Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

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jesk
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Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

Post by jesk » 13 Aug 2019 19:33

In June, this army had 18 divisions and it is closer than the others was to Belorrussia. On Berezina, the Soviets used their last reserves and only the complete absence of German troops there allowed them to move on. In the first 2 weeks of the offensive, the 16th army did not move a meter west.

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From Ziemke's book about a big problem.

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

Giving Model command of Army Group Center was for Hitler also a handy way to sidetrack an OKH proposal to take Army Group North back to the line Dvinsk-Riga and so gain divisions for the battle in the center.

Fourth Army's fate was sealed on 30 June. The Russians had tanks and self-propelled artillery within range of the Beresino bridge. Even to get the troops across the river without their equipment appeared nearly hopeless.31 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.

By 1 July Model was certain the most easterly line he could try to hold was between Baranovichi and Molodechno. He expected some advantage from earthworks and trenches left there from World War I, but told Hitler he would need several divisions from Army Group North to defend Molodechno. He was worried most about his left flank. Between the Army Group North flank, "nailed down" at Polotsk by Hitler's orders, and the Third Panzer Army left flank northeast of Minsk, a 50-mile gap had opened. A gap nearly as wide separated the panzer army's right flank and the Fourth Army short line around Molodechno. Third Panzer Army could be encircled or simply swept away any time the Russians wanted to make the effort, and thereafter the road to Riga and the Baltic coast would be open.

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.

By stretching its front west, Army Group North narrowed the gap to Third Panzer Army to about twenty miles. Friessner was going to attack south with three divisions, but First Baltic Front's Fourth Shock and Sixth Guards Armies began pressing toward Dvinsk and thus tied down everything on the army group's flank. Friessner then proposed as a "small solution" to let Sixteenth Army withdraw to the LITHUANIA position, a line being constructed from Kraslava east of Dvinsk to Ostrov; Hitler refused to consider going more than half that distance.

At Fuehrer headquarters, Hitler proposed giving him a panzer division from Germany and two divisions from Army Group North right away, two more later. With these Third Panzer Army was to attack north and close the gap. On the question of the "big solution," taking Army Group North back to the Riga-Dvinsk-Dvina River line, which was what Model wanted most, Hitler was adamant. Admiral Doenitz, he said, had submitted a report proving such a withdrawal ruinous for the Navy.

jesk
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Location: Belarus

Re: Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

Post by jesk » 13 Aug 2019 19:47

Hitler deceived all during war and the subsequent generations of historians, history buffs were cruelly deceived too. They looked for a problem in tank divisions in Ukraine and Normandy. In fact, the interaction of the Army groups Center and North more efficiently solved the problems.
Further Berezina Russians would not pass if the 16th army allocated 3-4 divisions for strengthening the 3rd tank army.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... uly_03.png

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Order of battle (15 June 1944)

At the disposal of the 16. Armee
- 24. Infanterie-Division
- 69. Infanterie-Division
- 281. Sicherungs-Division
- 285. Sicherungs-Division (part)
I. Armeekorps
- 205. Infanterie-Division
- 87. Infanterie-Division
X. Armeekorps
- 389. Infanterie-Division (most)
- 290. Infanterie-Division
- 263. Infanterie-Division
II. Armeekorps
- 81. Infanterie-Division
- 329. Infanterie-Division
- 23. Infanterie-Division
VI. Waffen-Armeekorps der SS (lettisches)
- 15. Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS (lettische Nr. 1)
- 19. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (lettische Nr. 2)
- 93. Infanterie-Division
L. Armeekorps
- 218. Infanterie-Division
- 132. Infanterie-Division
- 83. Infanterie-Division

jesk
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Re: Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

Post by jesk » 13 Aug 2019 21:21

The situation on July 9th. The strip of the 16th army increased by 40%. Instead of separating divisions into the Center, the army is forced to cover space. Hitler stretched the front.

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jesk
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Re: Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

Post by jesk » 16 Aug 2019 20:07

How the Fuhrer sabotage works. He ordered a counterblow by two divisions from the Polotsk area. For these purposes, 24 infantry division was deployed there. Commander of the Army Group North Lindemann argued.

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24 ID
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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.

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 6th Guards Army bypassed Polotsk from the south and developed the offensive in a westerly direction.

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215 and 132 infantry divisions were transferred to the Dvinsk region (Dunaburg) to cover the flank. Dvinsk was released only on July 27.

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215 ID
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132 ID
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Model requested divisions to strengthen the Center group, but through Hitler's efforts at least 3 divisions were spread across the southern flank of the 16th army. Attention! Which was not in June (an increase of 40%).

jesk
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Re: Hitler blocks the use of the 16th army in "Bagration".

Post by jesk » 17 Aug 2019 22:51

On this map, it is well visible how Hitler held the divisions to the north, opening the way for the Russian armies. Hitler grotesquely stretched the front line.

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The Germans were to withdraw troops west of Polotsk. To the north of the Dvina river, leave 87 infantry division. The 2nd Baltic Front went on the offensive on 10 July and until that date the attacks to the north of Dvina could not carry much threat. The retreat from the Polotsk ledge liberated 2 divisions. 132 and 215 id moved to the 3 panzer army. With such forces Model promised to stop the Russians on Berezina.

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