Stalin's Revenge: Operation Bagration and the Annihilation of Army Group Centre

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Stalin's Revenge: Operation Bagration and the Annihilation of Army Group Centre

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844158669
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
  • Publication date: 7/19/2009
  • Pages: 190
  • Sales rank: 1,497,021
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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  • Posted August 14, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Useful study of Operation Bagration and its aftermath

    Anthony Tucker-Jones has written widely on the history of modern warfare. This absorbing book studies the Red Army’s Operation Bagration which annihilated Hitler’s Army Group Centre in just 12 days in June 1944. This crucial defeat cost Hitler 20 German divisions, 300,000 killed, 250,000 wounded, and 120,000 taken prisoner. He also lost 2,000 panzers and 57,000 other vehicles. Tucker-Jones also provides a most illuminating account of the Red Army’s subsequent struggle to liberate Warsaw. He points out that “In five weeks of fighting Rokossovsky had covered 450 miles (725km) and was within reach of Warsaw. The Polish capital now looked a tempting prize as a culmination of Bagration’s remarkable success, but Stalin’s summer offensive was beginning to lose momentum. Rokossovsky’s 1st Byelorussian Front was at the very limit of its supply lines; ammunition and rations were exhausted, as were his men. In many ways the defence of Warsaw echoed that of Minsk – the eastern approaches of the Polish capital were protected by a 50 mile (80km) ring of strongpoints. The only difference was that this time Model had sufficient mobile reserves with which to parry Rokossovsky’s forces.” As he observes, “Rokossovsky was facing twenty-two enemy divisions, including four security divisions in the Warsaw suburbs, three Hungarian divisions on the Vistula south of Warsaw, and the remains of six or seven divisions which had escaped from the chaos of Bialystok and Brest-Litovsk, that could be deployed between the Narev and the Western Bug. At least eight divisions were identified fighting to the north of Siedlice, among them two panzer and three SS panzer or panzergrenadier divisions.” He writes, “Rokossovsky simply could not fulfil his orders to break through the German defences and enter Praga by 8 August. … After a week of heavy fighting the Soviet 3rd Tank Corps was surrounded by 4th and 19th Panzer; 3,000 Soviet troops were killed and another 6,000 captured. The Soviets also lost 425 of the 808 tanks and self-propelled guns they had begun the battle with on 18 July. … The 3rd Tank Corps was destroyed and the 8th Guards Tank Corps and the 16th Tank Corps had taken major losses. The exhausted Soviet 2nd Tank Army handed over its positions to the 47th and 70th Armies and withdrew to lick its wounds.” Marshal Zhukov wrote later, “On instructions by the Supreme Commander, two paratroop officers were sent to Bor-Komorowski [the commander of the Polish Home Army] for liaison and coordination of actions. However, Bor-Komorowski refused to receive the officers … our troops did everything they possibly could to help the insurgents, although the uprising had not been in any way coordinated with the Soviet command.” Tucker-Jones comments, “In light of Rokossovsky’s efforts to the north-east and south-east of Warsaw in the face of the tough Waffen SS, this is largely true.”

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