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The Romanian 1st Armored Division in August 1944

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The Romanian 1st Armored Division in August 1944

Postby Victor on 20 Mar 2005 12:36

As promissed to David C. Clarke...

Following the reorganization after the Stalingrad campaign, the 1st Armored Division was made up of the:
-1st Tank Regiment: 1st Tank Battalion (3 companies), 2nd Assault Gun Battalion (3 companies), the command tank platoon
- 3rd Motorized Vanatori Regiment
- 4th Motorized Vanatori Regiment
- 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment
- Special Motorized Group (Recon Company and Motorized Pioneer Battalion)
- AT Artillery Battalion
The re-equipping wasn't complete at the time of the Soviet offensive. The Division had at its disposal on 19 August only 48 T.4 (Pz IV H) tanks, 12 TAs (StuG III G), 10 TACAM T-60, 12 AB (Sdkfz 222) and 24 TB (SPW 250 or 251). It was 22 tanks and assault guns short of the nominal strength.

The 1st Armored Division of Ritterkreuzträger brig. gen. Radu Korne was stationed behind the Axis lines, north of Roman. Following the intense fighting in the sectors of the Romanian 1st and 5th Infantry Divisions, the 57th Panzer Corps prepared the 1st Armored Division Romania Mare and the German 286th Assault Gun Brigade (of maj. Brausch) and the Kessel Group for intervention.

The Romanian division had been organized into several groupings:
1. Grouping A: the 1st Tank Regiment and the Special Motorized Group
2. Grouping B: the 3rd and 4th Motorized Vanatori (infantry) Regiments, under the command of col. Constantin Nistor
3. Grouping C: the 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment, the divisional AA and AT artillery, commanded by col. Alexandru Constantinescu (CO of the 1st Artillery Regiment)

Early on 20 August 1944, at 0740 hours, the Jassy-Kishinev Operation began. The front was broken on the Bahlui Valley in the sector between Baltati and Letcani. The 1st Armored Division received the order to counterattack the Soviet columns that were pushing on southwards from Podu Iloaiei.

The recon platoons of the Motorized Recon Group of cpt. Mircea Ionescu, which was stationed at Doljesti, were sent on all probable directions on which the Soviets could have advanced. Some of them made contact with the enemy and after short skirmishes they pulled back.

The 1st Tank Regiment of col. Cristache Iliescu had to do the hard work and attack the flank of the advancing enemy forces and try to cut them off. However, it had been weakened by the decision to attach the 1st Assault Gun Company (CO slt. Radu Constantinescu) to the 3rd Motorized Vanatori Regiment and the 3rd Assault Gun Company (CO cpt. Grabinski) to the 4th Vanatori Regiment. The 2nd Company of cpt. Gheorghe Alexe had to act as flank guard in the Zmeu Obrejeni area. Thus the Regiment had at its disposal, for the strike, only the tank battalion and the command platoon, all T.4 tanks (Pz IV H). During the advance towards the fighting positions, the division's elements separated. The 1st Tank Regiment, reached the Crucea Hill, overlooking the Bahlui Valley and waited for the other parts of the division. It had lost radio contact with the Motorized Recon Group. After the artillery bombardment stopped, the regiment resumed the advance towards Podu Iloaiei. At 1000 hours, one kilometer south of Scobalteni, on the road from Dobroscani to Podu Iloaiei, they met up head on (and not from the flank as planned) with the Soviet armored spearhead. The Soviet forces were situated near the village and to the southwest, while the 1st Tank Regiment was deployed on both sides of the Doroscani – Podu Iloaiei.

The 1st Tank Company of lt. Alexandru Velican held the right flank of the regiment and was the first to enter the battle, because of the dominant position of the hill it was positioned on. The Soviet AT guns and tanks hidden in the outskirts of Scobalteni damaged and immobilized 3 tanks from this company. Lt. Velican stopped the advance and adopted a defensive formation. Soon several JS heavy tanks appeared in the Soviet lines and four of them advanced toward the Romanian lines in open field, but were knocked out by the concentrated fire of the 1st and 2nd Tank Companies. The battle raged for hours with high casualties on both sides. An estimated 34 tanks and assault guns were lost by the Romanian regiment by nightfall. At around 1400 hours, a company of TBs (SPW 250 armored personnel carriers), stumbled upon the tank battle and helped evacuate the wounded from the field and provided close infantry support. Up until 1900 hours the 1st Tank Regiment had managed to hold off the Soviet advance from Scobalteni southwards. The tanks had already been resupplied with ammunition four times. A Soviet detachment made up of one tank company and one assault gun platoon tried to go around the left flank of the Romanian positions, but ran into the 2nd Assault Gun Company near Obrejeni. Lt. Virgil Petrescu had taken over command, as cpt. Alexe apparently wasn't there, and engaged the small Soviet column and destroyed much of it. However, another detachment went around the right flank of the 1st Tank Regiment. At 1900 hours, three aircraft dropped smoke bombs over the tanks. In the confusion created a Soviet tank formation rushed in on the road, while the Romanians were unable to fire, for fear of hitting their comrades on the other side. Thus, at nightfall, the regiment was encircled.

The tanks regrouped on the right side of the road, where the 1st Company had been initially deployed. The officers and top NCOs gathered to discuss the situation and find a solution. The chief communications officer reported that a BBC communiqué mentioned the fact that the 1st Armored Division was destroyed and that the remains had been captured. The decision was to retreat off-road under the cover of darkness, take advantage on the good knowledge of the terrain in the area. Cpt. Grigore Grigorescu (CO of the 2nd Tank Company) and lt. Ilie Vasilescu (CO of the 3rd Tank Company), whose tank had been destroyed, were missing. In their absence, command was assumed by slt. Ion Dumitru and lt. Stefan Stoenescu respectively.

Two tank columns were organized, with the 7 TBs in the middle. The retreat route was Scobalteni – Harpasesti – Madarjac – Ghidionu – Roman. They left at 2330 hours on 20 August. While trying to go around Harpasesti, the columns came under fire from the Soviet tanks in Doroscani (the formation that had passed through the regiment earlier that day). No tanks were lost, as it was mostly a blind bombardment because of the darkness and of the artificial fog. The columns mixed up initially and then got separated, around Madarjac.

The other element of the 1st Tank Regiment, the 2nd Assault Gun Company, had lost the radio contact with the regiment and in the evening retreated on its own initiative southwards towards Madarjac and Bojila.

The other units of the 1st Armored Division also saw action on 20 August 1944. The 3rd Motorized Vanatori Regiment of col. Ion Ivan was stationed at Iugani. It crossed the Siret River at Miclauseni, where it met up with the 1st Assault Gun Company sent to strengthen it. It entered the Frumoasa Valley [the Beatiful Valley] and advanced on it up to about 6 km SW of Podu Iloaiei, where it made the first contact with the Soviet mechanized spearheads, at around 1000 hours, similarly with the 1st Tank Regiment more to the east. The regiment dismounted and took up defensive positions. Soon the Soviet forces in front of it attacked, but were repulsed. In the evening, the regiment started to retreat, but the maneuver was noticed on the Soviet side and an artillery barrage started. Because of the poor visibility, it was ineffective, but managed to create enough confusion for one of the vanatori battalions to separate from the regiment and head towards Madarjac. It also dragged along several artillery pieces of the 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment, a 75mm Resita AT gun battery and several TAs (StuG III G) from the 1st Tank Regiment. This detachment, under the command of Ritterkreuzträger lt. col. Gheorghe Rascanescu, the regiment's deputy commander, dug in and created an new defense line from Manastirea de Sud – Bojila – Frumusica – Madarjac – Slobozia. The bulk of the regiment retreated back the road it came through Miclauseni. From there it headed to Roman through Traian. It arrived at destination during the night of 20/21 August and established a defensive line near the city, in order to secure the retreat of the troops of the Romanian 1st Corps.

The 4th Motorized Vanatori Regiment of col. Petrea also crossed the Siret at Miclauseni, but, as it was supposed to act as the right flank of the Motorized Brigade, it continued eastwards over the Crucea Hill and then headed northwards towards the Bahlui Valley. It made contact with the enemy forces probably in the area around Zmeu and fell back, followed closely by Soviet forces. They ran into the artillery support column provided by Grouping C. The battalion of the 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment equipped with 105 mm Schneider model 1936 guns dismounted and immediately opened fire, separating the Soviet tanks from the infantry and allowing the Romanian tank hunters to get close to them and knock out several of them with their Faustpatrone. The attack was repulsed and the situation calmed down in the sector. In the evening the 4th Regiment retreated to the Trei Parale Forest, but again in confusion because of the Soviet fire and the poor visibility in the valley and some units strayed away from the main column.

The 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment and the AT and AA batteries subordinated to the Grouping C were divided to provide support to the two vanatori regiments and at the end of the day were scattered around the area. Some batteries retreated with the detachment of lt. col. Rasconescu to Madarjac, others went through the Trei Parale Forest to Bara Targ, the light AA and AT batteries headed to the same point, but went through Stornesti.

(to be continued)

Note: The map was made by me, using as basis two images on the excellent http://www.hartionline.ro site. For reasons related to the fact that it occupied precious space I had to remove the copyright text (c)Soft Agency http://www.hartionline.ro

Bibliography:
Cornel Scafes, Horia Serbanescu, Ioan Scafes, Cornel Andonie, Ioan Danila, Romeo Avram: Armata Romana 1941-1945, RAI, 1996
Ion S. Dumitru: Tancuri in flacari, Nemira, 1999
Vasile Ienceanu: Pedepsiti sa invinga, Fundatia General Stefan Gusa, 1998
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Last edited by Victor on 22 Mar 2005 08:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dragos03 on 20 Mar 2005 13:16

Great stuff! I always wanted to know what were the actions of the vanatori regiments that day.
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Postby David C. Clarke on 20 Mar 2005 20:06

Wonderful, excellent, superb account Victor!!!!

You've outdone yourself with this--it's amazing. :D :D :D

This adds an entirely new page to the History of the battle available in English.

Very Best Regards,
David
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Postby Victor on 23 Mar 2005 08:41

Going back to the retreating remains of the 1st Tank Regiment, in the early hours of 21 August 1944, at around 0200 hours, the column of 13 T.4 tanks (9 from the 2nd Company and 4 from the 3rd Company) and 3 TB armored personnel carriers led by slt. Ion S. Dumitru reached Sinesti, which wasn't occupied by Soviet forces. There they met a patrol of the 4th Motorized Vanatori Regiment that directed them to Stornesti, where their company, commanded by slt. Vasile Barbulescu was defending the AT ditch. They had been left behind to secure the evacuation of the army depots in the Trei Parale Forest. The rest of the regiment had retreated south of the forest.

The following morning, about 25 German StuG III Gs of the 286th Assault Gun Brigade came rushing over the hill towards the Romanian positions. On the hill top two Soviet motorized AT batteries stopped. They positioned the guns to fire, without noticing the Romanian troops. Slt. Dumitru ordered the tanks to open fire with HE shells and the ZIS-3 AT guns were blasted away, together with four Ford trucks. Soon came a motorcycle with a message from gen. Korne who was on a hill further away and had seen the battle. The order was to retreat and to take in the formation the general's personal tank.

The tank company of slt. Dumitru reached the village of Boghicea, where was stationed the company of cpt. Florin Pierdevara from the 4th Motorized Vanatori Regiment and a 150 mm Skoda model 1934 howitzer battery of the 1st Motorized Heavy Artillery Regiment. They had the same mission as the company at Stornesti. Slt. Dumitru ordered the tanks to take up defensive positions behind the infantry. Later, Romanian motorized infantry appeared from the Trei Parale Forest, followed closely by a Soviet column. The tanks and the howitzers opened fire and repulsed the Soviet troops. Following the fight, the infantry and the guns left after that. The tanks followed them after an hour and headed to Bara Targ, where they took up new defensive positions some 500 m east of Bara Sat, facing north towards Oteleni.

The other column of the regiment, made up of the command platoon, the 1st Company and parts of the 3rd Company headed towards Madarjac in the early hours of 21 August, where they found the detachment of lt. col. Rascanescu. Around 20 T.4 tanks and 10 assault guns were gathered there, but lacked ammunition. By 1500 hours they had been resupplied and then ordered to attack to the northeast in the direction of Voinesti, where a force of about 50 Soviet tanks supported by infantry were reported. At around 2200 hours, they news that the enemy had been repulsed from Voinesti arrived at the HQ of the 4th Army. However, this piece of information is questionable, given the situation at Madarjac, which would have made an attack on Voinesti very difficult. Probably the tanks fought beside the motorized infantry at Madarjac and then retreated after them.

There were also stray tank formations, like the three T.4 tanks from the 3rd Company commanded by lt. Stefan Stroescu that also passed through Madarjac and then through Ghidonu without encountering any opposition.

The detachment made up of a vanatori battalion of the 3rd Vanatori Regiment supported by artillery and led by lt. col Gheorghe Rascanescu was attacked in its entrenched positions near Madarjac around noon on 21 August. The assault was repulsed. Rascanescu had won the Ritterkreuz and the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class during the Stalingrad campaign for the determined defense of the Oblivkavia airfield against the Soviet 8th Cavalry Corps. Before evening, the Soviets renewed the attack, this time supported by numerous tanks. Three successive attacks were necessary to take the vanatori out of their positions. The defenders managed to inflict serious casualties to the attackers. One corporal from a tank hunter unit reportedly managed to destroy 3 tanks with his Faustpatrone. The detachment pulled back to its trucks in the Runcu area, boarded them and then retreated to Bara Targ and from there to Adjudeni, where it crossed the Siret River. In the evening they arrived at Iugani, where their regiment had been stationed before the Soviet offensive began. Not having found anyone, lt. col. Rascanescu decided to block the Pascani-Roman highway at Mircesti and the Miclauseni crossing over the Siret River. They held these positions until midnight.

The 4th Vanatori Regiment had fought in the area of the Trei Parale Forest for the entire day, while evacuating what it could from the depots inside the forest and delaying the Soviet advance. In the evening it occupied with two battalions a line between Bata Targ and Doljesti. It was here that it faced a major Soviet night assault, during which the regiment's CO, col. Petrea, was taken prisoner. In the fighting around Bara Targ, the company of slt. Dumitru intervened in the support of a Romanian rifle battalion retreating towards Roman that came under fire from Soviet infantry. According to the recollections of Ion S. Dumitru, they fired 20,000 MG rounds in one minute against the enemy positions, silencing all opposition.
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Postby David C. Clarke on 25 Mar 2005 01:31

Victor, I really think--as I've said in private--that this is superb stuff. This is the sad end of an entire Armored Division. So far all of these events have been shrouded in total mystery and you have allowed us a look into an incredible story not in most history books.

My opinion is that this Thread is one of, if not "the", most interesting Thread on the Board at this time.

It's simply excellent research.

Best Regards,
David
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Postby Victor on 26 Mar 2005 17:24

On 22 August, the remains of the 2nd Company/1st Tank Regiment, under the command of slt. Ion Dumitru, passed through Roman and then headed back north to Sabaoani. This position controlled the road from the crossings over the Siret River at Miclauseni or Adjudeni. It was fortified on the northern and eastern sides by a large AT ditch, guarded by a Romanian pioneer company. There was also a German 100 mm howitzer battery in firing position.

The platoon of slt. Stoenescu went through Gadinti and crossed the Siret River near Roman and probably headed south from there. Other formations of the 1st Tank Regiment also retreated towards Roman.

Early in the morning, the troops of the 3rd Vanatori Regiment in positions on the northern outskirts of Roman received the order to retreat to the Onesti area, where the 1st Armored Division was regrouping, going through Bozieni – Bals – Girov – Roznov – Valea Tazlaului – Moinesti – Onesti – Casin. There they found the rest of the regiment. The detachment of lt. col. Rascanescu boarded the trucks after midnight and crossed the Moldova River at Tupilati and through Girov – Roznov - Valea Tazlaului arrived at Onesti at noon on 22 August, being the first element of the division to arrive in the area.

The 4th Vanatori Regiment had suffered serious casualties following the engagements during the previous night and its scattered troops were retreating to Roman and from there they probably headed to Onesti also.

In the morning of 23 August 1944, col. Iliescu, the 1st Tank Regiment's CO, arrived in Sabaoani the situation of his unit that scattered around the countryside. After giving slt. Dumitru several indications he left. At around 1100 hours several supply trucks arrived from Roman sent by col. Iliescu. The German howitzer battery had left for Tupilati, but around 1400 hours 4 German 75 mm Pak guns arrived and took up positions between the tanks. Soon after that a Soviet column of 22 tanks and support guns appeared on the road from Rotunda - Adjudeni. When it was close top the AT ditch, the pioneers blew up the crossing as planned and retreated. The Soviets were in open field with the sun in front of them. The infantry jumped down from the tanks and assaulted the AT ditch, while the tanks were firing to cover them. The Romanian tanks and the German AT guns opened fire from cover, knocking out almost all enemy vehicles. The German battery retreated.

The company of slt. Dumitru remained for another hour before it retreated through Gheraesti-Tetcani. It stopped on the Falticeni-Roman road for an hour and a half. At 1730 hours they left for Dulcesti, but at Pildesti they found the lt. Alexandru Velican with 7 T.4s and 3 StuG IIIGs and linked up with his formation. At the bridge over the Moldova River at Corhana they found the German Pak battery fighting with a small Soviet recon force, which was quickly destroyed by the tanks. The formation stopped 2 km SW of Dulcesti. On the road one tank and one assault gun broke down and had to be abandoned and destroyed.
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Postby David C. Clarke on 27 Mar 2005 01:57

Ah Victor, this is like water to a man in the desert...... :D

(I've taken the liberty of making this Thread a "sticky", I don't want it to disappear into a back page, I want eveyone interested in this campaign to take a look at it.)

More! More!

Very Best Regards,
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Postby Victor on 27 Mar 2005 06:43

Another account on the engagement at Sabaoani on 23 August mentions the existence of a German formation made up of 3 tanks and 2 Stug IIIs on the eastern outskirts of the village. The division's recon company was arrived at Sabaoani and set up its armored cars between the Germans tanks. The platoon of slt. Vasile Ienceanu made a short recon mission to Adjudeni and discovered the approaching Soviet mechanized column. It retreated back to Sabaoani without engaging the enemy. In the meantime another three German tanks had arrived at Sabaoani. The Soviet troops approached the Axis line and 8 or 9 tanks came in front firing, but were all destroyed soon. The batle raged for some while. The Soviets received reinforcements and attempted to surround the village and that is when the German and Romanians started to retreat towards Pildesti.
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Postby Victor on 01 Apr 2005 16:03

On 24 August the tank column continued its trip towards Casin through Bozieni and Girov and arrived at the bridge over the Cracau River close to Roznov in the evening, but could not cross it because of the large column of infantry of the 1st Corps. The following morning the tanks crossed the river and resumed the retreat with the low speed of the infantry in front of it. At Tazlau they found several tanks guns with lt. col. Gheorghe Matei, the deputy commander of the 1st Tank Regiment. They have arrived there on 23 August 1944 from Roman, using a secondary road. There were also several assault guns of the 1st Assault Gun Company of slt. Radu Constantinescu that had retreated through Roman a few hours before the group of slt. Dumitru. The bridge was blocked by a small Soviet infantry unit. The 1st Tank Regiment and the 7th Motorized Heavy Artillery Regiment were stopped for a while under the pretext that the road had to be cleared for Soviet units. They resumed the retreat until they reached Frumoasa. There the formation was again stopped and threatened with their weapons by Soviet soldiers. The two regiments assumed fire positions and caused the Soviets to pull back. The situation was cooled down by lt. gen. Radu Gherghe, the CO of the 1st Corps, and several Soviet commanders. The tanks were taken to Valea lui Ion and then the tankers were interned into a temporary prisoner camp.

Another unit of the 1st Armored Division, the Motorized Recon Company, retreated through the same road to Girov, where it arrived in the evening of 23 August. The armored cars were refueled and the following day they headed towards Roznov. The intention of cpt. Bogatu, the CO, was to retreat through Buhusi to Bacau, but they were greeted with fire by several Soviet tanks and headed back to Roznov and from there, under the command of slt. Vasile Ienceanu to Frumoasa, through Targu Trotus. In the evening of 24 August they arrived at Casin.

And here ends our short story. Hopefully others will be able to add more details I left out or didn't know about. The remaining tanks of the 1st Tank Regiment formed the "Lt. Col. Gheorghe Matei" Armored Detachment that was subordinated to the 2nd Ukrainian Front and fought in southeastern Transylvania in September 1944.
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Postby Andreas on 10 May 2005 18:45

Hello Victor

Very interesting thread. The Romanian side is completely different from the German side on this story. I have Glantz' transcripts of the Art of War symposium on Iassy-Kishinev, and the question of whether 1st Romanian Armoured fought or not is explicitly adressed there by both Glantz and Oberst Stoves (author of the history of 1.PD), who relates information he received from the German liaison officer to the Romanian Division, when this officer made his report to the commander of AG SU a month later.

Stoves states that 1st Romanian did not fire a shot in defense against advancing Soviet forces, but did fire into the air, or took potshots at passing vehicles.

Glantz confirms this from Soviet sources, but does not go into more detail. A quick scan of Mazulenko does not throw up any mention of 1st Romanian AD, while numerous other Romanian forces are mentioned as fighting.

Kissel mentions what maybe a joint abortive counter-attack by 1st Romanian AD and a German formation.

The relationship between the Romanian division and the Germans seems to have been uneasy - the hauptmann in charge of the liaison command (who was promptly relieved) until early August ordered that all tanks had to be crewed by Germans in the event of combat.

I think it is very good that you took the time to translate the Romanian side of things, to set matters right. From the detail in your accounts it appears quite convincing that German sources can not be trusted on this question.
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Postby dragos03 on 12 May 2005 19:05

Hi Andreas,
What puzzles me about the Germans saying that the division didn't fight: how do they explain the almost complete destruction of this unit then? It avoided fighting and simply dissapeared afterwards?
What do Glantz and Stoves have to say about this?
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Postby Andreas on 12 May 2005 20:05

dragos03 wrote:Hi Andreas,
What puzzles me about the Germans saying that the division didn't fight: how do they explain the almost complete destruction of this unit then? It avoided fighting and simply dissapeared afterwards?
What do Glantz and Stoves have to say about this?


Nothing.

If I were to venture a guess, the assumption is probably that they all went to become POW, and lived (un)happily ever after in Soviet POW camps.
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Postby dragos03 on 08 Jun 2005 00:42

I've just read the chapter in Axworthy's "Third Axis, fourth Ally" about the Iasi-Kisinev operation. Axworty (who used German, Romanian and Soviet sources for his book) describes the actions of the Romanian Armoured Division with enough detail. Here is the conclusion:

"1st Armoured Division had reportedly lost 34 AFV's, but claimed 60 Soviet tanks on 20 August alone. For the division the battle of Iasi had uncanny echoes of Stalingrad. Once again it had been married to an operationally inadequate German panzer division which had to raid 1st Armoured Division's resouces (fuel at Stalingrad, armour at Iasi) to retain some offensive potential. On both occasions, and despite the best efforts of its debilitated German sister units, a combination of German weakness and wider strategis misjudgements had left an under-equipped 1st Armoured Division little supported in counterattacking a major Red Army armoured offensive. On both occasions the division had some local, but expensive, succes before being washed away in an avalanche of Soviet tanks.
Yet on both occasions it had retained cohesion and emerged from the debacle much reduced but intact."

From another book, Klaus Schonherr's "Luptele Wermachtului in Romania" (The battles of the Wermacht in Romania) we can see that the German HQ (Army Group South Ukraine) was informed about the fate of the Armoured Division.

So, it is clear to me that Glantz and Stoves didn't bother to study the archives properly before stating their conclusions about the division not fighting or "shooting in the air". Unfortunately, our posts here make little difference, while their books will always be considered reliable souces.
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Postby Andreas on 09 Jun 2005 08:38

dragos03 wrote:So, it is clear to me that Glantz and Stoves didn't bother to study the archives properly before stating their conclusions about the division not fighting or "shooting in the air". Unfortunately, our posts here make little difference, while their books will always be considered reliable souces.


I think you are underestimating the impact that this forum can have in discussions. Thanks for taking the time to post the information.

All the best

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Postby dragos03 on 24 Jun 2005 12:24

I also found a Soviet source dealing with the division's counterattack (thanks Sid Guttridge): "The Jassy-Kishinev Operation" by V. Konovalov (Novosti Press Agency, Moscow, 1974).

A quote from page 9: "On the southern bank of the Bakhlui the (Red Army) tanks encountered strong resistance. The 18th Nazi alpine rifles division (actually the Romanian 18th Mountain Division) was supported by the Great Rumania 1st armoured division which had been brought up from the rear. But they were unable to stem the powerful Soviet onslaught. The Commander of the 4th Rumanian army reported to his headquarters that the 1st Rumanian armoured division had found itself in an extremely difficult position and that its rear echelons were on the run."

So, it seems that the counterattack of the Armoured Division didn't go un-noticed by the Soviets and they considered that it put up "strong resistance".

Andreas, i don't underestimate this forum's impact but we are only a small community here and only a fraction of this community reads these topics about Axis Allies. The books by Glantz, Stoves or Ziemke will always be a quick source of reference for people interested in this campaign, and these books are far from the truth concerning this subject. These historians should research the archives from the former Eastern Block, now that the Cold war is gone, and update their books.
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