Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Sherwood Cordier

Second Advisor

John O. Norman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


During the winter of 1944, two Russian armies encircled two German corps on the Dnieper River. The Germans managed to break out of the encirclement after an attempt to relieve them failed. The battle lasted only three weeks, but cost both sides greatly. Both sides carried out a successful airlift to keep their troops in action. The Germans carried out a brilliant campaign, while the Russians demonstrated that they still needed to perfect their encirclement doctrine and their propaganda.

Each side was hindered by its leaders. Hitler forced the Germans to hold ground, while Stalin forced his generals to fight a battle they should not have fought. Both men failed to follow military doctrine, and ignored the larger picture of the war.

Both sides won, and both sides lost. the Germans recovered their men, but lost ground and the use of the divisions used in the operations for a time. the Russians drove the Germans off the Dnieper, but failed to capitalize on the gains they made.

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