October 24, 1941 – The 1st Battle of Kharkov so named by Wilhelm Keitel was the 1941 tactical battle for the city of Kharkov (now Kharkiv ) (Ukrainian SSR) during the final phase of Operation Barbarossa between the German 6th Army of the Army Group South and the Soviet Southwestern Front. The Soviet 38th Army was ordered to defend the city while its factories were dismantled for relocation farther east. The German 6th Army needed to take the city in order to close the widening gap between the 4th Panzer Group and the 17th Army. By 20 October the Germans had reached the western edge of the city, and the city was taken by the 57th Infantry Division by 24 October. By that time, however, most of Kharkov’s industrial equipment had been evacuated or rendered useless by the Red Army.