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Soviet Storm is a new and epic television history of the Second World War’s Eastern Front. Giving an unprecedented Russian perspective on the war’s most decisive and bloody theater.
|S01E01||Operation Barbarossa||19/12/2011||Just a few officers of the Soviet Command doubted that there would be war with Germany. But what was the timing? The scout reports were controversial. In April 1940 Hitler signed the operation Barbarossa, and heavy war machinery started making its way to the boundaries of the USSR. However, the very first battles in June 1941 at the border at the Brest Fortress, near Kiev and Minsk broke the German design of Blitzkrieg, a ‘lightning war’. Massive losses sustained by the retreating Red Army could well be explained but the mistakes had to be paid for by both the soldiers and generals. And German panzer groups were dashing to reach Moscow.|
|S01E02||Battle of Moscow||02/01/2012||From the very first days of the war the USSR capitol had been preparing its defense. Institutions and plants, embassies and ministries were evacuated. In order to organize the defense of Moscow and stifle the fascist offensive, Marshal Zhukov was called from Leningrad to Moscow.|
|S01E03||The Siege of Leningrad||09/01/2012||The takeover of Leningrad was of strategic importance for the German Command. On the 8th of September 1941 the Germans reached Lake Ladoga and the city turned out to be cut off from the 'mainland'. Death from starvation began to threaten the population of Leningrad. The ships of the Baltic Fleet, anti-aircraft guns, artillery and troops of the Red Army defended the city and the 'life road' that became operable after the frosts. Multiple attempts of the Soviet Command to break though the encirclement failed one after another.|
|S01E04||Stalingrad||16/01/2012||On the 28th of June 1943 German troops launched Case Blue. They dashed towards Voronezh, Stalingrad, and Rostov-on-Don. The insufficiently embattled south sector of the Soviet-German front was breached. The retreat of the Soviet troops Eastward was going on when a famous order later called “Not a Step Back!” was issued. Special anti-retreat detachments were supposed to stop fleeing military units.|
|S01E05||The Battle of Kursk||23/01/2012||It was April 1943. The frontline froze, but the Soviet Command was already designing plans for the Summer, paying special attention to the Kursk region. Here the troops of the Central Front had deeply bucked in the German defenses. The Germans planned to cut off the Kursk bulge with a double blow during Operation Citadel. Army Group Center was supposed to attack from the North and troops of Army Group South were to attack from the south.|
|S01E06||Operation Bagration||30/01/2012||Conditions of Army Group Center in Byelorussia seemed to be stable. Soviet attempts to go on the offensive near Vitebsk and Orsha failed. Waiting for the attacks of the Red Army in Ukraine, the main German forces, primarily tanks and aircraft, were transferred to the southern territories. As a response, the Soviet Command decided to strike the enemy in Byelorussia. Operation Bagration provided for the encirclement and annihilation of the enemy on the Soviet flanks near Vitebsk and Bobruysk and thus intercepting the retreat of the entire German grouping to Minsk.|
|S01E07||Battle of Ukraine||06/02/2012||Troops from five fronts began a coordinated offensive from Smolensk to the Sea of Azov on a broad new front 1400 km in length. In an attempt to slow down the advance of the Soviet troops, the German Command blew up bridges over big and small rivers and carried out a scorched earth policy in the occupied territories. General Vatutin, commander of the Voronezh Front, was unsuccessfully trying to break through from the Liutezh and Burkin bridgeheads. The winter was coming and the frontline looked frozen along the Dnepr.|
|S01E08||Battle of Berlin||13/02/2012||On the 31st of January 1945 the tankers of the 1st Byelorussian Front reached the Oder river near Kostrin and Frankfurt. Berlin, the fascist beast’s lair, was in some 100 km aside. But the Soviet Command took the decision to suspend the attack on the German capital. The units needed resupply and replacement of troops, as well as time to move up the reserves. It was not until Pomerania and Silesia had been cleared of German troops that the Red Army continued its offensive.|
|S02E01||The Battle of Kiev||20/02/2012||As September ended, the Germans found the Dnieper line impossible to hold as the Soviet bridgeheads grew and important Dnieper towns started to fall. Finally, early in November the Soviets broke out of their bridgeheads on either side of Kiev and captured the Ukrainian capital.|
|S02E02||The Defence of Sevastopol||27/02/2012||Hitler’s 1941 invasion of the USSR ran into some its fiercest resistance at the Black Sea ports of Odessa and Sevastopol, where Soviet elite naval infantry brigades fought doggedly to hold back German and Romanian troops. At Sevastopol, a long and bloody siege unfolded, causing the Germans to bring in some of the biggest artillery guns ever used.|
|S02E03||The Rzhev ‘Meat-Grinder’||05/03/2012||The German conquests of 1941 left Hitler’s troops perilously close to the Soviet capital, Moscow. Around Rzhev terrible fighting raged as the Red Army attacked again and again to drive back the invader. Soviet troops, who suffered appalling casualties, grimly referred to these battles as ‘the Rzhev meat-grinder’.|
|S02E04||The Battle of the Caucasus||12/03/2012||In 1942 Hitler launched his great summer offensive against the Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus. If he could seize control of this vital resource, the war might be lost. But bitter fighting in the Caucasus Mountains, and in the streets of Stalingrad, would thwart Hitler’s dream.|
|S02E05||The Air War||19/03/2012||The Soviet Air Force was nearly wiped out in the first days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. But thanks to the courage of its aircrews and brilliant new aircraft designs, it began to fight back, and by 1944 dominated the skies over the Eastern Front|
|S02E06||The War at Sea||26/03/2012||The Soviet navy fought many different types of war, from coastal raids in the Black Sea, to convoy escorts in the Arctic Ocean and submarine patrols in the Baltic Sea. Their submarines would prove a particularly lethal force, and in 1945 were responsible for massive and controversial losses of life at sea.|
|S02E07||The Partisan War||02/04/2012||In 1941 German armed forces overran vast swathes of Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine. But it was not long before the local population, encouraged by Nazi brutality, took up arms against the invader. Soviet partisans, operating under the command of a Central Headquarters in Moscow, created huge ‘no-go’ areas for German troops, and conducted a systematic campaign of sabotage against the enemy rail network.|
|S02E08||The Secret War||09/04/2012||Stalin’s USSR was a nation obsessed with secrecy and highly experienced in the skills of espionage. But despite establishing networks of agents across Europe and the Far East in the 1930s, the Soviets were still caught off-guard by Hitler’s invasion in 1941. But thereafter, the GRU (army intelligence) and NKVD (KGB forerunner) went on to score some amazing intelligence coups in Tokyo, Washington, and even from the heart of Berlin.|
|S02E09||The Battle for Germany||23/04/2012||In January 1945, across the snow-covered plains of Poland, the Red Army launched an overwhelming assault against the enemy that would take it to the gates of Berlin. These final months of the war in Europe were some of its darkest, as Soviet soldiers stormed German fortresses, uncovered evidence of Nazi death camps that shocked the world, and carried out their own terrible retribution against the German people.|
|S02E10||War Against Japan||30/04/2012||In August 1945 the Red Army launched an overwhelming assault against Japanese-occupied Manchuria. It came on the same day that Japan suffered its second devastating nuclear attack, and proved instrumental in forcing the Japanese leadership to recognise that the war was lost. This is the fascinating untold story of the Red Army’s last campaign of World War Two, which included the last battle of the war - a bloody amphibious landing on the remote Kurile Islands almost a week after Japan’s surrender.|