Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Slutsk/Sluzk Belorussia 1941

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Slutsk/Sluzk Belorussia 1941

    Hello --

    I am seeking information about this area and battle fought here in June 1941. This area was defended by the 4th Army and appears to have slowed down Guderian's advance by a day or so. The location had a number of pre-1939 forts which I believe were partially de-constructed in order to establish new fortifications along the new frontier in Poland.

    I would like to find details of the battle fought here, maps (present or period), the locations of the fortifications, units involved, etc.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

    Bannon

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bannon DC
    Hello --

    I am seeking information about this area and battle fought here in June 1941. This area was defended by the 4th Army and appears to have slowed down Guderian's advance by a day or so. The location had a number of pre-1939 forts which I believe were partially de-constructed in order to establish new fortifications along the new frontier in Poland.

    I would like to find details of the battle fought here, maps (present or period), the locations of the fortifications, units involved, etc.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

    Bannon
    Hi, Bannon

    This morning I briefly refreshed my knowledge about this area. In brief what happened there.
    The Slutsk fortified zone included 129 disarmed fortifications (pillboxes et.al.) Its garrison was 1 battalion.Approaching German troops met resistance of the 55th Rifle Division, which covered Slutsk from the West. Also I found mentioning of the other units of the 4th Army fought there. I.e. residuals of the 28th Rifle Corps (6,42 RD), residuals of the 14th Mechanised Corps, which 30th Tank Division (its residuals) took part in combats inside the town.

    Regards,
    Alex
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bannon DC
      Hello --

      I am seeking information about this area and battle fought here in June 1941. This area was defended by the 4th Army and appears to have slowed down Guderian's advance by a day or so. The location had a number of pre-1939 forts which I believe were partially de-constructed in order to establish new fortifications along the new frontier in Poland.

      I would like to find details of the battle fought here, maps (present or period), the locations of the fortifications, units involved, etc.

      Thanks for any information you can provide.

      Bannon
      Recommend David Glantz, The Initial Period of War on the Eastern Front. His book will give you the context of the fight and down to corps and division level units.

      In my book, Red Army Tank Commanders, I note "On the morning of 26 June, Bogdanov's motorized rifle regiment, after withdrawing 70 kilometers over four days, miracualously managed to hold the Germans on the approaches to Slutsk. His unit's heroic fight allowed the Army staff to withdraw out of the path of the German XXIV Pz Corps attack. But, Bogdanov's defense only slowed the Germans, and, by nightfall, his shrinking detachment fell back to another defensive line.
      [I believe 3 Pz Div took Slutsk on 27 Jun].
      Details, sketchy at best from this period of the war on the Russian side, are in Russian.

      You may be able to track through the German side, but I was unsuccessful trying to find German commentary on Bogdanov's fight before Slutsk. However, there is more stuff out there now than when I did my research.

      Good luck!
      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 24 Jan 06, 07:35.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, Armstrong and AMVAS.

        Guderian mentions it briefly and it comes up again briefly in "Stalin's Folly" by Constantine Pleshakov (in a bit more detail).

        Understandably, the early war is not covered in much detail on the Russian side.

        In Glantz's "Barbarossa" he mentions the Soviet 20th Mech and 4th Airborne conducted a joint ground and air-assault in order to counterattack at Slutsk. An air assault? Did the Soviets really para drop in the opening days of the war? I'd like to hear more about that if anyone knows. (This is from a single sentence in the book.)

        Bannon

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is the OOB for the applicable units in June '41:

          http://orbat.com/site/history/histor...ia/wfront.html

          And a short account of the battle here, although with VERY limited info on the Slutsk portion of the action:

          http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...a&ct=clnk&cd=6
          Last edited by tigersqn; 26 Jan 06, 13:55.
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bannon DC
            Thanks, Armstrong and AMVAS.

            Guderian mentions it briefly and it comes up again briefly in "Stalin's Folly" by Constantine Pleshakov (in a bit more detail).

            Understandably, the early war is not covered in much detail on the Russian side.
            From Russian side it intially can't be described in details, as many docs were lost.

            Originally posted by Bannon DC
            In Glantz's "Barbarossa" he mentions the Soviet 20th Mech and 4th Airborne conducted a joint ground and air-assault in order to counterattack at Slutsk. An air assault? Did the Soviets really para drop in the opening days of the war? I'd like to hear more about that if anyone knows. (This is from a single sentence in the book.)

            Bannon
            Check my MAP section
            http://www.rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.c...1W.htm#Western
            http://www.rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.c...e_25_27_41.JPG
            20th Mechcorps was deployed more to the North from Slutsk.

            Hmmm.... I found I have to put one more detailed scheme there. Seems I missed to do it earlier. Current update is planned to be on Feb. 20.

            As for the air dropping, it's absolute fiction. As I know Soviet Air forces were not able to perform any significant operations on that direction been hardly destroyed in the first days of the war.
            If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

            Comment


            • #7
              Aja, no, I found mentioned scheme I supposed to be missed.
              http://www.rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.c...2-Jul11_41.jpg

              Form it you clearly can see operations on the Slutsk direction.
              214th Airborne Rifle Brigade operated North, North-East from Slutsk together with the 20th Mechcorps.

              Regards,
              Alex
              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

              Comment


              • #8
                The map you reference is very good... clear and readable.

                Would you be able to help me out with a key to the Soviet military abbreviations with regard to the type of units they represent? I'm not sure what I'm looking at in some cases. Some of these letters I can not duplicate on my keyboard... but they most closely appear to be an "a". "22ca, 42ma"

                Also, what are the names of the 4 or 5 minor rivers indicated near the symbol for the 4th Army? I've collected a few maps of the region, but most do not give the names, of if they do they are in Russian. This would help since all of my sources are in English.

                Near Pruzana, there was a tank clash. One source says this was the 14 Mech Corp attacking the German 18th Panzer. You have this represented on your map, but I see "14MK" a little further south facing off against the 1 Cavalry. As far as I know, there were very few (if any) KV's and T-34s in the Western Front. Guderian makes a point of mentioning the first encounter with the T-34, but it was much further on near the Beresina. I don't recall him mentioning the first encounter with the KV. Do you know if the 14MK had any KV's... or was it all light tanks?

                thanks,
                Bannno

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tigersqn
                  Here is the OOB for the applicable units in June '41:

                  http://orbat.com/site/history/histor...ia/wfront.html

                  And a short account of the battle here, although with VERY limited info on the Slutsk portion of the action:

                  http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...a&ct=clnk&cd=6
                  Tigersqn --

                  Thanks for the links. The OOB was very helpful and was useful in answering some of my questions in terms of military symblols in my previous post.

                  Bannon

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bannon DC
                    Thanks, Armstrong and AMVAS.

                    Guderian mentions it briefly and it comes up again briefly in "Stalin's Folly" by Constantine Pleshakov (in a bit more detail).

                    Understandably, the early war is not covered in much detail on the Russian side.

                    In Glantz's "Barbarossa" he mentions the Soviet 20th Mech and 4th Airborne conducted a joint ground and air-assault in order to counterattack at Slutsk. An air assault? Did the Soviets really para drop in the opening days of the war? I'd like to hear more about that if anyone knows. (This is from a single sentence in the book.)

                    Bannon
                    Your referenced sentence is footnoted by Glantz wher he points out that "since they lacked aircraft necessary to launch the air-assault, the airborne corps deployed forward on foot."
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bannon DC
                      The map you reference is very good... clear and readable.

                      Would you be able to help me out with a key to the Soviet military abbreviations with regard to the type of units they represent? I'm not sure what I'm looking at in some cases. Some of these letters I can not duplicate on my keyboard... but they most closely appear to be an "a". "22ca, 42ma"

                      Also, what are the names of the 4 or 5 minor rivers indicated near the symbol for the 4th Army? I've collected a few maps of the region, but most do not give the names, of if they do they are in Russian. This would help since all of my sources are in English.

                      Near Pruzana, there was a tank clash. One source says this was the 14 Mech Corp attacking the German 18th Panzer. You have this represented on your map, but I see "14MK" a little further south facing off against the 1 Cavalry. As far as I know, there were very few (if any) KV's and T-34s in the Western Front. Guderian makes a point of mentioning the first encounter with the T-34, but it was much further on near the Beresina. I don't recall him mentioning the first encounter with the KV. Do you know if the 14MK had any KV's... or was it all light tanks?

                      thanks,
                      Bannno
                      Rivers are the next (from west to east starting from that one near figure of 45th I.D.):
                      Yasel’da, Bobrik,Tsna,Slutch,Pripyat’,Ptich
                      For abbreviations you can browse some bilingual maps presented on my site. For example this one http://RKKAWW2.armchairgeneral.com/m...ap_june41d.JPG

                      Against the 18th Pz Div. In Pruzhany area operated the 30th Tank Division/14th Mechcorps supported by motorized rifle regiment/205th Mot. Rfl. Div./14th Mechcorps. Been outflanked by the 17th Pz. Div those troops left Pruzhany. On this time 30th Tank Div. had ~80 tanks.
                      On June 22, 14th Mechcorps had 534 tanks: 528 T-26 (including 14 T-26T prime-movers), 8 BT and 10 amphibious tanks (T-37/38/40). The 30th TD had 251 T-26 and 5 amphibious tanks.
                      The 22nd TD had 211 T-26. The 205th MRD had 56 T-26 + 5 amphibious tanks. Corps HQ had 6 BTs.
                      There were quite a significant number of T-34s and KVs on the Western Front. But as, they were concentrated in the 6th Mech Corps (238-239 T-34, 113-114 KVs), which was not successful in operations left large percent of vehicles lost because of breakages, lack of fuel and ammo. Also divisions of this corps had large losses from German aviation on march. So, no surprise that those tanks couldn’t play much role that time. This corps operated against the 256th I.D./20 A.K./9 A which parried its attacks by own AT forces in Grodno area. As there were no German tank commanders, nobody noticed Soviet modern tanks.
                      Among other mechcorps of the Western Front I can notice only 11th MC to have 28 T-34 and 3KVs.
                      If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bannon DC

                        Near Pruzana, there was a tank clash. One source says this was the 14 Mech Corp attacking the German 18th Panzer. You have this represented on your map, but I see "14MK" a little further south facing off against the 1 Cavalry. As far as I know, there were very few (if any) KV's and T-34s in the Western Front. Guderian makes a point of mentioning the first encounter with the T-34, but it was much further on near the Beresina. I don't recall him mentioning the first encounter with the KV. Do you know if the 14MK had any KV's... or was it all light tanks?
                        Of the three major units of the 14th MK, the 22nd TD was deployed near Brest and the 30th TD a bit farther out. Both were virtually destroyed as divisions in the first 2-3 days. Same old story as for most of the MKs, old tanks, not much fuel, not much ammo, few prime movers for arty and (so-called) motorized infantry, formation not completed, surprised, constantly attacked by the Luftwaffe, etc. As a result, by the time they retreated to the area of Slutsk very few tanks were left and probably few other vehicles too. The 205th MRD, on the other hand, was stationed near Pruzhany, and since it had 61 tanks, that plus the remnants of the TDs was probably the main source for the armor in the attack you mentioned.

                        It's intesting to note that during the period 22-30 June, 2nd PzG, the body which was causing all of 14th MK's (and many other units') problems, suffered 1,124 killed, 2,947 wounded, and 295 missing, for a total of 4,366 casualties.
                        (Panzergruppe 2, Abt. 2a, Verlustmeldung bis 30.6.1941, NARA T313 R108 7352766)
                        "If you have too firm a belief in the glories of soldiering, try a war."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
                          In my book, Red Army Tank Commanders, I note "On the morning of 26 June, Bogdanov's motorized rifle regiment, after withdrawing 70 kilometers over four days, miracualously managed to hold the Germans on the approaches to Slutsk. His unit's heroic fight allowed the Army staff to withdraw out of the path of the German XXIV Pz Corps attack. But, Bogdanov's defense only slowed the Germans, and, by nightfall, his shrinking detachment fell back to another defensive line.
                          [I believe 3 Pz Div took Slutsk on 27 Jun].
                          Details, sketchy at best from this period of the war on the Russian side, are in Russian.

                          You may be able to track through the German side, but I was unsuccessful trying to find German commentary on Bogdanov's fight before Slutsk. However, there is more stuff out there now than when I did my research.
                          Good luck!
                          There's probably not much on the German side because to them this was just a speed bump on the road to Moscow, plus many documents from the early years are not in the archives, or so I've heard (and have some small experience with).

                          One of the best books is MEKHANIZIROVANNYE KORPUSA RKKA V BOYU [Mechanized Corps of the Red Army in Battle], by Yevgeniy Drig, Moscow, 2005. It mentions that on 6/25/41 a motorized infantry detachment from Col. Bogdanov was subordinated to the 55th RD, which fought a heavy battle and held up the 3rd PzD until the evening of that day. It also mentions that by 8am on 6/26 german tanks broke through to Gulevichi, which shortly before had received the 4th Army HQ. Army HQ suffered losses and was able to withdraw only because of the "heroic efforts of the 30th MRR [presumably still under 55th RD], which had managed to hold up the enemy outside of Slutsk on the line Lyadno-Malyshevichi. Small Soviet units were able to delay the German 3th PzD on this line for several hours, which allowed detachments of the 28th Rifle Corps and 161st Reserve Rifle Regiment to set up a defense."
                          "If you have too firm a belief in the glories of soldiering, try a war."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Of the three major units of the 14th MK, the 22nd TD was deployed near Brest and the 30th TD a bit farther out. Both were virtually destroyed as divisions in the first 2-3 days. Same old story as for most of the MKs, old tanks, not much fuel, not much ammo, few prime movers for arty and (so-called) motorized infantry, formation not completed, surprised, constantly attacked by the Luftwaffe, etc. As a result, by the time they retreated to the area of Slutsk very few tanks were left and probably few other vehicles too.
                            Quite close to the truth.

                            The 205th MRD, on the other hand, was stationed near Pruzhany, and since it had 61 tanks, that plus the remnants of the TDs was probably the main source for the armor in the attack you mentioned.
                            Only partial truth. On June 23 the 205th MRD set defensive positions along Mukhavets river from Pruzhany to Zaprudy. Infantry units together with corps sapper unit prepared defensive positions in Bereza area. At night on June 23 Army commander insisted on including the 205th MRD in counter-attack. The division formed two improvised motorized battalions equipped with large percent of automobiles and all tanks. One such a battalion was sent to the 30th TD and another battalion together with tank regiment of the 205th MRD (~40 tanks) to the 28th Rifle Corps in Khvedovichi area.
                            The 4th Army started attacks at 8AM June 23. <…>
                            The attack of the 30th Tank Division (~120 tanks) in Poddubno area was unsuccessful. It met strong AT artillery supported by air attacks. Been outflanked by the 17th Pz. Div. The division were forced to retreat to Pruzhany. At 7:30 (PM? – from the text it’s not clear, AMVAS) heavy fight started for this settlement. German panzers attacked Pruzhany from different directions supported by strong air attacks. In the course of fight the 17th Pz.D. outflanked the settlement from the North and attacked soviet troops which were hold from frontal direction by the 18th Pz.D.. As a result of short fight Pruzhany were captured and residuals of the 30th TD (80 tanks) and troops of motorized rifle regiment of the 205th MRD by 9:30 retreated to Kuklin, Linevo. From that positions Soviet troops started counter-attacks against Pruzhany. Germans lost 20 tanks retreated to western outskirts of the settlement left Tchakhovets area. Fights on that direction continued until 20:00, when the 30th TD caught a flank blow from Zaprudy and was forced to retreat to Selets.
                            <…>
                            Regards,
                            Alex
                            If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One of the best books is MEKHANIZIROVANNYE KORPUSA RKKA V BOYU [Mechanized Corps of the Red Army in Battle], by Yevgeniy Drig, Moscow, 2005. It mentions that on 6/25/41 a motorized infantry detachment from Col. Bogdanov was subordinated to the 55th RD, which fought a heavy battle and held up the 3rd PzD until the evening of that day. It also mentions that by 8am on 6/26 german tanks broke through to Gulevichi, which shortly before had received the 4th Army HQ. Army HQ suffered losses and was able to withdraw only because of the "heroic efforts of the 30th MRR [presumably still under 55th RD], which had managed to hold up the enemy outside of Slutsk on the line Lyadno-Malyshevichi. Small Soviet units were able to delay the German 3th PzD on this line for several hours, which allowed detachments of the 28th Rifle Corps and 161st Reserve Rifle Regiment to set up a defense."
                              True. This books is among my favorite ones and I widely used it in replies to this topic
                              Some correction. Detachment of Col. Bogdanov attached to the 55th RD was called “tank”.
                              At 7:00 AM June 25 troops of the 55th RD were forced to retreat under pressure of the 3th Pz. Div. And only after an hour Germans were stopped by counter-attacks of tank detachment from the 30th TD on Rusinovitchi-Talminovichi line where fresh forces of the 55th RD were arriving.
                              The 30th MRR initially belonged to the 30th Tank Division.
                              On the time when German forces reached Slutsk Soviet troops had the next positions:
                              United detachment fro the 28th Rifle Corps defended northen part of the town and 2km along Slutch river north from the town. Detachment of the 14th Mechcorps together with two companies of the 161st Reserve Rifle Regiment positions south from Kozlovitchi. Detachment of the 30th TD were set in the second echelon in Podoresje, Voloshevo,Sorogy area. Residuals of the 55th RD were gathered in Urechje. From retreating troops four companies were formed. They set defensive positions Omgovichi-Kalita line been subordinated to the 14th Mechorps’ HQ.
                              All the night June 27 Germans attacks positions of the 28th Corps united detachment and by sunrise captured the northern part of the town. The army commander decided to retreat these troops to Ptich river. From the morning June 27 Slutsk defended troops of the 14th Mechcorps.
                              Morning of June 27 positions were the next: Advanced detachment (three companies of the 14th Mechcorps with 2 companies of the 161st Rifle Regt.) with 5 guns, 2 armored cars took positions along Slutch river from Warshaw highway to railway Slutsk-Urechje.
                              The second detachment (4 companies) together with residuals of the 22nd Tank Division prepared Omgovichi-Kalita line for defence.
                              Residuals of the 30th Tank Division with few tanks was in second echelon in Podoresje, Bolshaya Borovaya, Voloshevo, Sorogi area. Residuals of the corps had few 122mm howitzers, 76 mm guns and 45mm AT guns. HQ commander had two tanks and one armored cars in reserve.

                              Regards,
                              Alex
                              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X