Polotsk counterblow July 2, 1944

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Polotsk counterblow July 2, 1944

Post by jesk » 27 Aug 2019 20:10

Сounterblow against which Model and Lindemann protested took place on July 2. There is little information about him. Book of Ziemke and from Lindemann's biography. The story around Polotsk is like a white spot of "Bagration". The 4th army could have retreated through Minsk if Hitler had not come up with a counterblow. If anyone has detailed information with schemes, throw off here.

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... at-15.html

Elsewhere the army group gained a day's respite when the Russians stopped before Borisov and Slutsk. Model told Hitler he might be able to hold both places if he could get divisions from Army Group North, which could spare two or three divisions if it pulled back its right flank, then still east of Polotsk. He also wanted Army Group North to extend its flank south and restore contact with Third Panzer Army, which had broken away two days before. Hitler ignored the proposals but instructed Model to start swinging Second Army back to cover Slutsk and Baranovichi.

Although Model branded it "a futile experiment," Hitler insisted that Army Group North hold Polotsk and strike to the southwest from there to regain contact with Third Panzer Army. The Commanding General, Army Group North, Lindemann, reported that with two divisions, all he could spare if his flank had to stay at Polotsk, he could not attack. When on 3 July, after receiving permission to go back a short distance from Polotsk, Lindemann continued to insist he could not attack, Hitler dismissed him and appointed Friessner in his place.


The army group was far inferior to the opposing associations of the Red Army at Lindemann command takeover. It consisted of only 30 infantry divisions with 110,248 man combat strength, 30 main battle tanks and 206 assault guns. Soviet supremacy was estimated at 8: 1. When the Red Army began its expected summer offensive (Operation Bagration) and quickly made deep breaches at neighboring Army Group Center Center, the connection between the army groups broke off. Between them, a gap of more than 40 km was created, through which Soviet units advanced towards the Baltic Sea. Only the "Festival Square" Polotsk could still be held. Lindemann vehemently advocated a task for the city and the withdrawal of the entire Army Group North to the Düna. With the evacuation of the Baltic, the front was shortened and the released units were used for operational counter-attacks. However, Hitler prohibited such a move and ordered Polotsk to be held and the original situation restored by a counterattack. Lindemann then offered his resignation, which was not granted. For the commanded counterattack only two divisions with eight battalions and 44 assault guns could be provided, which should push 60 km through two Soviet armies. The attack south of Polotsk began on 2 July and was unsuccessful. At the same time, the situation worsened as the Soviet 4th Shock Army north of Polotsk plunged and threatened to encircle the entire German group. Lindemann therefore ordered arbitrarily the demolition of the counterattack and also requested the evacuation of the city, which was also approved, after which Hitler finally accepted his resignation. On July 4, 1944, he handed over the command of Army Group North to General of the Infantry Johannes Frießner. By his arbitrary actions Lindemann preserved according to the estimation of the military historian Karl-Heinz Frieser his "troops from a catastrophe".

The Polotsk ledge on the right is noticeable. The Germans could stop the Soviets before stretching the front.


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