Operation BAGRATION took place during what the Soviet analysts consider the third period of the war: that of thD Soviet strategic offensives which marked the ascendancy of the Soviet armed forces over the German Wehrmacht. During this period, the armed forces of the soviet Union held the strategic initiaitve and used it to defeat the Wehrmacht, gain control of Eastern Europe, 'and invade Germany proper, meeting Allied forces on the Elbe River on 25 April 1945. The period is regarded as beginning January 1944 and ending with the V-E Day, 7 May 1945.
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