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Ostfront January to June continued...

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April 1, 1944

Elements of Zhukov’s 1st Ukrainian Front reach the Jabolnica Pass in the Carpathian Mountains. However, he is forced to redirect much of his force north of the Dnepr to contend with the unexpected movement of Hube's 1st Panzer Army across his route of advance.

April 2, 1944

The Soviets announce their entry into Romania and threaten to shoot one thrird of all German POWs if the 18 divisions fo the trapped 1st Panzer Army do not surrender. The Soviets cross the Pruth River, east of Cernovcy and liberate the city of Gerca.

April 4, 1944 

German forces begin limited local counterattacks against the advancing Red Army forces.

They succeed in blunting the drives into the Carpathian Mountains and securing, at least temporarily, the passes near Kolomya. Further north, Army Group Centre attacks and relieves the besieged garrison at Kovel in the Pripet marshes.

April 5, 1944

The US 15th Air Force returned to Ploesti, hitting oil refineries and rail yards. This time they brought heavy fighter support, and lost only 12 planes.

Advancing elements of the 3rd Ukrainian Front cut the last rail line to Odessa near the town of Kishinev as the collapse of the southern German forces continues. 

April 6, 1944

The German 1st Panzer Army, after a westward fight of over 150 miles, regains a line of communications with the rest of Army Group South at Buchbach south of Tarnopol. Zhukov, who was anticipating a withdraw to the south and subsequently surprised by the move, was blamed for the debacle. Further to the south, elements of the German 6th Army trapped at Razdelnaya are heavily engaged by elements of the 3rd Ukrainian Front.

April 7, 1944 

Heavy fighting continues at Razdelnaya as the trapped German and Romanian forces continue to hold out. Further to the north, the German garrison trapped in Tarnopol makes an unsuccessful attempt at withdrawal.
German StuG III G

Elements of the II SS Panzer Korps (9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions) begin counterattacks toward the besieged city.

April 8, 1944

Fighting ends at Razdelnaya as the 3rd Ukrainian Front eliminates the German and Romanian forces fighting in the pocket. To the south, Tolbukhin's 4th Ukrainian Front begins the liberation of the Crimean peninsula. The German 17th Army defends the hopeless position and begins a hasty withdrawal to Sevastopol. Further north, 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts continue to drive into Romania reaching the Siret river and the Slovakian border, capturing Botosani and Dorohoi.

April 9, 1944

Red Army forces continue to advance in south-western Ukraine and Romania as 3rd Ukrainian Front forces reach the Odessa and 4th Ukrainian Front forces break the German lines at Kerch and storm into the Crimean peninsula.

The remains of the 1st Panzer Army regain the German lines after a 150-mile forced march. 

Soviet T-34s April 10, 1944

Elements of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front move into Odessa as the 4th Ukrainian Front continues to push the German 17th Army back on the now doomed city of Sevastopol. Further to the west, elements of 2nd Ukrainian Front cross the Siret River and capture Radauti and Suceava.

April 11, 1944

Fighting is heavy in the Crimea as the Soviet 4th Ukrainian Front captures Kerch and Dzhankoy.

April 12, 1944

The 3rd Ukrainian Front continues to drive into Romania, unhinging the southern flank of the German lines on the eastern front. Hitler, now desperate for troops, belatedly orders the evacuation of the Crimea. The only route out of the Crimea now available was by sea out of Sevastopol.

April 13, 1944

Soviet forces continue to sweep through the Crimea as the 17th Army begins to disintegrate into a routed mob heading for the dubious safety of Sevastopol. Feodosia and Simferopol both fall.

April 14, 1944

1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts drive into the Carpathian Mountains, forcing the inappropriately named and newly formed Army Groups Northern and Southern Ukraine to retreat in different directions opening a wide gap in the German lines.

April 15, 1944

The 1st Ukrainian Front ends the siege of Tarnopol as the German garrison is overrun while attempting to breakout.

April 16, 1944

The 3rd Ukrainian Front establishes several bridgeheads over the Dnestr River near Tiraspol. German forces launch immediate counterattacks that fail to dislodge the Soviet troops. Meanwhile, Yalta falls to the Independent Coastal Army advancing on Sevastopol.

April 18, 1944

German and Hungarian forces begin limited counterattacks against the 2nd Ukrainian Front between Buchach and southward to the Pruth River. 
Hungarian infantry

The attacks made little impression, however the Red Army forces were nearing the end of this latest offensive in any event.

The Soviets take Balaclava in the Crimea.

April 19, 1944

Soviet Black Sea Fleet ships bombard Sevastopol as the German 17th Army continues its desperate attempt to evacuate the Crimea. Elements of 4th Ukrainian Front and the Independent Coastal Army continue to press the Germans back.

April 23, 1944

German forces launch limited counterattacks at Narva (Army Group North) in an attempt to stabilize the deteriorating situation on that front.

Romanian Infantry May 5, 1944 

Soviet forces in the Crimea begin their final attack on Sevastopol with a massive artillery bombardment into the fortress city.

May 6, 1944

Soviet forces begin to move into the city of Sevastopol as the German and Romanian forces continue to attempt to evacuate the beleaguered city.

May 8, 1944

Red Army attacks into Sevastopol continue as 45,000 German and Romanian troops remain trapped in the city.

May 9, 1944

Soviet forces capture the city of Sevastopol as Hitler belatedly orders the full-scale evacuation of the Crimean Peninsula.

May 12, 1944

The survivors of the 17th Army in the Crimea surrender. 36,000 are marched off to become prisoners of war.

May 25, 1944

Tito turns 52 years old and to celebrate, the Germans make a daring paratroop drop on his mountain headquarters in a cave complex near Drvar in Bosnia. Churchill's son Randolph is also at the headquarters and both men, with bullets cracking into the cave, narrowly escapes capture.

May 30, 1944

Elements of the newly constituted German 8th Army launch a series of limited counterattacks around Jassy, Romania against the advance elements of the Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front, throwing the Russians back in a few locations.

May 31, 1944

Red Army forces hit back around Jassy in the south of Ukraine, ending the threat from the German attacks.
Soviets in Sevastopol

Meanwhile, Stalin gives approval "Operation Bagration", the summer offensive against Army Group Centre and the liberation of Byelorussia.

June 1, 1944

Attacks by the 2nd Ukrainian Front around Jassy continue and gain back much of the ground lost earlier to the German counter-attacks.

June 4, 1944

Italy: Rome is captured.

June 6, 1944

France: Allies Land in France as Operation Overlord Begins.

June 9, 1944

The Soviet 21st and 23rd Armies, with massive aid and artillery support, launch a major assault in the Karelian Isthmus north of Lenningrad in a bid to knock the Finns out of the war. Finnish resistance was stiff and no breakthrough was achieved.

Finnish PaK 38 June 10, 1944 

The Soviet offensive north of Leningrad makes headway as elements of the 23rd Army captures Terijoki and Yalkena on the Karelian Isthmus.

June 15, 1944

Soviet forces penetrate the main Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus as there attacks continue to pound forward.

Finnish resistance begins to crumble as the relentless attacks from the Red Army's Leningrad Front (21st, 23rd, and 59th Armies) continues their offensive.
June 20, 1944

Soviet forces operating north of Leningrad secure a clean breakthrough of the Finnish defences and take Viipuri.

June 21, 1944

The Soviet 7th Separate Army opens a new set of attacks north and east of Lake Ladoga, hitting the Finnish 6th Corps. Amphibious landings are made on several of the islands off the Karelian Isthmus.

June 22, 1944

Operation Bagration Begins - Soviet forces open a massive offensive designed at the destruction of the German positions in Belarus. Four Soviet fronts (1st, 2nd and 3rd Belarusian, and 1st Baltic) with 124 division, 1,700,000 men 2,700 tanks, 1,300 assault guns, 24,000 heavy artillery pieces, 2,300 rocket launchers, and 6,000 aircraft attack along a 450 mile front. The German formations, greatly depleted defend with about ¼ the combat power massed by the Red Army. They consists of (north to south) 9th Army, 4th Army and 3rd Panzer Army.

Last Updated On Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Wayne at Battlefront