On August 3rd, 1943, less than two weeks after the Kursk offensive, the Soviets launched a massive offensive near Kharkov that ripped open the German line. The ensuing battle began their summer offensive that would take them across the Ukraine to the Dnieper River.
During August the two sides were equally matched and a tremendous war of attrition raged from Kharkov to the Sea of Azov with neither side willing to give ground. In September, bled white by the never-ending Soviet attacks, the German army retreated in haste to the safety of the Dnieper River. In October, the battle raged along the length of the Dnieper and for the Perekop Peninsula, the only land exit to the German 17th Army in the Crimea. During this three month period German reinforcements poured in from every sector, but it was never enough.
Three Soviet Tank Armies and four Soviet Fronts ground through nineteen panzer and panzergrenadier divisions. German and Soviet losses were staggering. Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, fell on November 6th.
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