The myth of Bagration as one operation

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jesk
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The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 28 Aug 2019 07:42

Soviet troops in Belorussia in the summer of 1944 attacked successfully. All this was called Operation Bagration, which took place on August 29th. In fact, Bagration consisted of many local offensive operations, the goals of which were made dependent on the changing situation. On the night of June 28-29, the Stavka set new tasks for the fronts. The release of Minsk was supposed to be on July 7-8. In fact, it happened on July 3, 4-5 days ahead of expectations. To significantly slow down the Soviet advance in the area of ​​the Berezina River, Minsk, the Germans needed an additional 4-5 divisions, not so many. A week after the start of the offensive, it was possible to transfer to Belorussia. Hitler blocked interaction with the Army Group North, insisting on keeping Polotsk and counterattack from there. The divisions from Ukraine did not have time to arrive at the front by early July.

The Minsk operation, what the Russians thought when on June 29 planned to take Minsk on July 8. Released on July 3. They did not expect that on the Berezina north of Borisov the Germans would not have 3-4 divisions to deter attacks. Between 5 Panzer and 212 Infantry Divisions, 80 km of empty unprotected space.

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Polotsk operation. The Soviets attacked the Polotsk ledge with two armies, 43 army advanced west. Could the Germans stop the advance in the Polotsk operation? Probably. But on the way of the 43 army there were the remains of 252, 95 divisions and security units broken up near Vitebsk. Between 3 panzer and 16 armies, a 40 km gap, which Hitler demanded to close with a counterattack. Parts of the 6th Guards Army rushed there. Strengthening the direction of 2-3 divisions and the offensive is stopped.

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The Polotsk and Minsk operations, local offensives with a small amount of forces, the success of which predetermined the complete absence of German troops in the rear. In the week before July 1, 4-5 divisions were not allocated to slow down the advance of the Russians and at least get the opportunity to evacuate 4 army to the west.

jesk
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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 28 Aug 2019 08:13

Here is a criticism of the operation plan. Having sprayed forces on a huge front, the Soviets did not have reserves to strengthen.

http://inbelhist.org/my-za-cenoj-ne-pos ... bagration/

Operation Bagration was planned exclusively on the map. And if the command of the German Center group had the appropriate reserves, it would have ended at best on the Berezina, and at worst 50-100 km from the offensive line.

On June 23, 1944, the troops of the 2nd and 3rd Belorussian fronts, as well as the 1st Baltic against the troops of the 3rd Tank and 4th Field Armies of the Wehrmacht, went on the offensive.

On the third day (June 25), the 43rd and 39th armies surrounded Vitebsk (it was defended by two infantry and two airfield divisions of the 53rd army corps). The next day, June 26, this corps launched a counterattack to break through, but was almost completely dispersed on June 27. Nevertheless, the Soviet 4th strike army was never able to get close to Polotsk.

An attempt to realize Vitebsk’s success failed - P. Rotmistrov’s 5th Panzer Army, which entered the breakthrough, on the approaches to Berezina ran into the tanks of the 5th Panzer Division, Major General Decker, arriving from Ukraine, and despite its fivefold superiority (524 tanks and self-propelled guns versus 125), was defeated, having suffered very large losses (295 tanks - 56%).

Only a week later, on June 28, the 2nd Belorussian Front managed to force the Dnieper and occupy Mogilev.

Thus, by the end of the week of fighting, the Soviet troops in the northern sector, despite advancement of 50-150 km in different sectors, had not yet reached a strategic breakthrough.

The 1st Belorussian Front launched its offensive, at the request of its commander G.K. Zhukov began days later, on June 24. On the sixth day, June 29, having advanced 100 km forward, the front forces managed to surround and take Bobruisk. The messages of Soviet historians, circulating today, about the "complete destruction of the enemy’s encircled group" in the Bobruisk "cauldron" do not correspond to reality - most of the German group escaped from the Bobruisk area. However, it was this operation that opened the way for Minsk to the Soviet troops.

If after encircling part of their troops near Vitebsk and Mogilev, the Germans nevertheless restored the semblance of the front in those directions using the Berezina River’s border, after the breakthrough Bobruisk formed a hefty “window” that the German units that had just escaped from could not close Under Bobruisk and not having time to either recover or regroup.

From the very beginning, the operation took a turn that was unexpected for the Führer and his closest advisers Jodl and Keitel. German troops in Belarus were attacked by superior forces throughout the front, and not its individual sections. In the directions of the main Soviet attacks, the front was broken through in the early days, and immediately there was a threat of encirclement of the groups defending Vitebsk and Bobruisk. But German troops could not leave in a timely manner from these sections due to the "valuable" instructions of the Führer to ban the withdrawal and to keep the flanks in conditions of deep penetration of the enemy. As a result, the troops were surrounded, although they could easily avoid this fate:

“By observing and analyzing the actions of the German troops and their main command then, we, frankly, were surprised at their grossly erroneous maneuvers that doomed the troops to a catastrophic outcome. Instead of quickly retreating to the rear lines and throwing strong groups to their flanks, which were threatened by Soviet strike groups, German troops were drawn into protracted frontal battles east and north-east of Minsk ”(G. Zhukov. Memoirs and Reflections. T. 2, M. , pp. 256-257).

From the very beginning, difficulties arose among the Soviet troops. The troops that surrounded the Germans near Vitebsk and Bobruisk failed to regroup mobile units for an attack on Minsk, and the 5th Panzer Army introduced into the breakthrough did not achieve a breakthrough. In addition, the infantry, stuck in the front line of the German defense on the elimination of numerous centers of resistance, lagged behind the tank and mechanized units. In the areas east of Minsk, a "mess" was formed, consisting of: a) from broken and retreating German troops; b) the Soviet rifle divisions not too persistently pursuing them; c) Soviet mechanized divisions, detached from their infantry and trying to realize the possibilities of deep coverage; d) partisan formations.

On June 28, specifying a new task for the fronts, the Stavka made a remark to the command of the 5th Panzer Army:

“The Stavka is unhappy with the slow and indecisive actions of the 5th Guards. TA refers this to the poor leadership of Comrade Rotmistrov. The Stavka requires 5 Guards. TA rapid and decisive actions that meet the prevailing situation on the front. "

The pace of advancement of the Soviet units was not maintained. Next came the counterattacks of German reserves from the depths - and the front would have stuck somewhere on the Berezina line. That would have ended the whole Bagration. Would not see "Soviet" Minsk. But here a very simple but extremely important circumstance played its role - in the depths of the German defense it was empty. And where are the reserves?

The point here is not the notorious “Ukrainian tanks” (the role of an armored hammer operating from the depths of its defense could be played by the present 3rd Panzer Army with its five divisions). Yes, here's the trouble - the 3rd tank could not be removed from near Vitebsk, because there was nothing to replace it in the front line of defense. Army Group Center had no effective reserves at all!

For some reason, historians ignore the fact that all three strategic operations of the Red Army in the central sector of the front (Belarus, Vistula-Oder and Berlin) at the final stage of the war unfolded according to the same scenario - a breakthrough of the first line of German defense and ... that’s all. Further, non-stop advance deep into the territory with the complete absence of counterattacks due to the absence of any troops in the depths of the enemy defense.
Last edited by jesk on 28 Aug 2019 08:33, edited 2 times in total.

jesk
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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 28 Aug 2019 08:21

Further, the author of the article makes an erroneous conclusion why there were no 5 divisions in the rear for counterattack. He believes due to the landing of the Allies in Normandy. But, the story around Polotsk, with Model's objections and Lindemann's resignation, points to Hitler as the culprit for the lack of necessary divisions. Army Group "North" could easily allocate the right amount.

- The main reason for the Germans' lack of reserves was that the last days of June 1944 were in the yard. Having landed in Normandy, the Allies promptly deployed a group of more than 2 million people there. From that moment on, all German reserves went to France. There was even the 30th Grenadier Division of the Waffen-SS (1st Belarussian). Recruited in Belarus to fight the Bolsheviks, she took her first battle in the Markolsheim region with the Americans and the French.

The success of Operation Bagration ensured the lack of reserves in the depths of German defense. And this, in turn, was the result of the landing in Normandy of the Anglo-Americans, who drew on themselves all the available German reserves. Without the success of the “Lord”, there would be no success of the “Bagration”. That is, the explanation is directly opposite to the fiction of the Soviet-Russian authors: they say that only thanks to Bagration did the Allies succeed in Normandy!

As a result, from June 29, the offensive continued without any problems, except for large losses.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 28 Aug 2019 22:16

This scheme is absolutely correct. Having sprayed troops along the entire length of the front, the Soviets did not have reserves for a deep strike.

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The Polotsk operation is proof of this. The main forces of the 1st Baltic Front hit the flank, not in depth. On the Polotsk ledge, where the Germans could have left before. Model and Lindemann insisted. The operation is made dependent on the enemy. And why it was impossible to block the Polotsk ledge, to strike west with the main forces. The front line was stretched and the Germans had the opportunity to strike back. The Vitebsk, Polotsk ledges are the depth of operations with the available forces, which must be carried out in order to avoid German counterattack.
The 43rd Army dealt an auxiliary strike in a westerly direction to hold down the enemy. But there were no any German troops. Blow into the empty space.

The black line is the depth of offensive operations in Belorussia in June 1944. After the end of the Vitebsk operation, Bagration ended. The Russians developed a plan of new operation, small in scale.

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Stiltzkin
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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by Stiltzkin » 29 Aug 2019 00:33

From that moment on, all German reserves went to France.
A fraction of it.
That is, the explanation is directly opposite to the fiction of the Soviet-Russian authors: they say that only thanks to Bagration did the Allies succeed in Normandy!
The only reason the WAllies could return to the continent was the existence of the Eastern Front. That the Soviets profited from the opening of other fronts should be obvious (and vice versa).
Though:
For some reason, historians ignore the fact that all three strategic operations of the Red Army in the central sector of the front (Belarus, Vistula-Oder and Berlin) at the final stage of the war unfolded according to the same scenario - a breakthrough of the first line of German defense and ... that’s all. Further, non-stop advance deep into the territory with the complete absence of counterattacks due to the absence of any troops in the depths of the enemy defense.
I agree that the Soviets planned on eliminating AGC earlier and failed to do so, at least not before mid 1944. This fact remains.

The synchronization of the offensives is certainly debatable, similarities can be found in the winter of 42. Goals however can change dynamically based on the situation on the battlefield, rendering plans and predictions useless.
most of the German group escaped from the Bobruisk area
I believe if I recall correctly then the numbers fluctuate around 15,000. I do not know if "most" is the appropriate word.
Operation Bagration was planned exclusively on the map. And if the command of the German Center group had the appropriate reserves, it would have ended at best on the Berezina, and at worst 50-100 km from the offensive line.
But they did not and even if so, based on the statistical determinants you could only speak about an improved chance that it might have failed. This would only qualify for the "what if" section.
Further, non-stop advance deep into the territory with the complete absence of counterattacks due to the absence of any troops in the depths of the enemy defense.
I believe this would classify as a combat march and not a breakthrough anymore. :)
But, the story around Polotsk, with Model's objections and Lindemann's resignation, points to Hitler as the culprit for the lack of necessary divisions. Army Group "North" could easily allocate the right amount.
Sounds like the typical excuse, usually roaming through the net.
The success of Operation Bagration ensured the lack of reserves in the depths of German defense
Indeed, it is the ratio of irrecoverables to overall casualties that shifted during the later phase. AGC was not strong enough and too static to endure a Soviet offensive of this magnitude. Germany could not give ground to the same degree as the Soviets did in 1941.
The article correctly questions the factor of quality. That the performance of the RKKA improved in any significant form in 1944 is indeed doubtful. Some of the cited figures seem to be problematic though. Aside from that, I am surprised that such an article would be published in an institute, seems like Belarus is tired of being a puppet state.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 29 Aug 2019 07:27

Stiltzkin wrote:
29 Aug 2019 00:33
I believe if I recall correctly then the numbers fluctuate around 15,000. I do not know if "most" is the appropriate word.
In report of the 20th Panzer Division - 30 thousand.
But they did not and even if so, based on the statistical determinants you could only speak about an improved chance that it might have failed. This would only qualify for the "what if" section.
Look at the map above. In the Borisov area, the Soviet 5th Tank Army was held down by the 5th Panzer Division. To the north attacked the 11th Guards Army. In the first echelon 6 divisions; in the second 3, they covered the flanks. In the 5th Army, at least 2 divisions remained in the rear to fight the encircled units. About 10 rifle divisions crossed the Berezina. The Germans had nothing there. A blow to the void, after which Model decided to abandon plans to rescue the 4th army, built a line of defense in the rear. How many forces did the Germans need to detain the Russians on Berezina in strip of the 3 Belorussian Front? 3 divisions would be enough. Why weren't they? Hitler, insisting on a counterattack from the Polotsk region, blocked the allocation of divisions for the 3rd tank army.
Sounds like the typical excuse, usually roaming through the net.
NOT. You did not even try to understand the meaning of what was written. Model protested, Lindemann left. Trifles ...
Indeed, it is the ratio of irrecoverables to overall casualties that shifted during the later phase. AGC was not strong enough and too static to endure a Soviet offensive of this magnitude. Germany could not give ground to the same degree as the Soviets did in 1941.
4-5 divisions did not have enough for the Germans to stop the Russians on Berezina. Compared to June 23, the front was reduced by 250 km, and with the units of 4 army, the remnants of 3 tank and 9 armies, the Germans could defend themselves. Army Group North could easily set up divisions for defense.
Hitler’s order on fortresses completely deprived the Germans of mobility. If the Germans withdrew from the Vitebsk ledge and beyond the Dnieper in the Mogilev region, on this Bagration would most likely have ended.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 29 Aug 2019 08:07

The Germans repelled the attacks on Orsha and Mogilev. Problems arose around the Vitebsk ledge.

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What if, at once, troops would be withdrawn from him, having consolidated the defense, probably and in this section the Russians could not break through. Closing a gap near Bobruisk is all the easier. In these layouts, failure at Bobruisk is only a local wedge into the defense. Where can leisurely pull up the reserves.
The Germans in Belorussia burned down on trifles. Vitebsk ledge, then 4-5 divisions were not enough to build a line of defense along the Berezina.
But this is only the beginning of Hitler’s game. He left Army Group North outside the Reich. The troops did not participate in the defense of Germany.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 29 Aug 2019 11:16

More confirmation of the correct analysis of German intelligence on June 13. Attack of Orsha from the flanks of 11 guards and 31 armies. German intelligence should have known that the 5th army would strike into the void, where there are no German troops? Hardly. 11 and 31 armies dealt the main blow, the 5th auxiliary. Like the 43 army near Polotsk.
In the course of the operation, when success near Vitebsk and Boruisk became noticeable, the Russians began to build up actions in favor of an attack on Minsk from the side of the breakthroughs.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by Stiltzkin » 29 Aug 2019 20:34

NOT. You did not even try to understand the meaning of what was written. Model protested, Lindemann left. Trifles ...
Then you misunderstood. Hitler and his Staff could rant all day long. There is an engagement hierarchy, such as attacks by waves. They would not be able to capitalize on this for long. The shift or reduction of forces from one area to another can stop a breakthrough, but also provoke one by reducing the strength of their original point, potentially compromising the integrity of the front. Time would be the deceisive factor.
In the course of the operation, when success near Vitebsk and Boruisk became noticeable, the Russians began to build up actions in favor of an attack on Minsk from the side of the breakthroughs.
And that was possible why? (hint: the Wehrmacht already shifted various formations...). The objective was either achieved by reducing the defenders strength at the entry point or by shifting towards the path of least resistance.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 29 Aug 2019 21:16

Stiltzkin wrote:
29 Aug 2019 20:34
Then you misunderstood. Hitler and his Staff could rant all day long. There is an engagement hierarchy, such as attacks by waves. They would not be able to capitalize on this for long. The shift or reduction of forces from one area to another can stop a breakthrough, but also provoke one by reducing the strength of their original point, potentially compromising the integrity of the front. Time would be the deceisive factor.
For this there is a density of defense. In February-March 1943, Rzhev and Demyansk liberated 32 divisions to other sectors of the front. The Germans were not afraid that the balance of power would change in favor of the Russians. They knew the number of bullets and shells per kilometer of the front, enough to destroy all the waves of attackers. On the eastern front, as applied to the Russians, the density of defense always worked. If Germany defended within its borders, 70 divisions for the successful defense of the eastern front I think would be enough. And these are the 1944 state divisions. Within 10 thousand people. 1 million Germans in normal conditions, without Hitler, could reliably forge all Russian forces.
And that was possible why? (hint: the Wehrmacht already shifted various formations...). The objective was either achieved by reducing the defenders strength at the entry point or by shifting towards the path of least resistance.
Your exercises in theory are not applicable to military affairs. Few connections have been transferred. Model asked more and Hitler did not give him them.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by Stiltzkin » 29 Aug 2019 22:18

1 million Germans in normal conditions, without Hitler, could reliably forge all Russian forces.
Okay...
Your exercises in theory are not applicable to military affairs
Actually those are laws derived from combat.

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2019 13:05

Stiltzkin wrote:
29 Aug 2019 22:18
Your exercises in theory are not applicable to military affairs
Actually those are laws derived from combat.
Your conclusions are still vague and little convincing. Mine with a density of guns and machine guns per kilometer also inspire little confidence. The Germans are reducing the front, Russian forces are being freed...
Finally, I found this, the explanation against which there is simply nothing to argue with. Demonstrates the absurdity of warfare by Germany. The Germans wanted to lose the war and strove for it.
Concentration of forces in the direction of the main strike. Using the Bagration operation as an example, on sections of 10-15% of the total length of the front, Russians concentrated 60-80% of the infantry, 70-90% of artillery and >90% tanks. Reducing the front 7-8 times increased the firepower of the Red Army by 20%, the Wehrmacht 3 times.

From the book of Goncharov "Bagration"

http://militera.lib.ru/h/sb_bagration/index.html

p.64
1 Baltic Front

После изменения границ в ночь на 6 июня полоса обороны севернее Поречье отошла ко 2-му Прибалтийскому фронту. Ширина фронта для 1-го Прибалтийского фронта сократилась с 214 до 160 км.
Имея в среднем почти двойное общее превосходство по живой силе и трех-четырехкратное превосходство в артиллерии и танках над противником, командование фронта на направлении главного удара в полосе шириной 25 км (на участке Волотовки, Тошник) сосредоточило более 90 % танков, до 80 % живой силы и минометов и более 70 % артиллерии.

After changing the borders on the night of June 6, the defense line north of Porechye moved to the 2nd Baltic Front. The front width for the 1st Baltic Front was reduced from 214 to 160 km.
With an average of almost double overall superiority in manpower and three to four times superiority in artillery and tanks over the enemy, the front command in the direction of the main attack in a strip 25 km wide (in the Volotovka, Toshnik section) concentrated more than 90% of the tanks, up to 80% of living force and mortars and more than 70% of artillery.

p.93
1 Belorussian front

из 240 км общего протяжения фронта прорыв обороны противника намечался на участке в 28 км. На направлении главного удара было сосредоточено: пехотных дивизий — 24 (или 62 %), танков и самоходных орудий — 806 (или 90 %), орудий полевых (дивизионной артиллерии, корпусной и РГК) — 2469 (или 93 %), минометов — 1910 (или 63 %).

out of 240 km of the total length of the front, a breakthrough of the enemy’s defense was planned on a 28 km stretch. The following was concentrated in the direction of the main attack: infantry divisions - 24 (or 62%), tanks and self-propelled guns - 806 (or 90%), field guns (division artillery, corps and RGK) - 2469 (or 93%), mortars - 1910 (or 63%).

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Re: The myth of Bagration as one operation

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2019 13:33

Hitler knew that he was doing wrong and found logic in response. According to Frieser, Hitler developed a strategy to move 35 divisions east, after the defeat of the allies in France. The Belorussian balcony should be seen as a springboard for an attack on Moscow.

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