Airogola viaduct , first day of Barbarossa.

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Owen, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Has anyone anything more specific on the capture of the Airogola Viaduct on 22nd June 1941?
    I wondered if there's anything in print from those who were there?
    Seems an important bridge.
    Any photos of it?


    Manstein wrote in his memoirs, "On the very first day [56th Panzer Corps] had to thrust fifty miles into enemy territory in order to capture the crossing over the Dubissa at Airogola. I knew the Dubissa sector from World War I. What we should find there was a deep, ravined valley whose slopes no tank could negotiate. In the First World War our railway engineers had labored there for months on end to span the gap with a masterly construction of timber. If the enemy now succeeded in blowing up the big road viaduct at Airogola, the corps would be hopelessly stuck and the enemy would have time on the steep far bank of the river to organize a defense which would in any case be extremely difficult to penetrate. That we could thereafter no longer expect to make a surprise descent on the Dvinsk bridges was perfectly obvious. The Airogola crossing was indispensable as a springboard. Excessive though Corps [Headquarters] requirements may appear to have been, 8th Panzer Division (General Brandenberger), with which I spent most of the day, still fulfilled its task. After breaking through the frontier positions and over-running all enemy resistance further back, it seized the Airologa crossing with a reconnaissance force by the evening of 22nd June.
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Owen, did a quick search for the viaduct but cant seem to come up iwth anything at the moment. I have noted however that the 8th Panzer was part of 56th Panzer Corps who were the last Tank Formation Zhukov faced before Berlin in April 1945. They were there at the start of the Campaign and at the end also.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just thought I'd bump this thread as a reminder of what was going on about 70 years ago, should have done it on the 22nd June, sorry.
  5. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Those maps are from Brian Taylor's 2 volumes of Barbarossa to Berlin on my bookshelf.

    Shame the Then & Now I posted in post #3 can't be seen anymore.
  7. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Air photo of Ariogala taken on 22nd August 1944. Several bridges over Dubysa, just as two airfields in vicinity of Ariogala were marked on the map.

    Bridge was taken by Kampfgruppe Crisolli from 8. Panzer Division commanded by Wilhelm Crisolli. It was composed of bulk of a motorised rifle regiment (probably Schützen-Regiment 8 which was by this time commanded by Crisolli), a reinforced motorcycle battalion, a battalion of tanks, and a combat engineer company. After brief fighting on the border it advanced mostly unopposed through Yubarkas and Seredžius to Ariogala. Kampfgruppe met some resistance in Ariogala area but succeeded to take the bridge by 1725.
    Paul Reed, dbf and Owen like this.

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