First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive
The First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, named after the two major cities Iași and Chișinău in the area, refers to a series of military engagements between 8 April and 6 June 1944 by the Soviets and Axis powers of World War II. According to David Glantz, the offensive was a coordinated invasion of Romania conducted by Red Army's 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts, in accordance with Joseph Stalin's strategy of projecting Soviet military power and political influence into the Balkans. According to the plans of the Main Command of the Soviet Military, the two Soviet fronts would cut off vital Axis defensive lines in Northern Romania, facilitating a subsequent advance by the Red Army into the entire Balkan region; the Soviet attack commenced with the First Battle of Târgu Frumos and the Battle of Podu Iloaiei, culminated with the Second Battle of Târgu Frumos. Soviet forces failed to overcome German defenses in the region and the offensive operation failed due to the poor combat performance of Soviet troops and the effectiveness of German defensive preparations.
This operation is part of a series of battles completely ignored by Soviet archival records and historiography. According to military historian David Glantz, "During the 60 years since the end of World War II, Soviet and Russian military historians and theorists have erased from the historical record any mention of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts' first Iasi–Kishinev offensive, during which the Red Army's two fronts attempted to invade Romania in April and May 1944; as is the case with so many other military operations the Red Army conducted during the war, they have done this deliberately, in the process relegating this offensive to a lengthy list of "forgotten battles" of the Soviet–German War." On 5 March 1944, Marshal Ivan Konev—commander of the 2nd Ukrainian Front—commenced the Uman–Botoşani Offensive operation in the Ukraine. This operation succeeded in separating Army Group South's 1st Panzer-Armee from 8th Army by 17 March. By early April Soviet units approached the Romanian border.
Starting with early April 1944, Stavka ordered the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts to mount a major offensive with strategic implications in western Romania. Stavka's strategic intentions were to break German and Romanian strategic defenses in northern Romania, capture the key cities of Iași and Chișinău, afterward project forces deep into Romanian territory, if possible as deep as Ploiești and Bucharest. By 5 April, Konev's front had crossed the upper reaches of Dniester and Prut rivers, captured Khotyn and Dorohoi, approached Târgu Frumos and Botoşani regions—30–60 mi northwest of Iași—facing only light Romanian resistance. On 8 April, Konev ordered the 27th and 40th Armies to conduct a coordinated offensive southward along the Târgu Frumos axis, in close cooperation with Semyon Bogdanov's 2nd Tank Army. While Konev's shock group was advancing toward Târgu Frumos, Konstantin Koroteev's 52nd Army and elements of Andrei Gravchenko's 6th Tank Army— which were operating north of Iași—were conducting operations alongside the Iași axis in order to support Konev's main effort.
As Konev's armies prepared to launch their offensive toward Târgu Frumos, Otto Wöhler's 8th Army was involved in the heavy fighting taking place in and around the village of Popricani, 9 mi north of Iași, where two Soviet corps were fighting with armored Kampfgruppen, distracting the Germans' attentions and forces away from the critical Târgu Frumos sector. Exploiting the 52nd Army diversionary operations in the Iași region, the three armies of Konev's shock group began advancing southward early in the morning of 8 April; the advance was quite slow due to mud-clogged roads during the rasputitsa, as well as crossing to the west bank of the Prut River northwest of Iași. Konev's armies' initial mission was to reach Târgu Frumos, Pașcani, Târgu Neamț regions —30–60 mi west of Iași—and capture the three towns from their Romanian defenders by surprise. While three divisions of 51st Rifle Corps were ordered to press southward toward Pașcani, another two rifle divisions were protecting their advance in the region north and northwest of Târgu Neamţ.
Further to the east, seven rifle divisions assigned to 35th Guards and 33rd Rifle Corps of 27th Army would advance southeastward along the Prut starting on 7 April, forcing the Romanian 8th Infantry Division to retreat toward Hârlău, 17 mi north of Târgu Frumos. Meanwhile, another two divisions of 33rd Rifle Corps joined by two corps of the 2nd Tank Army would press the Romanian 7th Infantry Division back toward Târgu Frumos; the Second Jassy–Kishinev Offensive Armstrong, Richard N.. Red Army Tank Commanders. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-581-5. OCLC 30860164. Crofoot, Craig. Armies of the Bear. Takoma Park: Tiger Lily Publications. ISBN 978-0-9720296-3-6. OCLC 229362686. Glantz, David M.. Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1465-3
Hungarian Revolution of 1956
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956, or the Hungarian Uprising, was a nationwide revolution against the Hungarian People's Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956. Leaderless when it first began, it was the first major threat to Soviet control since the Red Army drove Nazi Germany from its territory at the End of World War II in Europe; the revolt began as a student protest, which attracted thousands as they marched through central Budapest to the Hungarian Parliament building, calling out on the streets using a van with loudspeakers. A student delegation, entering the radio building to try to broadcast the students' demands, was detained; when the delegation's release was demanded by the protesters outside, they were fired upon from within the building by the State Security Police, known as the ÁVH. One student was wrapped in a flag and held above the crowd; this was the start of the revolution. As the news spread and violence erupted throughout the capital.
The revolt spread across Hungary, the government collapsed. Thousands organised into militias, battling the Soviet troops. Pro-Soviet communists and ÁVH members were executed or imprisoned, former political prisoners were released and armed. Radical impromptu workers' councils wrested municipal control from the ruling Hungarian Working People's Party and demanded political changes. A new government formally disbanded the ÁVH, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, fighting had stopped, a sense of normality began to return. Appearing open to negotiating a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Politburo changed its mind and moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded other regions of the country; the Hungarian resistance continued until 10 November. Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months thereafter.
By January 1957, the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition. These Soviet actions, while strengthening control over the Eastern Bloc, alienated many Western Marxists, leading to splits and/or considerable losses of membership for communist parties in capitalist states. Public discussion about the revolution was suppressed in Hungary for more than 30 years. Since the thaw of the 1980s, it has been a subject of intense debate. At the inauguration of the Third Hungarian Republic in 1989, 23 October was declared a national holiday. During World War II, Hungary was a member of the Axis powers, allied with the forces of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Bulgaria. In 1941, the Hungarian military participated in the occupation of Yugoslavia and the invasion of the Soviet Union; the Red Army was able to force back the Hungarian and other Axis invaders, by 1944 was advancing towards Hungary. Fearing invasion, the Hungarian government began armistice negotiations with the Allies.
These ended when Nazi Germany invaded and occupied the country and set up the pro-Axis Government of National Unity. Both Hungarian and German forces stationed in Hungary were subsequently defeated when the Soviet Union invaded the country in late 1944. Toward the end of World War II, the Soviet Army occupied Hungary, with the country coming under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. After World War II, Hungary was a multiparty democracy, elections in 1945 produced a coalition government under Prime Minister Zoltán Tildy. However, the Hungarian Communist Party, a Marxist–Leninist group who shared the Soviet government's ideological beliefs wrested small concessions in a process named salami tactics, which sliced away the elected government's influence, despite the fact that it had received only 17% of the vote. After the elections of 1945, the portfolio of the Interior Ministry, which oversaw the Hungarian State Security Police, was transferred from the Independent Smallholders Party to a nominee of the Communist Party.
The ÁVH employed methods of intimidation, falsified accusations and torture to suppress political opposition. The brief period of multi-party democracy came to an end when the Communist Party merged with the Social Democratic Party to become the Hungarian Working People's Party, which stood its candidate list unopposed in 1949; the People's Republic of Hungary was declared. The Hungarian Working People's Party set about to modify the economy into socialism by undertaking radical nationalization based on the Soviet model. Writers and journalists were the first to voice open criticism of the government and its policies, publishing critical articles in 1955. By 22 October 1956, Technical University students had resurrected the banned MEFESZ student union, staged a demonstration on 23 October that set off a chain of events leading directly to the revolution. Hungary became a communist state under the authoritarian leadership of Mátyás Rákosi. Under Rákosi's reign, the Security Police began a series of purges, first within the Communist Party to end opposition to Rákosi's reign.
The victims were labeled as "Titoists", "western agents", or "Trotskyists" for as insignificant a crime as spending time in the West to participate in the Spanish Civil War. In total, about half of all the middle and lower level party officials—at least 7,000 people—were purged. From 1950 to 1952, the Security Police forcibly relocated thousands of people to obtain property and housing for the Working People's Party members, to remove the threat of the intellectual
The Vienna Offensive was launched by the Soviet 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts in order to capture Vienna, during World War II. The offensive lasted from 2 April to 13 April 1945; the Soviets placed the city under siege. After a few days’ street fighting, the defenders had destroyed all but two of the Danube bridges, the Panzers escaped encirclement; the incoming Soviets devastated the old city, there was much brutality against civilians. Stalin approved the restoration of Austria as a sovereign country. Joseph Stalin reached an agreement with the Western Allies prior to April 1945 concerning the relative postwar political influence of each party in much of Eastern and Central Europe; as a result, the victory of a Soviet offensive toward Austria and the liberation by the Red Army of a large part of this country would have been beneficial for subsequent postwar negotiations with the Western Allies. After the failure of Operation Spring Awakening, Sepp Dietrich's 6th SS Panzer Army retreated in stages to the Vienna area.
The Germans prepared defensive positions in an attempt to guard the city against the arriving Soviets. In Spring 1945, the advance of Soviet General Fyodor Tolbukhin's 3rd Ukrainian Front through western Hungary gathered momentum on both sides of the Danube.. After they took Sopron and Nagykanizsa crossed the border between Austria. On 25 March, the 2nd Ukrainian Front launched the Bratislava–Brno Offensive by crossing the Hron river. On 30 March the Front crossed the Nitra River and rushed across the Danubian Lowland towards Bratislava. Having secured his right wing by 2nd Ukrainian Front, Tolbukhin was now ready to advance into Austria and take Vienna. On 2 April, Vienna Radio denied. On the same day, Soviet troops approached Vienna from the south after they overran Wiener Neustadt, Eisenstadt and Gloggnitz. Baden and Bratislava were overrun on 4 April. After arriving in the Vienna area, the armies of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front surrounded and attacked the city. Involved in this action were the Soviet 4th Guards Army, the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army, the Soviet 9th Guards Army, the Soviet 46th Army.
The "O-5 Resistance Group," Austrians led by Carl Szokoll, wanting to spare Vienna destruction attempted to sabotage the German defenses and to aid the entry of the Red Army. The only major German force facing the Soviet attackers was the German II SS Panzer Corps of the 6th SS Panzer Army, along with ad hoc forces made up of garrison and anti-aircraft units. Declared a defensive region, Vienna's defense was commanded by General Rudolf von Bünau, with the II SS Panzer Corps units under the command of SS General Wilhelm Bittrich; the battle for the Austrian capital was characterized in some cases by fierce urban combat, but there were parts of the city the Soviets advanced into with little opposition. Defending in the Prater Park was the 6th Panzer Division, along the south side of the city were the 2nd and 3rd SS Panzer Divisions, in the north was the Führer-Grenadier Division; the Soviets assaulted Vienna's eastern and southern suburbs with the 4th Guards Army and part of the 9th Guards Army.
The German defenders kept the Soviets out of the city’s southern suburbs until 7 April. However, after achieving several footholds in the southern suburbs, the Soviets moved into the western suburbs of the city on 8 April with the 6th Guards Tank Army and the bulk of the 9th Guards Army; the western suburbs were important to the Soviets because they included Vienna's main railway station. The Soviet success in the western suburbs was followed by infiltration of the eastern and northern suburbs the same day. North of the Danube River, the 46th Army pushed westward through Vienna's northern suburbs. Central Vienna was now cut off from the rest of Austria. By the 9th of April, the Soviet troops began to infiltrate the center of the city, but the street fighting continued for several more days. On the night of 11 April, the 4th Guards Army stormed the Danube canals, with the 20th Guards Rifle Corps and 1st Mechanized Corps moving on the Reichsbrücke Bridge. In a coup de main on 13 April, the Danube Flotilla landed troops of the 80th Guards Rifle Division and 7th Guards Airborne Division on both sides of the bridge, cutting demolition cables and securing the bridge.
However, other important bridges were destroyed. Vienna fell when the last defenders in the city surrendered on the same day. Bittrich's II SS Panzer Corps, pulled out to the west on the evening of 13 April to avoid encirclement; the same day, the 46th Army took Essling and the Danube Flotilla landed naval infantry up the river by Klosterneuburg. While the street fighting was still intensifying in the southern and western suburbs of Vienna on 8 April, other troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front by-passed Vienna altogether and advanced on Linz and Graz. On the 10th, all but two of the bridges in the city had been destroyed; the Floridsdorf bridge had been left intact by a Fuehrer Order dictating that the bridge be held at all costs. The 2nd SS Panzer, "Das Reich" left a dozen artillery pieces including 37mm anti-aircraft guns to hold off enemy attacks; that night, the "Das Reich", including their last remaining three dozen armored vehicles, pulled out of the city for the last time. Vienna had fallen, the Germans now moved northwest to hold the next defensive line.
By 15 April, armies of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front pushed further into Austria. The ex
The Budapest Offensive was the general attack by Soviet and Romanian armies against Nazi Germany and their Axis allies from Hungary. The offensive lasted from 29 October 1944 until the fall of Budapest on 13 February 1945; this was one of the most difficult and complicated offensives that the Soviet Army carried on in Central Europe. It resulted in a decisive victory for the USSR, as it disabled the last European political ally of Nazi Germany and sped up the ending of World War II in Europe. Having secured Romania in the summer Iasi–Kishinev Offensive, the Soviet forces continued their push in the Balkans; the Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August swept westward across the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary and southward into Bulgaria, with parts joining the Yugoslav Partisans in the Belgrade Offensive. In the process, the Red Army’s forces drew German reserves away from the Warsaw-Berlin central axis and destroyed the German 6. Armee and forced Army Group South Ukraine’s shattered 8. Armee to withdraw west into Hungary.
From October 1944, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Ukrainian Fronts advanced into Hungary. After isolating the Hungarian capital city in late December, the Soviets besieged and assaulted Budapest. On 13 February 1945, the city fell. According to the historical documents, the Budapest Offensive can be divided into five periods: The First and Second Periods were marked by the two large offensives of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, led by Rodion Malinovksy; the battles in these two periods were exceptionally bloody and fierce, since the Germans offered strong resistance against the Soviet onslaught. Though the Red Army managed to gain considerable territory, they failed to capture Budapest, due to the fierce German resistance and their own lack of offensive strength. In the Third Period, the 3rd Ukrainian Front of Fyodor Tolbukhin reached the Danube river after liberating Belgrade, thus enhanced Soviet offensive power in Hungary. Now with adequate forces, the Soviet fronts launched a two-pronged attack north and south of Budapest encircling the city and trapping about 79,000 German and Hungarian troops inside the Budapest pocket.
The Fourth Period was marked by a series of strong counter-offensives launched by German reinforcements in an attempt to relieve the siege of Budapest. Some German units managed to penetrate deep into the outskirts of the city, with the most successful ones only 25 km away from the Hungarian capital. However, the Soviets managed to maintain their encirclement. In the Fifth Period, the Soviets mustered their forces to eliminate the besieged defenders in the city; the German troops fought for about half a month more before surrendering on 13 February 1945, ending four months of bloody fighting in the Budapest area. Out of the estimated 79,000 defenders less than 1,000 managed to avoid captivity. After the Budapest offensive, the main forces of Army Group South collapsed; the road to Vienna and the southern border of Germany was open for the Soviets and their allies. According to Soviet claims, the Germans and Hungarians in Budapest lost 49,000 dead soldiers, with 110,000 captured and 269 tanks destroyed.
As most of the German forces in the region were destroyed, troops were rushed in from the Western Front and, in March, the Germans launched the ill-fated Operation Spring Awakening in the Lake Balaton area. The expansive goals of this operation were to protect one of the last oil producing regions available to the Axis and to retake Budapest. Neither goal was achieved. Siege of Budapest Operation Spring Awakening Soviet occupation of Hungary Frieser, Karl-Heinz. Die Ostfront 1943/44 – Der Krieg im Osten und an den Nebenfronten. Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg. VIII. München: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. ISBN 978-3-421-06235-2. Ungváry, Kristián. Budapest Ostroma. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 1 86064 727 8. David M. Glantz, The Soviet‐German War 1941–45: Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay
1st Guards Army (Soviet Union)
The 1st Guards Army was a Soviet Guards field army that fought on the Eastern Front during World War II. On August 6, 1942, the army formed from the 2nd Reserve Army with five Guards Rifle Divisions, the 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st. On August 9, the army was incorporated into Southeastern Front. On August 18, it was transferred to the Stalingrad Front. During the German Sixth Army's assault on Stalingrad in August 1942, the Red Army launched a counter-offensive to drive the German forces back; the 1st Guards Army and the 24th Army launched the attack. Little success was met; the 1st Guards Army managed an advance of just a few miles, while the 24th Army was pushed back right into its start-line. On October 16, 1942, the headquarters of the army transferred into Stavka reserve and its troops transferred to the 24th Army. On 25 October 1942 the army was disbanded, its headquarters was converted to the field management of the 2nd formation of Southwestern Front according to the Stavka directive of 22 October 1942.
Lieutenant General Filipp Ivanovich Golikov Guard Major General Artillery Kirill Semenovich Moskalenko Guard Major General Ivan Mikhailovich Chistyakov. On November 5, 1942, 1st Guards Army was reformed from 63rd Army according to the Stavka directive of November 1; the army was a part of Southwestern Front. When the German troops were making their attack on Stalingrad, the First Guards Army was facing the Italian Eighth Army in the upper part of the Don River; the Army participated in Stalingrad strategic offensive Operation Uranus. As the right flank of the front shock group, 1st Guards Army with 5th Tank Army created the appearance of the Stalingrad encirclement "boiler". On December 5, 1942, 1st Guards Army is split, its left wing being renamed 3rd Guards Army of the Southwestern Front. Lieutenant General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko; the 1st Guards Army was created on December 8, 1942, according to the Stavka directive of December 5, 1942. The troops of the army was formed from the part of the operational group of Southwestern Front, the headquarters of the army formed of management of 4th Army Reserve.
It is composed of units of the right wing of the previous version of the 1st guard army and some reinforcement units: the 4th Guards Rifle Corps, the 6th Guards Rifle Corps, the 153rd Rifle Division, the 18th Tank Corps. After the German relief operation was held, the 1st Guards Army, along with the 6th Army and 3rd Guards Army, launched an attack in Operation Little Saturn. During the operation the Soviets defeated the Italian Eighth Army and gained a respectable amount of territory. By the end of the year, the 1st Guards Army was outside Millerovo; the 1st Guards Army took part in Operation Saturn, where the Red Army drove back Army Group South to the Donets Basin in the Ukraine. The 1st Guards Army was part of the Soviet Southwestern Front, took part in the victorious Soviet pushing into Germany in 1943 to 1945. In 1943, the 1st Guards Army was the first unit of the soviet army to operate the new T-34/85 tank. Among its units when the war ended in 1945 was the 81st Rifle Division. In August, the 1st Guards Army became the headquarters of the Kiev Military District.
Lieutenant-General, from May 1943, Colonel-General Vasily Ivanovich Kuznetsov Colonel-General Andrei Antonovich Grechko. In July 1958, the 1st Separate Combined Arms Army was moved from its headquarters in Budapest to Chernigov and renamed the 1st Combined Arms Army; the 1st Combined Arms Army was subordinated to the Kiev Military District and in 1960 consisted of the 72nd, 81st and 115th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions, as well as the 35th Guards Tank Division. On 5 October 1967, it was renamed the 1st Guards Combined Arms Army at the request of now-Minister of Defense Grechko, who had commanded the army's third formation during World War II. On 22 February 1968, it was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. For a period the army HQ was an operations group of the District. By this time it had been awarded the Order of Lenin, it included among its forces the 72nd Guards Motor Rifle Division, the 25th Guards Motor Rifle Division. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Army became the 1st Army Corps of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Territorial Directorate "North".
The following officers commanded the 1st Guards Combined Arms Army and the previous 1st Combined Arms Army. Lieutenant General Vasily Arkhipov Colonel General Alexander Rodimtsev Lieutenant General Grigory Mikhailovich Balatov Lieutenant General Sergey Molokoedov Lieutenant General Grigory Gorodetsky?? Lieutenant General Alexander Elagin Lieutenant General Aleksey Fyodorov Lieutenant General Alexey Demidov?? Lieutenant General Valentin Bobryshev Major General Andrei Nikolayev Feskov, V. I.. I.. A.. A.. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. Http://samsv.narod.ru/Arm/ag01/arm.html
Mius is a river in Eastern Europe that flows through Ukraine and Russia. Its total length is 258 kilometres; the headwaters of the Mius are in the Donets Mountains, a mountain range within Donetsk Oblast. It flows through Luhansk Oblast in eastern Ukraine; the river mouth of the Mius is on the Taganrog Bay coast of the Sea of Azov, west of the Russian city of Taganrog. In 1941, during the World War II, the German Nazi General Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist created a fortified defensive line known as the Mius-Front along the Mius river, it was an arena of fierce battles during the Rostov Defensive Operation in the 1941−1943 Battle of Rostov campaigns. During the 1943 Donbass Strategic Offensive Soviet troops broke through the Mius-Front near the village of Kuybyshevo. Drainage basins of the Sea of Azov