Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

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Volyn
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Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Volyn » 08 Jul 2021 23:46

This battle was fought from 15–18 FEB 1945 and it was one of the final German military "victories" of the war, stalling the Soviet advance on Berlin for 2 months.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation ... 200289_4-0
https://nseuropa.blogspot.com/2018/05/t ... e-for.html

I am interested in the German forces around the eastern shore region of Lake Madü (Miedwie, Poland) between Pyritz and Stargard that were opposing the Soviet 75 Guards Rifle Division "Bakhmachskaya", led by Major General Vasily Gorishny and subordinated to 61 Army.
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/75-%D1%8F ... 0%B8%D1%8F
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0 ... 0%B8%D1%87

I have listed below the following SS and Wehrmacht units that were operating in the area along with their unit commanders at the time:

10. SS-Panzerdivision "Frundsberg" - SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10th_SS_P ... Frundsberg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Harmel

11. SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier-Division "Nordland" - SS-Brigadeführer Joachim Ziegler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_SS_V ... n_Nordland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Ziegler

28. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division "Wallonien" - SS-Obersturmbannführer Léon Degrelle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Degrelle
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... 28GDSS.htm

Panzerdivision "Holstein" - Generalleutnant Max Fremerey until 16 Feb 1945 and replaced by Oberst Ernst Wellmann.
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... olPD-R.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Fremerey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Wellmann

Looking for information about the following:

1. Which units from the listed German divisions above actually came into contact with the 75 Guards?
2. What was the estimated manpower at the time for each unit listed, German and Soviet?
3. What were the objectives for this group?
4. Are there other maps available for this sector of the battle detailing the German side?

Below is a Soviet map for 61 Army with a close-up for the 75 Guards area.
75th Guards Rifle Division - Pomeranian Offensive Pyritz-Stargard - FEB 1945.jpg
61st Army - Pomeranian Offensive - FEB 1945.jpg
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Last edited by Volyn on 09 Jul 2021 17:16, edited 2 times in total.

Art
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Art » 09 Jul 2021 16:37

Volyn wrote:
08 Jul 2021 23:46
2. What was the estimated manpower at the time for each unit listed, German and Soviet?
75 Guards Rifle division as of 1 February 1945 - 786 officers, 1159 NCOs, 3480 privates, total 5425 personnel
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=110110039

As of 1 March 1945 - 741 officers, 1101 NCOs, 2884 privates, total 4726 personnel. Losses during February: 156 men killed, 522 wounded, 78 missing, total 756 men. Replacements received - 57.
From the war diary of the 61 Army:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=130658452

marthus
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by marthus » 10 Jul 2021 06:52

hello art

Do we know the Soviet losses in men and material caused by the German "Sonnenwende" offensive ??

thank you in advance

Art
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Art » 11 Jul 2021 13:51

In the phase of the German attack - not much, I guess. It was a local action which lasted only several days.
Casualties during 10 days (10-20.02.45) according to the war diary of the 1 Belorussian Front were:
2 Guards Tank Army - 581 men killed, 2064 wounded, 19 missing
61 Army - 1463 killed, 3269 wounded, 14 missing
7 Guards Cavalry Corps - 142 killed, 399 wounded
Separate units - 135 killed, 351 wounded, 6 missing

And suspect that the largest part of the 61 Army's casualties came from assault on Arnswalde.

Art
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Art » 14 Jul 2021 07:39

Also 3 Shock Army - 1527 killed, 3906 wounded, 176 missing in action on 10-20.02.1945. At appears that combat of the 7 Rifle Corps/3 Shock Army at Reetz-Nantikow-Kallies on 16-20 February was the most bitter and bloody part of the operation. For example, 265 Rifle Division alone lost 339 men killed and 959 wounded at Reetz in less than a week, which was quite a lot.

marthus
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by marthus » 14 Jul 2021 08:28

Thank you Art for all this information ....
do you also have information on tank losses ??

thank you in advance ....

Art
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Art » 14 Jul 2021 16:35

1st Belorussian Front reported the loss of 2860 tanks and SP guns from 14 January to 1 March 1945, including 856 write-offs. I don't know how many were attributable to Sonenwende, but obviously a smaller part.
3 Shock Army - 1527 killed, 3906 wounded, 176 missing in action on 10-20.02.1945.
It should be added that the casualties including fighting against the Schneidemuhl garrison which broke out on 14.2 and ran into elements of the 3 SA. That was another intense and costly action. For example, the 150 Rifle Division alone lost 200 men killed and 396 wounded in 2 or 3 days according to its war diary.

Volyn
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Volyn » 21 Sep 2021 17:49

Art wrote:
09 Jul 2021 16:37
75 Guards Rifle division as of 1 February 1945 - 786 officers, 1159 NCOs, 3480 privates, total 5425 personnel
Thank you Art, I finally had time to review the documents from the links you provided, can you translate this section and does it provide a location?
61 Army - 75 Guards Rifle Division - 26 FEB 1945 (2).jpg
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Art
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Art » 22 Sep 2021 16:14

75 Guards Rifle Division - 241 Guards Rifle Regiment holds the line (exl.) Karlsburg - Krussow, 231 and 212 Guards Rifle Regiments at 20.30 started to relieve the 448 Rifle Regiment of the 397 Rifle Division on the line (exl.) Krussow - Warnitz - Shenbrunn - Gross Shenfelde).

Sorry, no time for correct place-names.

Volyn
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Re: Operation Solstice / Unternehmen Sonnenwende - 1945

Post by Volyn » 22 Sep 2021 16:32

Thank you Art.

I think Warnitz is now the village of Warnice in Pyrzyce County and Krüssow is the village of Kurcewo in Stargard County both in Poland; can anyone confirm if this is correct?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warnice,_Pyrzyce_County
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurcewo

Does anyone know what the Polish towns for Shenbrunn and Gross Shenfelde are called now?

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