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(ərzhĕf`), city (1989 est. pop. 70,000), NW European Russia, on the Volga River and on a major rail line to Moscow. It has textile plants and repair shops for railroad equipment. Rzhev, an ancient trade center, was controlled by the Smolensk principality in the 12th cent. and taken by Novgorod in 1216. During World War II it was fortified by the Germans as a major bastion on their northern defense line.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Rzhev Raion, Kalinin Oblast, RSFSR. Located on the Volga River, 123 km southwest of the city of Kalinin. Junction of the Moscow-Riga and Leningrad-Briansk railroad lines. Population, 68,000 (1975; 54,000 in 1939).

Known since the early 11th century, Rzhev was part of the Smolensk Principality. From 1225 it was the seat of an appanage principality. In the 14th century it was annexed by the Muscovite state. From the early 18th century it was part of St. Petersburg Province, becoming a district capital in 1775. From 1796 it was part of Tver’ Province. A railroad was built in 1870. Soviet power was established in Rzhev in October 1917. Rzhev was an okrug center of Zapadnaia Oblast from 1929 and has been a raion center of Kalinin Oblast since 1935. On Oct. 14, 1941, Rzhev was captured by the fascist German aggressors, and in early 1942 the approaches to the city were the scenes of bitter fighting. On Mar. 3, 1943, the Soviet Army liberated Rzhev in the course of the Rzhev-Viaz’ma Operation.

Rzhev has a plant for the production of automotive electrical equipment, a plant for the production of cranes, a repair and machine shop, a flax-combing factory, a furniture combine, and enterprises of the building-materials and food industries. Rzhev also has a machine-building technicum, a sovkhoz-tech-nicum, medical and music schools, and a museum of local lore.


Vishniakov, M. M. Rzhev: K istorii goroda i raiona. Moscow, 1969.
Vboiakh za Rzhev. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Schlogel is always ready to share his own impressions of legal and illegal movements across the Soviet Union, including in provincial Russia: "a bus trip from Leningrad to Novgorod and Pskov oblasts; hikes from Torzhok to Lake Seliger, from Ostashov to Rzhev; road trips from Iaroslavl' to Kostroma, to Vologda and the White Lake; a bus trip from Nizhnii Novgorod to Arzamas; a steamboat down the Volga; a trip by car from the Don to the Caucasus; a trip along the plains of Stavropol' and Krasnodar, reminiscent of the American Midwest; and, finally, a trip to Siberia from Krasnoiarsk, traveling upstream along the Enisei River" (461).
Before the Battle of Rzhev in autumn 1942, Moscow deliberately fed the details of Soviet military plans to the Germans - via "Max", a double agent they had planted - so as to make sure that the Wehrmacht did not send further reinforcements to Stalingrad where the Red Army envelopment of the city was beginning.
My-HD subscribers will have the opportunity to watch, H2's upcoming programme line-up, which includes Brad Meltzer's Decoded, a new 11-part series in which Meltzer scours secret clues, symbols and conspiracy theories to unravel some of society's most provocative enigmas; Following which is Soviet Storm: WWII, that explores some of the most devastating battles of the war -- from the Red Army's catastrophic encirclement of Kiev in 1941 to the notorious Rzhev meat-grinder.
"In 1942 he did night landings under heavy artillery fire in the last days before the fall of Sevastopol to evacuate the wounded and flew behind enemy lines to deliver food and ammunition to partisans during the Rzhev campaign."
The Kazakhstan Defense Ministry said "technical failure" was the apparent cause of the crash, which came after the plane underwent a major overhaul at a plant in Rzhev, Northwest Russia, last December.
In keeping with his works on Manchuria, Kursk, Rzhev, Leningrad, and most recently Stalingrad, he provides precise accounts of maneuvers down to the level of individual divisions, documented by lengthy excerpts from situation reports and operational orders from Germans and Soviets alike.
In Rzhev, a town of 64,000 on the Volga, 11 people died in one month and 216 contracted toxic hepatitis.
A classic example of a retreat, smoothly and efficiently conducted, occurred in March 1943, when Hitler was persuaded to evacuate the dangerous salient of Vyaz'ma Rzhev on the front of Army Group Center.
Ironically, the campaign about which Glantz writes in the present volume--a major Soviet offensive against German Army Group Center in the Rzhev area in late 1942--conforms closely to old-school German historiography.
She takes the reader to the commemorative monument sites of Leningrad and Stalingrad and to the still -- unburied dead from the battles around Rzhev, all the time pointing to the great contradictions between the official cult of victory parades, Konsomol honour guards, compulsory classes in military preparedness, and popular festivals; all designed to praise just one man -- Stalin.
This unusual event occurred in August 1943 near Rzhev. Nevertheless, he did, in fact, justify his refusals to meet Roosevelt and Churchill by his absences at the front.