Great Patriotic War 1941-1945

Russia & The Great Patriotic War 1941-1945

6-25 August 2019, £4,499 plus £45 a night single room supplement, where applicable. Places available. 

On 22 June 1941, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union. Stalin was confident that the total Allied war machine would eventually stop Germany, and with Lend Lease from the West, the Soviets stopped the Wehrmacht some 30 kilometres from Moscow. Over the next four years, the Soviet Union repulsed Axis offensives, such as at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk, and pressed forward to victory in large Soviet offensives.

The term Great Patriotic War appeared in the Soviet newspaper Pravda on 23 June 1941, just a day after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. It was found in the title of “The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People” (Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna Sovetskogo Naroda), a long article by Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, a member of Pravda editors’ collegium. The phrase was intended to motivate the population to defend the Soviet fatherland and to expel the invader, and a reference to the Patriotic War of 1812 was seen as a great morale booster.

The term Отечественная война (Patriotic War or Fatherland War) was officially recognized by establishment of the Order of the Patriotic War on 20 May 1942, awarded for heroic deeds.

World War II casualties of the Soviet Union from all related causes numbered more than 20,000,000, both civilian and military, although the exact figures are disputed. The number 20 million was considered official during the Soviet era. In 1993 a study by the Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that the total number of Soviet population losses due to the war was 26.6 million, including 8.668.400 million military deaths as calculated by the Russian Ministry of Defense. These figures have been accepted by most historians outside Russia. However, the official figure of 8.7 million military deaths has been disputed by some Russian historians who believe that the number of dead and missing POWs is underestimated. Officials at the Russian Central Defense Ministry Archive (CDMA) maintain that their database lists the names of roughly 14 million dead and missing service personnel. Some Russian politicians and journalists put the total number of losses in the war, both civilian and military, at over 40 million, however scholars believe that these figures are without serious foundation. Whatever number is closest to the truth the losses were simply catastrophic. 

Over 19 nights/20 days MHT brings together 4 key actions of the Great Patriotic War and marks these truly great events in history:

Battle of Moscow (6-10 August, £1249)

Battle of Kursk (11-15 August, £1249)

Battle of Leningrad (16-20 August, £1249)

Siege of Stalingrad (21-25 August, £1249)

If purchased together: £4,499 – saving 10%/£500

Battle for Moscow:

6-10 August 2019, £1249 plus £45 per night single room supplement, where applicable. Places available.

The German strategic offensive, named Operation Typhoon, called for two pincer offensives, one to the north of Moscow against the Kalinin Front by the 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies, simultaneously severing the Moscow–Leningrad railway, and another to the south of Moscow Oblast against the Western Front south of Tula, by the 2nd Panzer Army, while the 4th Army advanced directly towards Moscow from the west. Initially, the Soviet forces conducted a strategic defence of the Moscow Oblast by constructing three defensive belts, deploying newly raised reserve armies, and bringing troops from the Siberian and Far Eastern Military Districts. As the German offensives were halted, a Soviet strategic counter-offensive and smaller-scale offensive operations forced the German armies back to the positions around the cities of Oryol, Vyazma and Vitebsk, and nearly surrounded three German armies.


Battle of Kursk: Operation Citadel 75th Anniversary:

11-15 August 2019, £1,249 plus £45 per night single room supplement, where applicable. Places available.

The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk (450 kilometres or 280 miles south-west of Moscow) in the Soviet Union during July and August 1943. The German offensive was code-named Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle), The Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off a large number of forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The German offensive led to one of the largest armoured clashes in history, the Battle of Prokhorovka. The German offensive was countered by two Soviet counter-offensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (Russian: Полководец Румянцев) and Operation Kutuzov(Russian: Кутузов). For the Germans, the battle was the final strategic offensive that they were able to launch on the Eastern Front. Their extensive loss of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war.


Siege of Leningrad:

16-20 August 2019, £1249 plus £45 per night single room supplement, where applicable. Places available.

The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military blockade undertaken mainly by the German Army Group North against Leningrad in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. The siege started on 8 September 1941, when the last road to the city was severed. Although the Soviets managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the siege was only lifted on 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history and possibly the costliest in terms of casualties (nearly 650,000 Russian civilian and the military deaths are well over 1 million Russian and 1/2 million German).


Battle for Stalingrad:

21-25 August 2019, £1249 plus £45 per night single room supplement, where applicable. Places available.

The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943) was a major battle for control of the city of Stalingrad in the southwestern Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and disregard for military and civilian casualties, it is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it is arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war – the German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew vast military forces from the West to reinforce their losses.


Flights are not included but internal Russian flights are very reasonably priced and we can suggest which ones to book.