situation map here:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=100127792

As for general books what I can find is three volume-work by V.A. Shamray published in Voronezh in 2013-2016 (with a limited number of copies. I guess). There are some English-language books on the early phase of the battle of Voronezh, as far as I can see:
https://www.amazon.com/Prelude-Stalingr ... 811738663/

Sdvizhkov has also several hours of lectures on YouTube on the same subject (early Voronezh fighting) which are still in progress.
Interesting map, although I have to admit that my Russian mapreading is not the best. ;) But I recognize the Russian name of the city (Воро́неж) and the red lines are probably indications of the positon of the Red army. Which seems to confirm that the Germans held indeed everything left of the river Voronezh.

The book written by Shamray is more about the battles around the city than about fighting in the city itself, it seems.

Vasilyev
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Vasilyev » 27 Oct 2022 14:55

NARA T312 R1194 has 2nd Army’s materials on Operation Richard, a planned offensive to clear Soviet forces from the immediate area of Voronezh by VII Army Corps.

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 27 Oct 2022 15:07

Vasilyev wrote:
27 Oct 2022 14:55
NARA T312 R1194 has 2nd Army’s materials on Operation Richard, a planned offensive to clear Soviet forces from the immediate area of Voronezh by VII Army Corps.
But this operation was never executed I guess? Do you have any links?

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Vasilyev » 27 Oct 2022 15:34

Von Bock wrote:
27 Oct 2022 15:07
Vasilyev wrote:
27 Oct 2022 14:55
NARA T312 R1194 has 2nd Army’s materials on Operation Richard, a planned offensive to clear Soviet forces from the immediate area of Voronezh by VII Army Corps.
But this operation was never executed I guess? Do you have any links?
Sadly looks like it’s not online, guess we’ll just have to wait for the digitization process to get to those files.

On the bright side, the materials for VII Army Corps for this period (T314 R353 and R354) are available online! See here: http://wwiidigitalarchives.org/t314-arm ... nzer-corps

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Von Bock » 27 Oct 2022 16:48

Vasilyev wrote:
27 Oct 2022 15:34
Von Bock wrote:
27 Oct 2022 15:07
Vasilyev wrote:
27 Oct 2022 14:55
NARA T312 R1194 has 2nd Army’s materials on Operation Richard, a planned offensive to clear Soviet forces from the immediate area of Voronezh by VII Army Corps.
But this operation was never executed I guess? Do you have any links?
Sadly looks like it’s not online, guess we’ll just have to wait for the digitization process to get to those files.

On the bright side, the materials for VII Army Corps for this period (T314 R353 and R354) are available online! See here: http://wwiidigitalarchives.org/t314-arm ... nzer-corps
Thank you very much. It still seems strange to me that so little is written about it. According to Wiki, around 2 million troops (on both sides) were involved during the battle.

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by CF Geust » 28 Oct 2022 17:08

There is a very detailed book about Voronezh published by the local military-historical society in 2005, written by Vladimir Vladimirovich Gagin (also author of a number of books about the history of the Voronezh AF base, and especially about Voronezh as an ADD base): Bitva za Voronezh (Battle of Voronezh; ISBN 5-306-00003-71; 320 pages, A4 format, many photos, maps and tables).

Art
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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Art » 29 Oct 2022 09:58

Von Bock wrote:
27 Oct 2022 08:27
The book written by Shamray is more about the battles around the city than about fighting in the city itself, it seems.
You mean Sdvizhkov? I haven't read it. He describes fighting in Voronezh in July 1942 extensively in online lectures though.

Another potential source: "History of Red Army's combat actions for Voronezh during the Voronezh-Voroshilovgrad offensive operation of 1942", a PhD thessis by I.A. Permyakov, 2012
http://www.dslib.net/istoria-otechestva ... ml#5170783

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Re: List of biggest Russian (not Soviet) cities under German control

Post by Yuri » 31 Oct 2022 09:27

Formally, the port city of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea did not have 100,000 inhabitants. As of 1940, 96,500 people lived within the city limits. However, if we take into account that the suburb of Methodievsky merged with the city already in 1940, then it is no exaggeration to classify Novorossiysk as a locality with a population of 100,000 people.
The battles for this port city lasted for more than a year from mid-August 1942 to September 1943.
I researched the fighting in Novorossiysk, especially in detail for the period from mid-August 192 to the end of September 1942.
In parentheses, I note that I was banned from the AHF during the period when I was researching documents in the TsAMO about the battles for Novorossiysk. Therefore, I posted some documents about these battles, as well as my photos on the Feldgrau forum. I have posted the results of these studies in detail on the Russian forum, - Livinghistory, - in "The Defense of Novorossiysk" branch ("Оборона Новороссийска").
By the way, on the part of the Red Army, the 47th Army and then the 18th Army operated here, in which the head of the Political Department was Colonel Leonid Brezhnev, who from 1964 to 1982 was the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, as well as the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, that is, the formal and actual head of the Soviet Union. There are his memoirs "Malaya Zemlya" - dedicated to the battles for Novorossiysk. After what I learned about the fighting, I can say that Colonel Brezhnev was, as they say in Russia, "не робкого десятка" = not a timid man.

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