Showing posts with the label Bagration


by Luka Bilić Controversies and analysis of intelligence, strategy and outcome Every interesting eastern front operations is full of controversies and Bagration is no exception. These mostly fall into categories of inadequate and/or ignored intelligence; faulty strategy of defense and responsibility for the above mentioned. Intelligence . It is often said that intelligence reports about comming offensive were ignored by the high command and that catastrophe was thus largely preventable. In reality Soviet maskirovka (concept of deception, operational security, counter intelligence, camouflage etc) was highly efficient and sophisticated. It was at work on virtually every level. Reinforcements to the Belorussian sector were huge, but yet remained obscured. Only in last six weeks prior to offensive Soviets moved in 56 rifle divisions, 4 cavalry corps, 10 tank corps, 2 mechanised corps, one tank brigade, 18 tank regiments, 31 assault gun regiments and huge numbers of other units

Bagration Controversies and analysis of intelligence, strategy and outcome Strategy

by Luka Bilić For the summer of 1944 STAVKA was planning multiple offensives and Germans were trying to guess exactly when and where these would materialize. Soviet advance during winter of 1943/44 (great Dnepr- Carpatian offensive) brought them into Romania in the south, to the Carpathian foothills in the center and into the prewar Poland, just south of Prypiat marshes around Kovel area. To the north ‘Belorussian balcony’ jutted east all the way to Russian border, less than 300 miles from Moscow. Two significant strategic realities presented themselves consequently. First, vital Romanian oil fields were within striking distance (a fortnight infantry’s march) and second, advance to Kovel area in Poland finally took the Red Army beyond the Prypiat marshes which were left to their north east opening possibility to cut into the rear of army groups Center and North by driving north toward Baltic and possibly encircling those units with simultaneous offensive from the north shoulder o

Bagration Demonstration of Red Army maturation and comparison of Barbarossa and Bagration

by Luka Bilić Operation Bagration was the biggest allied operation of WW2, most devastating defeat of the war for the Germans and one of finest examples of how modern combined arms, mechanised, mobile operations should be executed. From strategic and tactical planning to sophisticated deception campaign, covert concentration of forces to coordination, command and control, inter arms coordination, engineer and logistical wonders to adept and aggressive leadership and skill of ordinary troops. These characteristics are usually associated to the Germans, but by 1944 the Red Army closed the quality gap with the vaunted Wehrmacht. Bagration was an example of what Red Army was capable of if planning was done professionally without political pressure, if time was allowed for thorough, time consuming maskirovka campaign and so on. In Bagration Soviet permanent losses were smaller than German ones and this ratio was especially favorable in the first two weeks before Soviet lines of supp

Bagration Soviet doctrine of holding the front linearly

by Luka Bilić -In 1941 Soviet doctrine of holding the front linearly, and orientation on ‘offensive defense’ played right into German hands. When it was time to run, orders would come to attack in opposite direction, right in the depths of calamity and creating pockets..When Germans would brake through and take possession of good roads and communication centers, Soviet forces would continue to hold worthless terrain between lines of communication in accordance with their outdated linear disposition principles. During Bagration, German defences were asymmetrical, heavily concentrated on valuable ground while only screening hardly passable wilderness with virtually nonexistent infrastructure. Germans arguably also had problems with belated withdrawal orders(still nowhere near as belated as Soviet ones in Barbarossa, among other things because of real time communications and insight in situation, while Soviets had to send envoys who had to find units first, then send messengers ba