Showing posts with label Rokossovsky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rokossovsky. Show all posts

9 June 2014

Back to Bagration?

The Russian Offensive: Operation Bagration

Not really "Back to Bagration", but the alliteration could not be resisted ! Have not played this historical era before, but working on it ! Maybe the title of this post should read "Backed by Bagration" reflecting the triple whammy landed on Hitler's Third Reich:

In Italy the fall of Monte Cassino, then Rome; in Normandy the D-Day landings, followed by Bagration in the East 1944 would deliver a series of crippling blows from which Reich could not recover.

Working away at my Fall/Autumn Russian 1/72 army for a few weeks:

Have almost finished my Siberian ski troops, all based now, just needing one more coat of paint.
Multiple Zis 3 76 mm Guns and 4 x 122 mm Howitzers at the ready, PTRDs and Maxim guns by the handfuls. Darn fiddly those Esci/Matchbox Maxims!

From Wiki: Operation Bagration (Russian: Oперация Багратион, Operatsiya Bagration) was the codename for the Soviet 1944 Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation during World War II, which cleared German forces from the Belorussian SSR and eastern Poland between 22 June and 19 August 1944.

The operation was named after 18th–19th century Georgian Prince Pyotr Bagration, general of the Imperial Russian Army who received a mortal wound at the Battle of Borodino.

The operation resulted in the almost complete destruction of an entire German army group, with the loss of Army Group Centre's Fourth Army, Third Panzer Army and Ninth Army. It is considered the most calamitous defeat experienced by the German armed forces during the Second World War.

By the end of the operation most of the western Soviet Union had been liberated and the Red Army had achieved footholds in Romania and Poland. German losses eventually numbered well over half a million men killed or wounded, even higher than the toll at Verdun in 1916.

The Soviet armies directly involved in Operation Bagration were the 1st Baltic Front under Army General Ivan Bagramyan, the 1st Belorussian Front commanded by Army General Konstantin Rokossovsky, the 2nd Belorussian Front commanded by Colonel-General G. F. Zakharov, and the 3rd Belorussian Front commanded by Colonel-General Ivan Chernyakhovsky.

The objectives of the operation were complicated. The Red Army practiced the concept of Soviet deep battle and maskirovka. One American author suggests that these Soviet innovations were enabled, in part, by the provision of over 220,000 trucks by the United States to motorize the Soviet infantry. It has been suggested that  the primary target of the Soviet offensive was the bridgehead on the Vistula river in central Poland, and that Operation Bagration was to create a crisis in Belorussia to divert German mobile reserves to the central sectors as a part of maskirovka, removing them from the Lublin-Brest, Lvov–Sandomierz area where the Soviets intended to undertake the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive and Lublin–Brest Offensive.

 This allowed the Red Army to reach the Vistula river and Warsaw, which in turn put Soviet forces within striking distance of Berlin, conforming to the concept of Soviet deep operations — striking deep into the German force's strategic depths.

Army Group Centre had previously proved tough to counter as the Soviet defeat in Operation Mars had shown. But by June 1944, despite shortening its front line, it had been exposed following the withdrawals of Army Group South in the battles that followed the Battle of Kursk, the Second Battle of Kiev and the Crimean Offensive in the late summer, autumn and winter of 1943–44, which the Soviets called the Third period of World War II. Operation Suvorov had seen Army Group Centre itself forced to retreat westwards from Smolensk during the autumn of 1943.

By the middle of June 1944, the Western Allies on the Cotentin Peninsula were just over 1,000 km (620 mi) from Berlin, while the Soviet forces at the Vitebsk Gate were within 1,200 km (750 mi) of the German capital. For the Third Reich, the strategic threats were about the same. Hitler underestimated the threat posed by Soviet troops facing Army Group Centre, and had redeployed ⅓ of Army Group Centre's artillery, ½ their tank destroyers and 88% of their tanks to the Southern front where the German high command expected the next major Soviet offensive to come. Army Group center only had a total of 580 tanks, tank-destroyers and assault guns. They were opposed by over 9000 Soviet machines. The redeployment of forces from Army Group Center left only 80 men defending every kilometer of the front line.

Bagration, in combination with the neighbouring Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive launched a few weeks later in Ukraine, allowed the Soviet Union to recapture Belorussia and Ukraine within its 1941 borders, advance into German East Prussia, but more importantly, the Lvov-Sandomierz operation allowed the Red Army to reach the outskirts of Warsaw after gaining control of Poland east of the Vistula river. The operation enabled the next operation, Vistula–Oder Offensive, to come within sight of the German capital. The Soviets were initially surprised at their success of the Belorussian operation which had nearly reached Warsaw. The Soviet advance encouraged the Warsaw uprising against the German occupation forces.

The battle has been described as the triumph of the Soviet theory of "the operational art" because of the complete co-ordination of all the Strategic Front movements and signals traffic to fool the enemy about the target of the offensive. The military tactical operations of the Red Army successfully avoided the mobile reserves of the Wehrmacht and continually "wrong-footed" the German forces. Despite the huge forces involved, Soviet front commanders left their adversaries completely confused about the main axis of attack until it was too late.

5th Guards advance during Operation Bagration

The end of Operation Bagration coincided with the destruction of many of the strongest units of the German Army on the western front in the Falaise pocket in Normandy. The number of troops involved and especially personnel and material losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht was much bigger in Bagration than in Normandy.

After these stunning victories, on both eastern and western fronts, supply problems rather than German resistance slowed the subsequent rapid Allied advance, and it eventually ground to a temporary halt.

However, the Germans were able to transfer armoured units from the Italian front, where they could afford to give ground, to resist the Soviet advance near Warsaw.

9 August 2013

Kursk Order of Battle: Protagonists Part 2: The Russians

Kursk Protagonists Part 2: Soviet Forces 

Western Front 
(Vasily Sokolovsky)

50th Army (Ivan Boldin)
11th Guards Army (Ivan Bagramyan)
1st Air Army (Mikhail Gromov)

Bryansk Front 
(Markian Popov)

3rd Army (Alexander Gorbatov)
61st Army (Pavel Belov)
63rd Army (Vladimir Kolpakchi)
15th Air Army (Nikolai Naumenko)

Central Front 
(Konstantin Rokossovsky)

13th Army (Nikolay Pukhov)
48th Army (Prokofy Romanenko)
60th Army (Ivan Chernyakhovsky)
65th Army (Pavel Batov)
70th Army (Ivan Galanin)
2nd Tank Army (Alexei Rodin)
16th Air Army (Sergei Rudenko)

Voronezh Front 
(Nikolai Vatutin)

6th Guards Army (Ivan Chistiakov)
7th Guards Army (Mikhail Shumilov)
38th Army (Nikandr Chibisov)
40th Army (Kirill Moskalenko)
69th Army (Vasily Kriuchenkin)
1st Tank Army (Mikhail Katukov)
2nd Air Army (Stepan Kravsovsky)

Steppe Front 
(Ivan Konev)

5th Guards Army (Alexei Zhadov)
5th Guards Tank Army (Pavel Rotmistrov)
5th Air Army (Sergei Goriunov)

 Composition of forces: 

1. Western Front 
(Vasily Sokolovsky)

50th Army (Ivan Boldin)

 38th Rifle Corps (Alexei Tereshkov)

17th Rifle Division
326th Rifle Division
413th Rifle Division
49th Rifle Division
64th Rifle Division
212th Rifle Division
324th Rifle Division

11th Guards Army 

(Ivan Bagramyan)

8th Guards Rifle Corps
11th Guards Rifle Division
26th Guards Rifle Division
83rd Guards Rifle Division
16th Guards Rifle Corps
1st Guards Rifle Division
16th Guards Rifle Division
31st Guards Rifle Division
169th Rifle Division
36th Guards Rifle Corps
5th Guards Rifle Division
18th Guards Rifle Division
84th Guards Rifle Division
108th Rifle Division
217th Rifle Division

1st Air Army (Mikhail Gromov)

2nd Assault Air Corps
2nd Fighter Air Corps
8th Fighter Air Corps

1st Independent Tank Corps (Vasily Butkov)
5th Independent Tank Corps (Mikhail Sakhno)

2. Bryansk Front (Markian Popov)

3rd Army (Alexander Gorbatov)


41st Rifle Corps (Viktor Urbanovich)
235th Rifle Division
308th Rifle Division
380th Rifle Division
269th Rifle Division
283rd Rifle Division
342nd Rifle Division

61st Army (Pavel Belov)

Portrait of Colonel-General Pavel Alekseevich Belov

9th Guards Rifle Corps (Arkady Boreiko)

12th Guards Rifle Division
76th Guards Rifle Division
77th Guards Rifle Division
97th Rifle Division
110th Rifle Division
336th Rifle Division
356th Rifle Division
415th Rifle Division

63rd Army (Vladimir Kolpakchi)

5th Rifle Division
41st Rifle Division
129th Rifle Division
250th Rifle Division
287th Rifle Division
348th Rifle Division
397th Rifle Division

15th Air Army (Nikolai Naumenko)

1st Guards Fighter Air Corps
3rd Assault Air Corps

 25th Rifle Corps
186th Rifle Division
283rd Rifle Division
362nd Rifle Division

1st Independent Guards Tank Corps

3. Central Front (Konstantin Rokossovsky)

17th Guards Rifle Corps (Andrei Bondarev)
6th Guards Rifle Division
70th Guards Rifle Division
75th Guards Rifle Division

18th Guards Rifle Corps (Ivan Afonin)
2nd Guards Airborne Division
3rd Guards Airborne Division
4th Guards Airborne Division

15th Rifle Corps (Ivan Liudnikov)
8th Rifle Division
74th Rifle Division
148th Rifle Division

29th Rifle Corps (Afanasy Slyshkin)
15th Rifle Division
81st Rifle Division
307th Rifle Division

48th Army (Prokofy Romanenko)

42nd Rifle Corps (Konstantin Kolganov)
16th Rifle Division
202nd Rifle Division
399th Rifle Division
73rd Rifle Division
137th Rifle Division
143rd Rifle Division
170th Rifle Division

60th Army (Ivan Chernyakhovsky)
24th Rifle Corps
42nd Rifle Division
112th Rifle Division
30th Rifle Corps
121st Rifle Division
141st Rifle Division
322nd Rifle Division

Independent 55th Rifle Division

65th Army (Pavel Batov)
18th Rifle Corps
69th Rifle Division
149th Rifle Division
246th Rifle Division
27th Rifle Corps
60th Rifle Division
193rd Rifle Division
37th Guards Rifle Division
181st Rifle Division
194th Rifle Division
354th Rifle Division

70th Army (Ivan Galanin)
28th Rifle Corps (Aleksandr Nechaev)
132nd Rifle Division
211th Rifle Division
280th Rifle Division
102nd Rifle Division
106th Rifle Division
140th Rifle Division
162nd Rifle Division
354th Rifle Division

2nd Tank Army (Alexei Rodin)
3rd Tank Corps
16th Tank Corps

16th Air Army (Sergei Rudenko)
3rd Bombing Air Corps
6th Mixed Air Corps
6th Fighter Air Corps

Independent 9th Tank Corps

Independent 19th Tank Corps

4. Voronezh Front (Nikolai Vatutin)

6th Guards Army (Ivan Chistiakov)
22nd Guards Rifle Corps
67th Guards Rifle Division
71st Guards Rifle Division
90th Guards Rifle Division
23rd Guards Rifle Corps
51st Guards Rifle Division
52nd Guards Rifle Division
375th Rifle Division
Independent 89th Guards Rifle Division

7th Guards Army (Mikhail Shumilov)
24th Guards Rifle Corps (Nikolai Vasilev)
15th Guards Rifle Division
36th Guards Rifle Division
72nd Guards Rifle Division

25th Guards Rifle Corps (Gany Safiulin)
73rd Guards Rifle Division
78th Guards Rifle Division
81st Guards Rifle Division
Independent 213th Rifle Division

38th Army (Nikandr Chibisov)
50th Rifle Corps
167th Rifle Division
232nd Rifle Division
340th Rifle Division
51st Rifle Corps (Petr Avdeenko)
180th Rifle Division
240th Rifle Division
Independent 204th Rifle Division

40th Army (Kirill Moskalenko)
47th Rifle Corps
161st Rifle Division
206th Rifle Division
237th Rifle Division

52nd Rifle Corps (Frants Perkhorovich)
100th Rifle Division
219th Rifle Division
309th Rifle Division
Independent 184th Rifle Division

69th Army (Vasily Kriuchenkin)
48th Rifle Corps (Zinovy Rogozny)
107th Rifle Division
183rd Rifle Division
307th Rifle Division
49th Rifle Corps
111th Rifle Division
270th Rifle Division

1st Tank Army (Mikhail Katukov)
6th Tank Corps (Andrey Getman)
31st Tank Corps
3rd Mechanized Corps

2nd Air Army (Stepan Kravsovsky)
1st Bombing Air Corps
1st Assault Air Corps
4th Fighter Air Corps
5th Fighter Air Corps

35th Guards Rifle Corps
92nd Guards Rifle Division
93rd Guards Rifle Division
94th Guards Rifle Division

Independent 2nd Guards Tank Corps
Independent 3rd Guards Tank Corps

Steppe Front (Ivan Konev)
This order of battle does not show the complete composition of the Steppe Front.
 In addition to the units listed below, there are also 
the 4th Guards, 27th, 47th and 53rd Armies.

5th Guards Army (Alexei Zhadov)
32nd Guards Rifle Corps (Aleksandr Rodimtsev)
13th Guards Rifle Division
66th Guards Rifle Division
6th Airborne Guards Rifle Division
33rd Guards Rifle Corps (Iosif Popov)
95th Guards Rifle Division
97th Guards Rifle Division
9th Airborne Guards Rifle Division
Independent 42nd Guards Rifle Division
Independent 10th Tank Corps

5th Guards Tank Army (Pavel Rotmistrov)

5th Guards Mechanized Corps
29th Tank Corps

5th Air Army (Sergei Goriunov)
7th Mixed Air Corps
8th Mixed Air Corps
3rd Fighter Air Corps

7th Fighter Air Corps