Northern Eurasia 1941: Fall of the Ukraine
At the end of July, Hitler decided to halt the German advance on Moscow and seize the industry and resource rich Ukraine. In a ten day battle at Kiev, the Germans captured half a million Soviet troops.
Meanwhile, far to the south, Britain and the Soviet Union joined forces to occupy Iran and secure the overland supply route from the Persian Gulf.
3 Aug 1941 Hitler halts drive on Moscow in favor of attack on Ukraine▲
Hitler halts drive on Moscow in favor of attack on Ukraine
23 Aug–26 Sep 1941 First Battle of Kiev▲
From August to September 1941, in the largest encirclement in the history of warfare (by number of troops), 544,000 German troops trapped over 450,000 Soviets around Kiev. In the ensuing battle—an unprecedented defeat for the Red Army—the Soviet Southwestern Front suffered 700,544 casualties, including 616,304 killed, captured, or missing. However, Hitler’s insistence on mounting the offensive caused the German attack on Moscow to be delayed from September until October.
25 Aug–17 Sep 1941 Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran▲
In Operation Countenance, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union launched a surprise attack on the Imperial State of Iran, after Reza Shah refused to expel German nationals. The British occupied the south including the oil wells of Ahvaz and advanced from Iraq to Hamadan, while the Soviets invaded the north, capturing Tabriz and Qazvin. With his army unable to halt the invaders, the Shah conceded defeat and a ceasefire was arranged on 29 August. The Soviets entered Tehran on 17 September, beginning the joint Anglo-Soviet occupation of Iran.