January 7, 2017

1943. The Moscow-Velikiye Luki Railroad Line is Cleared

The Red Army's "Blitzkrieg Tempo"
"Soviet infantry attack German position in Lozova during the Third Battle of Kharkov," 1943 (source)
The parentheses indicate portions that did not pass Soviet censors for military or propaganda reasons.

(For more, see the complete 1943 Moscow reports)
Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

March 4, 1943

The Red Army has cleared the important railroad line from Moscow to Velikiye Luki, giving the Soviet capital district communication with the Velikiye Luki garrison which is only ninety miles from the Latvian border. (Complete recapture of this important railroad was hinted in yesterday's communiqué. But complete clearing of this line also means that the Soviet forces advancing southwestward from Rzhev have now secured their rear.)

After the Germans were cleared out of Rzhev, they put up their last resistance on the railroad at the town of Olenino, about thirty miles west of Rzhev. When Axis troops were ousted from this town, it cleared the northern flank of Russian troops which are now advancing down a minor railroad line leading southwestward from Rzhev to the district center of Bely. Bely is about sixty miles southwest of Rzhev and about seventy miles northeast of Smolensk.

Tonight's special communiqué also announced the capture of another town which undoubtedly will play a big part in the Red Army offensive now heading from Kursk toward the Oryol and Bryansk regions. This town is the district center of Sevsk. The capture of Sevsk means that the Russian forces pushing northwestward from Kursk have advanced some thirty miles in the past twenty-four hours. This thrust threatens yet another railroad in the Bryansk network and represents a new development in the Soviet strategy north of the Ukraine. (Sevsk is also located on a minor railroad line leading southwestward from Oryol into the Ukraine.)

These new developments on the three hundred mile front, which has been opened in the past two weeks west and southwest of Moscow, are likely to have an importance in the Russian war ranking with the November 19th offensive which carried the Red Army to the Donbass.

Marshal Timoshenko's troops are still advancing south of Lake Ilmen. The Red Army drive from Rzhev has assumed a blitzkrieg tempo, and there has been no halt in the march of the Soviet forces threatening Bryansk and Oryol.

It all adds up to some of the most important fighting that has been done in Russia.