Stalin's seventh strike: Yassy-Chisinau Cannes. 2 part
On August 19, 1944, the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts carried out reconnaissance in battle. On the morning of August 20, Soviet artillery preparation began aviation inflicted powerful blows to defense nodes, headquarters, accumulations of enemy equipment. At 7 hours and 40 minutes, Soviet troops, supported by artillery fire, went on the offensive. Offensive infantry and tanks direct support was also supported by attacks by attack aircraft, which struck at firing positions and strongholds of the enemy.
According to the testimony of prisoners, artillery and air strikes had considerable success. At the breakthrough sites, the first line of the German defense was almost completely destroyed. Management at the battalion-regiment-division was lost. Some German divisions lost up to half of the personnel on the very first day of the fighting. This success was caused by a high concentration of fire weapons in the breakthrough areas: up to 240 guns and mortars and up to 56 tanks and self-propelled guns on 1 km of front.
It should be noted that by August 1944, the Germans and Romanians had prepared in the Moldavian SSR and Romania a deep defense system with well-developed engineering structures. The tactical defense zone consisted of two lanes, and its depth reached 8-19 kilometers. Behind her, at a distance of 15-20, the third line of defense (the Traian Line) ran along the Mare ridge from the front edge. Two defensive lines were created on the western banks of the Prut and Siret rivers. Many cities, including Chisinau and Iasi, were prepared for all-round defense and turned into real fortified areas.
However, the German defense could not stop the offensive outburst of the Soviet armies. The strike force of the 2 of the Ukrainian Front broke through the main enemy defenses. 27-I army under the command of Sergei Trofimenko by the middle of the day and broke through the second line of defense of the enemy. The Soviet command introduced the 6 Tank Army under the command of Andrei Kravchenko. After that, as the commander of the Southern Ukraine army group, General Frisner, admitted, incredible chaos had begun in the ranks of the German-Romanian troops. The German command attempted to halt the advance of the Soviet troops and reverse the course of the battle, operational reserves were thrown into battle - three infantry and tank divisions. However, the German counterattacks could not change the situation; for a full-fledged counterblow, there was little power, and besides, the Soviet troops were already well able to respond to such actions by the enemy. The troops of Malinovsky went to Iasi and started a battle out of town.
Thus, on the very first day of the offensive, our troops broke through the enemy defenses, brought the second echelon into battle and successfully developed the offensive. Six enemy divisions were defeated. The Soviet armies reached the third line of enemy defense, which ran along the wooded ridge Mare.
The troops of the 3 of the Ukrainian Front also successfully attacked, wedging in the enemy defenses at the junction of the 6 of the German and 3 of the Romanian armies. By the end of the first day of the offensive of the 3-th Ukrainian Front, they broke through the enemy’s main line of defense and began to break through the second line. This created favorable opportunities for the isolation of parts of the 3 of the Romanian army with a view to its subsequent destruction.
21 August Soviet troops were heavy fighting on the ridge of the Mara. It was not possible to break through the German defense of the 6 Tank Army on the move. The units of the 7 Guards Army and the cavalry-mechanized group fought hard for Targu Frumos, where the Germans created a powerful fortified area. By the end of the day, the troops of the 2-Ukrainian front had crossed all three enemy defensive lines, two powerful enemy fortifications — Iasi and Tirgu-Frumos — were taken. Soviet troops expanded the breakthrough to 65 km along the front and to 40 km in depth.
In the offensive zone of the 3 of the Ukrainian Front, the Germans launched a counterstrike. The German command, trying to disrupt the Soviet offensive, in the morning of August 21 pulled up reserves and, relying on the second line of defense, struck a counterstrike. High hopes were pinned on the 13 Tank Division. However, the 37 Army troops repelled enemy counterattacks. In general, during 20 and 21 of August, the troops of the 3 th Ukrainian Front attack force broke through the enemy’s tactical defenses, repelled its counterstrikes, defeating the 13 Tank Division, and increased the breakthrough depth to 40-50 km. The front command introduced mobile units into the breakthrough — the 4-th Guards Mechanized Corps in the 46-th Army Band and the 7-th Mechanized Corps in the 37-Army Band.
Tanks 7-mk are fighting in the Iasi-Kishinev operation. Moldova August 1944 of the year
21 August Stake, fearing that the attack will slow down and the enemy will use favorable terrain conditions, will be able to pull off all available forces, delaying the Soviet troops for a long time, issued a directive in which it somewhat corrected the tasks of the fronts. So that the Soviet troops would not be late with access to the Prut River and not miss the opportunity to surround the Kishinev group, the command of the 2 and 3 of the Ukrainian fronts was reminded that their main task at the first stage of the offensive was to quickly create an environmental ring in the Husi region. In the future, it was necessary to narrow the encirclement in order to destroy or capture the enemy troops. The Stavka directive was necessary, as with the rapid breakthrough of the German defense, the command of the 2 of the Ukrainian Front was tempted to continue the offensive along the Roman-Focsani line, and of the 3 of the Ukrainian front-Tarutino-Galati. The headquarters believed that the main forces and means of the fronts should be used to encircle and eliminate the Kishinev group. The destruction of this group and so opened the way to the main economic and political centers of Romania. So it happened.
On the night of August 21 and the next day, the 6th Panzer Army and the 18th Panzer Corps chased the enemy. Malinovsky’s troops plunged into the enemy’s defenses for 60 km and expanded the breakthrough to 120 km. The armies of the 3rd Ukrainian Front were rapidly advancing to the Prut. The mobile formations of the front deepened 80 km deep into the enemy’s defense. By the end of the second day of the operation, Tolbukhin’s troops isolated the 6th German army from the 3rd Romanian. The main forces of the 6th German army fell into the encirclement in the area of the village of Leusheni. On the left wing of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, units of the 46th Army with the support of the Danube Military flotilla successfully crossed the Dniester estuary. On the night of August 22, Soviet soldiers liberated Akkerman and continued their offensive to the southwest.
Soviet bombing of the Romanian port of Constanta by Soviet aviation
Soviet Black Sea Fleet boats type MO-4 enter the port of Varna
Aviation was active: in two days of fighting, Soviet pilots made 6350 sorties. Aviation of the Black Sea Fleet delivered heavy blows to the German naval bases in Sulin and Constanta. It should be noted that the entire operation Soviet aircraft completely dominated the air. This made it possible to deliver powerful air strikes against the enemy’s forces, to their rear, reliably cover the advancing Soviet armies from the air and parry the actions of the German Air Force. In total, during the operation, the Soviet pilots shot down 172 German aircraft.
The command of the Army Group “Southern Ukraine”, after analyzing the situation following the results of the first day of the fighting, decided to withdraw its troops to the rear line along the Prut River. Friesner ordered the retreat without even receiving Hitler’s consent. The troops still randomly retreated. On August 22, the Supreme Command also agreed to withdraw the troops. But it was too late. At this point, the Soviet troops intercepted the main routes of withdrawal of the Kishinev group, it was doomed. In addition, the German command did not have strong mobile reserves with which it was possible to organize strong deblocking attacks. In such a situation, it was necessary to withdraw the troops even before the start of the Soviet offensive.
23 August Soviet troops fought with the aim of tightly closing the encirclement and continued to move west. The 18 Tank Corps entered the area of Husi. The 7 th mechanized corps went to the Prut crossing in the Leusen region, and the 4 th Guards Mechanized Corps went to Leovo. Part of the Soviet 46 Army pushed the troops of the 3 Romanian Army to the Black Sea, in the Tatarbunar region. 24 August Romanian troops stopped resistance. On the same day, the ships of the Danube military flotilla landed troops in the area of Zhebriyans - Vilkovo. Also on August 24, units of the 5 Shock Army liberated Chisinau.
As a result of August 24, the first phase of the strategic offensive operation was completed. The defensive lines of the enemy fell, Jasco-Chisinau group was surrounded. 18 divisions from 25 available in Army Group South Ukraine got into the "boiler". There was a huge gap in the German defense, which had nothing to cover. In Romania, there was a coup, the Romanians began to fold weapon or turn it against the Germans. By 26 August, the entire territory of the Moldavian SSR was liberated from the Nazis.
German self-propelled artillery Hummel, destroyed as a result of the bombing of German columns with high-explosive bombs
Coup d'état in Romania. Destruction of the Kishinev group
Joseph Stalin’s calculation that the main consequence of the successful offensive of the 2 and 3 of the Ukrainian fronts will be the “sobering up” of the Romanian leadership is fully justified. On the night of August 22 a secret meeting was held in the royal palace of Mihai. It was attended by opposition figures, including the Communists. It was decided to arrest Prime Minister Antonescu and other pro-German leaders. 23 August, after returning from the front after a meeting with the command of the army group “Southern Ukraine”, Antonescu was arrested. Before the arrest, he was going to conduct additional mobilization in the country and create a new line of defense with the Germans. At the same time, many members of his cabinet were arrested. King Mihai spoke on the radio with a speech in which he announced that Romania was withdrawing from the war on the side of Germany and accepting the terms of a truce. The new government demanded the withdrawal of German troops from the territory of Romania. It should be noted that Stalin praised the courage of Mihai, the king after the war was awarded the Order of Victory.
German diplomats and the military mission were taken by surprise. The German command refused to comply with the withdrawal requirement. Hitler was furious and demanded to punish the traitors. The German Air Force struck the Romanian capital. However, the attempts of the German troops to occupy the strategic sites of Romania and the attacks on the capital failed. Forces for such an operation was not. In addition, the Romanians actively resisted. The government of Constantine Sanatescu declared war on Germany and asked for help from the Soviet Union.
The front finally collapsed. Wherever the Romanians defended, the defensive orders collapsed. Soviet troops could safely move on. Chaos began. Any centralized leadership of the German troops collapsed, the rear were cut off. Separate disparate fighting groups of German formations were forced to make their way to the west on their own. German ships, submarines, transports and boats filled with German soldiers sailed from the Romanian ports to the Bulgarian Varna and Burgas. Another wave of fleeing German soldiers, mostly from the rear, rushed across the Danube.
At the same time, the German military-political leadership did not give up hope to keep at least part of Romania under its control. Already 24 August in Berlin announced the creation of a pro-German leadership led by the fascist organization "Iron Guard" Horia Sima. Adolf Hitler ordered the arrest of the Romanian king. The Wehrmacht occupied the strategic oil-producing region of Ploiesti. During 24 - 29 of August 1944, there were stubborn battles between German and Romanian troops. During these clashes, the Romanians were able to capture more than 50 thousand Germans, including 14 generals.
The Soviet command provided assistance to Romania: the 50 divisions, with the support of the main forces of the two air armies, were sent to assist the Romanian troops, who offered resistance to the Germans. The rest of the troops were left to eliminate the Kishinev group. Surrounded by German troops offered stubborn resistance. They rushed to the breakthrough large masses of infantry with the support of armored vehicles and artillery. Were looking for weak points in the ring environment. However, in the course of a series of isolated hot battles, the German troops were defeated. By the end of August 27, the entire German group was destroyed. By 28 August, the part of the German grouping that was able to reach the western bank of the Prut River and tried to reach the Carpathian passes was also liquidated.
Meanwhile, the Soviet offensive continued. The 2-th Ukrainian Front advanced in the direction of Northern Transylvania and on the Focsani direction. 27 August, Soviet troops occupied Focsani and advanced to Ploiesti and Bucharest. Parts of the 46 Army of the 3 Ukrainian Front developed an offensive on both sides of the Danube, cutting off the withdrawal paths of the defeated German troops to Bucharest. The Black Sea Fleet and the Danube military flotilla contributed to the advance of the ground forces, landed tactical landings, smashed the enemy with the help of aviation. 27 August was occupied by Galati. 28 August Soviet troops captured the cities of Braila and Sulin. August 29 Black Sea Fleet troops took the port of Constanta. On the same day, the advanced detachment of the 46 Army went out to Bucharest. 31 August Soviet troops entered Bucharest. At this Yassy-Kishinev operation was completed.
Bucharest residents welcome Soviet soldiers. The inscription on a large banner can be translated as "Long live the great Stalin - the brilliant leader of the Red Army"
The Yassy-Kishinev operation ended with the complete victory of the Red Army. Germany suffered a major military-strategic, political and economic defeat. The troops of 2 and 3 of the Ukrainian fronts, with the support of the Black Sea Fleet and the Danube military flotilla, defeated the main forces of the German Army Group South Ukraine. German-Romanian troops lost about 135 thousand people killed, wounded and missing. Even more 208 thousand people were captured. 2 thousand guns, 340 tanks and assault guns, almost 18 thousand cars and other equipment, weapons were captured as trophies. Soviet troops lost more than 67 thousand people, of which more than 13 thousand people were killed, missing, dead from diseases, etc.
The Soviet troops liberated the Ismail region of the Ukrainian SSR, the Modavskaya SSR from the Nazis. Romania was withdrawn from the war. In favorable conditions created by the successes of the Soviet fronts, the Romanian progressive forces revolted and overthrew the pro-German dictatorship Antonescu. She went over to the side of the anti-Hitler coalition and went to war with Germany. Although much of Romania remained in the hands of German troops and pro-German Romanian forces and fighting for the country continued until the end of October 1944, it was a great success for Moscow. Romania will expose against Germany and its allies 535 thousand soldiers and officers.
For the Soviet troops opened the way to the Balkans. There was an opportunity to enter Hungary, to assist the allied Yugoslav partisans. Favorable conditions arose for the deployment of the struggle in Czechoslovakia, Albania and Greece. Bulgaria refused the alliance with Germany. 26 August 1944, the Bulgarian government declared neutrality and demanded the withdrawal of German troops from Bulgaria. September 8 Bulgaria declared war on Germany. Yes, and Turkey has attended. She kept neutrality, but was friendly to Germany, and waited in the wings when she could profit at the expense of Russia. Now, for the preparation of the invasion of the Caucasus could pay. The Turks urgently began to establish friendship with the British and Americans.
From a military point of view, the Yassy-Kishinev operation was one of the most successful operations of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War. Yassko-Chisinau Cannes was distinguished by a skillful choice of directions for the main strikes of the fronts, a high level of attack rates, swift encirclement and the destruction of a large enemy force. The operation also featured close and skillful interaction of all types of troops, high enemy losses, and relatively low losses of the Soviet troops. The operation clearly showed the greatly increased level of Soviet military art, the combat skills of the command staff and the combat experience of the soldiers.
Almost immediately after the liberation of Moldova, its economic recovery began. Moscow in 1944-1945 allocated 448 million rubles for these purposes. First of all, the military, with the help of the local population, restored the railway communication and bridges across the Dniester, which were destroyed by the retreating Nazis. Even during the war, equipment for the recovery of 22 enterprises was received, 286 collective farms began to work. For the peasantry, seeds, cattle, horses, etc., came from Russia. All this contributed to the resumption of peaceful life in the republic. The Moldavian SSR also contributed to the overall victory over the enemy. After the liberation of the republic, more than 250 thousand people went to the front as volunteers.
Bucharest residents meet Soviet soldiers
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