Operation Bagration

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Gerard, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Wonder if anyone will mention Op Bagration on Sunday ?
    Just thought I'd bump this old thread.
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Pretty important day 70 years ago.
    In Twitterspeak #Bagration70.
     
  4. Tamino

    Tamino The Deplorable

    Hi,
    This is my first post here at the WW2Talk. This December I've read a lot about the Bagration. To these interested in this topic, I will provide a link to a book entittled:

    Belorussia - The Soviet general staff study (Translated and editted by David M. Glanz and Harold Soerenstein)

    You may right-click on the above link and choose to save the file as a PDF. The book is rather extensive (321 pages) and is difficult to read. Editors have added many maps to improve readability of the text.

    I also have neglected this subject for long time, as the most of us do because it happened simultaneously with the D-Day. However, series of battles during Operation Bagration have not decided the outcome of the war but have created conditions that decided the future of Europe after the World War 2. Therefore, Operation Bagration is of paramount importance to understand how the war ended and why the conflicts continued as the Cold War.

    I hope you will enjoy this book.
     
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  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Thanks for the link Tamino. Am browsing it at the moment!
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino The Deplorable

    You are welcome Gerard and thank you very for the link to "Counterpoint to Stalingrad" -- I'm reading it right now.
    In my third post here I will publish something entirely new - my own work.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    77th Anniversary of this operation starting today.
     
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  8. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing to this, Owen!

    Operation Bagration is often overlooked in Germany - the focus usually is on D-Day. But "Bagration" dealt the German Army the most decisively blow in East. Heeresgruppe Mitte was essentially annihilated.
     
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  9. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

  10. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

  11. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    This may also be due to the fact that, in the German perception, organised resistance in Normandy still took place for a while and relatively many "heroic tales" have been preserved about it: This kind of thing holds up quite well in the culture of remembrance.

    On the Eastern Front, on the other hand, the Central, Northern and Southern Ukrainian Army Groups were completely pulverised in barely two months - all that remained were scattered tales of annihilation, agony and despair...which then continued uninterrupted until the surrender.
    Not good material for something to remember
     
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  12. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Soviet casualties in Bagration were quite high so German resistance was clearly very stubborn, at least in the opening phases before organization collapsed. I honestly don't know why German remembrance of Normandy would be more positive, since the two campaigns were actually fairly similar. It took longer for the western Allies to break through, true, but the end result was the same--the destruction of a German army group and a strategic collapse which pushed the fighting line hundreds of miles to the rear to the German border.
     
  13. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    I don't read Itdan's post as saying that German rememberance was "more positive" on Normandy - he's saying that there was more focus and more emphasis on the fighting in Normandy. It received much coverage during WW2 in German newsreels, emphasizing the role of SS-troops. Probably the propaganda`s focus on Normandy could be explained by the fact that there was not much to "celebrate" on the eastern front. We now know that Bagration brought the worst defeat of German miltary history. This however, is not discussed very much in post WW2 popular historiography - mind you, I am saying "popular" perception. Rather, D-Day and subsequent fighting in Normandy is - quite correctly - presented as the great turn in the fortunes of Hitler's Germany in 1944. Also emphasized is the symbolic character of this developement. Again, quite correctly so.

    Bagration came second, after D-Day - and that probably explains the lack of interest. Even the symbolism of launching Bagration on June 22nd - exactly three years after the German attack on the Soviet Union - is lost on most Germans and hardly ever mentioned in the media.
     
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  14. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Cited in part:
    As this is a wartime Soviet propaganda film I noted the appearance of Willys jeeps and M3 scout cars with 0.50 cal machine guns). Plus the emphasis on the "Queen of the battlefield", massed artillery. Needless to say Vitebsk is not fifty miles from Moscow as the introductory text (by the US owner), it is 250 miles.
     
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  15. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    In the Soviet summer offensives of '44, 46 divisions were virtually wiped out in three months. What escaped this inferno had partly sunk to battle strengths of barely 20 - 30%.
    (I know eyewitness reports, according to which the remnants of a regiment could easily be assembled in a small schoolyard.)
    In addition, there was the much more decisive loss of heavy equipment (especially tanks and artillery), supply depots and, above all, the complete disorganization up to the army group level: it resembled almost exactly the conditions on the Red Army side in 1941.
    Even the (few) surviving official Wehrmacht reports were produced only afterwards, and only in fragments at that

    From the historian's point of view it was also decisive that in the East the entire written documentation of the divisions and corps was completely lost due to the loss of the staffs.
    In the West, however, there were still relatively numerous surviving German reports and also far more numerous Anglo-American sources for the Normandy landings - while practically only Soviet publications were available for Bagration. And here Stalin's Kratkiy kurs istorii VKP(b) of 1938 was still valid for a very long time: This specification served Orwell as a blueprint for the deliberate revision of history in his novel „1984“

    In postwar Germany (at least in the FRG), the Normandy battles were thus quite present even in detail (Keyword: heroic tales), while the events on the Eastern Front, which took place at the same time, were perceived merely as a tremendous, all-consuming, anonymous Maelstrom.

    To illustrate this for Anglo-American observers: Who knows how many Wittmanns there were during Bagration that were never reported?
     
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  16. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words
    This is "only" a Japanese comic, drawn after the book by Otto Carius "Tigers in the Mud".
    But nevertheless it paints an extremely vivid picture of the appaling circumstances under which both Soviet citizens and Germans were used up by their respective dictators.
    During "Bagration" the circumstances were at least as bad...I at least found it very haunting

    Tigers in the mud, by Hayao Miyazaki - Album on Imgur
     
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