Prelude to battle
At the end of December 1937, Red Army and EDC offensive against Nazi Germany and his allies began. To 12th January 1938, Soviet armies liberated Konigsberg, half of Hungary, Wien, southern Germany and large parts of Italy. Red Army Central Commanding with Czechoslovakian and Polish officers started to prepare strategic attack offensive against German defense lines in east Germany. Hitler Defense Line became strongest point of German defense with more then 70 infantry and 20 tank divisions with support of 2500 artillery batteries and all Nazi air forces in Germany. Red Army commanders decided to start main part of offensive against Dresden with Czechoslovakian support.
At 15th January, Andrei Navrchov took command over whole front and offensive. With commanders Zhukov, Tukhachevsky and Rokossovsky, he met with EDC operational commanders and decided best strategy to break through German defense.
According Navrchov and Tukhachevsky plan, Poland army with support of 12 rifle divisions and four tank brigades will attack against Stargard and block large parts of Manstein armies. Also, they will disturb large parts of re-inforcements to Polish-German front. Meanwhile, eight Czechoslovakian infantry divisions, five tank brigades and two air squadrons with support of 45 rifle divisions, 30 tank divisions and 14 air squadrons will attack against weakest German defense line point - Dresden. After that, Red Army will meet with Polish, Sweden and Finnish army on Polish-German front and eliminate German armed forces on front, through rapid encirclement.
According plan, Red Army have to capture Dresden to 22nd January and move on 100km from Berlin to 30th January.
|Saxony strategic offensive operation|
|Date: 12 January - 4 February 1938|
|Result: Strategic Decisive Soviet-Coalition victory|
Battle began at 00:10 12th January by massive artillery attack against German positions. Meanwhile, SpecNaz commandos started murderous attack against "elite soldiers" camps and eliminated large formations of SS units.
During 9:00 same day, Poland and Scandinavians army started camouflage "offensive" against German armies on Polish-German front. Von Manstein sent 22 divisions to help Polish-German front.
At 7:00, 13th January, Red Army and Czechoslovakians started attack against Hitler Defense Line. Advance was slowed by new equipment of Wehrmacht - tanks Tigers and Panthers and new machine guns and anti-tanks personal weapons Panzerfaust. Red Army tank commanders was shock by new weapons and Red Army tank forces had big casualties. Commander of corps P. Romanenko was wounded by explosion of T-34 tank near his commanding post(German anti-tank troop destroyed T-34 by Panzerfaust), Comcor Romanenko was sent to Moscow and changed for comarm Jakir from Hungarian front.
At 17th January Wehrmacht commanders halted soviet offensive just five km southern from Dresden. Comarm Navrchov and Tukhachevsky asked comarm Belov for new re-inforcements. Belov sent free units from Hungarian front (seven rifle divisions, two tank divisions and four engineer brigades).
During night from 20th to 21st January Red Army and EDC restarted offensive and surprisingly attack against non-prepared SS front units. All SS elite troops and also 4 SS divisions were total annihilated and also Wehrmacht lost 75,000 men and 400 tanks and AFV.
22nd January Red Army captured suburbs of Dresden and liberated local concentration camps.
24th January Red Army and EDC started main attack against Dresden and just in 20 hours, Dresden fall to Soviet hands. Wehrmacht lost 162,000 soldiers and Red Army with EDC allies rapidly move through east Germany to Berlin.
26th January Navrchov, Tukhachevsky and Eliáš established temporary commanding center in Dresden and started with executions NSDAP members and officials.
28th January SpecNaz commandos destroyed important reinforcements and supply routes and effectively eliminated anti-aircraft defense circles.
30th January Red Army troops secured convoy on way to Berlin. Chief of RSHA Heydrich was capture and executed by soviets for crimes against civilian populations and POW's.
31st January Sweden navy attacked north-coast Pomerian defense and Scandinavian elite navy troops landed in northern Germany to help Saxony offensive.
4th February offensive was definitely stopped just few dozen km from Berlin and offensive units united with Polish units on Polish-German front and eliminated massive army formation.
Saxony offensive was strategic important offensive against Wehrmacht and SS forces. During offensive, many important commanders and Nazi officials were killed or arrested and structures of Wehrmacht in south-east Germany collapsed.
After action, large number of soviet and EDC officers were promoted and also commander Navrchov was promote to comfront (commander of front).