The Second Battle of Smolensk was a major World War II Red Army
offensive in western Russia, staged almost simultaneously with the
Battle of the Lower Dnieper. The two-month offensive led by Generals
Andrei Yeremenko and Vasily Sokolovsky was aimed at clearing the
German presence from the Smolensk and Bryansk regions. Smolensk had
been under German occupation since the first Battle of Smolensk in
1941. Despite an impressive German defense setup, the Red Army was
able to stage several breakthroughs, liberating several major cities,
including Smolensk and Roslavl, and moving into occupied Belorussia.
Although playing a major military role in its own right, the Smolensk
Operation was also important for its effect on the Battle of Dnieper.
It has been estimated that as many as 55 German divisions were
committed to counter the Smolensk Operation - divisions that were
critically needed to prevent Soviet troops from crossing the Dnieper
River in the south. Additionally, the operation allowed the Red Army
to repulse German forces definitively from the Smolensk landbridge,
historically the most important approach for an attack on Moscow from
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
King Olaf II (pictured) fought and died in the Battle of Stiklestad,
trying to regain his Norwegian throne from the Danes.
Italian American anarchist Gaetano Bresci assassinated King Umberto I
ENIAC, the world's first all-electronic digital computer, was turned
on; it remained in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of The Lord of the Rings by
J.R.R. Tolkien, was published in the United Kingdom.
The International Atomic Energy Agency was established.
Wikiquote of the day:
"No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic
country." -- Alexis de Tocqueville