18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

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studiosus
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18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 04 Mar 2009 18:44

Does anyone have details about the Soviet units and their fights against the 1st Hungarian Army between Carpathians and Dniestr (general area: Stanislau - Kolomea).

I am particularly interested in following fights:

- Fights on 21 to 28 April 1944 area of Bohorodyczyn [located East of Ottynia];
- Fights on 27 April 1944 area of Czeremchow [located South East of Ottynia];
- Fights on 20 May 1944 area of Markowka - Peczenyczyn [located South East of Kolomea];
- Fights on 7 to 10 July 1944 area of Peczenyczyn;
- Fights on 13 and 14 July 1944 area of Jozefowka - Weselowka (Deobetz) - Lupejka forest [all places located East of Ottynia];
- Fights in the very last days of July - very first days of August 1944 area of Mikuliczyn and Jamna (valley of Pruth river).

I am mainly interested in the Soviet perspective at a relatively low tactical level (units involved, operations etc.) so that this request is essentially directed to Russian speakers having access to published/unpublished Russian sources (unfortunately I do not understand Russian).

Thank you in advance for any help and kind regards,

Studiosus

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 06 Mar 2009 15:52

Something close to the topic was discussed here
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5&t=137182
and here:
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... Carpathian
I must say I have a book on history of the 18th Army but it gives a pretty cursory description of events that happened in April-May 1944 and doesn't touch the period from mid-May to mid-July at all.

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 06 Mar 2009 18:41

Many thanks for this link containing useful information.

I was interested to read about sPzJgAbt 88 (Hornisse), since it is most probably the unit that is referred to in Hungarian published sources/books (albeit without being further identified) as supporting the 16th Hungarian infantry division on 22 April 1944 together with a German assault gun battalion in the area East /South East of Ottynia (VIIth Hungarian Army Corps, left wing of 1th Hungarian Army). An attack of 28 T-34 and the destruction of 17 Soviet tanks is reported in the area for that day by the Hungarian book. I assume that the German assault gun battalion could be StugBrig 301, although this unit is also reported to have been engaged together with the 101th Jäger Division (1th Pz Armee, IIIth Pz Corps) in the area of Bortniki shortly after that so that I am not 100%.

The German "Tagesmeldung" reports another soviet tank attack in the area (Ottynia) on 24 April 1944 that was successfully repulsed by the Hungarian VIIth Army Corps (obviously supported by German forces). Unpublished source refers to an efficient intervention of German Stukas on that day.

Are there any details on Russian side about these operations and the forces/units involved?

My (other) questions remain valid.

Studiosus

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 09 Mar 2009 16:13

The general description which I can extract from a couple of sources (history of the 1st Tank Army, history of 18th Army, memoirs of Katukov and Mosckalenko) is as followes:
By 1st April Soviet forces south of Dniestr consisted of 1st Tank Army (8th Guards Mechanized Corps, 11th Guards Tank Corps and army units) with attached 11th Rifle Corps (24, 271, 351 Rifle Divisions). 8 GMC and 351 RD were situated at Stanislaw (Ivano-Frankovsl), 251 RD - at Delyatin, 11 TC and 24 RD at Chernovtsy/Chenrivitsi. In first days of April as a result of breakthrough of German 1st Pz. Armee Soviet forces units of Dniestr were temporary cut off. On 5th April the 1 Tank Army recieved an order by Zhukov to transfer the main forces of the 11 Guards Tank Corps on the northern side of Dniestr in order to stop advance of encircled German units to the west. It did so but without much succes. On 7th April the corridor was established between encircled German group and units on the outer front at Buchach. As a result Soviet units between Buchach and Dniestr turned out in a precarious situation having Dniestr in their rear. By 12 April these units (18th Guards and 67th Rifle Corps) were pushed to the southern bank of Dniestr. Continuing their advance Germans captured several bridgeheads south of Dniestr between Nizniy at Petrov (East of Stanislaw), thus threatening to come to outflank Soviet units at Stlanislaw. Zhukov decided to consolidate Soviet units south of Dniestr under command of the 38th Army which was to take over 11th, 18th Guards and 67th Rifle Corps. In addition 101 Rifle Corps was transferred from the northern bank of Dniestr to the south (area of Gorodenka). 11 Guards Tank Corps was returned from the north bank as well. The two armies were ordered to liquidate German bridgeheads over Dniestr and then to advance to Stanislaw. Attacks on bridgeheads were however unsuccesful, and on 17th April Germans themselfs started attacks from the bridgeheads at Nishniy to the south thus putting an end to Soveit offensive efforts. Soviet sources specially mention tank combat on 20 April at Nezvisko-Gerasomov which they call a culmination of defensive battle and say that on that day German advnace to Gorodenka/Horodenka was stopped. At the same time Axis forсes started active action further to the south at Stanislaw and Nadvornoya/Nadvima. As a result Nadvornaya was abandoned by the 11th Rifle Corps, villages Lisets and Cherneev (west of Stanislaw) - by 1st Guards Tank Brigade. At this point Soviet forces were additionally reinforced by 17th Guards and 95th Rifle Corps, 1st Tank Army was also reinforced with units having 213 tanks and SP-guns. The army recieved 6th Guards Mechanized Coprs on 20 April, this unit assumed defensive positions west of Kolomiya and participated in combat there after 20th April.
On 20th April HQs of the 18th Army recieved an order to move south of Dniestr. On 24th April it was ordered to assume command over 17th Guards Rifle Corps (2nd Guards Airborne, 8, 317 Rifle Divisions), 11th Rifle Corps (24, 271, 351 Rifle Divisions) ans 226th Rifle Division and to defend the southern part of trans-Dniestr sector. As far as I can see 17th GRC defended the souther sector at Kolomiya/Kolomea, 11 RC - the northen from the Prut valley to the junction with the 38th Army near Cheremkhov. According to Soviet forces on 26th April Axis offensive resumed, the main thrust being at the junction between 38th and 18th Armies. The history of the 18th Army says that the most strong attacks were made against 24th Rifle Division (by forces about an infantry division with 50-60 tanks) and against 2 Guards Airborne Division at Pechenezhyn. On 27th April 11 Rilfe Corps abandoned Cheremkhov. On the same day 17th Guards Rifle Corps counterattacked south and south-west of Kolomiya. Its 317 Rifle Division claimed to capture 400 Hungarian prisoners. In the ensuing days defensive combat continued at Cheremkhov, Lesnaya Slobodka and Tolmachik, these villages passed from one side to another. On 29th April the 18th Army was reinforced with 95th Rifle Corps (66th Guards, 9 Plastun, 138 Rifle Divisions) which formed its second echelon. In early May it laso recieved 10th Guards Tank Corps from 4th Tank Army, but as far as I can see this unit didn't participate in active operations. Soviet sources say that by 5th May the Axis offensive generally stopped after gaining several kilometers.
More detailed description is not avavilable to me. In general the number of units ultimately transferred south of Dniestr and participating in the battle looks very impressive and the entire battle is rather interesting though somewhat overlooked, so I will be interested to know more details about it.

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 10 Mar 2009 17:24

Here a link to a Hungarian WW 1map of the area:
http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/43-49.jpg

Many thanks for this impressive detailed account. I really appreciate that and it certainly represents a very valuable starting point for my research.

I note that you explicitly refer to "Cheremkhov" which, I assume, is the vicinity spelled "Czeremchow" on the Hungarian map (located East of the Kolomea - Ottynia - Stanislau main road, close to another vicinity itself called "Chlebyczyn Lesny"). For convenience, I will use Cheremkhov.

You write that "[o]n 27th April 11 Rilfe Corps abandoned Cheremkhov".

You also write that, at that time, Cheremkhov constituted the junction point between 18th Army and 38th Army, the right wing of 11 Rifle Corps being at this junction.

This is really interesting since according to unpublished sources (i.e. witness statements combined with an original list of casualties of a Hungarian unit providing dates an places) Hungarian forces launched an attack against Cheremkhov on 27 April 1944, and broke into the vicinity after having suffered heavy casualties. Your account goes on by indicating that the area was the theater of fights in the days following 27 April 1944.

You also explicitly refer to Pechenezhyn, which is spelled Peczenizyn on the Hungarian map: "The history of the 18th Army says that the most strong attacks were made against 24th Rifle Division (by forces about an infantry division with 50-60 tanks) and against 2 Guards Airborne Division at Pechenezhyn." From the context, I assume that you refer to fights that took place in April 1944.

As far as Pechenezhyn is concerned, it is known that the German 16. PanzerDiv. got involved in heavy fight in the area (if I remember right, in May). In April and May 1944, Pechenezhyn was in the sector of the XIth German corps as was the Pruth valley (as part of the 1th Hungarian Army).

These fights are indeed interesting since they involved, as you rightly stress, a great number of different units (on the axis side, Hungarian and German). I assume that Soviet/Russian literature has probably a deeper coverage of the fights that took place in July 1944, i.e. general Soviet offensive and relatively quick breaktrhough in the area East of Ottynia (breakthrough on 23 July 1944).

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 12 Mar 2009 13:47

studiosus wrote: These fights are indeed interesting since they involved, as you rightly stress, a great number of different units (on the axis side, Hungarian and German).
By 1st May the Soviet forces south of Dniestr consisted of
38th Army - 18 Guards Rifle Corps (237, 395 Rifle divisions), 67 Rifle Corps (151, 161, 241, 305 Rifle Divisions), 101 Rifle Corps (70 Guards, 121, 211 Rifle Divisions) plus support units
18th Army - 17 Guards Rifle Corps (2 Guards Airborne, 8, 317 Rifle divisions), 11 Rifle Corps (24, 271, 351 Rifle Divisions), 95 Rifle Corps (66 Guards, 9, 138 Rifle Divisions), 226 Rifle Division plus support units
1st Guards Tank Army - 11th Guards Tank Corps, 8th Guards Mechanized Corps plus separate units
In addition 6th Guards Mechinzed and 10th Guards Tank Corps were also placed in that area.
In all 23 division equivalents, while in early April there were only 5. It should be noted as a general rule Soviet historiography somewhat artifically defined 17 April 1944 as an ending date of spring operations in the Ukraine (Proskurov-Chernovitzy operation). As I understand the date was chosen because on that day Zhukov issued an order to switch to defense. As a result operations after 17 April were out of focus, although information about them in memoirs or unit history existed.
Regarding the placenames I transliterated russified cyrillic variants of their spelling. Hungarian spelling could be different, of course.
I have information on July operations in the trans-Dniester area from the history of the 18th Army and I will try to post it here in nearest time.

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 12 Mar 2009 21:46

Thank you so much for this OOB.
I received many years ago from a friend reading Russian an information whereby the Soviet offensive against the 1th Hungarian Army on 22 July 1944 concentrated between the vicinities of Czeremchow and Michalchow, a 4km long portion of front, where the Soviet army managed to concentrate 542 field artillery guns and mortars and hammered the Hungarian lines. I was quite interested in another remark he made whereby after Kursk (July 1943) whenever the Soviet army formally took defensive position, as it did for instance, if my friend's account is right, by 22 April 1944 in front of the 1 Hungarian Army, it was literally impossible for the axis to break through and win a genuine strategic hedge as a consequence of the attack. All trials ended up in a blood bath / disproportionate losses on the axis side with no genuine strategical/tactical success (this is a bit out of topic, but this remark struck me and I wondered whether it was supported by history, my knowledge being limited to a very few number of operations).
I would be grateful for any data on the fights that took place in July 1944 in the direction of Ottynia - Tysmeniczany - Lachowce - Rosulna - Lukwa - Rozniatow (the rear of the retreating Hungarian army was covered by 2nd Hungarian Armoured Division).

Regards

Studiosus

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 16 Mar 2009 14:06

Let's continue. That is a short synopsis from the history of the 18th Army:

By the start of the July offensive the army consisted of 11 Rifle Corps (24, 226, 271 Rifle Divisions), 17 Guards Rifle Corps (2 Guards Airborne, 8, 317 Rifle Divisions), 95 Rifle Corps (66 Guards, 138 and 351 Rifle Divisions), 9 Plastun Division and reinforcing units:
a cannon artillery brigade (146), one howitzer (839) and two antitank (196 Guards, 1645) artillery regiments, four mountain mortar regiments (9, 477, 494, 496), one rocket launcher (5 Guards) regiment, two guards mortar (multiple rocket launchers) battalions, antiaircraft artillery regiment (269 Guards), self-propelled artillery regiment, engineer-sapper brigade (9), armored train battalion (33). In all 77 289 men, 479 guns (except AT), 236 45- and 57-mm antitank guns, 682 mortars (82-mm and heavier calibers), 209 multiple rocket launchers, 34 self-propelled (assault) guns, 19 antiarcraft guns. Here the personnel strength most likely covers for combat units only. The number of MRLs is too high and strongly suggests a typo in the book. The sector occupied by the army’s units was Bogorodychin (Bohorodyczyn on Hungarian map), Tolmachik (Tlumaczyk?), Molodyatin, west of Yablonov, Kosov, Vizhnitza, Krasnoilsk - as far I can see I didn’t change since April. North of the army was the 18 Guards Rifle Corps of the 1st Guards Army, south – units of the 2nd Ukrainian Front.

On the first stage of the Lvov-Sandomierz operation the army remained generally passive. It is worth to mention that directive issued by the 1st Ukrainian Front’s commander marshal Konev before the operation didn’t define any tasks for this army at all. Nevertheless on 13 July simultaneously with the start of the main offensive a diversionary attack was launched from the region north-west of Kolomyia toward Stanislaw by 226 and 24 Rifle Divisions of 11 Rifle Corps/18 Army, and a regiment of 161 Rifle Division 18 Guards Rifle Corps/1 Guards Army. The attack didn’t gain much ground and wasn’t continued.

As the offensive of the main forces of the front progressed not without problems but in general successfully the signs indicating the Axis forces were going to start withdrawal south of Dniestr had appeared. As a result in the morning of 21 July the army’s staff received a front’s directive demanding “beginning from the morning of 23rd to break through enemy defense in the sector Mikhalkov(Michalkow)-Cheremkhov(Czeremchow) and developing the offensive toward Ottynia, Bogorodchany, Dolina to seize Bogorodchany by the end of 25 July. After that the army is to advance toward Dolina. After the breakthrough a part of the army forces is to roll up enemy defence to the south-west, throwing back the Hungarian army to Carpathians."
1st Guards Army was ordered to break through enemy defense in the sector Nezvisko(Niezwiska)-Gerasimov(Hardsimow) with its left-flank corps (18 Guards) from the morning of 22nd and to seize Stanislaw by the end of 24 July.
Based on this directive the army’s commander general Zhuravlev decided to break through Axis defense in the 4-km sector Mikhalkov, Cheremkhov and to advance by 40 km by the end of the third day of the offensive. The following orders were given. 95 Rifle Corps was to break through defense in the sector Mikhalkov-Obech havin 66th Guards Rifle Division in the first and 351 – in the second echelon. South of this corps 11 Rifle Corps was to break through with 226 Rifle Division in the sector Obech-Cheremkhov. 24 Rifle Division was in the second echelon, 271 Rifle Division held the line south of the breakthrough sector. 17 Guards Rifle Corps covering a broad line was ordered to start offensive aiming at Delyatin after 11 Corps breaks through. The army’s artillery group (two battalions of the 146 cannon brigade and 839 howitzer regiment) was to suppress enemy artillery near the break through sector and hinder movement of enemy reserves.

Regrouping was started after issuing these orders. From the second echelon of the army 66th Guards Rifle Division was moved to the frontline and took over the sector of the 24 Rifle Division/11 Corps and 351 was placed behind it. 24 Divison was shifted to the left and occupied area behind the junction of 95 and 11 Corps. 138 Division of the 95 Corps was subordinated to the army and 9 Plastun Division remained in the army’s reserve.
542 artillery and mortars barrels were concentrated in the breakthrough sector (137 per kilometer). It was also planned to use combat aircrafts of the 2nd Air Army. In the morning of the first day of offensive Axis defense was to be attacked by 27 bomber of 227 Bomber Division delivering a 15-minutes blow, followed 35 minutes later by 40 ground-attack aircrafts. Fighters of the 3rd Guards Fighter Regiment/233 Fighter Division were to provide air cover.
On 22 July the army was ready for the offesnive. On this day 18 Guards Rifle Corps/1st Guards Army started offensive north of the army’s sector but it was stopped by Axis counterattacks. The right corps of the same army (107th) reached Gnilaya Lipa river, the middle (74th) – started a battle for Galich

Aprroximate disposition by the end of 22 July on the Hungarian map:
Image

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 19 Mar 2009 18:13

At the start of the Soviet offensive on 23 July 1944, the area between Michalkov and Czeremchow was defended by the right wing of the 16th Hungarian infantry division and the left wing of the 7th Hungarian infantry division. Put in other words, the Soviet offensive hit the junction of two divisions. Hungarian sources further indicate that a strong (obviously preliminary) Soviet attack had already been launched in the same area on 22 July 1944 (i.e. a day before). This latter attack did not break through. On 23 July 1944, the Soviet army managed to break through. The only serious operational reserve on Hungarian side was the 2nd Hungarian armoured division, that was at that time concentrated in the area of Stanislau (i.e. further North and relatively far away from the main axis of the Soviet blow). On 23 July, the Soviet penetration was so deep in the area of the 16th Hungarian infantry division that the side of the left wing of the 7th Hungarian infantry division (i.e. its 4th infantry regiment) got exposed (the positions of field artillery were reached).The Hungarian literature puts the blame on the behaviour of the 7th Hungarian infantry division and on the cancellation of a scheduled counterstrike of the 2nd Hungarian armoured division for the success of the Soviet offensive. It is interesting to note that the Soviet attack launched on 13 July 1944 hit exactly the same area as the attack of 23 July 1944. A book translated from Russian to Hungarian entitled "Tactics of the infantry battalion on the basis of examples of the Great Patriotic War" gives detailled information on the fights of one battalion of 66 GRD on 23 July 1944 (the book refers to the engagement of SU 76 assault guns). It seems that the offensive was so successfull that it was given as an example to follow in lectures on tactics! The climax of the crisis on Hungarian side was attained when Soviet forces seized Nadworna on 25 July, thus definitively cutting the Hungarian 1st Army in two parts (isolating its left/northern wing which despite all problems managed to retreat under heavy casualties under the protection of the 2nd armoured division).

I do not know for sure the relevant figures, but I assume that, on Hungarian side, approx. three (or four) infantry regiments (I do not count the artillery) were present between Czeremchow and Michalkow on 23 July 1944. I understand that at the same time on Soviet side four divisions (1st and 2nd echelons) were concentrated in the same area (i.e. if I am right 12 regiments). The concentration of artillery on Soviet side is impressive. Hungarian witness accounts report of a hammering similar to the ones in WW1.

Question: I have an information whereby Hungarian assault artillery managed to knock down three T-34 tanks in the area of Winograd (approx. 10km west of Ottynia) on 24 July 1944. Any clue about the unit(s) to which they might have belonged?

Below a link to the continuation of the map (area west of Ottynia, ie direction of Hungarian retreat)

http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/42-49.jpg

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 20 Mar 2009 12:41

studiosus wrote: Question: I have an information whereby Hungarian assault artillery managed to knock down three T-34 tanks in the area of Winograd (approx. 10km west of Ottynia) on 24 July 1944. Any clue about the unit(s) to which they might have belonged?
The information looks surprising, because the Soviet side had only one SP-gun regiment which theoretically speaking was equipped with SU-76 guns. But probably it had a small number of T-34s or may be Hungarian side was wrong in indetifiyng them.
Hungarian sources further indicate that a strong (obviously preliminary) Soviet attack had already been launched in the same area on 22 July 1944 (i.e. a day before).
As common practice Soviet offensives were preceeded by reconnaissance in force performed by forward detachments one or two days before the main offensive. It seems that it was the case here.
It is interesting to note that the Soviet attack launched on 13 July 1944 hit exactly the same area as the attack of 23 July 1944.
Yes, they mention Bogorodychin/Bohorodyczyn as the area where the attack was made.

Thank ypu for valuable information, I hope to continue posting.

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 23 Mar 2009 17:06

Many thanks again for this valuable account !

There must have been Soviet tank (as opposed to "mere" SP guns) forces in the area, since tanks are referred to in several sources.

I suppose that the story is already known, but it could be interesting for the reader(s) to have it again. As mentionned before, the rearguard of the retreating left (ie northern) wing of the 1st Hungarian Army was formed by the 2nd Hungarian armoured division. When the division attacked in April 1944 between Dniestr and Pruth river, it was armed with Hungarian built Turàn I and Turàn II tanks that were outdated compared to the Soviet T-34.The 3rd tank regiment of the division received a number of German "second-hand" armoured vehicles in May 1944 (information taken from an article in Hungarian published by A. Bonhardt: http://www.freeweb.hu/worldwar2/index.c ... hun&bg=hun):
- 12 Pz IV H
- 10 Stug III G
- 12 Pz VI E (Tiger I)

The takeover of the vehicles by the 2nd armoured division took place in Nadworna.

During the retreat of July 1944, two Hungarian Tigers are reported to have knocked down 14 T- 34 within half an hour in the area of Saturnia. Seven out of the ten Tiger got lost during the retreat between 24 and 29 July.

I also have two reliable witness statements whereby a German Panzerjäger unit (open SP guns) knocked down a number of T-34 moving from South to North around the 26 July in an ambush on the road between Lachowce and Nadworna. Unfortunately, I do not know the German and Soviet units involved in this action (any clue is welcome).

Studiosus

PS: Hopefully will the reference to Tigers make the subject more appealing ;-)

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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 25 Mar 2009 14:18

Another part:

At 8.30 a.m., 23 July an artillery preparation started. Fire from about 500 guns and mortars was concentrated on a 4-km sector of the front and continued for about 1,5 hours. At 10.00 first-echelon battalions of the 66 Guards and 226 Rifle Divisions attacked accompanied by artillery groups and direct support guns.
By 11 a.m. first-echelon regiments of the 66 GRD together with attached batteries of the 1448 self-propelled artillery regiment have broken through the defense of 16th Hungarian Infantry Division and seized Josefovka, Obech and the northern part of Cheremkhov (Czeremchow). By the end of the day the divisions have completed breakthrough the main defensive belt and reached the line Torgovitsa (Targovica), Glubokaya (Gleboka) having repulsed several counterattacks made by Hungarian infantry and tanks.
First-echelon regiments of the 226 RD successfully penetrated the first Hungarian defensive position and seized Cheremkhov (Czeremchow). Then they met strong resistance of Hungarian 16th ID in Leznoy Klebichin (Chlebiczyn Lesny). After this settlement was outflanked from the north and south and artillery fire was concentrated on it, it was abandoned by Hungarian troops.

In the morning of 24th July after 15-minutes artillery preparation 11 and 95 Rifle Corps resumed the offensive. In order to spur the breakthrough of the second defensive belt 66 GRD and 226 RD committed to actions their second echelons, in addition the commander of the 11 Rifle Corps general I.T Zamertsev committed his second echelon – 24 Rifle Division. The left flank division of the corps (271 Rifle) also started an attack. Despite strong resistance the second belt was broken. Especially strong resistance was met at Ottynia in front of the 66 GRD which repulsed in the second part of the day 4 counterattacks made (according to Soviet info) by a force of about an infantry regiment with a tank battalion. After having outflanked Ottyina from north and south the division captured it by 10 p.m.
The 11 Corps completely broke through the second belt after combat against 24 Hungarian Infantry Division. By the end of the day 24 RD seized the line Goloskov (Holoskow), Nova-Ves’, 266 RD – Bednaruvka, 271 – Sventy Josefov.

During the next day units of the 18th Army continued to advance to the west and south-west, covering its right flank from enemy counterattacks. 95 Rifle Corps (66 GRD) pursued enemy in the direction of Bogorodchany (Bohorodczany) and by the end of 25th July reached the line Vorona (Worona), Kamennaya (Kamienna). 351 RD remained in the second echelon at Ottynia covering the right flank from the north. 11 RC pursued Hungarians toward Nadvornaya (Nadworna). By the end of the day 24 RD reached Volosov (Wolosow), Pererosl’(Przelosl), 266 RD captured the important railway center Nadvornaya, 271 – Strymba, Loyeva (Lojova).
In the early hours of 25 July 17 Guards Rifle Corps (general A.I. Gastilovich) also started offensive in the area of Prut valley. After combat against Hungarian 7 Infantry, 18 and 25 Light Divisions it fully broke though the enemy defense and made a 20-km advance. By the end of the day the right flank 8 Rifle Divison was engaged in combat in Delyatin, and 317 Rifle Division - on the line Cherniy Potok (Potok Czarny), Rungury.

On 26 July the 95 Rifle Corps (general I.I. Melnikov) took Bogorodchany with 351 RD attacking the town from the north and 66 GRD – from the south. 11 Rifle Corps advanced toward Pereginskoye for 10-15 km. 24 RD crossed the rivers Bystritza-Nadvornyanskaya (Bystrzyca-Nadvornianska) and Bystritza-Solotvinskay (Bystrzyca-Solotvinska) south of Bogorodchany and reached the line Gorokholina (Horocholina), Zhuraky (Zuraki). 226 RD crossed Maniawka river and captured Solotvin (Solotwina). 271 RD crossed Bystritza-Nadvornyanskaya south of Nadvornaya and seized the villages Bytkov(Bitkow) and Pasechanya (Pasiezcna). In Carpathians 8 RD (general A.S. Smirnov) of the 17 Rifle Corps cleared Delyatin and entered Dora, 317 RD took the line Belye Oslavy (Bialy Oslaw), Cherniye Oslavy (Czarny Oslawa). On the same day 2 Guards Airborn Division also passed to offensive and took Sloboda Rungurska.
Reaching the line Bogorodchany-Delyatin the 18th Army enveloped the Axis forces at Stanislaw from the south, simultaneously starting fight for mountain passes at Dora. Thus for the Stalislaw group all the routes of retreat to the south were blocked. The left-wing 18th Guards Corps of the 1st Guards Army completed breakthrough of enemy defense. Owing to successful actions of the 18th Army and envelopment of Stanislaw from the south the enemy defense in front of this corps began to gradually weaken. Advancing in the echelon behind the 95 RC the corps by the end of 26 July reached close approaches to Stalislaw.
The front commander ordered the 1st Guards Army to attack Stanislaw from the east, enveloping it with a part of the forces from the north. 18 Army with its right wing units was to come to the rear of the Stanislaw group from the south and west augmenting the attack power.

Under the cover of artillery and mortar fire the 95 Rifle Corps crossed Bystritza-Solotvinskay river near Bogorodchany and started to develop offensive toward Dolina. By the end of 27.07 351RD committed from behind the right flank of the 66 GRD advanced for 17 km and started a fight for Krasnoye (Krasna). By that time 66 GRD was about to reach Krasnoye from the south-east. Both divisions were 20 km from Dolina.
11 RC repulsed counterattacks from Rosilna and Kosmach (Kosmacz) and continued to advance to the west. 226 RD took Rosilna and Kosmach and moved to Pereginskaya (Perehinsko). 271 captured with its forward detachment Slivki and reached Lomnica river 2 km south-west of Pereginskaya.
8 RD was repulsing numerous counterattacks at Delyatin and Dora. Striving to hold the important road center at Delyatin the enemy organized stiff resistance with Hungarian 24 and 7 Infantry Divisions and 18 Light Division and moved out German security detachments south of the city. At the same time 317 RD and 2 GABD captured Banya Berezov and Gorniy Berezov in mountains 15 km south-west of Delyatin.
1st Guards Army making use of success of the 95 Rifle Corps seized Stanislaw on that day. By the end of 27.07 the length of the 18 Army’s frontline reached 150 km. Despite of that the attention of the army command was concentrated at Dolina which was just 20 km from forward units. The main forces of the army continued to operate in that direction.
to be continued

As concerns the reports of Soviet tank, they continue to ouzzle me. According ot he oficial OOB the 18th Army had no tank units at all neither on 1st July nor on 1st August. In fact, as it have been allready said, it had one SP gun regiment (1448), but it is not shown in the OOB as a separate unit, becuase it was an organic part of the 9th Plastun Division though it operated detached from the division. It is not impossible that the army had some tank units attached between 1.07 and 1.08, but no positive confirmations of this are available.

Art
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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by Art » 27 Mar 2009 16:13

Part III

From the morning of 28 July the 95 Rifle Corps continued offensive aimed at Dolina. Its 351 RD acting on the right wing took in an assault village Rozhnyatov (Rozniatow) and on the next day after 3-hour fighting entered the city Dolina at 3 p.m. During 30 July it completely cleared Dolina and its suburbs, cutting the railway from Stalislaw to Stryi. By the end of the day forward units of the 66 GRD entered the eastern outskirts of Novoselitsa (Nowoselica). 195 Guards Rifle Regiment of the 66 GRD especially distinguished itself taking on 29 July about 200 POWs mostly from German 100 Jg.Div. near Lopianka.
11 Rifle Corps was charged with taking Wygoda controlling the road from Dolina to the Transcarpathian region via the Vyshkov pass. On 28 July the corps took in an assault Pereginskoye (Perehinsko). By the end of 29 July its 226 RD reached approaches to Vygoda and on the next day completely cleared it. On the left wing 271 RD bypassed Vygoda from the south at seized Kalna and Roztochky in mountains 10 km west of Vygoda. 24 RD was withdrawn in the second echelon.
17 Guards Rifle Corps during 28-30 July repulsed all enemy counterattacks holding the line Delatyn, Dora, Sheshora and continued to advance toward Yaremche(Jaremcze) along the Prut valley.
Units of the 1st Guards Army after taking Stanislaw continued to advance to Drogobych and by the end of 30 July reached the line Rozdol, Rakhin.
After right-wing units of the 18 Army had reached Dolina the front commander ordered “to complete by 1 August in cooperation with 4 Tank and 1st Guards Armies defeating the Drogobych-Stryi group and continuing energetic offensive with the main forces of the army to seize and hold firmly by 6 August passes through Carpathians on the line Mukachevo-Hust-Seget.” 1st Guards Army was to continue offensive toward Stary Sambor, Gumenne and to seize by 6 August passes on the line Preshov, Gumenne, Uzhgorod.
The Axis command strived to return Dolina and Vygoda in order to prevent Soviet forces from moving along the road to the Vyshkov pass. In the morning of 31 August two infantry regiments supported by 40-50 tanks of the 8th German and 2nd Tank Divisions made several counterattacks from Rakhina to Dolina. In the second half of that day Axis forces launched a counterattack from Niagryn to Vygoda.
351 RD of the 95 Rifle corps stopped the first attack on the south-western outskirts of Dolina and 66 GRD managed to hold the line Obliski, Novoselitsa (Nowoselica) delivered ablow from Vytvitsa (Witwica) to the right flank of the attacking group and defended Vygoda with one regiment. 271 RD repulsed counterattacks from Bolekhov at Tysovo. One regiment of the 24 RD repulsed counterattacks at Teresowka and another one conducted offensive fighting in the north-west part of Dolina.
The 17th Guards Rifle Corps after having successfully repulsed enemy counterattacks resumed offensive toward Yaremche and by the end of 31 July took this village with 8 Rifle and 2nd Guards Airborne Division. 317 RD was withdrawn to army’s reserve.
During 1-3 Axis forces gained ground near Dolina-Vygoda but didn’t manage to seize these settlements. On 4 they started to retreat to west and north-west under cover of rearguards. After discovering the enemy retreat units of the 18th Army resumed offensive attacking toward Bolekhov. Although the army from 5 August was under command of newly formed 4th Ukrainian Front it continued to carry out tasks ordered by Konev till 8 August.

The period from 1 to 3 August can be called the natural end of the first phase of the operation. During this period the army's forces were split between two directions: the first from Delyatin to Carpathians along the Prut valley (the sector of the 17 Guards Rifle Corps) and the second where the main forces of the army operated was from Ottynia to Dolina along the north edge of the mountains. The greatest advance (up to 80 km) was made in the second direction, where the army succesfully pursued Hugarians up to Dolina but was stopped by counterattacks on 31 July, while in Carpathians Soviet forces made a more limited progress reaching Yaremche. The offensive of the 18th Army was obviously more succesful than the actions of its right neighbour (18 Guards Corps of the 1st guards Army), which for the most part dragged behind. It's worth to mention that the army reserves (9 and 138 Divisions) were apparently not committed during this period.

studiosus
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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 17 Apr 2009 16:02

Many thanks for this valuable account which clarifies the situation.

As far as anti-tank forces on the axis side are concerned, it is worh noting that the (German) Armee-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 744 (Major Alexander Sauter) also covered the retreat of the left (northern) wing of the 1st Hungarian Armee following the Soviet offensive of 23 July 1944 (many thanks to Dr. Szàmvéber for this information I have been looking for for a long time). It seems that this unit also knocked out T-34 tanks.

studiosus
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Re: 18th soviet army (1th Ukrainian Front) April-July 1944

Post by studiosus » 24 Aug 2009 09:50

I read that Leonid Brezhnev (future head of state) was the political officer of the 18th army during the operations against the 1st Hungarian army (marshal Koniev's memoirs contain an interesting quote which arguably constituted an hommage to the master).

Do you know by any chance whether Brezhnev's memoirs/biographies contain any data/statement about the fights against the 1st Hungarian army ?

Studiosus

PS: N. Kruchtchev was at the same time political officer at front level

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