June 23, 1944 was the day of the outbreak of one of the biggest operations of the Great Patriotic War, Bagration.
The aim of the operation was the crucial defeat of the German Army group "Center". The depth of German defense reached 250-270 km.
The operational plan was based on winning the flanks and encircling the enemy with further liquidation of the "caldron" and the liberation of Belorussia. The second stage provided the further advance.
Historically, the first opportunity to encircle the Group "Center" occurred during The Battle under Moscow but at that time, the Red Army had neither power nor the speed to accomplish the task. In the middle of 1944 the situation drastically changed.
The Red Army reached a multiply superiority to the German Army in quantity. The confrontation resulted in clash. Here are but a few sparks of the tremendous battle, a few episodes from the life of one man from 2,400,000 fighting at four fronts, who commanded one tank from 5,200. Still more, the Soviet side engaged 36,000 guns and 5,300 aircraft in this battle.
I hope that the translation of these memoirs, which were never published before, will help to understand the ferocity of fight and the scale of operations.
However, please, note that it was a cruel war at the cruel times. The fight was uncompromising and it can not be condemned or judged from the position of nowadays, and who are we to judge, anyway?
Editorial remark: sometimes it was difficult to determine the exact names of the cities as in some cases, they were ex-German, in other cases - ex-Polish. I have included some comments from the published memoirs of the Commander of the Komsomol Assault Corps, to which the regiment of the flame-throwing tanks was constantly attached.
Belorussia (the first stage of the operation Bagration)
Belostok (the second stage)
Graudenz (the third period of the war, European campaigns)
Danzig ( European campaigns)
Crossing Oder (European campaigns)
Related articles: Front, armies and other things Assault units
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