Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev ( literally: "Regiment leader Rumyantsev", after 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev) was a code name for the Belgorod-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation conducted by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 between 3 August 1943 and 23 August 1943 against the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

's 4th Panzer Army and Army Group Kempf during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The operation was conducted by the Voronezh
Voronezh Front
The Voronezh Front was a front of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. The name indicated the primary geographical region in which the Front first fought, based on the town of Voronezh on the Don River....

 and Steppe Front
Steppe Front
The Steppe Front and later the 2nd Ukrainian Front was a Front , effectively an Army group sized formation, of the Soviet Army during the Second World War...

s in the Belgorod
-Twin towns/sister cities:Belgorod is twinned with: Wakefield, England, United Kingdom Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia Opole, Poland Vyshhorod, Ukraine Kharkiv, Ukraine-External links:...

 (southern) sector of the Kursk Bulge
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

. In one German source by Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Bodewin Gustav Keitel was a German field marshal . As head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and de facto war minister, he was one of Germany's most senior military leaders during World War II...

 this operation is referred to as the "Fourth Battle of Kharkov" although it is unrelated to the Third Battle of Kharkov
Third Battle of Kharkov
The Third Battle of Kharkov was a series of offensive operations on the Eastern Front of World War II, undertaken by the German Army Group South against the Red Army, around the city of Kharkov , between 19 February and 15 March 1943...


The operation began in early hours of 3 August, 1943, with the objective of following up the defensive success against German Army Group South
Army Group South
Army Group South was the name of a number of German Army Groups during World War II.- Poland campaign :Germany used two army groups to invade Poland in 1939: Army Group North and Army Group South...

's northern flank during the failed Operation Citadel. The operation was immediately successful, pushing back the German defenders and liberating Belgorod
-Twin towns/sister cities:Belgorod is twinned with: Wakefield, England, United Kingdom Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia Opole, Poland Vyshhorod, Ukraine Kharkiv, Ukraine-External links:...

 and Kharkov
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

. By 12:00 in the morning of August 23, 1943 the Soviet divisions of the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts had successfully liberated the city from German forces, annihilating most of the defending forces. It was the last time that Kharkov changed hands during the Soviet-German War
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. The operation led to the retreat of the German forces in Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 behind the Dnepr River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

, and it set the stage for the liberation of Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 in autumn 1943.


The operation included several sub-phases:
Belgorod-Bogodukhov Offensive Operation
Battle of Belgorod
The Belgorod-Bogodukhov Offensive Operation was a combat operation executed as part of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht forces...

 23 July 1943 - 14 August 1943
Belgorod-Khar'kov Offensive Operation
Belgorod-Khar'kov Offensive Operation
The Belgorod-Khar'kov Offensive Operation was an operation conducted as part of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev between the Red Army and Wehrmacht forces...

 12 August 1943 - 23 August 1943
Zmiez Offensive Operation 12 August 1943 - 23 August 1943

The Mirgorod direction offensive
Mirgorod direction offensive
The Mirgorod direction offensive was an operation conducted as part of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev between the Red Army and Wehrmacht forces...

  was part of this operation that resulted in the liberation of Akhtyrka on the 23 August 1943. As part of this offensive a tank battle was fought between the 11 and 17 August by the 1st Tank Army and elements of the 4th Guards Army
4th Guards Army (Soviet Union)
The Fourth Guards Army was an elite army headquarters of the Soviet Union during World War II and the postwar era.Formed on the basis of the 24th Army on April 16, 1943, the Fourth Guards Army fought in decisive actions such as the Battle of Kursk, the Iassy-Kishinev Offensive, the struggle for...

 10 km south-east of the city in the vicinity of sovkhoz
A sovkhoz , typically translated as state farm, is a state-owned farm. The term originated in the Soviet Union, hence the name. The term is still in use in some post-Soviet states, e.g., Russia and Belarus. It is usually contrasted with kolkhoz, which is a collective-owned farm...

 "Udarnik" against three German panzer division
Panzer Division
A panzer division was an armored division in the army and air force branches of the Wehrmacht as well as the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II....

s (from Bogodukhov area) where the 1st Tank Army suffered heavy casualties. A further German counter-attack between 18 and 20 August was directed against the Red Army's 27th Army by the 3rd Panzer and 2nd Motorised divisions from Akhtyrka itself. These were halted by the use of massive air attacks, and commitment of the 4th Guards and 47th Armies from the Stavka Reserve.
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