Information request

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Caldric
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Information request

Post by Caldric » 30 Nov 2002 21:03

What was the main river crossing ability of the Germans during their invasion of USSR? Such as the Dneiper, did they seize bridges or did they have to construct their own? I am looking for a battle that would be in comparison of the crossing of the Rhine etc. Did the Soviets destroy all the bridges or did Soviet infrastructure even have many bridges to start with? Surely there were bridges east of Kiev. Also did the Germans have efficient Pioneer support for constructing temporary bridges?

Thanks for any information, lots of question but I am interested in this, I have found little information on River crossing. I know the GD reached the Dnieper on July 5 1941.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 30 Nov 2002 22:43

Hi Caldric

As you suspected your going to get examples where the Germans siezed bridges or where destroyed the Pioneers built pontoons etc.

PanzerGruppe 3 had Four crossing points of the Niemen River within it's op area, and all were taken undamaged. At Olita on the River Niemen the Russian 126th Rifle & 5th Tank Division fought desperate battles to cover the crossing whilst preperations by the 4th Pontoon Bridge Regiment were made to blow the bridge. However because studies of the concrete structure hadn't been made the bridge remained intact and fell to the Germans.

Also the Dnepr is fordable in several places within the summer months as per the invasion, and so the Germans wern't always limited to targeting bridged sites on the Dnepr River.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Joao Alberto
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crossing the dnieper

Post by Joao Alberto » 30 Nov 2002 23:05

Hello folks. It´s my first post so please don´t be angry with my poor english...

I checked Guderian´s book Panzer Lider. On page 190 (brazilian edition) he starts to tell about the dnieper river and the conquest of Smolensk. On page 194/195 there´s the following inormation: "On july 11 i left my command post... In the command post of the 29th motorized infantry division, near Kopys,... From that point we had excellent observation of the bridge construction´s work..."

Also there´s a picture on page 223 showing the bridge construction.

Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Joao Alberto.

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 30 Nov 2002 23:39

Thanks for the information, do either of you know of a battle at one of these bridges? As in who was involved where and when it took place? I am trying to gather some information on contested bridge and river crossings in the Eastern Front battles.

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Joao Alberto
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Rudel´s brave act at Jampol Bridge

Post by Joao Alberto » 01 Dec 2002 04:28

On March 20th 1944 Rudel flied an attack on the bridge at Jampol. The bridge was destroyed despite strong defense fire. A Ju 87 was hit at the engine and had to make an emergency landing some kilometers eastward the Dniper (beyond soviet´s lines). Rudel decided to save the crew. Rudel landed, but he couldn´t take off again. The airplane sank in the mud too deeply.

The only hope for the two bomber crews to avoid the russians was swiming in the icy Dnieper and they succeed after cross the river and walked 50 km back to german´s lines.

Not a "bridge battle" but a nice tale and in some way connected with a bridge.

For more info about this check out this site:

http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Stuka/Rudel/rudel.htm

Cheers,
Joao Alberto.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 01 Dec 2002 17:30

Caldric,

The first bridge battle that i can think of on the Eastern Front is the Dunaburg bridge sized on the Duna River on june 26 1941 in Latvia. It was a spectacular exploit by General Von Manstein and Army group North. It was a decisive action to take Leningrad.

There is also the River bug crossing of Brest-Litovsk on june 23 1941 from the North and South and penetrating 50 miles into Russian occupied Poland.

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Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 01 Dec 2002 21:42

Thanks Joao, that is very interesting, to bad he could not find a small road to land so he could take off again.


Benoit,

I will look those up, they sounds interesting and sound like what I was looking for. The Duna especially.

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