Battle of Dubno

Article

July 5, 2022

The tank battle near Brody (also known as the battle near Dubno, the battle for Dubno-Lutsk-Brody, June 23-29, 1941) is the largest tank battle of the initial stage of the German-Soviet war and one of the greatest tank battles of the Second World War, between the 1st tank group of Army Group "South" of the Wehrmacht and Soviet mechanized corps of the South-Western Front, which took place in June 1941. Up to 4,000 tanks took part in the battle on both sides. On the Soviet side, 3128 tanks of all types were involved in the battle - from light BT and T-26 to modernized KV-2 and T-34, which numbered more than 800 units. On the German side, there are about 800 tanks and self-propelled guns, of which 450 are Pz.III and Pz.IV tanks. It is considered the largest tank battle in world history.

Background to the battle (June 22-23, 1941)

At the end of the first day of the war, not having reliable information about the course of hostilities, the Soviet High Command made a decision on a counteroffensive: directive No. 3 tasked the mechanized corps of the Southwestern Front with the task of counterattacking enemy groups on the Volodymyr-Volynskyi — Krystynopil line in the general direction of Lublin, encircling and destroy it and take control of Lublin by June 26. However, already on June 23, the Germans captured Volodymyr-Volynskyi and developed an offensive on Lutsk-Rivne. A fifty-kilometer gap was formed on this part of the front, where the forces of the 1st tank group and the 6th army of the Germans headed. The front command had to act according to the situation. Due to the pressure of the representative of the Headquarters, H. K. Zhukov, and his order to "throw the enemy beyond the state border," no one listened to the opinion of the Chief of Staff of the South-Western Front, General M. O. Purkaev. However, his proposal was the best: withdraw the troops and form a continuous line of defense, bring the units in order and then counterattack. I. Kh. Bagramyan writes in his memoirs: In order to eliminate the breakthrough, the commander of the front, Colonel General Mykhailo Kyrponos, decided to strike the enemy with the forces of the 4th, 15th and 22nd mechanized corps of the first echelon, and later the 9th, 19th and 8th corps, which had support the 131st Motorized Division, the 1st Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade and other units. In reality, these parts are known