This article relies largely or entirely on a single source . (October 2016)
|First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive|
|Part of Eastern Front, World War II|
Advance of the Red Army, 1943–1944
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
|45,000 casualties||150,000 casualties|
The First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, named after the two major cities Iași (Jassy) and Chișinău (Kishinev) in the area, refers to a series of military engagements between 8 April and 6 June 1944 by the Soviets and Axis powers of World War II. According to David Glantz, the offensive was supposedly a coordinated invasion of Romania conducted by Red Army's 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts, in accordance with Joseph Stalin's strategy of projecting Soviet military power and political influence into the Balkans.
According to the plans of the Main Command of the Soviet Military ( Stavka ), the two Soviet fronts would cut off vital Axis defensive lines in Northern Romania, facilitating a subsequent advance by the Red Army into the entire Balkan region.The Soviet attack commenced with the First Battle of Târgu Frumos and the Battle of Podu Iloaiei, and culminated with the Second Battle of Târgu Frumos. Soviet forces failed to overcome German defenses in the region and the offensive operation ultimately failed, mainly due to the poor combat performance of Soviet troops and the effectiveness of German defensive preparations.
This operation is part of a series of battles almost completely ignored by Soviet archival records and historiography.According to military historian David Glantz, "During the almost 60 years since the end of World War II, Soviet and Russian military historians and theorists have carefully erased from the historical record any mention of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts' first Iasi–Kishinev offensive, during which the Red Army's two fronts attempted to invade Romania in April and May 1944. As is the case with so many other military operations the Red Army conducted during the war, they have done this deliberately, in the process relegating this offensive to a lengthy list of "forgotten battles" of the Soviet–German War."
On 5 March 1944, Marshal Ivan Konev—commander of the 2nd Ukrainian Front—commenced the Uman–Botoşani Offensive operation in the Ukraine. This operation succeeded in separating Army Group South's 1st Panzer-Armee from 8th Army by 17 March.by early April Soviet units approached the Romanian border.
Starting with early April 1944, Stavka ordered the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts to mount a major offensive with strategic implications in western Romania. 's strategic intentions were to break German and Romanian strategic defenses in northern Romania, capture the key cities of Iași and Chișinău, and afterward project forces deep into Romanian territory, if possible as deep as Ploiești and Bucharest. By 5 April, Konev's front had crossed the upper reaches of Dniester and Prut rivers, captured Khotyn and Dorohoi, and approached Târgu Frumos and Botoşani regions—30–60 mi (48–97 km) northwest of Iași—facing only light Romanian resistance. On 8 April, Konev ordered the 27th and 40th Armies to conduct a coordinated offensive southward along the Târgu Frumos axis, in close cooperation with Semyon Bogdanov's 2nd Tank Army. While Konev's shock group was advancing toward Târgu Frumos, Konstantin Koroteev's 52nd Army and elements of Andrei Gravchenko's 6th Tank Army— which were operating north of Iași—were conducting operations alongside the Iași axis in order to support Konev's main effort.Stavka
As Konev's armies prepared to launch their offensive toward Târgu Frumos, Otto Wöhler's 8th Army was involved in the heavy fighting taking place in and around the village of Popricani, 9 mi (14 km) north of Iași, where two Soviet corps were fighting with armored Kampfgruppen , distracting the Germans' attentions and forces away from the critical Târgu Frumos sector. Exploiting the 52nd Army diversionary operations in the Iași region, the three armies of Konev's shock group began advancing southward early in the morning of 8 April. The advance was quite slow due to mud-clogged roads during the rasputitsa (the twice yearly period of water-logged ground), as well as crossing to the west bank of the Prut River northwest of Iași.
Konev's armies' initial mission was to reach Târgu Frumos, Pașcani, and Târgu Neamț regions —30–60 mi (48–97 km) west of Iași—and capture the three towns from their Romanian defenders by surprise. While three divisions of 51st Rifle Corps were ordered to press southward toward Pașcani, another two rifle divisions were protecting their advance in the region north and northwest of Târgu Neamţ. Further to the east, seven rifle divisions assigned to 35th Guards and 33rd Rifle Corps of 27th Army would advance southeastward along the Prut starting on 7 April, forcing the Romanian 8th Infantry Division to retreat toward Hârlău, 17 mi (27 km) north of Târgu Frumos. Meanwhile, another two divisions of 33rd Rifle Corps joined by two corps of the 2nd Tank Army would press the Romanian 7th Infantry Division back toward Târgu Frumos.
The Second Battle of Târgu Frumos, part of the First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, was a military engagement primarily between the Wehrmacht and Red Army forces in May 1944, near Iași, Romania.
The Jassy–Kishinev Operation, named after the two major cities, Iași and Chișinău, in the staging area, was a Soviet offensive against Axis forces, which took place in Eastern Romania from 20 to 29 August 1944 during World War II. The 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts of the Red Army engaged Army Group South Ukraine, which consisted of combined German and Romanian formations, in an operation to reclaim the Moldavian SSR and destroy the Axis forces in the region, opening the way into Romania and the Balkans.
The Battle of Romania in World War II comprised several operations in or around Romania in 1944, as part of the Eastern Front, in which the Soviet Army defeated Axis forces in the area, Romania changed sides, and Soviet and Romanian forces drove the Germans back into Hungary.
The Uman–Botoşani Offensive or Uman-Botoshany Offensive was a part of the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive, carried out by the Red Army in the western Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic against the German 8th Army of Army Group South during World War II. Led by Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev, it became one of the most successful Red Army operations of the whole war. In over a month of combat through the deep spring mud and numerous water barriers, the 2nd Ukrainian Front advanced over 300 kilometres (190 mi), cleared German forces from southwestern Ukraine, and entered Romania and Moldova.
The Battle of Podu Iloaiei was part of the First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive of World War II fought between the Romanians along with their German allies and the Soviets. The battle was a reaction to the Soviet defeat at the First Battle of Târgu Frumos. It consisted mainly of a tank battle near Scobâlțeni where the First Romanian Armored Division held off the Soviet tanks for a single day. At the end of the battle, the Germans joined to drive the Soviets back to the positions they held before the battle.
The First Battle of Târgu Frumos was part of the First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive of World War II, fought between Axis powers commanded by Otto Wöhler and Soviet forces led by Ivan Konev.
The Battle of Târgu Frumos, also known as the Battles of Târgu Frumos, occurred during 1944 in World War II in and around the town of Târgu Frumos in Iaşi County, Moldavia, Romania.
Mikhail Konstantinovich Puteiko was a Belarusian Red Army major general killed in action during World War II.
The 3rd Guards Airborne Division was a Red Army division of World War II. In December 1945 it appears to have become 125th Guards Rifle Division, while serving with 35th Guards Rifle Corps, 27th Army, Carpathian Military District.
The 53rd Army was a field army of the Soviet Union's Red Army which was formed in August 1941, disbanded in December 1941, and reformed in May 1942. It fought throughout World War II before again being disbanded after the war in October 1945. The army was first formed for the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and was disbanded there in December 1941. The army reformed in May 1942. It fought in the Demyansk Pocket, the Battle of Kursk, the Battle of Belgorod, the Battle of the Dnieper, the Battle of the Korsun–Cherkassy Pocket, the Uman–Botoșani Offensive, the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, the Battle of Debrecen, the Budapest Offensive, and the Prague Offensive. At the end of the war in Europe it was moved to the Far East and fought in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. The army was disbanded in October 1945.
The 7th Mechanized Corps was a mechanized corps of the Red Army, formed three times. The corps was first formed in 1934 in the Leningrad Military District and was converted into the 10th Tank Corps in 1938. The corps was reformed in the summer of 1940 in the Moscow Military District and fought in the Battle of Smolensk, after which its headquarters became part of Group Yartsevo's headquarters. The corps was formed a third time in August and September 1943. The third formation fought in the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive, Uman–Botoșani Offensive, Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, Battle of Debrecen, Budapest Offensive, Bratislava–Brno Offensive, Prague Offensive, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. Postwar, the corps' third formation became a division and was disbanded in 1957.
The 81st Guards Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Red Army and the Soviet Army. It was formed after the Battle of Stalingrad from the 422nd Rifle Division in recognition of that division's actions during the battle, specifically the encirclement and the siege of the German forces in the city. The 81st Guards continued a record of distinguished service through the rest of the Great Patriotic War, and continued to serve postwar, as a rifle division and later a motor rifle division, until being reorganized as the 57th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade in 2009 in the Russian Ground Forces. Most of its postwar service was in the Soviet (Russian) far east, where it was originally formed as the 422nd.
The 16th Guards Tank Division was a tank division of the Soviet Army and later the Russian Ground Forces.
The 337th Rifle Division was first formed in August 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, at Astrakhan. Like the 335th Rifle Division, this formation was assigned to the southern sector of the Soviet-German front during the winter counteroffensive, but was encircled and destroyed during the German spring offensive that formed the Izium Pocket. The division was formed again from July until August 13, 1942, serving in the Caucasus and along the coast of the Black Sea before being moved to the central part of the front to take part in the Soviet counteroffensive following the Battle of Kursk. As the front advanced towards the Dniepr River the 337th was recognized for its role in the liberation of the Ukrainian city of Lubny and was granted its name as an honorific. As the division continued to advance through northern and western Ukraine and into Hungary, it earned further honors before ending its combat path in western Austria.
The 353rd Rifle Division formed on August 27, 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, at Krasnodar. It was assigned to the southern sector of the Soviet-German front, at first in 56th Army, and it would remain on this sector for the duration of the war. After assisting in the first liberation of Rostov-on-the-Don in late 1941, but in 1942 it retreated into the Caucasus region, and fought to hold the Axis forces from reaching the coast of the Black Sea. Following the retreat of the Germans and Romanians in the wake of their defeat at Stalingrad, the 353rd took part in the offensives that freed Ukraine in 1943 and 1944, winning a battle honor for the liberation of Dneprodzerzhinsk in October, 1943. In the summer of 1944 it participated in the offensive that finally drove Romania out of the Axis, and then advanced into the Balkan states. Shortly thereafter it was assigned to 37th Army, which was detached from the active army to garrison the southern Balkans, and the division remained on this quiet front for the duration of the war.
The 373rd Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming in August 1941 in the Urals Military District. It was moved to the front northwest of Moscow while still trying to complete its training and went straight into action in mid-December during the winter counteroffensive. Until May 1943, it was involved in the bloody fighting around the Rzhev salient. After a period in reserve for rebuilding, the division's combat path shifted southward when it was assigned to 52nd Army, where it remained for the duration of the war. It won a battle honor in eastern Ukraine, then fought across the Dniepr River late that year, and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for its successes. Following this it advanced through western Ukraine in the spring of 1944, then into Romania in the summer, where it played a major role in the second encirclement and destruction of the German 6th Army. After again moving to the reserves the division shifted northwards with its Army to join 1st Ukrainian Front, fighting through Poland, eastern Germany and into Czechoslovakia. By then the 373rd had compiled an enviable record, and went on to serve briefly into the postwar era.
The 409th Rifle Division was formed as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served in that role for the duration of the Great Patriotic War. It was officially considered an Armenian National division, and initially almost all its personnel were of that nationality. After forming it remained in service along the border with Turkey until nearly the end of 1942, when it was redeployed to the 44th Army in Transcaucasus Front, assisting in driving the German 17th Army into the Kuban peninsula. Following this the division was moved to the 46th Army in Southwestern Front and took part in the summer offensive through the Donbass and eastern Ukraine. In October it was moved again, now to the 57th Army in 2nd Ukrainian Front; it would remain in that Front for the duration of the war, moving to the 7th Guards Army in December. After crossing the Dniepr the 409th won a battle honor in January, 1944, then spent the spring and summer in the battles around Jassy and Kishenev in Moldova. After the defeat of Romania the division advanced into Hungary as part of the 27th Guards Rifle Corps. In October it rejoined the 7th Guards Army, where it remained for the duration, mostly in the 25th Guards Rifle Corps. After the fall of Budapest the division joined the final advances on Vienna and Prague in the spring of 1945, and was disbanded shortly thereafter.
The 41st Guards Rifle Division was formed as an elite infantry division of the Red Army in August, 1942, based on the 1st formation of the 10th Airborne Corps, and served in that role until after the end of the Great Patriotic War. It was the last of a series of ten Guards rifle divisions formed from airborne corps during the spring and summer of 1942. It was briefly assigned to the 1st Guards Army in Stalingrad Front, then to the 24th Army in Don Front, and suffered heavy casualties north of Stalingrad before being withdrawn to the Reserve of the Supreme High Command for a substantial rebuilding. Returning to 1st Guards Army in Southwestern Front in November it took part in Operation Little Saturn as part of 4th Guards Rifle Corps and then advanced into the Donbass where it was caught up in the German counteroffensive in the spring of 1943. During the summer and fall the division fought its way through eastern Ukraine as part of the 6th, and later the 57th Army under several corps commands. It would remain in the southern part of the front for the duration of the war. By February, 1944 it was in the 7th Guards Army and took part in the battle for the Korsun Pocket, winning its first battle honor in the process. Shortly after it was transferred to the 4th Guards Army, where it would remain for the duration, still moving through several corps headquarters. The 41st Guards saw limited service in the first Jassy-Kishinev offensive in the spring, but considerably more in August's second offensive and several of its subunits received battle honors or decorations. The division itself won a second honorific during the offensive into Hungary in January, 1945 and was later decorated for its role in the capture of Budapest. After the fall of Vienna in April it did garrison duty in the city for a short time before being directed west into lower Austria where it linked up with U.S. forces in the last days of the war. In October, while still in Austria, it was converted to the 18th Guards Mechanized Division.
The 60th Guards Rifle Division was formed as an elite infantry division of the Red Army in January, 1943, based on the 2nd formation of the 278th Rifle Division, and served in that role until after the end of the Great Patriotic War.
The 206th Rifle Division was twice formed as an infantry division of the Red Army, first as part of the prewar buildup of forces. Its first formation in March, 1941 was based on the last prewar shtat for rifle divisions. When the German invasion began it was still organizing well away from the front near Krivoi Rog but was soon sent to the Kiev Fortified Sector where it eventually came under command of the 37th Army. It was deeply encircled by the German offensive in September and destroyed, but not officially stricken from the Soviet order of battle until late December.