Operation Bagration

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by mejustjustin, May 12, 2012.

  1. mejustjustin

    mejustjustin Junior Member

    Hello. I am new to the forum. Hope I fit in here pretty well. I took a WW2 class, and have studied the European Theatre broadly.

    I have a question about Operation Bagration. Does anyone know of the numbers that were on each side? Why weren't the Germans able to hold up the Soviets? Was their situation really that terrible in June/July of 1944?
     
  2. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  4. mconrad

    mconrad Junior Member

    I think the Wikipedia article is decent. I believe it mentions the Germans were fooled into expecting an attack further south that where the Red Army actually made their offensive. The Soviets were optimistic in most of their offensives, but this one may have actually exceeded their hopes.
     
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    There are several good books on the topic

    If you can find it Gerd Niepold's Battle For White Russia:The Destruction of Army Group Centre ,June 1944 is a good German oriented analysis. Your best bet might be a really good library.

    The relevant chapters in John Ericksson's Road to Berlin is the story from the Soviet side

    Paul Carrell Scorched Earth is a lively story of human side from the German point of view - albeit through the tinted glasses of someone who once served as a Kriegsberichter for Josef Goebbels!

    Ivan's war by Catherine Merridale had a good chapter on the Soviet Soldier's experience.

    Strategy and Tactics in C 1971 had a magazine and a cardboard simulation which is probably a fair model of the German mal-deployment.

    David Glantz has been studying the Red Army for many decades. He edited. "Belorussia 1944: The Soviet General Staff Study "(Cass Series on Soviet (Russian) Military Institutions) I haven't read this b ut as the Red Army's own internal analysis it must be worth looking at.

    In answer to the question why the Soviets won the battle. It was well planned and executed and as on the 1944 Western Front, the Germans were deceived about the timing and location of the main offensive and hampered by orders not to give ground.
     
  6. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Why weren't the Germans able to hold up the Soviets? Was their situation really that terrible in June/July of 1944?

    It's worth thinking about where the majority of German Panzers might have been elsewhere in Europe in June/July 1944. Unless I'm wrong it wasn't as part of Army Group Centre.
     
  7. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Sucked in 2nd SS Pz Corp away from East.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    It's worth thinking about where the majority of German Panzers might have been elsewhere in Europe in June/July 1944. Unless I'm wrong it wasn't as part of Army Group Centre.

    Figures, Jonathan?
     
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Figures, Jonathan?

    I'll Bite.

    Figures from Jentz Panzer truppen vol 2 as at 31 May 1944.

    Total Figures a= Pz IV& stug b= Pz V c = Pz VI& varients

    West Front a: 759 b=543 c= 53 - total = 1,355

    East Front total a=779 b=313 c=293 total = 1,385
    Replacements by 30 June a= 215 b=265 c= 32

    These figures exclude II SS Pz Corps a= 165 b= 79 c= 45

    BUT of the East Front Mitte and Nord a= 185 b= 12 c= 94 total 291 which isn't much more than the Germans had in Italy at that time or in II SS Panzer Corps.

    But as stated in Hitler's Westwall order in Nov/Dec 1943 the Westfront was seen as the major theatre of operations for 1944.
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Thank you Frank. Your figures do show parity between East Front and the several West Fronts (inc. Italy and Norway). They also hint that AGs North Ukraine and South Ukraine had the most means, which goes to say that Maskirovka did his part. It didn't help that when Model was reassigned from AGC to AGNU he took 56th PzKorps with him, but that was his procedure.

    Also on the West Front totals perhaps should we count tanks that were earmaked for East as replacements and units reforming?

    As for your last paragraph, Hitler was never the best of strategists, was he? :)
     
  11. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Well I was a bit right I suppose! That's an improvement on the norm :)
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    There are quite a few things wrong with numbers.

    Because Jentz is a Panzer fan these figures include Stug in panzer units but not in assult gun brigades or SP anti tank guns in panzer jaeger battalions.

    Nicholas Zetterling calculates 73 replacement tanks sent to the Normandy. This isnlt like for like as the Jentz Figures are for the east front as a whole and Zetterling only counts vehicles at the unit.

    He also puts up a case that the disparity in forces on the Western Front is greater in some ways than for Bagration.
     
  13. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Almost rated the cigar, Jon :D In any case, this is not a pissing contest between East & West Front. Better figures will come up sooner or later, for myself I am at a busy time and really I can't very much do the look up myself. Suffice it to say that the above mentioned Maskirovka had drawn the attention away from AGCentre, leaving a denuded Army Group with a reserve containg only one PzDiv and two PzGrDivs. The AG contained one Pz Army and two Pz Corps HQs and not one Pz division to go between them. This had been a rather quiet sector lately so the Infantry ca. 30 divisions of the AG had had time to fortify making it rather tough going for the Red Army.

    Just a facetious note for my West Front-friendly colleagues: how many WF units are you aware were routinely switched East for R&R? :)

    ---

    P.S. I haven't read Zetterling yet :(
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Just a facetious note for my West Front-friendly colleagues: how many WF units are you aware were routinely switched East for R&R? :)


    None after 6 June 1944 ;)

    But, even those units rotated to Italy didn't go to the Line for R&R. They might rehabilite in some quiet coastal sector, but there could be no R& R within artillery range of British or US Artillery.
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Of course not, I wasn't trying to imply that at all, rest & refit was done at no-war locations, like the Reich itself or occupied Western countries pre-Overlord for logistical reasons. But I never heard anyone East complaining of being threatened of being sent to the West Front :D
     

Share This Page