Slobozia known as Slobodzeya, is a city in the Republic of Moldova under the de facto control of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. It is the seat of the Slobozia District of Transnistria. Slobozia is located in the southern part of Transnistria, south of Tiraspol, it had a population of 18,748 at the census in 1989, 16,062 at the census in 2004. The population of the city is made up of ethnic Moldavians and Russians, while Ukrainians are an important minority; the name of the city comes from the Romanian "slobozie", meaning "a tax-free colony". Slobozia has a humid continental climate. Petru Bogatu is a Moldovan journalist and author Vladimir Ţurcan is a Moldovan politician and member of the Parliament of Moldova since 2009. Słobodzieja in the Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was the name of two distinct Red Army strategic army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The front was first formed on 20 October 1943, by renaming the Southern Front and was involved in the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation, two battles of Kiev and the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation. After the liberation of Crimea, the front was disbanded in May 1944. For the second time the 4th Ukrainian Front was created on 4. August 1944, by separating the left wing of the 1st Ukrainian Front; the front took part in the Carpathian Offensive with the Battle of the Dukla Pass and after that the front was involved in the battles in East-, North- and Central Slovakia, as well as in the Moravian-Ostrava Offensive Operation on the Polish-Moravian borders and in the Prague Offensive, the final battle of World War II in Europe. The 4th Ukrainian Front actions were important for the liberation of the Czechoslovakia; the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps served within the front since November 1944 until May 1945.
On 25 August 1945, the front was disbanded and its elements incorporated into the Carpathian Military District. Units subordinated to the Front:35th Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigade, 530th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiment, 4th Guards Mortar Brigade, 2nd, 4th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 67th Guards Mortar Regiments, 270th Guards AA Artillery Regiment, 1069th AA Artillery Regiment, 1485th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 19th Tank Corps 6th Guards Tank Brigade, 52nd Motorcycle Regiment, 5th Separate Armored Car Battalion, 46th and 54th Separate Armored Train Battalions 7th Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 2nd Pontoon-Bridge Brigade, 3rd Guards, 65th, 240th Separate Engineer Battalions, 17th Guards Mine Battalion, 102nd Pontoon-Bridge Battalion 2nd Guards Army 13th Guards Rifle Corps 3rd Guards Rifle Division 24th Guards Rifle Division 87th Guards Rifle Division 54th Rifle Corps 126th Rifle Division 315th Rifle Division 387th Rifle Division 55th Rifle Corps 87th Rifle Division 347th Rifle Division 116th Fortified Region 2nd Guards Breakthrough Artillery Division Independent units: 1095th, 1101st Gun Artillery Regiments, 331st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 315th and 317th Artillery Battalions of High Impact, 113th Guards, 14th 1250th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiments, 133rd Guards, 483rd Mortar Regiments, 76th AA Artillery Division, 591st, 1530th AA Artillery Regiments 1452nd SP Artillery Regiment, 512 Independent Tank Battalion 43rd Special Purpose Engineer Brigade, Independent 258th and 255th Engineer Battalions 51st Army: 1st Guards Rifle Corps, 10th Rifle Corps, 63rd Rifle Corps 77th Rifle Division 78th Fortified Region 26th Artillery Division Independent units: 6th Guards Gun Artillery Brigade, 105th High Impact Howitzer Artillery Brigade, 647th, 1105th Gun Artillery Regiments, 85th Guards, 1231st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 207th Guards Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 5th Guards, 15th, 21st Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigades, 764th 1246th Tank-destroyer Artillery Regiment, 19th Mortar Brigade, 125th Mortar Regiment.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery forces 2nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 18th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 77th Guards Artillery Regiment 32nd Guards Tank Brigade, 22nd Guards Separate Tank Regiment, 30th and 33rd Separate Armored Train Battalions 12th Assault Engineer Brigade, 63rd Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 5th Guards, 1504 Separate Engineer Battalions, 275th Separate Sapper Battalion The front's first operations were the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation and the Kiev Strategic Offensive and Kiev Strategic Defensive operations. In early 1944, after an amphibious landing against the German-held Crimea, begun the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation in which 4UF, including 2nd Guards Army, 51st Army and the Separate Coastal Army destroyed the 17th Army, holding out there. 5th Shock Army and 28th Army were part of the Front at the time, but do not appear from U. S. military maps to have taken part in the battle. 1st Guards Army 18th Army 8th Air Army 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, since November 1944 38th Army, since November 1944 60th Army, since March 1945 general Ivan Yefimovich Petrov general Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko
44th Army (Soviet Union)
The 44th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was an army-level command active during World War II. Part of the Transcaucasian Front, its main actions included the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and the Kerch amphibious landings, before being transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February 1943. There it took part in the Rostov and Melitopol offensives; the army was disbanded in November 1943 and its units were transferred to other armies. The 44th Army was formed on 1 August 1941 from the 40th Rifle Corps, ostensibly to guard the Soviet-Iranian border in the Transcaucasian Military District, it was composed of the 20th and 77th Mountain Rifle Divisions, as well as the 17th Cavalry Division and other smaller units. Former 40th Rifle Corps commander Major General Alexander Khadeyev became the army's commander. On 23 August, it became part of the Transcaucasian Front. On 25 August, the army began its fighting in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran by crossing the border and moving into Gilan Province.
It captured Bandar Rasht by the next day. By 1 September, the 220th Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 36th and 265th Fighter Aviation Regiments and the 205th Separate Sapper Battalion had joined the army. In October 1941, the army was relocated from Iran to Makhachkala. In late November, it transferred to the Black Sea coast at Anapa. From 25 December, it fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. Along with the 51st Army and units of the Black Sea Fleet, the army helped capture the Kerch Peninsula, it was landed at Feodosiya. On 30 December, the army transferred to the Caucasian Front. On 15 January 1942, Pervushin was wounded when an airstrike hit his command post. Major General Ivan Dashichev became acting commander, leading the army during its retreat from advancing German troops; the army suffered heavy losses from the German counterattacks and Dashichev was replaced in command by Major General Serafim Rozhdestvensky on 21 January. He was arrested soon after for "negligence in command" and would serve 10 years in the gulag.
The army moved to control of the Crimean Front on 28 January 1942. Rozhdestvensky was replaced in command on 11 February by Lieutenant General Stepan Chernyak; the army launched several unsuccessful attacks during April. On 8 May, German troops launched Operation Trappenjagd. Troops of the XXX Army Corps broke through the front lines of the 44th Army. A German landing behind the main line of resistance unhinged the 44th Army's second echelon; the army's line soon collapsed, the German troops captured 4,514 prisoners by the end of the day. The army was evacuated to the Taman Peninsula; the army suffered heavy losses during the battle. On 20 May, the 44th Army became part of the North Caucasian Front and was concentrated in Tikhoretsk, it moved to Makhachkala soon after. On 29 May, Chernyak was relieved of command because of the defeat in Crimea, he was replaced by Major General Andrei Khryashchev. On 16 June, the army was composed of the 138th, 156th, 157th, 236th and 302nd Rifle Divisions, among other units.
It was transferred to the Transcaucasian Front. Until August, the army held a defensive line from Gudermes to the mouth of the Terek River. During this time, Khryashcev was replaced in command by Major General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov. On 9 August, the army became part of the front's Northern Group of Forces. During the fall of 1942, it fought in defensive battles in the Caucasus. On 10 October, Petrov was promoted to command the front's Black Sea Group of Forces and was replaced by Major General Kondrat Melnyk. In November, Melynk was transferred to command the 58th Army and was replaced by Lieutenant General Vasily Khomenko. In December, the army pushed German troops back to positions north of Mozdok during a series of counterattacks. During January 1943, the army attacked towards Stavropol during the North Caucasian Strategic Offensive, it captured Stavropol on 21 January. On 24 January, it became part of the reformation of the North Caucasian Front; the army transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February.
It captured Azov on 7 February. By 18 February, the army reached the line of Ryasnyi on the left bank of the Sambek River, east of Taganrog; the army held the line until the beginning of the Donbass Strategic Offensive in August. During the offensive, the army helped capture Taganrog on 30 August. Along with units of the Black Sea Fleet, the 44th Army captured Mariupol on 10 September. From 26 September, it fought in the Melitopol Offensive. At the end of October, the army was placed in regrouped northeast of Kakhovka; the army was soon placed in relieving elements of the 5th Shock Army. It defended the line of Zavadovka and Britsantsy. Lieutenant General Khomenko and army artillery commander Major General Bobkov mistakenly drove their vehicles into German lines on 9 November and were killed. Stalin feared that the generals had disbanded the army, its units were transferred to other armies
Azov known as Azoff, is a town in Rostov Oblast, situated on the Don River just 16 kilometers from the Sea of Azov, which derives its name from the town. Population: 82,937 ; the mouth of the Don River has always been an important commercial center. At the start of the 3rd century BCE, the Greeks from the Bosporan Kingdom founded a colony here, which they called Tanais. Several centuries in the last third of 1st century BCE, the settlement was burned down by king Polemon I of Pontus; the introduction of Greek colonists restored its prosperity, but the Goths annihilated it in the 3rd century. The site of ancient Tanais, now occupied by the khutor of Nedvigovka, has been excavated since the mid-19th century. In the 5th century, the area was populated by Karadach's Akatziroi who came under the rule of Dengizich the Hun before Byzantium gave the land to the Hunugurs in the 460s to become known as Patria Onoguria under his brother Ernakh the Hun; the Kutrigur Hun inhabitants of Patria Onoguria became known as the Utigur Bulgars when it became part of the Western Turkic Kaghanate under Sandilch.
In the 7th century Khan Kubrat ruler of the Unogundurs established Old Great Bolgary there before his heir Batbayan surrendered it to the Khazars. In the 10th century, as the Khazar state disintegrated, the area passed under control of the Slavic princedom of Tmutarakan; the Kipchaks, seizing the area in 1067, renamed it Azaq, from which appellation the modern name is derived. The Golden Horde claimed most of the coast in the 13th and 14th centuries, but the Venetian and Genoese merchants were granted permission to settle on the site of modern-day Azov and founded there a colony which they called Tana. In autumn 2000, Thor Heyerdahl wanted to further investigate his idea that Scandinavians may have migrated from the south via waterways, he was on the trail of Odin, the Germanic and Nordic god of the mythologies of the early Norse Eddas and Sagas. According to Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic author of an Edda and as least one Saga. who wrote in the 13th century, Odin was supposed to have migrated from the region of the Caucasus or the area just east of the Black Sea near the turn of the 1st century CE.
Heyerdahl was interested in Snorri's reference to the land of origin of the Æsir people. Heyerdahl wanted to test the veracity of Snorri's claims and as a result organized the Joint Archaeological Excavation in Azov in 2001, he had wanted to undertake a second excavation the following year, but it never happened due to his death in April 2002. In 1471, the Ottoman Empire built the strong fortress of Azak; the fort blocked the Don Cossacks from trading into the Black Sea. The Cossacks had attacked Azov in 1574, 1593, 1620, 1626. In April 1637, three thousand Don Cossacks and four thousand Zaporozhian Cossacks besieged Azov; the fort fell on June 21 and the Cossacks sent a request to the Tsar for re-enforcements and support. A commission recommended against this because of the danger of war with Turkey and poor state of the fortifications. In June 1641, Hussein Deli, Pasha of Silistria invested the fort with 70,000–80,000 men. In September, they had to withdraw because of provisioning shortfalls. A second Russian commission reported that the siege had left little of the walls.
In March 1642, Sultan Ibrahim issued Tsar Mikhail ordered the Cossacks to evacuate. The Turks reoccupied Azov in September 1642. In 1693, the garrison of the fortress was 3,656 of; the fortress, had yet to pass through many vicissitudes. During the Azov campaigns of 1696, Peter the Great, who desired naval access to the Black Sea, managed to recover the fortress. Azov was granted town status in 1708, but the disastrous Pruth River Campaign constrained him to hand it back to the Turks in 1711. A humorous description of the events is featured in Voltaire's Candide. During the Great Russo-Turkish War, it was taken by the army under Count Rumyantsev and ceded to Russia under the terms of Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji. For seven years Azov was a seat of its own governorate, but with the growth of neighboring Rostov-on-the-Don it declined in importance, it was occupied by the Germans between July 1942 and February 1943 during World War II. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Azov serves as the administrative center of Azovsky District though it is not a part of it.
As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Azov Urban Okrug—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, this administrative unit has urban okrug status. Sergey Bezdolny of the United Russia party was elected Mayor of Azov on April 3, 2005 and re-elected on October 11, 2009 by 72.9% of the voters. The current head of administration Vladimir Rashchupkin holds office from December 2015. Azov's climate is humid continental, featuring hot summers, cold winters, low precipitation. There are many monuments and museums In Azov. Powder cellar in the town of Azov was built in 1799, is the only example of the construction of the fortress of Catherine's time for all of southern Russia, so it is deserved is considered an architectural monument of military engineering art of the 18th century. Wooden cellar served a quarter century, in 1797 he was a dilapidated state was dismantled, in
3rd Ukrainian Front
3rd Ukrainian Front was a Front of the Red Army during World War II. It was founded on 20 October 1943, on the basis of a Stavka order of October 16, 1943, by renaming the Southwestern Front, it included 1st Guards Army, 8th Guards Army, 6th, 12th, 46th Armies and 17th Air Army. It included 5th Shock, 4th and 9th Guards Army, 26th, 27th, 28th, 37th, 57th Army, 6th Guards Tank Army, the Bulgarian First and Fourth Armies; the Danube Flotilla was assigned to the Front's operational control. This included the 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade. In the first half of October 1943, Southwestern Front commanded by Army General Rodion Malinovsky was tasked with attacking the German Panther-Wotan line, securing the bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnieper on the Izyum - Dnipropetrovsk axis during the Battle of the Lower Dnieper, but the first attempt to establish bridgeheads failed. Three infantry armies: 8th Guards, 3rd Guards and the 12th Army, two corps, 1st Guards Mechanized and 23rd Tank with 17th Air Army providing air support were assembled for the new assault.
On 10 October 1943 Chuikov's 8th Guards launched the attack, with the tank corps being inserted on the 13 October. Germans retreated from Zaporizhia. On 23 October Malinovsky, who wanted to take Dnipropetrovsk, trap the First Panzer Army in the eastern reaches of the Dnieper bend, inserted the newly arrived 46th Army into combat. Together with 8th Guards it was trying to trap German forces against the western bank of Dnieper between Dnipropetrovsk and Dniprodzerzhynsk, the site of the huge Dnieper Hydroelectric Station; the 46th Army units tried to get to the station in time to prevent the destruction of the dam by retreating German troops. On 25 October Dnipropetrovsk was taken, but the installations and the Dam were destroyed. At the same time the Koniev's 2nd Ukrainian Front was attacking towards the Kryvyi Rih from the north with the 7th Guards Army, but the 1st Panzer Army was saved for the moment as Koniev's assault on Kryvyi Rih stalled at Ingulets river north of Kherson. However, Vatutin commanding the 1st Ukrainian Front located north of Poltava sent the 5th Guards Tank Army which penetrated north of Kryvyi Rih, was only halted by the stubborn German defence and length of its own logistic tail.
On conclusion, both operations allowed the two Fronts to create a single Krementchug-Dnipropetrovsk bridgehead expanded to Zaporizhia due to the breaching of the Wotan Line by the Southern Front. Units of the 6th Army seized bridgeheads south of Zaporizhia, by the end of December, along with 2nd Ukrainian Front held on the Dnieper major strategic stronghold. After the liberation of right-bank Ukraine by troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, in collaboration with 4th Ukrainian Front by making Nikopol-Krivoy Rog Operation 1944, the took to the district Ingulets, where in March–April launched an offensive at the Nikolayev-Odessa area. After carrying out the Bereznegovato-Snigirevskaya operation, the front readied itself for an attack on Odessa. Before the Odessa Offensive 3rd Ukrainian received substantial reinforcements, it now fielded seven Armies: 5th Shock Army, 6th Army, 8th Guards Army, 28th Army, 37th Army, 46th Army and 57th Army. Malinowsky formed a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of 4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps under Lt. Gen. Pliev.
The target was large Black Sea port Odessa. The attack opened on 6 March 1944 when Soviet troops forced the Ingulets, the Visun and the Ingul rivers, they assisted the Black Sea Fleet completing the liberation of southern Ukraine, liberated a large part of the Moldavian SSR and moved to Dniester and, seizing bridgeheads on its right bank, including Kitskansky bridgehead. In August 1944 the 3rd Ukrainian Front engaged in the Iassy-Kishinev Offensive, which resulted in the release of all the Moldavian SSR, Romania declaring war on Germany. On 8 September Soviet troops entered the territory of Bulgaria and by the end of the month occupied the country. From 28 September - 20 October 1944 3rd Ukrainian Front in collaboration with the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia with the participation of troops of the Fatherland Front in Bulgaria carried out the Belgrade Offensive, which resulted in the liberation of the capital of Yugoslavia and most of Serbia. In October 1944 - February 1945, the 3rd Ukrainian Front had forces involved in the Siege of Budapest, including 46th Army.
Its troops seized a bridgehead on its right bank. In January 1945, they repelled the enemy counter-attacks, trying to relieve the forces surrounded in Budapest, in March, during the German Operation Frühlingserwachen, a counter-offensive broke the German troops in the area of Lake Balaton; the successful completion of this battle made possible the beginning of the Vienna Offensive on 16 March, in conjunction with the left wing 2nd Ukrainian Front. Thereafter the front's forces completed the liberation of Hungary, expelled the enemy from the eastern part of Austria and took its capital, Vienna; the Front included 57th Army from October to December 1944. On 15 June 1945, the on the basis of a Stavka directive on May 29, 1945, the front was disbanded, reorganised as the Southern Group of Forces. 26th Army was grouped with 37th Army into the SGF. Front Commander: General of Army Rodion Malinovsky 1st Guards Army 6th Guards Rifle Corps 20th Guards Rifle Division 152nd Rifle Division 34th Rifle Corps 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 228th Rifle Division 195th Rifle Division3rd Guards Army: 34th Guards Rifle Corps 59th Guards Rifle Division 61st Guards Rifle Divis
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
The Jassy–Kishinev Operation, named after the two major cities, Iași and Chișinău, in the staging area, was a Soviet offensive against Axis forces, which took place in Eastern Romania from 20 to 29 August 1944 during World War II. The 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts of the Red Army engaged Army Group South Ukraine, which consisted of combined German and Romanian formations, in an operation to reclaim the Moldavian SSR and destroy the Axis forces in the region, opening the way into Romania and the Balkans; the offensive resulted in the encirclement and destruction of the German forces, allowing the Soviet Army to resume its strategic advance further into Eastern Europe. It forced Romania to switch allegiance from the Axis powers to the Allies; the Red Army had made an unsuccessful attack in the same sector, sometimes referred to as First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, from 8 April to 6 June 1944. In 1944, the Wehrmacht had been pressed back along its entire front line in the East. By May 1944, the South Ukraine Army Group was pushed back towards the prewar Romanian frontier, managed to establish a line on the lower Dniester River, however breached in two places, with the Red Army holding bridgeheads.
After June, calm returned to the sector. Heeresgruppe Südukraine had been, until June 1944, one of the most powerful German formations in terms of armour. However, during the summer most of its armoured units were transferred to the Northern and Central fronts to stem Red Army advances in the Baltic states, northern Ukraine, Poland. On the eve of the offensive, the only armoured formations left were the 1st Romanian Armoured Division, the German 13th Panzer and 10th Panzergrenadier Divisions. Soviet deception operations prior to the attack worked well; the German command staff believed that the movement of Soviet forces along the front line was a result of a troop transfer to the north. Exact positions of Soviet formations were not known until the final hours before the operation. By contrast, the Romanians were aware of the imminent Soviet offensive and anticipated a rerun of Stalingrad, with major attacks against the 3rd and 4th Armies and an encirclement of the German 6th Army; such concerns were dismissed by the German command as "alarmist".
Antonescu suggested a withdrawal of Axis forces to the fortified Carpathian–FNB–Danube line, but Friessner, the commander of Army Group South Ukraine, was unwilling to consider such a move, having been dismissed by Hitler from Army Group North for requesting permission to retreat. 2nd Ukrainian Front – Army General Rodion Malinovsky 6th Guards Tank Army – Major General Andrei Kravchenko 18th Tank Corps – Major General V. I. Polozkov Cavalry-Mechanized Group Gorshkov – Major General S. I. Gorshkov 5th Guards Cavalry Corps 23rd Tank Corps – Lieutenant General A. O. Akhmanov 4th Guards Army – Galanin 27th Army – Lieutenant General S. G. Trofimenko 52nd Army – Koroteev 7th Guards Army – Shumilov 40th Army – Lieutenant General F. F. Zhmachenko 53rd Army – Lieutenant General I. M. Managarov 3rd Ukrainian Front – Army General Fyodor Tolbukhin 5th Shock Army – Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin 4th Guards Mechanized Corps – Major General Vladimir Zhdanov 7th Mechanized Corps – Major General F. G. Katkov 57th Army – Lieutenant General N. A. Gagen 46th Army – Lieutenant General I.
T. Shlemin 37th Army – Major General M. N. Sharokhin 6th Guards Rifle Corps 66th Rifle Corps Black Sea Fleet Army Group South Ukraine - Generaloberst Johannes Friessner Army Group Dumitrescu Romanian 3rd Army – Colonel General Petre Dumitrescu 6th Army - General der Artillerie Maximilian Fretter-Pico 13th Panzer Division - Generalleutnant Hans Tröger 306th Infantry Division 76th Infantry Division - General der Infanterie Erich Abraham Army Group Wohler 8th Army – General der Infanterie Otto Wöhler 10th Panzergrenadier Division - Generalleutnant August Schmidt Romanian 4th Army - Lieutenant General Ioan Mihail Racoviță Romanian 1st Armoured Division – Brigadier General Radu Korne Romanian 4th Mountain Division - Brigadier General Alexandru Nasta As of 19 July 1944, the Romanian Army possessed a total of 430 tanks of all types, ranging from tankettes armed with machine guns to Panzer IVs and StuG IIIs. However, only 197 of these could face the mainstay tank of the Red Army, the T-34. From these 197, over 40% were part of the 1st Romanian Armored Division, they are listed below: The division had a dedicated anti-tank battalion.
Its main weapons were of Romanian origin: 10 TACAM T-60 tank destroyers and 24 75 mm Reșița field/anti-tank guns. The 24 guns were the first ones produced of this model; the 1st Romanian Armored Division had lost 34 armored fighting vehicles by 23 August, but claimed 60 Soviet tanks on 20 August alone. Stavka's plan for the operation was based on a double envelopment of German and Romanian armies by the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts; the 2nd Ukrainian Front was to break through north of Iași, commit mobile formations to seize the Prut River crossings before withdrawing German units of the 6th Army could reach it. It was to unleash the 6th Tank Army to seize the Siret River crossings and the Focșani Gap, a fortified line between the Siret River and the Danube; the 3rd Ukrainian Front was to attack out of its bridgehead across the Dniester near Tiraspol, release mobile formations to head north and meet the mobile formations of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. This would lead to the encirclement of the German forces near Chișinău.
Following the successful encirclement, the 6th Tank Army and the 4th Guards Mechanised Corps were to advance towards Bucharest and the Ploiești oil fields. Both the 2nd and the 3rd Ukrainian Fronts undertook a major effort, leading to a double envelopment of the German Sixth