The red circle is Kharkov, Ukraine. During WWII it was part of the Soviet Union
The soldiers who fought in the battle were the Soviets and the Germans
The Soviets were led by Semyon Timoshenko and the Germans were led by Fedor Von Bock and Friedrich Paulus
The Battle of Kharkov was a land battle with some fighting in the air from the Luftwaffe or German air force. There were tanks like the panzer tanks involved too. The battle took place along the Eastern Front in what is today the country of Ukraine.
photo of the battle with one of the tanks
Hitler wanted to take the city of Kharkov over because it was the 4th largest city in the USSR.
In the first Battle of Kharkov, the Germans took the city and deported many of its Jewish citizens.
The Soviets wanted to retake the city and planned another battle. The second battle went from May 12, 1942 to May 28, 1942.
The Germans ended up defending the city and keeping it under German control.
In the beginning of the battle, the Soviets made a mistake by underestimating the power of the German army. Many of the generals blamed Stalin for this.
Stalin was blamed for not knowing how strong the German army was
Because of the mistake, part of the Soviet army was cut off and attacked by a pincer attack. That is an attack on both sides of the cut off army.
pincer attack: the red attacks the blue from two sides
There were about 300,000 Soviet casualties compared to only about 20,000 German deaths.
After the battle, the Germans took over the city again and many Soviet soldiers were captured as prisoners of war.
prisoners of war after the battle
Eventually, there were two more Battles of Kharkov to try to gain control of the city and help to win the war.