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CMAK
A Very British Civil War
Note: this is clearly a “what-if” scenario, loosely based on the bustling miniatures war gaming off-shoot of the same name. Outstanding work has been done by Solway Crafts and Miniatures, and I credit them with the brilliance of this war gaming theme.
Background
England, May 1938 (designer note: note the in-game calendar notes “1944”; this is only to create the optics of lush green environment of the British Isles)
Weather: overcast, mild, dry
The very social fabric of Great Britain was torn during the apocalypse that was The Great War. The mightiest empire on the globe ended victorious, but at what cost? The rigid social hierarchy was shaken, and the world wide waves of social change did not stop at the English Channel. Class structure, worker’s rights, regional animosities have all brewed in the decades following the Great War. This has all been exacerbated by the crippling economic crisis of the 1930s, to which the ever cautious government responded to by constricting public spending ever more.
In May 1937, King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom married Wallis Simpson. The marriage to Wallis was not supported by Stanley Baldwin, the British Prime Minister; and King Edward refused to abdicate. This marriage left the British government, and most of the people, alienated; and public hatred for King Edward and Queen Wallis rose. Parliament was torn, and in the general election of 1937, Baldwin was defeated. The Conservative party, ripped by the issue of King Edward’s marriage, as well as economic and regional tensions, broke apart, and a large segment of the Tory support went to the British Union of Fascists. Oswald Mosley’s promise to ensure public order, and shore up the Empire, resonated with a public tired of public disturbances, strikes in essential services, and the economic malaise. The Labour party too split, with the more radical sections forming their own splinter parties which ran their own candidates. The 1937 election results saw a fractured parliament, and although only winning slightly over 200 seats, and less than 30% of the vote, the BUF formed the largest caucus in the House of Commons. King Edward VIII asked Oswald Mosely to form a government. Mosley did so and almost immediately issued “Orders of Council”, outlawing strikes, restricting collective bargaining, and establishing new offences for unauthorized public gatherings, and publishing “any article intended to alarm the public”. Any opposition was swiftly responded to, if not by the police, then by Mosely’s own BUF Blackshirts, the BUF’s paramilitary wing.
In January 1938, a protest by Dockyard workers in Liverpool was brutally crushed by the BUF and elements of the Regular Army; and violent clashes began across the country; between the Kings troops and those of several other factions. The British Civil War has begun!

Factions: The outbreak of conflict led several groups to attempt to seize the country or their own personal goals. Major factions included:
On the Right (Axis in this scenario
* The Edwardian Army – elements of the professional Army, bound to King Edward VIII.
* The Royal Navy and Royal Marines – bound by tradition and culture to remain loyal to the reigning monarch, and the majority have done so.
* The British Union of Fascists (or “BUF”) – the dominant political party, led by Oswald MOSLEY and heavily backed by German and Italian interests. Mosley has garnered considerable support in his efforts to restore order internally and restore the status of Britain’s Empire
* The Mosley Youth – a “social club” of young men, who have been drilled and armed by unknown sources, and have formed para-military units to push the BUF agenda.
* Foreign Volunteer Units: after the recruiting of numerous foreign elements to fight in the Spanish Civil War, similar detachments have been formed to back those with similar agendas in the British Civil War. Contingents from other fascist and imperialist sympathizers have been formed. Here we will see the presence of the “Hanoverian Legion”, volunteers from Germany, who are backing the Edwardian and BUF efforts
On the Left (Allied in this scenario)
* The Albertine Army – elements of the regular forces, plus most of the “Territorial Army”, backing the young Prince Albert’s claim to the throne.
* The Anglican League - A large army led by a group of bishops and archbishops, they were aligned with the Albertine Army. Many are veterans of the Great War.
* The People’s Party Army - Made up of disillusioned Labour party supporters, disgruntled workers and Spanish Civil War veterans, they are seeking to turn Britain into a Socialist state based upon Lenin's Russia.
* The Farmer’s Union: radical small plot farmers and farm working hands, seeking better pay, price subsidies, and land redistribution. They are heavily influenced by Marxist doctrine.
* The Student’s Union: like students before and after them, the university students have ramparts to thwart whomever they view as authoritarian,
* Foreign Volunteer Units: after the recruiting of numerous foreign elements to fight in the Spanish Civil War, similar detachments have been formed to back those with similar agendas in the British Civil War. Groups of Americans, Canadians, and ANZAC units have been formed; here we will see the Lafayette Battalion, formed of French volunteers, many fresh from the savage fighting in Spain.
This scenario occurs in the West Coast port town of Twaddlemore. Twaddlemore is the home base for a small Royal Navy destroyer flotilla, as well as being a mid-sized port for international commerce. Given that the United Kingdom lives or dies based on this freedom to trade overseas, the port is vital to all in this conflict. The Royal Navy, which for the most part has remained loyal to King Edward VIII, dispatched the flotilla two days ago to join the rest of the fleet, tasked with stemming the flow of foreign volunteers coming to fight for their faction of choice. Many of these foreigners have come directly from fighting for the Nationalists or the Republicans in Spain, who have endured two years of their own brutal Civil War already.
Yesterday the dock workers, who are heavily influenced by communist agents and are affiliated with the People’s Party, refused to move armaments stored in the dock warehouses. Instead, they armed themselves and fighting broke out when security staff sought to control the situation. Who opened fire first is both in dispute and a moot point at this juncture. A company of the Army’s Provost Corps was rushed to Twaddlemore by train, but a bomb was used to derail the trail just outside of town. Multiple factions are either in town currently or rumoured to be headed this way. The Telephone Exchange is the key to communicating with the rest of the country, and is clearly a goal to secure. Likewise, the docks and the armaments stored there in are also of immense value. Lastly, the mysterious new Wireless Tower being built on the south shore is of unknown value, as the work crews are from “away” and appear to be quite Teutonic in manner.
This battle will surely prove that the term “Civil War” is clearly a misnomer.
A historically fictional 'what if' look at the events leading up to the Deutsche Afrika Korps capture of Tobruk in June 1942.
SCENARIO DESCRIPTION
A meeting engagement played out in the wooded terrain of the Ardennes at the beginning of the Bulge. 60+ turns.

The Germans are trying to seize important territory: bridges, cross-roads, and towns to allow breakthrough armored thrusts. Central to this map is the village of L’Shone and its surrounding road network.

The Americans are trying to occupy the same terrain to prevent its use by the Germans.

Best played as: H2H
Second Best played as: H2H
(Not designed for vs. AI play due to mounted units)

Map edge friendly to Axis: East. Map edge friendly to Allies: West.

It is hard to believe that it was only a week ago when we first heard of “The Outbreak”. Initially it was thought to be a terrorist biological attack, with outbreaks in large cities overwhelming medical facilities. But soon it was apparent it was much more… the more we hear, the more we realize that we know very little – the cause – the prognosis – or the scale of this crisis. All remain unknown – at least to the general populace. What the “government” knows may be something else again.
You are Jack McCann, police chief in the small coastal tourist town of Shady Acres, Maine. Normally by this time of the year, your town is overrun with loud tourists from the cities of the East Coast. If only that were the case.
Four days ago a large staff of the Center for Disease Control showed up at the Town Hall, and brusquely informed the Mayor, Chuck Zeto, that the Federal Government was immediately taking control of “Shady Island”, a favourite picnic spot in the bay. This was all one-way communication, you don’t know much more other than soon thereafter a convoy of sealed trucks arrived and barbed wire was being strung across the access bridge to the island.
The National Guard has been mobilized, and your own police force has been placed under the command of the governor’s office.
And yet even now, you are not sure why. A strange illness has swept the globe, but what little news was initially released was like something from a bad movie. Now that trickle of news has stopped altogether. The official story is that a Chinese cyber attack has shut down the Internet, but this being Small Town America, there are a lot of conspiracy theories floating about.
The Mayor, Chuck Zeto, who also is the local bank manager, has asked that citizens assist in securing the town from whatever threats may arise. Given that the local National Rifle Association sponsored Chuck’s last campaign, their members were eager to show their affinity for the 2nd amendment and reaffirm their ownership of large capacity magazines and assault rifles. With some hesitation, you agreed to deputize these men, but have asked them to stay at home until they may actually be required. Their training and experience doesn’t necessarily match their enthusiasm.
You were at your office all night. You had a call from Doctor Jacobie at the hospital. Dr. Jacobie, a Vietnam war draft dodger who only returned from Canada in the 1990s, is determined to ignore what he considers a “fascist edict” that all patients in suspected cases of the “outbreak” be turned over to the C.D.C. immediately and quarantined on the Island. “It reminds me of the interment of the Japanese in 1942!” Jacobie ranted, and he said he would treat all patients as “patients, not criminals”. At that, you sent two teams of part time deputies to the hospital to deal with any issues that may arise.
The town is an important transportation hub, in that the coastal railway runs through the town. The Railway has deployed their own security at the train station, as if there is an epidemic, it is important to prevent those infected from traveling. Hopefully they have enough staff to do the job.
You remained in your office all night, and it seemed that things may be calming down, but then with a complete news black out, and the mute C.D.C. guards by the island Park, who knows? You did receive several calls from citizens overnight, reporting screams and other noises from the areas near cemeteries last night; typically the local teens will go there to drink and smoke up. Although you usually will send a Deputy to put the run on them, there are more important things to do now.
The sun is coming up, but a heavy thick fog has blankets the town. A convoy of C.D.C. relieve staff are expected in from Bangor any minute; hopefully they have some news. To allow your exhausted staff get some needed rest, two detachments of National Guard troops will be arriving, one is about 5 minutes away and a second convoy from the east in another 5 minutes after that. It will be good to get home and hit the sheets. You are so tired you feel like the walking dead.
Your phone rings. It is the security detail from the train station. Old man Codger, a elderly farmer who lives north east of town, has just shown up at the Rail station, out of breath and terrified. He is rambling about being attacked at his home, and that the only way he could escape is by setting the buildings on fire. You had better send a Deputy to go interview him. It sounds bizarre.
The phone rings again… it is Deputy Boomhauer at the hospital. He sounds quite distraught. Apparently the hospital was overwhelmed with patients overnight, and now he reports the motion detector alarms in the morgue have gone off.
At that second the switch board lights up, and several simultaneous “10-78” calls are received – “officer need assistance!”… What the?????”

This scenario is
1) Meant strictly for play against the AI. Although it one player wants to try playing the Axis/Zombies, please feel free.
2) The scenario is meant to be strictly for fun.
3) Watch you ammo loads. Shoot for the head. You only have the ammo you brought into the fight.
August 12,1944. France. SE of Argentan.
Married platoons of U.S. 5th Armored Division
night out-posts.
France, 1940 - Case Red.

Heavy Tanks of the 4th DCR must smash a hole in the advancing German line - but there are complications.
At Dornot, the U.S. Third Army's XX Corps' first attempt to establish a bridgehead on the Moselle River south of Metz met bloody failure. Two and a half miles south of Dornot the XX Corps' 10 Infantry Regiment is trying once more to establish a permanent bridgehead across the Moselle at Arnaville. Since the first U.S. troops crossed at Arnaville on the night of 8/9 September, the Germans have been launching increasingly vicious counterattacks in an effort to destroy the bridgehead and repeat what happened at Dornot.
This is an Aug 44 meeting engagement between Brit and German mech forces in Belgium. The map is based on a satellite photo of Neubruck just southeast of St. Vith.
Cassino town was destroyed by Allied Airforces on Wednesday, March 15th, along with the abby known as Monte Cassino. "The town was blown assunder and beaten into heaps of rubble, the official British history reported. Yet hundreds of bombs and thousands of shells failed to pound the town to powder, contrary to Allied expectations, nor were the surviving defenders 'rendered comatose', as planned." --The Day of Battle
Normandy - known for its rolling fields, orchards, stud farms and a good glass of cider. Sheltered from the elements which can pound the coastline this is a landscape is carpeted in apple blossom. It is here, at the heart of one of the best designated cider producing areas that you will find the Chateau les Bruy®res, an Empire period residence and 18th century manor house - run by the Wehrmacht. It is your task to put an end to this inappropriate ownership.
CMBB
The Axis launch a major attack on the Allied defenses.
Soviet vs. German Meeting Engagement. 60+ turns.
Best played as: H2H (Not recommended for vs. AI play due to mounted infantry.)

In recent weeks, this industrial center has been the scene of increasingly sharp clashes between recon units and regular forces. Both sides have traded jabs over this important airplane fabrication city. Both have moved into the town and then been forced out again. No one seems to be able to hold it. The landing gear assembly plant on the edge of town was occupied by the Red Army a few days ago and then burned and destroyed as the Wehrmacht forced them out. Much of the town lies untouched, but the workers and residents know it is just a matter of time before a major battle rages through the streets of their city…

After another bloody engagement, both sides have backed off. Again, in the still of a Sunday morning under the cover of a pounding rainstorm, both sides push forces forward to gain possession of the city.

No one is sure where the front lines lie. Is the enemy in front of you? Or is he gone?

Push forward, as so many before you have tried, and hold this town once and for all!
This is a CMBB scenario, modelling Plan Yellow in France in May 1940.
It is a "dynamic flag" scenario, on a large map that will provide many options in attack and defence.
July 1941, a german advance detachment, composed of motorized infantry with Stug support, attempts to cut off retreating russian forces.
Russians attack three German-held villages in an attempt to secure the flank of a future offensive.
July, 1944. Operation Bagration already going on since one month. The german north front runs danger to be cut off. Setting down of german troops in western direction
runs among constant attacks of soviet armoured shock forces...
43-02-01, South. SS commandos save Kleist's troops from encirclement. Fictional.
42-07-10, South. Axis forces in Group A cross the Donits to secure northern flank in the beggining of Fall Blau Operation. Semi-fictional.
October, 1942
In the northern Caucaus, along the Terek river line, the battle has been raging brutally for nearly two months. Germany's 13.Panzer-Division tasked with taking the key junction city of Vladikavkaz (Ordzhonikidze) has been stymied in it's every attempt to breakthrough.

But now, at the end of October a break has been achieved through the first mountain range and panzers are rolling along the valley near Ardon, on a back route to Vladikavkaz.

The Russians, somewhat disorganized, are withdrawing to new positions. A desperate stand is ordered to slow the German advance and buy time to set-up the new defensive positions.

Russian breakout from a Kessel against a German blocking force.
CMBO
German infantry dawn attack during the Battle of the Bulge. American infantry caught off-guard whilst lining up for chow.

VPs for casualties and German exit points only.
Before dawn on D-Day the British airbourne must destroy the gun batteries at Vierville.
Koen - A Town to conquer
*****************************************

a Couple of weeks ago the Allies have conquered one of the major towns in France.

Now the Germans broke through the American line of defense in the Ardennes and are advancing rapidly towards this town.

Can the Allied commander hold this town?
November 1944, the French 2nd Armored Division is tasked to breach the German fortified line of the Vosges mountains. This battle takes place on the second days of the attack. The different French Task forces are competing with each other in order to be the first to reach the plain of Alsace. The company team Minjonnet (part of the Task Force Massu) blocked close to Voyer in a narrow valley by German remnants of the 708. ID has to bypass quickly this resistance. The French can be sure that their old enemy is not about to ease their action !
An American WWII GI's dream come true- a "what if" American assault on Berlin AND a chance to personally bag the ol'Fhrer himself!
Arnhem Bridge battle. British airborne against armoured SS.
Updated Scenarios
CMAK
A Very British Civil War
Note: this is clearly a “what-if” scenario, loosely based on the bustling miniatures war gaming off-shoot of the same name. Outstanding work has been done by Solway Crafts and Miniatures, and I credit them with the brilliance of this war gaming theme.
Background
England, May 1938 (designer note: note the in-game calendar notes “1944”; this is only to create the optics of lush green environment of the British Isles)
Weather: overcast, mild, dry
The very social fabric of Great Britain was torn during the apocalypse that was The Great War. The mightiest empire on the globe ended victorious, but at what cost? The rigid social hierarchy was shaken, and the world wide waves of social change did not stop at the English Channel. Class structure, worker’s rights, regional animosities have all brewed in the decades following the Great War. This has all been exacerbated by the crippling economic crisis of the 1930s, to which the ever cautious government responded to by constricting public spending ever more.
In May 1937, King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom married Wallis Simpson. The marriage to Wallis was not supported by Stanley Baldwin, the British Prime Minister; and King Edward refused to abdicate. This marriage left the British government, and most of the people, alienated; and public hatred for King Edward and Queen Wallis rose. Parliament was torn, and in the general election of 1937, Baldwin was defeated. The Conservative party, ripped by the issue of King Edward’s marriage, as well as economic and regional tensions, broke apart, and a large segment of the Tory support went to the British Union of Fascists. Oswald Mosley’s promise to ensure public order, and shore up the Empire, resonated with a public tired of public disturbances, strikes in essential services, and the economic malaise. The Labour party too split, with the more radical sections forming their own splinter parties which ran their own candidates. The 1937 election results saw a fractured parliament, and although only winning slightly over 200 seats, and less than 30% of the vote, the BUF formed the largest caucus in the House of Commons. King Edward VIII asked Oswald Mosely to form a government. Mosley did so and almost immediately issued “Orders of Council”, outlawing strikes, restricting collective bargaining, and establishing new offences for unauthorized public gatherings, and publishing “any article intended to alarm the public”. Any opposition was swiftly responded to, if not by the police, then by Mosely’s own BUF Blackshirts, the BUF’s paramilitary wing.
In January 1938, a protest by Dockyard workers in Liverpool was brutally crushed by the BUF and elements of the Regular Army; and violent clashes began across the country; between the Kings troops and those of several other factions. The British Civil War has begun!

Factions: The outbreak of conflict led several groups to attempt to seize the country or their own personal goals. Major factions included:
On the Right (Axis in this scenario
* The Edwardian Army – elements of the professional Army, bound to King Edward VIII. * The Royal Navy and Royal Marines – bound by tradition and culture to remain loyal to the reigning monarch, and the majority have done so.
* The British Union of Fascists (or “BUF”) – the dominant political party, led by Oswald MOSLEY and heavily backed by German and Italian interests. Mosley has garnered considerable support in his efforts to restore order internally and restore the status of Britain’s Empire
* The Mosley Youth – a “social club” of young men, who have been drilled and armed by unknown sources, and have formed para-military units to push the BUF agenda.
* Foreign Volunteer Units: after the recruiting of numerous foreign elements to fight in the Spanish Civil War, similar detachments have been formed to back those with similar agendas in the British Civil War. Contingents from other fascist and imperialist sympathizers have been formed. Here we will see the presence of the “Hanoverian Legion”, volunteers from Germany, who are backing the Edwardian and BUF efforts
On the Left (Allied in this scenario)
* The Albertine Army – elements of the regular forces, plus most of the “Territorial Army”, backing the young Prince Albert’s claim to the throne.
* The Anglican League - A large army led by a group of bishops and archbishops, they were aligned with the Albertine Army. Many are veterans of the Great War.
* The People’s Party Army - Made up of disillusioned Labour party supporters, disgruntled workers and Spanish Civil War veterans, they are seeking to turn Britain into a Socialist state based upon Lenin's Russia.
* The Farmer’s Union: radical small plot farmers and farm working hands, seeking better pay, price subsidies, and land redistribution. They are heavily influenced by Marxist doctrine.
* The Student’s Union: like students before and after them, the university students have ramparts to thwart whomever they view as authoritarian,
* Foreign Volunteer Units: after the recruiting of numerous foreign elements to fight in the Spanish Civil War, similar detachments have been formed to back those with similar agendas in the British Civil War. Groups of Americans, Canadians, and ANZAC units have been formed; here we will see the Lafayette Battalion, formed of French volunteers, many fresh from the savage fighting in Spain.
This scenario occurs in the West Coast port town of Twaddlemore. Twaddlemore is the home base for a small Royal Navy destroyer flotilla, as well as being a mid-sized port for international commerce. Given that the United Kingdom lives or dies based on this freedom to trade overseas, the port is vital to all in this conflict. The Royal Navy, which for the most part has remained loyal to King Edward VIII, dispatched the flotilla two days ago to join the rest of the fleet, tasked with stemming the flow of foreign volunteers coming to fight for their faction of choice. Many of these foreigners have come directly from fighting for the Nationalists or the Republicans in Spain, who have endured two years of their own brutal Civil War already.
Yesterday the dock workers, who are heavily influenced by communist agents and are affiliated with the People’s Party, refused to move armaments stored in the dock warehouses. Instead, they armed themselves and fighting broke out when security staff sought to control the situation. Who opened fire first is both in dispute and a moot point at this juncture. A company of the Army’s Provost Corps was rushed to Twaddlemore by train, but a bomb was used to derail the trail just outside of town. Multiple factions are either in town currently or rumoured to be headed this way. The Telephone Exchange is the key to communicating with the rest of the country, and is clearly a goal to secure. Likewise, the docks and the armaments stored there in are also of immense value. Lastly, the mysterious new Wireless Tower being built on the south shore is of unknown value, as the work crews are from “away” and appear to be quite Teutonic in manner.
This battle will surely prove that the term “Civil War” is clearly a misnomer.
A historically fictional 'what if' look at the events leading up to the Deutsche Afrika Korps capture of Tobruk in June 1942.
France, 1940 - Case Red.

Heavy Tanks of the 4th DCR must smash a hole in the advancing German line - but there are complications.
Axis and Allied forces clash for a town and large hill.
This is an Aug 44 meeting engagement between Brit and German mech forces in Belgium. The map is based on a satellite photo of Neubruck just southeast of St. Vith.
At Dornot, the U.S. Third Army's XX Corps' first attempt to establish a bridgehead on the Moselle River south of Metz met bloody failure. Two and a half miles south of Dornot the XX Corps' 10 Infantry Regiment is trying once more to establish a permanent bridgehead across the Moselle at Arnaville. Since the first U.S. troops crossed at Arnaville on the night of 8/9 September, the Germans have been launching increasingly vicious counterattacks in an effort to destroy the bridgehead and repeat what happened at Dornot.
Normandy - known for its rolling fields, orchards, stud farms and a good glass of cider. Sheltered from the elements which can pound the coastline this is a landscape is carpeted in apple blossom. It is here, at the heart of one of the best designated cider producing areas that you will find the Chateau les Bruy®res, an Empire period residence and 18th century manor house - run by the Wehrmacht. It is your task to put an end to this inappropriate ownership.
US Army invades an island defended by Italian Troops.

Map is 1200x1200.
Non-Historical.
20 Battles 10 Turns each.

Play HtH (Preferred), or Allied vs. Axis AI.
Allow AI to setup units, there is no pre-planned setup for the defender yet.
Two Reinforced Infantry Companies with Armor Support clash in this typical Meeting Engagement.
engineering company attacks dug in german positions somewhere near monte cassino to capture wine stash for captain hosehead
CMBB
Soviet vs. German Meeting Engagement. 60+ turns.
Best played as: H2H (Not recommended for vs. AI play due to mounted infantry.)

In recent weeks, this industrial center has been the scene of increasingly sharp clashes between recon units and regular forces. Both sides have traded jabs over this important airplane fabrication city. Both have moved into the town and then been forced out again. No one seems to be able to hold it. The landing gear assembly plant on the edge of town was occupied by the Red Army a few days ago and then burned and destroyed as the Wehrmacht forced them out. Much of the town lies untouched, but the workers and residents know it is just a matter of time before a major battle rages through the streets of their city…

After another bloody engagement, both sides have backed off. Again, in the still of a Sunday morning under the cover of a pounding rainstorm, both sides push forces forward to gain possession of the city.

No one is sure where the front lines lie. Is the enemy in front of you? Or is he gone?

Push forward, as so many before you have tried, and hold this town once and for all!
The Axis launch a major attack on the Allied defenses.
Russians attack three German-held villages in an attempt to secure the flank of a future offensive.
Russian breakout from a Kessel against a German blocking force.
43-02-01, South. SS commandos save Kleist's troops from encirclement. Fictional.
42-07-10, South. Axis forces in Group A cross the Donits to secure northern flank in the beggining of Fall Blau Operation. Semi-fictional.
October, 1942
In the northern Caucaus, along the Terek river line, the battle has been raging brutally for nearly two months. Germany's 13.Panzer-Division tasked with taking the key junction city of Vladikavkaz (Ordzhonikidze) has been stymied in it's every attempt to breakthrough.

But now, at the end of October a break has been achieved through the first mountain range and panzers are rolling along the valley near Ardon, on a back route to Vladikavkaz.

The Russians, somewhat disorganized, are withdrawing to new positions. A desperate stand is ordered to slow the German advance and buy time to set-up the new defensive positions.

a product of HDCS

3rd SS Totenkopf arrives back at the front after its Hiatus from the front in France and is immediately thrown back into action.

Follow the swift Donet's campaign the IInd SS panzer Korps stands poised for the final push too retake Kharkov and restore the pride of the Waffen SS, but they have too cross the Mzha river first.

Alternative History : Moskow Decision
This the first of a series of fictional scenarios based on the hipotetic decision by Hitler to attack Moskow instead of Kiev during the august 1941.
The german offensive to Moskow is starting, the first task is to take the bridge over the Dnjepr between Smolensk and Viazma.
Alternative History : Moskow Decision
This the first of a series of fictional scenarios based on the hipotetic decision by Hitler to attack Moskow instead of Kiev during the august 1941.
The german offensive to Moskow is starting, the first task is to take the bridge over the Dnjepr between Smolensk and Viazma.
CMBO
German infantry dawn attack during the Battle of the Bulge. American infantry caught off-guard whilst lining up for chow.

VPs for casualties and German exit points only.
An American WWII GI's dream come true- a "what if" American assault on Berlin AND a chance to personally bag the ol'Fhrer himself!
Newest Maps
CMAK
a fictional Town in North Africa.
Fictional City in North Africa. Best played as a meeting
engagement.
Fictional City in North Africa. Best played as a meeting
engagement.
Version 2, church size and orientation adjusted to be in village center. Minor adjustments such as villages, small hills and ridges around the wheat fields.
Mixed terrain, woods, open fields, villages, church, river, bridges.
This is a huge (actually 5 x 4 km) map representing a piece of French countryside west of the town of Arras. It is flat (gentle slopes) and moderately populated with villages, forests, orchards and the like. It is suitable for a massive battle of regiment-sized forces (15,000 points or more).
Fictional Map, Crete, An almost compleatly dried up river bed with a ruined bridge across, 2 small hamlets on either side
The axis forces have captured the ridge east of Lieso. It´s been quiet over a month, so they have had enough time to dig deep in the ridge.

Allied forces are attacking with brutal force from east. Tuomari-Laurila has already been taken.
The axis forces are about to assault a little town called Lieso in aim to capture a road that leads through a ridge to deeper east. The allied forces are dug in somewhere around the old elementary school.
A small river splits a large map, with lots of roads and 6 bridges to control and a town also to control. This map is for meeting engagements and no side has a terrain advantage. Hopefully this will boil down to your choice of units and your game play.
CMBB
Beautiful and challenging map perfect for direct or flank approach. Fight in the woods, the streets, the buildings or inside a small factory! Great for infantery with some armor and artillerie support and IDEAL for a quick motorized assault in the middle of a foggy night.
This was a work in progress for the cancelled CM Campaigns. Maps are both operations and battles. Four maps included. One is large version (75% accurate scale) of the entire fortress of Brest Litovsk and immediate area. Others are 2 km x 2 km maps of the north and south portions of the fortress. You are welcome to use these maps as long as your credit "Bannon DC" for map creation.
1600x1600m, middle eastern front,
3 big victory locations in the middle of the map,
4 additional small flags,
medium settlement with surrounding rural areas,
some hills, woods and farmland,
a small river crossing from N to S,
prepared setup-zones for both sides,
therefor I call it battlefield-map.
Germans advance easily untill they find... A speed bump on the road to Leningrad
This Map is designed for Meeting engagements, it is set in a fictional City.
A medium town lying crosswisely to the advance direction. In and around the town gardens and fields, some bush and tree rows.
2 small rivers with some fords.
Only 1 large victory location.
Best used for meeting engagements.
Damaged large town/small city divided by a river. Contains several bridges, an old fortress, stadium, factories, railway station, and an old manor. Flags spread pretty evenly out on the map, made for a QB axis attack. IMPORTANT: ONLY FOR USE WITH UMLAUTS STALINGRAD MODS. You most use the scenario with these three mods found at www.cmmods.com:

FULL_telephonepole_umlaut
rubble_spray_umlaut
stalingrad_buildings_umlaut
Stalingrad-ish map made for Umlaut´s Stalingrad-mods.
29 2x2km maps. Various terrain; city, village, farmland, deep forests ...

They all quite beatuful ;)
I know it was UK and not USSR! but i didnt own CMAK when i made the level and i dont want to do everything over again so USSR must equal UK! its a fun level with the FJ troops in the greatest air invasion prior to D-Day.
CMBO
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Partisans and the Underground
MAD RUSSIAN
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Post #359   3569 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes, 14 seconds ago           
There were alot of occupied territory by the Axis forces in WWII. In the European theater of war these occupied countries had their underground resistance movements. These were more commonly known as Guerrillas, Partisans or the Underground.

Resistance during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns. Resistance movements are sometimes also referred to as "the underground".

There was partisan activity in Albania, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Norway, Poland and the Soviet Union.

Each area of occupied territory set up their own partisan movements. Sometimes an area may have had more than one.

Among the most notable resistance movements were the Yugoslav Partisans (they were the most numerous, and the First Sisak Partisan Brigade established in Croatia, Yugoslavia was the first anti-fascist unit in Europe), the Soviet partisans, the Polish Home Army, the French Maquis, the Italian CLN, the Greek Resistance and the Norwegian Milorg. Many countries had resistance movements dedicated to fighting the Axis invaders, and Germany itself also had an anti-Nazi movement. Although mainland Britain did not suffer invasion in World War II, the British made preparations for a British resistance movement, called the Auxiliary Units, in the event of a German invasion. Various organisations were also formed to establish foreign resistance cells or support existing resistance movements, like the British SOE and the American OSS (the forerunner of the CIA).

There were also resistance movements fighting against the Allied invaders. In Italian East Africa many Italians fought guerrilla war from 1941 to 1943. The German resistance petered out within a few years, while the Baltic states resistance operations against the Soviet occupation continued into the 60‘s.

Primary Sources:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/East/Balkans/AG-Balkans.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistance_during_World_War_II





(modified 10/16/2007 17:43:19 by Mad Russian)
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Post #360   3569 days, 16 hours, 38 minutes, 49 seconds ago        
Chronology of Important Partisan Events In the Balkans during

World War II



28 October 1940: Italian forces attack Greece from Albania.

6 April 1941: German forces intervene in the Italian attack on Greece.

6 April 1941: German troops invade Yugoslavia.

17 April 1941: Yugoslavian High Command forced to capitulate.

23 April 1941: Greece surrenders to Germany and Italy.

27 April 1941: German troops enter Athens.

9 June 1941: Field Marshal List, commander of Twelfth Army, appointed Armed Forces Commander, Southeast.

22 June 1941: Operation Barbarossa begins. The attack on Russia starts.

Late June 1941: Bulk of German combat troops are moved from the Balkans to the Russian theater. The number of sabotage incidents in the Balkans increases.

July 1941: Inhabitants of Montenegro launch general attack on scattered Italian garrison.

Early August 1941: Tito moves his Headquarters into the field.

Early August 1941: Daily attacks on Serbian police stations starts.

5 September 1941: WB Southeast transfers 125th Infantry Regiment (Separate) from the Salonika area into Belgrade.

16 September 1941: Hitler orders Field Marshal List to suppress the uprising in the Balkans.

25 October 1941: Field Marshal List relinquishes duties because of illness. General Kuntze appointed acting Armed Forces Commander, Southeast.

27 October 1941: Headquarters Twelfth Army (Armed Forces Commander, Southeast) moves from Athens to Salonika.

15-26 January 1942: Major antiguerrilla operations in Croatia.

1 March 1942: Headquarters LXV Corps Command and Headquarters Military Command, Serbia, merged.

20 April through 3 May 1942: First major joint antiguerrilla operation launched by Italian, German and Croatian troops.

July 1942: General Robotti launches drive on partisans in Slovenia.

July 1942: Total Yugoslavian guerrilla losses to date are estimated at near 45,000 killed.

8 August 1942: General Kuntze relieved by General Loehr as Armed Forces Commander, Southeast.

25 November 1942: Guerrillas blow up Gorgopotamos Bridge, about 100 miles north of Athens.

28 December 1942: Hitler issues directives raising the status of Armed Forces Commander, Southeast, to that of Commander-in-Chief, Southeast.

June 1943: EDES ceases active operations against German forces.

25 July 1943: Mussolini forced to resign.

26 July 1943: Hitler Directive No. 48 introduces major organizational changes and centralizes authority for defense of the Balkan Peninsula.

26 July 1943: Field Marshal von Weichs is named the new Commander-in-Chief, Southeast.

19 September 1943: Armed Forces High Command directive makes Rommel and Army Group B responsible for destroying guerrilla forces in Istria.

End of September 1943: German forces in the Balkans total 600,000 men.

25 May 1944: German paratroop forces attack Tito's Headquarters at Dvar.

6-14 June 1944: Operation GEMSBOCK in Northern Greece and Albania takes place. This is a major attempt to destroy the partisan movements in Albania.

Beginning July 1944: Operation STEINALDER is launched.

3 July 1944: EDES begins combat operations once again.

5-6 July 1944: EDES forces attack German troops near Arta.

2 August 1944: Partisans advance in Macedonia.

5 August 1944: Operation KREUZOTTER begins.

12 August 1944: Operation RUEBEZAHL begins.

8-9 September 1944: General uprising takes place in central and southern Greece.

21 September 1944: General von Weichs considers partisan forces the equivalent of regular combat forces.

20 October 1944: Belgrade falls to Soviet forces and the 1st Partisan Corps.



Primary Source:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/East/Balkans/AG-Balkans.html



(modified 10/16/2007 17:46:16 by Mad Russian)
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Post #361   3569 days, 16 hours, 0 minute, 47 seconds ago        
Operation GEMSBOCK

Two large-scale operations in mid-1944, one conducted in northern Greece and southern Albania, the other in northern Greece, may be considered as typical of Balkan warfare. The terrain over which the operations were conducted was ideal for irregulars, with high and rugged mountains paralleling the roads vital to the extended supply lines of the occupation forces. The tactics used in both operations, surrounding the enemy forces and then narrowing and closing the circle, were the most effective means devised by the Germans for fighting guerrillas. Lastly, the guerrillas were fighting over terrain they knew well, an advantage balanced by the superior fire power of the Germans.

GEMSBOCK took place between 6 and 14 .June, with the 1st Mountain and 297th Infantry Divisions, and the Division Group (Provisional Division) Steyrer, composed of a number of security battalions, participating. (Map 7.) The 1st Mountain Division, as the strongest and most experienced, held the widest front, extending from Gramsh in the north, through Korca, to Vasilikon in the south. The 297th Infantry Division, in turn, held the line from a point west of Gramsh to Valona. On the south, Division Group Steyrer held the front from a point west of Vasilikon to the sea at Sarande. The XXII-Mountain Corps, directing the operation, had its command post at Vasilikon and the mission of destroying an estimated 9,000 ELAS and other communist irregulars in the rough square within the line Korca-Valona-Sarande-Vasilikon. The final assembly areas, to be occupied just before the attack, were situated as far as possible from the communist headquarters at Corovda, in order to prevent outlying guerrilla groups from escaping.

Despite detailed planning, the first phase of the operation was a risk in that each man had to cover a front of over 100 yards. It was of the utmost importance, therefore, that enemy intentions to effect a breakout be determined as soon as possible; this disadvantage would decrease as the circle was compressed. A shortage of fuel delayed the 297th Infantry Division in its movement to assembly areas, allowing the guerrillas time to collect their scattered units and devise a plan of defense. With the operation finally under way, heavy fighting developed on the front of the 1st Mountain Division, which succeeded in driving the guerrillas before it as the division moved westward. Probing for gaps in the German front, a number of small guerrilla groups slipped through the line formed by the 297th Infantry Division and fled to the north; the remainder of the guerrilla force moved southward, into the stronghold west of the road Vasilikon-Permet-Tepelene.

Reaching the road on the fourth day of the operation, the mountain division rested and regrouped to climb the almost vertical slopes west of Permet the following morning. With escape to the north and south now blocked off, the remaining guerrillas were compressed into the mountain area about Kuc and eliminated in another three days of hard fighting. The terrain, honeycombed with caves, had to be searched carefully and the guerrillas had to be killed or captured in hand-to-hand fighting.

GEMSBOCK cost the guerrillas over 2,500 dead and prisoners, and a large stock of arms; German casualties for the operation were 120 killed and 300 wounded.

Primary Sources:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/East/Balkans/AG-Balkans.html#chapter-11



(modified 10/16/2007 17:56:03 by Mad Russian)
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Post #362   3569 days, 15 hours, 58 minutes, 3 seconds ago        
Operation STEINALDER

Three weeks after the close of GEMSBOCK, the XXII Mountain Corps took the field in Operation STEINADLER, to destroy the guerrilla forces threatening the Korca-Yannina and Yannina-Trikkala roads. (Map 8.) Attached to the corps for the operation were the 1st Mountain Division, a provisional division formed from elements of the Corps Group Salonika, and a number of security battalions. Estimates of the enemy strength were vague, but could probably be put at 6,000-8,000. Of considerable significance was the close liaison between these Greek guerrillas and the strong communist groups in Albania just across the frontier.

As a security measure, only the minimum number of commanders and staff officers were informed of the operational plan, while the troops were told they were assembling for a series of small-scale operations. Further steps to preserve the secrecy of the operation consisted of radio silence on the part of units moving into the area, small-scale troop movements in adjacent areas, and radio traffic from the light division below Arta indicating an attack farther south. The radio net operated by the guerrillas was monitored carefully to determine their reaction to these measures and to detect possible alerting of their units. Air reconnaissance was extended into Albania in order to allay guerrilla suspicions over unusual interest in the area.

Setting up its command post in the vicinity of Metsovan, the XXII Mountain Corps deployed the 1st Mountain Division along a line extending from that point to Yannina, Vasilikon, and Leskovic. Strongpoints and reinforced security units acting as a blocking force secured the road from Leskovic to the north and a junction with the Salonika Division Group near Korca. From a point east of Korca, the Salonika force was responsible for the line Bilisht-Kastoria-Neapoli- Grevena-Krania-Metsovan. Aware of their predicament as soon as the German troops had detrucked, the guerrillas evacuated Pendalofon and moved into the mountains. Air reconnaissance reported them still within the encirclement, however, and the troops continued their movement as planned. The first day ended with elements of the 1st Mountain Division held up by stiff resistance north of Metsovan. During the day, troops of the Salonika Division Group repulsed an attempt by a strong guerrilla force to break out at Grevena. On the second day, the Salonika Division Group was forced to halt and reorganize, having found it difficult to maintain cohesion over the rough terrain. The 1st Mountain Division, meanwhile, became heavily engaged at close quarters when it attempted to break through the resistance to its front. It was in this engagement that a battalion aid station, moved too far forward, was overrun by the guerrillas and eighty wounded were murdered and mutilated.

On its left, the 1st Mountain Division managed to forge ahead and on the third day enveloped the guerrilla pocket north of Metsovan, only to find a large part of the defending force had escaped to the northwest. Some 1,500 guerrillas were compressed in a ring about Pendalofon and destroyed in a systematic combing operation lasting two more days. STEINADLER cost the Greek guerrillas a total of 567 dead and 976 prisoners. In addition, 341 Italians and seven Britons were also captured. The booty taken included 10 tons of explosives, over three quarters of a million rounds of rifle and machine-gun ammunition, and 10,000 head of livestock, mostly sheep and goats. Despite these losses, the guerrilla forces began to regroup as soon as the German combat troops had left the area.

Primary Sources:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/East/Balkans/AG-Balkans.html#chapter-11

(modified 10/16/2007 17:59:20 by Mad Russian)
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Post #364   3561 days, 2 hours, 19 minutes, 45 seconds ago        
Constant Partisan attacks from their ‘liberated’ area on Axis communication and transport routes formed a significant threat to the supply of German and Italian troops in south-eastern Europe, and the transport of raw materials to Germany. The Commander-in-Chief, Southeast, directed that Operation Schwarz, under the Commander of Troops in Croatia, be launched in May, concentrating on the elimination of the Partisan central command (including Partisan leader “Tito”), the main Partisan battle-group (consisting of the 1st and 2nd Proletarian Divisions, the 2nd and 3rd Assault Divisions and the 7th Banija Division), and the main Partisan hospital. This was one of the largest Anti-Partisan sweeps of the entire war, with over 117,000 Axis troops deployed against an estimated 16,000 able-bodied Partisans and about 3,500 wounded and ill.

This battle - also referred to as the “Battle of the Sutjeska” (after the river valley in which the Partisans were encircled) - was the fifth Axis offensive against Tito’s Partisan forces. The Axis forces managed to surround the Partisans in the Sutjeska River Valley, and for almost a month the Partisans were mercilessly bombed while they attempted to break out. On June 9th, lead by the 1st Proletarian Division, they succeeded in breaking through the German lines and crossed the Sutjeska River. The fleeing Partisan units withdrew north-westerly but were constantly harried by Axis forces that made repeated attacks against their flanks. Between June 3rd and 15th the bulk of the Partisan Army ( 1st, 2nd Proletarian, 7th Banija and 3rd Assault Divisions) fell back through Vucevo, Suha, Tjentiste, Bare, Lucke, Kolibe, Vrbnica, Balinovac and finally Rataj where they were able to begin dispersing northwards. During this fighting withdrawal, on June 12th, the Partisan forces ran into a blocking force of the 369th Division close to the town of Balinovac. An intense and bloody battle ensued costing both sides dearly. After repeated attacks, the Partisans finally succeeded in forcing a number of breaks in the 369th Divisional lines on June 15th, crossing the River Bistrica, and escaping. It is of note that Tito himself was in this battle, protected together with his HQ by the 2nd Proletarian Division.

Losses were heavy on both sides during “Schwartz”, with Axis forces claiming over 6,000 Communist dead on the battlefield. Tito himself had been wounded during the engagement (on May 9th during an aerial bombardment that killed his dog and his personal bodyguard). With the exception of their Reconnaissance Battalion, the 369th Infantry Division was deployed in the area of Foča, Ustikolina and Goražde. Divisional records also show the Division engaged north-west of Balinovac and Rataj.

The famous Prinz Eugen Waffen SS Division was also deployed during this operation. In the book by Otto Kumm "Prinz Eugen" - The History of the 7th Mountain Division "Prinz Eugen" – it states “The 369 Croat Division fought side-by-side with the 7th SS from this point on until the end of the war, and was a highly respected and very capable unit. The 369 was one of the few units that the 7th SS actually held in high esteem and valued as a fighting partner” – praise indeed from Kumm.



The 369th had been seriously mauled during operation Schwarz, and the trend continued in the next few months, with 40 killed, 58 wounded and 14 missing during September alone. October was worse, with 49 killed, 167 wounded and 137 missing. November was just slightly better with 9, 63 and 4 respectively. Throughout this period, the 369th was essentially operational in the Sarajevo area.

The 369th participated in the huge operations resulting from the capitulation of the Italy on the 8th of September 1943, together with the 373rd Croat Infantry Division, the 7th SS “Prinz Eugen” Division and the 24th SS (Karstwehr) Division, taking part in the disarming of the surrendered Italian garrisons in Dalmatia and Herzegovina. The 7th SS Prinz Eugen and the 369th Division took the surrender of the entire Italian garrison in Mostar (capital of Herzegovina), and then moved on towards Split on the Dalmatian coast, where they took the surrender of the Italian “Bergamo” Division. November was mostly spent resting and re-equipping following their battering over the past few months.

After resting and rebuilding, the 369th next fought the Partisans (as part of the 5th SS Mountain Corps) in early December of 1943 in the area of Travnik (central Bosnia). Operations "Kugelblitz" (Lightning Ball) around the town of Visoko in central Bosnia, "Schneesturm" (Snowstorm) in eastern Bosnia, and "Waldrausch" (Forest Run), also in eastern Bosnia, were then participated in. The operations were aimed at destroying the 2nd and 3rd Corps of the NOVJ (Narodno Oslobodilacka Vojska Jugoslavije – the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia). Ending in late January 1944, these operations netted over 11,000 Partisan dead, but were overall a failure as they did not destroy the guerrilla movement. Major Partisan units retained their cohesion and Tito's Army of National Liberation could still be considered a very effective fighting force. Smaller scale operations against the Partisans continued into 1944, with the 369th based in the Mostar area, but operating throughout Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia with its islands.



Facing a better-armed and more numerous enemy than the German forces in Greece, Army Group F and its NDH allies were all but forced on the defensive in the opening months of 1944. The Partisans, now receiving substantial military assistance from the Western Allies, had grown to a force able to hold large areas of the country by themselves, their forces including transportation and sophisticated communications capabilities. They also set up a provisional government in the mountainous area of western Bosnia. Small scale operations by the various divisions and smaller units met with some success, but the centre of the Partisan “Republic”, in the Jajce-Bihac-Banja Luka area, remained a refuge to which Tito's units could withdraw when German pressure became too great in any other particular area. Accordingly, to regain the all but lost initiative and to strike the Partisans a blow from which they would not soon recover, Marshal von Weichs ordered the Second Panzer Army to destroy the Tito forces in their main stronghold.

On 25th May 1944, a reinforced Reconnaissance Battalion of the 369th Division took part, together with elements of the 1st Mountain Division, a regimental group of 7th SS Mountain Division ''Prinz Eugen'', elements of the 373rd “Tigar” Croatian-German Division, SS Parachute Battalion 500, a platoon of the Brandenburg Division, the 202 Tank Battalion, the 92d Motorised Infantry Regiment, and a number of Croatian and Cetnik units, in what was called Unternehmen “Roesselsprung” (Operation Knight’s Move), or the “Seventh Axis Offensive in Yugoslavia”. The operation was an attempt to capture the Communist Partisan leader, Tito, at his headquarters near the town of Drvar in western Bosnia. The attack would open with a surprise airborne (parachute and glider) assault by the elite SS paratroopers on the town and Tito’s nearby cave-HQ, followed-up quickly by a conventional ground attack. The attack came very close to succeeding, and did result in the capture of a large amount of Partisan equipment, but ultimately failed in the capture of Tito or the destruction of his forces. This was mainly due to fanatical resistance by Tito’s bodyguard battalion, and the timely arrival of Partisan reinforcements (“Lika” Brigade). Both sides suffered substantial casualties, and the SS paratroop unit was decimated in the heavy fighting.

Though the operation did not provide a fatal blow to the Partisan forces, it did achieve a temporary break in the Partisan chain of command whilst Tito was forced to flee. He was first taken from Kupresko Polje by plane to Bari, Italy (May 25, 1944), and then by British Navy destroyer (June 7, 1944) to the Island of Vis in the Adriatic, where he was able to re-establish his headquarters under British protection. The high losses of personnel and equipment also forced the guerrillas to withdraw from the area to regroup.



Following Roesselsprung, the 369th took part in Unternehmen “Wolfshölle” (Operation Wolf’s Hell) between 18th and 20th August 1944, on the Peljesac Peninsula. It is not entirely clear what the aim for this operation was, though there are indications it was related to a failed attempt to lay telegraph lines.

The military situation in Croatia was becoming critical for the Axis by November 1944, with Partisan (NOVJ) forces becoming a genuine field army rather than groups of small guerrilla bands. Supplied by the Allies, the Partisans were engaging the Axis forces frontally, and more often than not both outgunned and outnumbered the Axis forces. German and NDH forces were struggling desperately to hold on to southern Herzegovina and the crucial city of Mostar, whose loss would potentially cut-off German troops retreating from Serbia and Greece northward, and the situation was becoming critical. On 19th December 1944 the 370th Regiment of the 369th Division took part in “Unternehmen Heuschober” (Operation Coil), whose goal was the capture of the high ground around the village of Lise, an important stronghold in the defence of Mostar. The resulting operation forced Partisan forces from the Jara and Biogradica peaks, giving the defenders of Mostar temporary respite. The operation was difficult for Divisional commanders, as, due to supply shortages, only two shells per gun were authorised by Corps command for the operation, leaving the regiment with little offensive firepower.

Immediately following Heuschober, “Unternehmen MARS” was launched. After the success of Heuschober, on 21st December 1944, this more ambitious operation was planned against NOVJ forces in the area southwest of the village of Kocerina, west of Mostar. The 370th Regiment of 369th Division, together with the NDH 9th Ustasa Active Brigade and an Ustasa militia company, managed to push parts of 13th Dalmatian Brigade of the 9th Division and 10th Herzegovina Brigade of the 29th Division (NOVJ) back to a line at Kocerin. At the same time, the 2nd battalion of 370th Regiment advanced into Buhovo, thereby buying time for the defenders of Mostar. As the 369th was by now the only major German unit still operational in the Mostar region, the Commander-in-Chief Southeast moved a number of Fortress Battalions from the 964th Fortress Brigade as reinforcements for the Division (essentially to replace the 118th Light Infantry Division, which had since been withdrawn).



As part of the ongoing defence of critically important Mostar, on 23rd January, 1945, the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 370th Regiment took part in Operation “Schlageter”. The operation was a surprise attack by the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 370th Regiment on NOVJ position near Lise. The Germans captured 27 prisoners, 1 antitank rifle, 2 mortars, 4 heavy machine-guns, 12 light machine-guns, 32 rifles and significant amount of munitions. They also killed two Partisan battalion commanders.

Between 27th and 29th January 1945, Kampfgruppe Becker; Comprising the HQ Regiment, First and Third Battalions of the 370th Regiment, and two Battalions of the 369th Artillery Regiment, together with units from 9th NDH Mountain Division, commenced “Unternehmen BURA” (Operation Northern Wind). This was a large operation carried out from Mostar and Siroki Brijeg (Listica), attacking towards Citluk and Capljina, then towards Ljubuski and Metkovic. The goal of the operation was to cut communications for NOVJ forces moving south of Mostar towards the west, potentially cutting off the German-Croatian defenders of Mostar from the remaining Axis-held territories in Croatia and Bosnia. The operation appears to have taken NOVJ forces by surprise, and three bridges over the Nervetva River were captured at Capljina, Gabela and Metkovic and quickly destroyed. This effectively, though only temporarily, cut NOVJ land communications East-West, as, except for at Capljina, the Axis forces immediately retreated back to their lines around Mostar. The outcome of the operation saw the 4th Split Brigade report casualties of 30 killed, 40 wounded and 276 missing on 11 February 1945, with the heaviest casualties suffered by the brigade's 5th (Italian) Battalion. Also, 6 mountain guns from the NOVJ 9th Division’s Artillery Battalion were lost. German units took 18 prisoners, captured 5 armoured vehicles (belonging to 3rd Battalion of the 1st Tank Brigade), 8 field artillery pieces and significant other weapons were also captured.

In direct response to “Unternehmen Bura“, in late January 1945, Tito ordered his Partisan forces to launch a concerted offensive against Mostar, which threatened to overcome the weakened 369th Division. Mostar still guarded the left flank of Axis forces in South-East Command and Army Group 'E', retreating from Serbia and Montenegro through Sarajevo and North along the Bosna River to Slavonski Brod.

The 369th, supported by a mixture of NDH units, defended the Mostar area fiercely, but by the 15th of February, 1945 they were losing ground to the overwhelming Partisan onslaught and were forced to abandon Mostar, the town being fully under Partisan control by the 16th. From this point on, the 369th Croat Division began its slow and bloody retreat westwards, abandoning more and more of its heavy equipment as it went. Perhaps more importantly, the Division had lost an extremely high percentage of its German Officers and NCO’s, further lowering its effectiveness. Around this time the German OKW war diary reports that the 369th Division had been wiped out, alongside the 9th NDH Mountain Division, and cites the loss of the majority of its German Officers as a contributing cause.



On 17th April the Division’s remnants – described as being a Kampfgruppe of the 369th - arrived in an area north of Brod, as the entire Axis front line fell back towards the west. Sarajevo had been evacuated on the 6th of April, 1945, and Tito’s forces, now over 650,000 strong, were on an offensive everywhere against the weak German and NDH defenders. The remnants of the Division moved with the retreating forces of the NDH westward, hoping to secure a final line of defence around Karlovac (the “Zvonimir” Line), and, once this was abandoned, around the Croatian capital Zagreb. On the 28th of April, 1945, the entire 370th Infantry Regiment of the 369th Division comprised no more than 515 men, and other regiments of the Division were no better off. On May 6th, 1945, the German military command surrendered control of the Divisional remnants to the Croatian (NDH) Armed Forces in Velika Gorica just south of Zagreb. On May 7th heavy fighting occurred around Ljeskovac and Jastrebarsko near Zagreb, and members of the Division were in the thick of it, attempting to keep open the retreat route towards Austria for Axis forces. On May 8th, remaining members of the Division retreated to Samobor (just west of Zagreb), and on the 9th and 10th joined the columns of the Croatian (NDH) Armed Forces, various collaborationist units from Serbia and Montenegro, as well as masses of civilians attempting to reach Allied (British) troops and surrender, expecting better treatment at the hands of the Western Allies than at the hands of Tito’s Communist troops. It would appear that members of the Division split up in this time period, as reports of surrender by units of the 369th are reported at various locations in Slovenia and Austria after May 10th. For example, on May 11th, 1945, elements of the 369th ‘Devils’ Division are reported to have surrendered and were disarmed by the British 6th Armoured Division between Loricica and Prosenisko. According to the memoirs of Milan Basta, a Political Commissar in the NOVJ, a battalion strength force of the 369th reached the Austrian border west of Dravograd on May 16th, 1945, scaring the wits out of the weak local detachment of the NOVJ as it moved to surrender to British forces. Members of the Division are also reported to have surrendered at Bleiburg, Austria, where the majority of the Croatian Armed Forces troops laid down their arms on May 15th, 1945. Altogether, 160 Officers and 2,876 NCO’s and men managed to surrender to the British. Their relief at not having fallen into Partisan (or even Soviet hands) was, however, short-lived. The British forces, in an act of apparent deceit, retribution, or possibly simple ignorance, had promised the Croats that they would be given asylum in Italy if they surrendered peacefully. Instead, they were promptly handed over to Tito’s Communist Partisans - the terribly predictable outcome being that most of them were brutally executed. Most members of the 369th shared the fate of their NDH comrades-in-arms. The last Commander of the 369th, Lt. General Neidholt, survived the war, but was extradited to Yugoslavia and tried by a military court in Belgrade for alleged massacres of civilians and other atrocities committed by his men. Neidholt was sentenced to death, and hanged on 27th February 1947; with him finally perished the last of the 369th Division.

Primary Source:

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=3940
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Post #365   3549 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes, 55 seconds ago        
Yugoslavian Partisan Regular Units


21st Serbian Division

Twenty-first division of Yugoslav partisans was formed as First Serbian division on 19 May 1944 in the village of Gajtan, but the assembly of the 4th, 5th and 6th Serbian brigades did not take place until the next day on the Radan plateau, southwest from Leban. It was renamed as the 21st Serbian Division NOVJ on 13 June 1944 and received honorary title "assault".

6th Serbian Brigade was disbanded om 6 September 1944 replaced by the 2nd Proletarian Brigade until 18 December when it was replaced by 21st Brigade which left division on 13 January 1945. 31st Brigade joined division on 9 November 1944 and Artillery brigade with three battalion was formed on 20 December 1944.

Division strength from around 1000 soldiers at the time of the forming reached 5463 men in December 1944 and 9414 by 1 May 1945.

From 19 May 1944 to 13 August 1944, 21st Serbian division was part of Main HQ for Serbia then under HQ of the Operative Group of Divisions until 15 September when it joined first army group and on 1 January become part of 1st Army.

During the course of the war, the division operated in Southern Serbia, the Sumadija, Syrmia, Croatia and Slovenia. Together with 22nd Serbian division on 20 May it beaten Chetnik Jablanica, South Morava and Varadar Corps followed by heavy battles with parts of the Chetnik Juznomoravska and Rasinsko-Toplicka Group of corps. In July it fought around Brus, Kursumlija, Blac, and the Radan plateau and around Medvede.

It distinguished itself in the Toplicka-Jablanicka operation and the Belgrade operation, especially in battles around Bolec, where it fought some very hard battles with units of the German Battlegroup Wittmann and the German 1st Mountain Division from 18 to 20 October 1944. In November 1944 it took part in battles around Calma and in the middle of January 1945 it was engaged in fierce battles with units of the German 41st Division on the Bosut river and in the village of Nijemci.

During the battles for achieving a breakthrough on the Syrmian Front it operated as part of the Northern Operative Group and operated in the main direction of the attack, and after the breakthrough breakthrough was achieved it took part in the battles for Vinkovci on 13 April together with 48th Division followed by attack with 6th Proletarian division on German 47th and 65th Regiments from 22nd Division holding Dakovo which fell on 16 April 1945. Together with 1st Proletarian division captured Nova Gradiska and Nova Kapela on 23 April and Okucane on 25 April followed by Novska on 2 May. Then it took part in the pursuit of the retreating enemy and near Stara Vas and Kraljevica disarmed a part of the German 181st Division.


40th Slavonian Division

Yugoslav partisans Fortieth division was formed on 15 July 1944 from 16th Youth Brigade 'Joza Vlahovic' and 18th Slavonian Brigade with Virovitica brigade joining division on 24 August bringing division strength to around 4700 soldiers, by December division strength reached 6278 soldiers. Division was part of Yugoslav partisans 6th Corps until end of the war.

Together with other two divisions formed in Slavonia 12th and 28th, 40th division fought in the battles for Badljevina on 2 August, Koncanica on 9 August and Grubisno Polje on 18 August in Daruvar valley. Moving to region Slavonska Pozega in September and then back to Daruvar region liberating Pakrac and Lipik on 14 September followed by Daruvar on 16 September. Podravska Slatina was taken on 25 and 26 September and in October with units of the 10th Zagreb Corps NOVJ and the 12th Division NOVJ participated in liberation of Virovitica and Pitomaca. It was engaged in battles around Koprivnica 13 to 16 Ocotober.

On 2 December 1944 liberated Pleternica and for next few weeks fought battles on Virovitica bridgehead, linking up with 12th Corps which was advancing on other side of Drava river through Baranya.

On 30 January 1945 the division received the honorific title "Udarna" ("Assault"). While a regular front formed in Bosnia, Dalmatia and the Vojvodina, the division distinguished itself in attacks on retreating German and Croatian troops, which were pulling back from Syrmia Front (battles near Nasice and Podgoraca). During the final operations in Yugoslavia, the division was involved in the battles for Nasice, Vetovo and Kutjevo. Together with the it took Grubisno Polje and later took part in the pursuit of the enemy troops towards Krizevci - Hum - Lepoglava - Ptuj, Slovenia.


233rd Rifle Division

In the evening of 11 November 1944, 572nd Rifle Regiment together with Yugoslav 51st Vojvodina Division was first to be cross Danube river at Batina followed by 703rd Regiment. By 13/14 November exhausted 233rd Division was withdrawn from bridgehead and replaced with fresh 19th Rifle Division followed by 73rd Guard Division.

After Batina operation, 703rd Rifle Regiment from 233rd Division was sent to reinforce Yugoslav partisan 6th and 10th Corps on Virovitica bridgehead taking positions around Pitomaca.

703rd Rifle Regiment, supported by 23th Flamethrower Battalion, two battalions of 684th Artillery Regiment and AA machine gun platoon, was forced to retreat from Pitomaca on 26 December 1944 after attack of Croatian 21st Home Defense Regiment from 1st Croatian Assault Division broke through positions of Partisan Matija Gubec brigade and attacked Soviet regiment from the back. Suffering 205 killed and 145 prisoners during retreat and being attacked by Cossacks it managed to take push out Cossacks from Stari Grac and take over new line while rear guard actions was performed by two partisan battalions. Cossacks claimed to have captured 29 guns, 6 mortars, 42 machine guns, 149 flamethrowers, 13 AT-rifles, 72 submachine guns and several hundreds rifles.

During night of 30/31 December, German 1st Cossack Cavalry Division attacked Soviet positions at Stari Grac and Lozan forcing regiment to fall back to reserve line from Okrugljaca to Busetina and Korije.

New attack begun on 2 January 1945 but this time Soviet line held and stopped all Cossack attacks and even resulted in desertion of some Cossacks to Soviets forcing Germans to stop further attacks.

New crisis come on 10 January 1945 when 1st Cossack division supported by Croatian 21st Regiment pushed back Partisan 32nd Division which was out of ammunition forcing Soviets to fall back to second defense line before this line was breached counterattack of Partisans 32nd, 33rd and 40th divisions restored the line.

703rd Regiment and all supporting troops, most notably artillery which was entire time supporting both Soviet troops and Yugoslav partisans were withdrawn after arrival of three fresh Yugoslav divisions from Vojvodina.


236th Rifle Division

On 7 November 1944 with one battalion from Yugoslav 8th Partisan Brigade crossed Danube opposite Apatin but their progress was halted by Hungairan border guards and members of Brandenburg division.

Main References:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/

(modified 11/05/2007 21:31:05 by Mad Russian)
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Post #366   3549 days, 16 hours, 55 minutes, 50 seconds ago        
Operation TRUMPF


Launched in July 1944 against newly formed 21st, 22nd, 24th and 25th Serbian division (some 8,000 soldiers) of NOVJ in southern Serbia, area of Kopaonik, Jastrepca and in Toplica and Jablanica valley with purpose to neutralize them as threat to Axis forces in central and northern Serbia and prevent connection with Operative Group of Divisions of NOVJ trying to break into Serbia.

It was joint operation of German forces backed by Bulgarian, Serbian quislings and elite chetnik units under command of major Radoslav Račić. Except Račić's Fourth group of assault corps which he brought from western Serbia, chetnik forces included local Rasina-Kopaonik Group of Assault Corps lead by LtColonel Dragutin Keserović, total strength of 10,000 men (see report from 15 July 1944 of military commander South-East Europe microfilm no.T-311 role 195, shot 725-726). Co-ordination between German command and chetnik forces was in hands of German major Weyel and Germans, of course, supplied chetniks with munitions and some weapons. Total axis strength around 80,000 soldiers.

Operation TRUMPF was only first phase of the plan, it was followed by operations HALLALI and KEHRAUS.


Axis Order of Battle

In Operation Trumpf Germans mostly relied on local quisling formations as well as Chetnik and Bulgarian units.

German units

* 5th SS Police Regiment
* parts of 1st and 5th Volunteer Police Regiments
* 14th Independent Tank Battalion
* parts of 15th Tank Regiment
* parts of Russian Guard Corps

Serbian units

* units of Serbian Volunteer Corps
* units of Serbian State Guard

Bulgarian units

* units of 22nd and 27th Infantry divisions
* parts of 29th Infantry division

Chetnik units

* 4th Group of Assault Corps, Major Radoslav Račić
* Rasina-Kopaonik Group of Assault Corps, LtColonel Dragutin

Keserović
* 2nd Kosovo Corps




Main References:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/operation/trumpf-1944/




(modified 11/05/2007 16:55:45 by Mad Russian)
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Post #367   3549 days, 16 hours, 50 minutes, 23 seconds ago        
Operation RATWEEK


Simply referred to by Partisan Supreme Headquarters as Destruction of communications on Yugoslav front from 1 to 7 September 1944, operation Ratweek was major joint effort of Allied air forces and Yugoslav partisans.

Agreement was made during talks between Josip Broz Tito, Winston Churchill and Henry Maitland Wilson from 6 to 14 August 1944 in Caserta and Naples. Goal was to destroy communication network (road and railway) in entire Yugoslavia simultaneously by using eight Partisan Corps (24 division and one operational group with 79 brigades, totaling 120,000 soldiers), four Partisan operational zone and units of regional staffs supported by Allied Balkan Air Force and 15th United States Army Air Force.


Aftermath

15th USAAF made 1373 sorties and dropped 3000 tons of bombs, while the RAF made some 600 fighter sorties. Allied air force destroyed 112 locomotives, 243 motorized transports and 413 railway carts, also attacks on the airfields destroyed 94 aircraft crippling Luftwaffe strength in Yugoslavia. The Long Range Desert Group and the Special Boat Service destroyed bridge near Gruda and attacked coastal targets in Dubrovnik region, while the Royal Navy harassed German sea traffic.

Yugoslav partisans captured, amongst other things, eight communication centers, 49 railway stations or strongholds, destroyed 77 kilometers of railroad tracks, 97 road and railway bridges, also cut 77 kilometers of phone and telegraph lines.

Axis forces had 4187 killed, around 2000 wounded and 5782 captured soldiers. Railway traffic was interrupted for two to three weeks during vital period of German retreat from Balkan (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania) in front of advancing Soviet army.



Main Sources:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/operation/ratweek-1944/

(modified 11/05/2007 17:00:09 by Mad Russian)
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Post #368   3549 days, 16 hours, 46 minutes, 36 seconds ago        
Operation NAPFKUCHEN


Anti-partisan operation launched by German 5th SS Mountain Corps in January 1944.


Aftermath

11th Krajina division was badly mauled forcing it to disband partisan detachments under its command to reinforce existing brigades.


Main References:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/operation/napfkuchen-1944/
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Post #369   3549 days, 16 hours, 43 minutes, 20 seconds ago        
Operation MORGENWIND
Operation Morning Wind



History

Operations Morgenwind I and II belong to series of German operation with goal of recapturing Dalmatian islands which were taken by Yugoslav partisans after Italian capitulation. After heavy losses suffered in HERBSTGEWITTER II Partisans decided to abandoned rest of Dalmatian islands and retreat to Vis since there defense would require much larger forces and there was serious lack of transport capacity in case retreat across the sea would be need.


MORGENWIND I

Landing of 118th Jager Division on Brac island was suppose to be carried out at same time as landings on Solta codenamed Morgenwind II but with Allied action damaged ships in Makarska area operation was delayed for two days. By that time Brac was abandoned and Yugoslav partisan 26th Division pulled back all its forces back to Vis island.


MORGENWIND II

On 12 January 1944 German reinforced battalion from 892nd regiment of 264th Infantry Division totaling around 480 soliders took off from Trogir and landed on Solta island.

Landing was carried out in two waves on northwest coast of Solta and in Maslinica at 3:25 and 4 a.m. with one landing barge, two landing boats, two motor sailboats and one armed vessel. Support was provided by mobile 100mm battery on Ciovo island.

After capturing Maslinica Germans cautiously advanced towards Grohotoe, Gornje Selo and Stomorska fighting rear guards. At 17:30 Partisans decided to abandoned the island and at 18:00 all soldiers and material was evacuated for Vis island.


Aftermath

Last German landing operation was on Hvar island codenamed operation Walzertraum which also found no resistance.



Main References:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/operation/morgenwind-1944/
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Post #370   3549 days, 12 hours, 13 minutes, 19 seconds ago        
Military Operations in Yugoslavia 1941-1945


1941
Operation 25, Strafgericht April War - Invasion of Yugoslavia
Operations ??? July - August July offensive (Julska ofenziva)
Italian offensive in Montenegro
Operation UŽICE? 27 Sept - 15 Oct
November First offensive: Šumadia
Operation ??? German-Bulgarian offensive
Operation OZREN 2-11 December Attack on Ozren Partisan detachment
Operation MIHAILOVIĆ 6-7 December German attempt to eliminate chetnik


1942
Operation ??? 17-23 January Second offensive: Bosnia
Operation OZREN 27 January - 6 February Attack on Ozren Partisan detachment
Operation TRIO April - June Third offensive
Operation ??? Italian operations in Montenegro, Sandžak and Herzegovina
Spring Partisan offensive in Dolenjsko and Notranjsko (Slovenia)
Petrova gora
Operation KOZARA? 10 June - 30 July Third offensive: Kozara
Operation RISNJAK 12 July Italian anti-partisan operation in Croatia
Operations ??? 16 July - 4 November Roshka offensive (Roška ofenziva)
Operation GORJANCI
Operation ALBIA 16 August - 2 September Italian anti-partisan operation in Croatia
Operation VELIKA KAPELA 16 - 29 September Italian anti-partisan operation in Croatia
Operation DINARA
Operation JAJCE I 28 September German-NDH-Chetnik attack on Jajce area
Operation ALFA 5 - 11 October Italian-Chetnik attack on Prozor area
Operation JAJCE II 21 October German-NDH-Chetnik attack in Jajce area
Operation BETA late October Italian-NDH attack on Livno
2-14 November Bihać operation (Bihaćka operacija)
Operation TUZLA 24 November


1943
Operation WEISS I 20 Jan - 15 Feb Fourth offensive: Neretva - battle for
saving the wounded
Operation WEISS II 25 February - mid-March -
Operation WEISS III cancelled
Operation BRAUN 20 March - 8 April Psunj-Papuk Operation
Operation OSTERN-15
Operation BOSUT NDH anti-partisan operation in Syrmia
Operation SCHWARZ 15 May - 15 June Fifth offensive: Sutjeska
Operation KLARA 21 - 22 June
Operation PAULA 8 - 19 July
Operation HEU 10 - 15 August
Operation GAMA 17 August
Operation BIOKOVO-MOSOR
Operation GEISERICH 22 - 27 September German attack on Split
Operation WOLKENBRUCH 22 September - 1 November Romel's offenisve (Romelova ofanziva)
Operation WILDSON 7 October -
Donnerkeil (Thunderbolt) Anti-partisan operation carried out in Yugoslavia
Operation BALKANSCHLUCHT 15 - 23 October Balkanski klanac
Operation ARNIN 14 - 27 October
Operation SPATZ 14 - 20 October
Operation AUDREY 15 October 1943 to early 1944
Operation LANDSTURM German recapturing of Makarska area
Operation SEERÄUBER 21/22 October Failed Ustasha landing on Brac island
Operation HERBST 2
Operation ZIPFEL 23 October - ?
Operation HERBSTGEWITTER I 23 October - 11 November German capturing of Peljesac peninsula
Operation HAIFISCH 7-9 November German recapturing of Trogir area
Operation TRAUFE 13 November - Anti-partisan operation in Slovenia
Operation ADLER (Eagle) 22 - 25 November Anti-partisan operation on Ugljen island
Operation DELPHIN 22 - 29 November Landing on the Ugljen and Pasman island
Operation ZIETHEN 4 -8 December German recapturing of Livno-Duvno area
Operation KUGELBLITZ 6 December - Lim-Drina Operation (Limsko-Drinska o.)
Operation WOLF 7 - 29 December Kordun-Banija-Pokupo-Turopolje operation
(Kordunaško-Banijsko-Pokupsko-Turopoljska operacija)
Operation PANTHER 10 - 24 December
Operation SILBERSTREIFEN December
Operation RISTOW
Operation WEIHNACHTSMANN 26 - 30 December
14 - 29 December Anti-Partisan operation launched in Metsovan Pass, SE Croatia by German forces.
Operation HERBSTGEWITTER II 22 - 26 December Landing on the Korcula island
Operation SCHNEESTURM end of December Sixth offensive
Operation HASENJAGD end of December
Operation MERKUR
31 December - 1 January 1944 Banja Luka operation I (Prva Banjalučka o.)


1944
Operation WALDRAUSCH 12 January
Operation Napfkuchen (Poundcake) Anti-partisan operation carried out in Yugoslavia
Operation BRANDFACKEL January
Operation ??? Spring offensive in Macedonia
Operation Morgenwind II (Morning Wind 2) 12 January Landing on the Dalmatian island of Solta
Operation Morgenwind I (Morning Wind 1) 13 January Landing on the Dalmatian island of Brac
Operation ADLER II 13 January - ?
Operation WALZERTRAUM 19 January Landing on the Dalmatian island of Hvar
Operation DUBROVNIK 21 January
Operation FREISCHÜTZ canceled The plan for capture of the island of Vis (Lissa) off the Dalmatia coast.
Operation EMIL 3 - 6 February
Operation DUBROVNIK 2 8 February
Operation WOLKENBRUCH Forced partisan forces of II naval-coastal sector to retreat from Istra and Kvarner to Dugi otok island.
Operation WIKINGER Offensive against outside island chain from Losinj to Sibenik, Dalmatia
Operation FEUERZANGE
Operation KAMMERJÄGER March
Operation WEGWEISER (Sign-post) 10 - 13 March
Operation SAVA 15 March -
Operation DETAINED 18 March Allied raid on Solta island
Operation CANNAE 19 March Occupation of Hungary
Operation ENDOWMENT 23 March Allied raid on Hvar island
Operation DACHSTEIN 24 - 25 March Anti-partisan operation in Slovenia
Operation OSTEREI (Easter egg) 12 - 20 April
Operation MAIBAUM (Maytree) 23 April Anti-partisan operation carried out in Yugoslavia.
Operation BRAUNSCHWEIG 26 April - 6 May
Operation UNGEWINTER 26 April - 7 May
Operation MORGENSTERN 7 - 16 May
Operation SCHACH 21 -30 May
Operation FARRIER 22 May Allied raid on Mljet island
Operation ROSSELSPRUNG 25 May Seventh offensive: Drvar
Operation FLOUNCED 31 May - 5 June Allied raid on Brac island
Operation VOLLMOND (Fullmoon) 8 - 11 June
Operation KORNBLUME 14 June - 6 August
Operation SONENSTICH
Operation BIENENHAUS 25-30 June Anti-partisan operation in Moslavina, Croatia
Operation BLITZ 26 June - 5 July
Operation ROUEN 8 July - Anti-partisan operation in Kalnik, Croatia
Operation TRUMPF ?10 July - 4 August? Toplica-Jablanica o. (Topličko-Jablanička o.)
Operation FLIEGENFÄNGER 14 July
Maiglockchen
Operation DRAUFGÄNGER 18-26 July Andrijevica operation (Andrijevička o.)
Operation ROESLEIN ? - 2 August
Operation HACKFLEISCH 3 August
Operation FEUERWEHR ? August
Operation RÜBEZAHL 12-30 August Durmitor operation (Durmitorska o.)
Operation WOLFSHÖLLE 18 - 20 August
Operation RATWEEK 1 - 7 September Nedelja Pacova
Operation TREUBRUCH September
Operation SEYDLITZ 6-8 September Landing on the Dalmatian island of Hvar
18-28 October Banja Luka o. II (Druga Banjalučka o.)
8-14 October Niš operation (Niška operacija)
October Podravina operation (Podravska o.)
11-20 October Belgrade operation (Beogradska operacija)
Operation OSTERN German withdrawal from Zadar
Operation EXTERMINATE British hunt for German torpedo-boats
Operation WIKINGER 28 October German evacuation of all ships from Sibenik to Rijeka
15 Oct - 20 Nov Kosovo operation (Kosovska operacija)
9-29 November Batina operation (Batinska operacija)
Operation Schneegestber November The pursuit of Marshall Tito's HQ's.
25 Nov - 4 Dec Knin operation (Kninska operacija)
Operation TREFOIL 28-30 November Operacija Trolist
Operation HEUSCHOBER 19 December
Operation MARS 21 December


1945
Operation VICTORIA January
Operation WINTERGEWITTER 17 - 21 January
Operation SCHLAGETER 27 January
Operation BURA 27 - 29 January Akcija Bura
Operation Waldrausch (Forest Fever)
Operation WEHRWOLF 6-10 February Elimination of Virovitica bridgehead
6-15 February Mostar operation (Mostarska operacija)
Operation RÜBEZAHL February Anti-partisan operation carried out in Slovenia.
Operation WALDTEUFEL 6 - 23 March
Operation MAIGEWITTER 6 - 27 March
Operation BERGWIND 8 - 15 March
Operation FRÜHLINGSANFANG 19 March - ? Anti -partisan operation carried out in Slovenia.
Operation WINTERENDE 19 March - 6 April Anti -partisan operation carried out in Slovenia.
20 March - 15 April Lika-Primorje operation (Ličko-primorska o.)
28 March - 10 April Sarajevo operation (Sarajevska operacija)
12-13 April Srem front (Sremski front)
16 April - 7 May Rijeka operation (Riječka operacija)
29 April - 1 May Trst (Trieste) operation (Tršćanska operacija)
30 April - 7 May Karlovac operation (Karlovačka operacija)

This page is also available in the following languages:
• Hrvatski •



Main Reference:

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/battles-and-operations/


(modified 11/06/2007 03:38:09 by Mad Russian)
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Post #377   3537 days, 19 hours, 25 minutes, 20 seconds ago        
6 July 1942

German troops launch yet another attack on Soviet partisans. This time it's Operation Swamp Flower, against Soviet partisans near Dorogobuzh. These partisans are reinforced by Soviet paratroopers.

http://usswashington.com/dl05jl42.htm
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Post #378   3537 days, 19 hours, 11 minutes, 40 seconds ago        
Partisan Warfare on the Eastern Front

While the war was raging along a massive front from Leningrad in the north to the Caucasus in the south, another war of a very different nature was being fought behind the Germans lines. In many ways it was a somewhat more brutal and savage war.

A battle was being fought for control of vast German occupied countryside between various groups of Soviet and Nationalist Partisans and German security and various national auxiliary troops.
It was in this atmosphere that many of the horrors of the Second World War were perpetrated by German auxiliary troops, but at the same time Partisans carried out many brave actions against Axis targets, always with the aim of helping their comrades’ efforts in the frontlines and freeing their homeland from the invaders.


Soviet Partisan Organization

At the out break of WWII the Soviets had no official plans for organising occupied area resistance in case of foreign invasion. Stalin was fearful that any training and organization might encourage anti-soviet groups and give them an easy source of organizing armed resistance against the Soviet State.

However the NKVD did organize a number of Destruction Battalions with the aim of infiltrating behind enemy lines during an invasion and causing havoc to the enemy’s communication and supply lines.

These company-sized units never received the appropriated training and like many other NKVD border guard units were simply overwhelmed during the opening days of Operation Barbarossa.

On July 3, 1941, eleven days after the German invasion Comrade Stalin finally conceded some form of organized resistance was needed for the German occupied areas. In a radio broadcast he called for national resistance and ordered the organization of Partisan units.

These groups were called Otryadi and could number between 200 and 1000 fighters. These first new Otryadi consisted of Army stragglers, escaped POWs, NKVD troops, Communist activists and officials and State Youth Organisation (Komsomol) members. Very few of these early Partisans were actually workers or peasants.

The German auxiliary Einsatzgruppen were particularly vicious to Communist Party members, and when faced with death at the hands of these barbarians or join the Partisans the choice was fairly simple. In these early Partisan groups party members made up 40% of their ranks.

Despite the large number of NKVD and Communist Party members the overall control of the Partisans was taken over by the Red Army.
Despite Stalin’s order Partisan fighting in 1941 had not gone well and by the end of the year most resistance groups had been destroyed and only about 30,000 Partisans remained over the entire front. In 1942 the Army took control of the situation and regular army units were infiltrated through the German lines to join the Partisan Otryadi, booster their morale, provide training, organization and weapons.

Further reinforcements and weapons were dropped by air and Red Army hidden weapons stores were located and distributed among the Partisans.

By the mid 1942 the Partisans were operating in three tiers. The best units were the military Otryad made up of regular army officers and men. The next units were the irregular Otryad led by NKVD Komissars and party members, though often of limited military experience, proved enthusiastic and dedicated fighters. The final group was the self-protection Otryad usually organized to protect a village from marauding Axis auxiliary troops and anti-communist nationalist partisans.

In May 1942 and overall Partisan command was set-up in Moscow as part of the army command, but under Communist Party supervision. They further organized the Partisan staffs for each front. The Otryadi were organized into brigades.


Each theoretically consisted of:

Headquarters (Commander, Party Komissar, NKVD section, and HQ company)
Support Company (400 men, usually the original Otryad)
3 Rifle Companies (100 men each)

These new brigades became the new tactical units for organising actions against the Germans.

Peasants were conscripted and by the end of 1942 made up 60% Partisan Otryadi membership.

The remainder of the Partisans were mainly army personnel. In December 1942 130,000 Soviet Partisans had be organised and were active behind enemy line and controlled large tracks of land in the German occupied zones, though mainly north of the Ukraine in central Russia where the dense northern forests offered the cover and protection they needed.


Partisan Operations

The main goal of the Soviet Partisans was not to defeat the Germans security forces in detail, but to simply interrupt supply and communication, disrupt troop movements and generally force the Germans to commit more forces to controlling them, and hence taking troops and resources away from the frontline.

They were also used to gather intelligence on Axis troop movements and concentrations to aid Soviet planning at the frontline. They also impacted on the morale of the German troops whose thoughts of safety behind the lines were soon abolished by the activities of the Partisans.

While the Brigade organization was instituted in May 1942, smaller Partisan units of 75-150 men carried out most operations, at night, and usually from ambush positions.

The missions carried out by Partisans included attacking troop and supply columns, which could be on foot or wagon, motorized or on trains. Often attacks on trains would be preceded by the demolition of the rail line, embankment, bridge or tunnel. They also attacked troop camps and billets, rear area headquarters, supply depots, weapons parks and even airfields.

Even smaller divisionary groups were organzsed of 30 to 50 men split into smaller groups who didn’t know each other for security reasons. These small Partisan units of 3-10 men would carry out harassing sabotage such as the cutting of telephone lines, destroying ammunitions and fuel dumps, destroying rail lines, and minor ambushes on isolated enemy groups.

Often German military police (Feldgendarmerie) were the target of small partisan ambushes on patrols. The Feldgendarme had an intimate knowledge of German supply and troop routes and times and interrogation could glean vital information for future raids.

Partisan Otryadi usually operated from areas they knew well and set-up bases in hard to get to locations such as swamps and deep in thick forests.

Often when faced with a concerted effort by German forces to eradicate them from an area they would simply melt away to reform in a less protected area and continue their operations.

During January 1942 large numbers of Partisans from Bryansk joined forces with Soviet Paratroopers causing much havoc along the Smolensk-Vyazama rail line. This disruption caused the Germans to pull parts of the 5th and 11th Panzer Division back from the frontline to take control of the supply line once again.

A number of other large-scale operations were carried out from October 1942. Partisan Otryadi from Bryansk again attacked a 12-mile (18 km) section of rail between Bryansk and Dmitryev overcoming the security troops destroying the tracks and telephone lines.

Further attacks against rail targets were carried out in 1943 from Velikiye Luki in the north down to the Kursk-Kiev rail line in the Ukraine. The attacks in the Ukraine were not as successful due to the open terrain with little cover. After the German Kursk offensive had failed Partisan attacks on 22-24 July completely closed the Bryansk-Konotop rail line.

As the Soviet front line moved westwards, so, too, did Partisan operations into other German occupied Soviet territory.

As the Soviets approached the Polish border in 1944 Partisan units were either absorbed into Soviet Rifle Divisions or dissolved away, returning to their homes.


Anti-Partisan Forces

Initially at the start of Operation Barbarossa the Germans envisioned the rapid destruction of the Red Army, followed by the garrisoning of the Ural Mountains and the quick transfer of occupied territory over to German civil authorities. The failure of the Germans to completely defeat the Soviets in 1941 meant the Wehrmacht had to consider rear area security on a longer-term basis than originally intended.

In March 1941 middle-aged reservists had been formed into nine Security Divisions (Sicherungs Divisions). These divisions were used to guard lines of communication against Partisans and were later expanded to 14 divisions (a 15th division never served on the Eastern Front). The Sicherungs Divisions were only lightly equipped and were not really suitable for any offensive operations.

The Sicherungs Divisions were later reinforced with an Ost Bataillon of Russian auxiliaries and a battalion or German Police (Polizei Bataillon). The Polizei Bataillons were raised from the German civilian police force.

In the Western Ukraine the Hungarians operated a corps of five security divisions, which after the Hungarian withdrawal from the front line in early 1943 was expanded to 14 divisions. Further south both the Slovaks and Romanians operated security forces, thought there was little Soviet Partisan activity in their areas.

In 1942 these forces were reinforced with five reserve infantry divisions. These divisions contained raw recruits who underwent training while serving on security duties. Another seven field training divisions were also used, these contained freshly trained troops with no previous combat experience.

In June 1942 the Polizei Bataillons were organized into 28 motorized police regiments (Polizei Regiment, from February 1943 SS-Polizei Regiments) with three battalions plus signals, armored car and anti-tank companies. Some regiments contained Russian auxiliary battalions.

A third notorious group raised for security duties was the Einsatzgruppen, raised by the Reichsicherheitshaupamt (RSHA) or security police. The Einsatzgruppen were chiefly responsible for the rounding up of Jews and were guilty of many massacres of Jews, communists and suspected partisans.

Their brutality and barbarity did little to stop the Partisans, and may have done more to swell the Partisan ranks and ensure Partisan retaliation against Germans and collaborators could be equally as brutal.

The Germans also took advantage of national groups desire for independence and hatred of the Soviets to form a number of Police Battalions. Security forces were formed from Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians.

In June 1942 the Polizei Bataillons were organized into 28 motorized police regiments (Polizei Regiment, from February 1943 SS-Polizei Regiments) with three battalions plus signals, armoued car and anti-tank companies. Some regiments contained Russian auxiliary battalions.

Frontline Heer and Waffen-SS units were also fielded in anti-partisan operations and probably proved the most skilled and successful units.

Army units with immediate responsibility for security of each division rear areas were the Feldgendarmerie (Military Police) who took control of: Traffic control; maintenance of troop order and discipline; searching and escorting POWs; redirection of stragglers; prevention of looting; disarming and supervision of civilians in occupied areas; investigating traffic accidents; controlling the movement of soldiers in transit; removing enemy propaganda; searching for downed enemy aircrew; patrolling; arresting deserters; prevention of sabotage; and anti-partisan duties.

Other Wehrmacht specialist security forces include the Railway Station Guards and Train Guards who duties revolved around the protection and efficient running of military trains.

Mounted Axis cavalry was also used again the Partisans where their speed and mobility was a great advantage. The SS-cavalry units and Osttruppen Cossacks were often used against Partisans.

Anti-partisan Operations

Security troops spent most of their time engaged in their everyday duties of escorting supplies and securing lines of communications and movement. Many of the auxiliary police units also engaged in the un-savory activities of the Nazi’s murderous rampage against the Jewish population of the occupied areas.

Most security troops combat against the Partisans was reactionary, defending targets of Partisan attacks, as victims of ambushes or arriving after the event to pursue and track the escaping raiders.

Often security forces would pursue Partisans for days through marshes and forests only to have their leading patrols ambushed by the Partisans before they once more escaped into the dense terrain.

Regular patrolling was also used to locate Partisan groups, trying to catch them on the move and preventing from carrying out their particular mission.

However on occasion full scale operations were conducted against suspected Partisan strongholds or headquarters. The aim was to knock the head off the particular Partisan unit. By taking out their leadership the Germans found they effectively destroyed the combat effectiveness of the Partisan unit until new leadership could be organized.

Due to their effective infiltration of the local population Partisans usually had excellent intelligence on the movement and intentions of security forces. For this reason only the most secretive and well-organized operations usually achieved their objectives.

When confronted with direct force most Partisan forces would simply melt back into the surrounding countryside, often splitting into small groups and infiltrating back through the enemy lines to escape to fight another day.

To stop this an attacking anti-partisan force had to ensure the Partisans were surrounded and the attack had sufficient forces to close a tight net around them, not letting any Partisans escape. Most attacks were conducted at dawn to achieve and element of surprise. Many security forces certainly didn’t have enough men or weapons to usually carry out such operations effectively and most Partisan leaders escaped such traps. If the Partisan intelligence network had worked effectively many such attacked arrived at their target only to find it abandoned, the Partisans relocating in anticipation of the operation.

Partisan Warfare in Russia

(modified 11/17/2007 14:51:08 by Mad Russian)
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Post #380   3535 days, 15 hours, 43 minutes, 48 seconds ago        
The Partisan War

'Soviet citizens are to establish, in the areas occupied by the enemy, Partisan units on foot and on horseback.
Insufferable conditions must be created for the enemy. You must follow him everywhere and annihilate his forces'.

Stalin July 1941

The Partisan war on the Eastern Front played a significant and often unrecognised role in the campaign. The Partisan organization grew from humble beginnings, with small, disorganised groups of poorly trained and equipped fighters, to emerge in early 1944 as a highly motivated, well organised, well trained and equipped force totalling some 700,000 men and women. Partisan forces constantly disrupted the German rear areas, destroying lines of communication and supply and exacting a heavy toll on moral and resources. The extent of the Partisan threat resulted in the Germans deploying 25 dedicated security Divisions, 30 separate security Regiments and more than 100 police Battalions to help safeguard the rear areas.

Areas of Operation

Belorussia

Belorussia had the largest number of Partisan groups, numbering over 300,000 fighters, under the leadership of Panteleymon Ponomarenko, Petr Masherov, Kiril Mazurov and others. As early as the spring of 1942 they were able to effectively harass German troops and significantly hamper their operations in the region. The Partisan movement was so strong, that by late 1943 there were entire regions in occupied Belorussia, where Soviet authority was re-established deep inside the German held territories. Some areas were even secure enough to establish Partisan kolkhozes to grow food and rear livestock for the Partisan groups in their areas. Major Partisan concentrations lay in the areas between Lakes Peipus and Ilmen and straddling the Dno-Nevel and Velikiye Luki-Rezekne railway lines. There were also heavy concentrations in the areas of Novgorod, Leningrad and Pskov.

The Ukraine

The first Ukrainian Partisan detachments appeared in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions. They developed out of Mykola Popudrenko's and Sydir Kovpak's underground groups, but only became a formidable force in 1943, by which stage they were operating throughout occupied Ukraine and numbered over 150,000 fighters. In 1944, Ukrainian partisans led by Kovpak and Petro Vershigora were even able to carry out raids into Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
A separate force, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), was formed in 1942 as a military arm of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, was engaged in the armed conflict against the Partisans, German forces and the Polish resistance during different stages of the campaign. Although the UPA initially attempted to find a common ground with the German forces against the Partisans, it was soon driven underground as it became apparent that the German view of the Ukraine was as that of a German colony with an enslaved population, not the independent country the UPA was striving to create.

Western Russia

In Western Russia Partisans controlled vast areas of the German rear. The Bryansk-Orel woodlands, the Pripyat Marshes and the White Russian woodlands in the area of Vitebsk, provided ideal operational areas for the Partisan groups. Partisans in the region were led by Alexei Fyodorov, Alexander Saburov, Dmitry Medvedev and others and numbered over 60,000 men. Belgorod, Orel, Kursk and Smolensk regions also maintained significant Partisan activity during the occupation period. In 1943, after the Red Army started to liberate western Russia and northeast Ukraine, many Partisans including units led by Fyodorov, Medvedev and Saburov re-located their operations into central and western Ukraine.

The Baltic States

Partisans also operated in the Baltic States. In Estonia, they were under the leadership of Nikolay Karotamm. In Latvia they were initially under Belorussian command, but from January 1943 they were directly subordinated to the central headquarters in Moscow, under the leadership of Arturs Sprongis. Another prominent commander was the historian Vilis Samsons, head of a unit of 3000 men. In Lithuania, the Partisans had a separate command from November 1942, under Antanas Snieckus. In the Vilnius Ghetto, a resistance organisation named the FPO (Fareinikte Partisaner Organizatzie) was established by Communist and Zionist Partisans and lead by Yitzhak Witenberg and Abba Kovner. In all three Baltic States the largest number of the Soviet Partisans were Russians, Jews and Belorussians. The resistance movement of the Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians was separate, and generally hostile to the Soviet political system, therefore, only a small number of people of these nationalities joined the cause of the Soviet Partisans.

Partisan Forces

On the 10th of July the Partisan Movement was officially organized and placed under the control of the Tenth Department of the Political Administration of the Army. The groups then in existence were organized into combat Battalions. Comprising from 75 to 150 men, they were to be divided into 2 to 3 companies and the companies into 2 to 3 platoons. Generally they were to operate only at night and from ambush. Their mission was to attack troop columns, camps, transports of fuel and ammunition, headquarters, air bases, and railroad trains previously halted by rail demolitions. Battalion commanders were chosen by the local party councils from among the officer reserve of the Red Army, local leaders with previous military service, or commissars of proven political reliability. Staffs for the Battalions were to be formed in the Jurisdictional Committees and the local Labour Councils.
In addition to the combat battalions, diversionary units were organised. These consisted of from 30 to 50 men each and were sub divided into 5 to 8 groups of 3 to 10 men each. They were to be organized so that the individuals comprising one group would not be acquainted with those of another. The small units were to be concentrated into a larger organization only to control their activity and to facilitate the formation of new groups in the area. Their fundamental mission was sabotage, cutting telephone lines, destroying fuel and ammunition dumps, railroad demolition and carrying out attacks on individual or small groups of enemy vehicles.

German Security Forces

The rear area commands had been specifically charged with maintaining the supply of the field armies and guaranteeing the exploitation of the land for the immediate use of the military. Thus the task of combating the Partisan bands if they threatened the lines of communication and the supply points in the rear fell to them. Nine security Divisions were initially available for this mission, each one comprising an infantry Regiment of three Battalions, a guard Battalion and Landesschuetzen Regiment of from three to four Battalions. Seven of the nine also had an integral motorized police Battalion. Army Group North and Army Group Centre each had a security Regiment of bicycle troops in general reserve while the former had an additional police Regiment. Army Group South also had several satellite security Brigades for commitment in the deep rear and the Carpathian Mountains. As well as the specially formed security Divisions, the Germans also employed native Russian units or 'Orstkommandturen' (OD) and Russian labour volunteers or 'Hiwis' to help guard supply dumps, protecting crops, procuring livestock and providing local knowledge. The security Divisions were often under equipped and poorly trained and in many cases were considerably under strength because of their requirement to provide front line units with replacements. The native units, although invaluable because of their local knowledge, were of an even lower standard and naturally became less reliable as the campaign wore on. Generally, one Division closely followed the main effort of the Army Group, keeping the major communication axis clear of interference, occupying the key population centres along the line of advance and furnishing local protection for the operational headquarters. The others fanned out on either side, occupying the larger towns and cities and covering the roads and railroads feeding the flank armies and the more important lateral links between units. The majority of this work fell to the Landesschuetzen units, patrolling the roads and rail lines and guarding important bridges, supply dumps, while the other Regiments either aided in clearing up the encircled pockets of Red Army personnel or were held as a mobile reserve for any serious insurgent outbreak. The police units concerned themselves with the general maintenance of order and handled traffic on the highways. As German forces pushed further into the Russian interior and the rear areas grew larger, two newly activated security Divisions and several SS Brigades were assigned to the security commands, to provide special protection in critical areas or to curb especially troublesome resistance.
Despite manpower limitations, the security forces were mostly able to contain the offensive actions of the Partisans during the early stages of the campaign. They did this by employing a mainly defensive stance, which was concentrated along major lines of communication and around important installations and areas of supply. They employed a number of tactics to combat the Partisans. Continuous patrolling and occasional large sweeps of Partisan controlled areas, when manpower allowed, forced the Partisan groups to disperse temporarily and disrupted their supply lines. Major rail lines were cleared of all vegetation to a distance of 400m on either side of the track, to make it more difficult for the Partisans to prepare ambushes. A series of fortified blockhouses were constructed at regular intervals, with watchtowers to enable security forces to observe long stretches of track. Those stretches were also vigorously patrolled, but mostly only during daylight hours. Each railroad yard was to be secured by at least one Company and all yards were to have a cleared area at least 300 yards wide around them. Trains often travelled in convoy and within sight of one another and also carried an armed escort on board in case of attack. Another tactic used to protect the locomotive was to place a wagon filled with sand at the front of the train to detonate any explosives. However the Partisans often thwarted this tactic by remotely detonating the explosives under the engine.

Conduct of the Campaign

The Partisan campaign was fought throughout with unremitting ferocity by both sides and life for the civilian population caught in the middle was especially hard.
The early stages of the campaign from mid 1941 to early 1942 saw the German rear area forces treat both the Partisans and civilian population harshly. Several orders issued during the early stages of the campaign helped to fuel the severity of German reaction to the civilian population and the Partisan groups. 'The Barbarossa Order', issued in May 1941, ordered that 'all attempts by enemy civilians to interfere with the smooth running of military operations should be countered with the utmost severity'. It also declared that 'acts committed by Wehrmacht personnel against enemy civilians, even if the act was a military crime, may go unpunished'. The next such order, the infamous 'Commissar Order' issued in June 1941, denied all commissars combatant status and decreed that once captured, they be singled out and immediately shot or else handed over to the SS to suffer the same fate. The final series of instructions, entitled 'Guidelines for the conduct of troops in Russia' was also issued in June 1941. It proclaimed that 'Bolshevism is the mortal enemy of the National Socialist German people. This battle demands ruthless and energetic measures against Bolshevik agitators, irregulars, saboteurs and Jews and the total eradication of any active or passive resistance'.
Throughout the early stages of the campaign in 1941, the civilian population was terrorized and the destruction of villages and farms, confiscation of livestock and provisions and executions of Partisan sympathisers were common. This alienated the civilian population and lead to increased support for the Partisans.
In early 1942 the German attitude in many areas began to improve. It became clearly apparent, that due to the severe shortage in manpower and the vast size of the areas that security units were tasked to control, that a high level of support would be required from the civilian population in order to contain the activities of the Partisans. The burning of villages was in some cases prohibited, requisitioning of livestock was reduced to a level, which allowed the civilian population to sustain itself. A more lenient attitude was shown to Partisan prisoners and encouragement was given to Partisans wanting to desert.
However in early 1943, when the eventual defeat of German forces in the east became more likely, the civilian population began to become more sympathetic with the Partisans cause. A large upsurge in Partisan activity saw the policy of German security forces take a harsher stance. In an effort to purge areas of Partisan activity, they were turned into dead zones. All villages were destroyed, all livestock confiscated and the civilian population relocated. This was an attempt to deny the Partisan groups of supplies, support and operating bases.
In late 1943 and early 1944 the deteriorating military situation in the east and the increasing levels of organization and effectiveness of the Partisan groups saw the German ability to maintain effective rear area security collapse almost entirely. The Partisan groups could operate almost at will and more regularly in complete cooperation with advancing Red Army units.

The Early Partisan War

At best the early organizational efforts, made in the midst of the wild confusion following the German attack, produced only meagre results. There had been no pre-war planning for Partisan warfare on a national scale and only some scattered preparation locally. Morale was low, training and equipment were poor and recruitment was often forced. The number of desertions was high and when leaders fled or were killed, the groups often fell apart. As well as groups of Partisans formed in rural areas following the German invasion, large groups of Russian soldiers cut off from their units by the rapid German advances, either joined existing groups or formed their own. Despite Stalin's plea in July 1941, there was little early response from the civilian population, however the German programme of repression in the rear areas saw resistance gradually increase. During the early stage of the campaign groups found it difficult to gain the support of the local population who were often unsympathetic to their cause. This limited their ability to operate, gain intelligence and requisition food and supplies.
The first irregular units were few in number and were not overly aggressive, seldom appearing in the more populated areas or near German troop concentrations. They confined their activities to forest and swamp areas where natural cover provided maximum protection and where opposition was lightest. Their attacks were scattered and appeared to conform to no set pattern, the majority being aimed at the more lightly guarded secondary supply links.
In the northern sector, Partisan operations began in mid August and accounted for a large number of demolitions against rail lines in the area between Lake Ilmen and Lake Peipus. In the central sector Partisan groups carried out attacks in the area of the Pripyat Marshes and in the marshy forests to the south of Lake Ilmen and the Valdai Hills. In the southern sector, attacks were carried out in the lower edges of the Pripyat along the Korosten-Mozyr line and in the Sarny-Rovno-Kovel area, where the irregulars exerted considerable pressure on the security units. There were also a large number of bridges blown and long sections of track were destroyed. The same was true in the eastern foothills of the Carpathian range and in the marshes along the upper courses of the Bug River.
In mid September, the control and direction of the Partisans was placed under the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement. This was a new department, which was to operate independently of both the Red Army and the NKVD, under the direct control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and lead by Marshal Voroshilov. Following this change in control, the Partisan bands began to increase their activity. Some with radios had some limited success in establishing liaison with the Red Army and a few received leaders who had been trained at special Partisan schools in the Soviet rear. The groups never remained in a district in the face of strong opposition and made every effort to avoid direct contact with German forces. If they were dispersed from a particular sector by aggressive German action, they subsequently began raiding in another area, which was less well protected. In general they operated in areas with which they were well acquainted and set up their bases on swamp islands and in deep forests which were difficult to access. They made their marches only by night and over prearranged routes and were armed with Russian or captured German ordnance. Occasionally they received weapons and ammunition by airdrop. They lived off the country, forcibly requisitioning what they needed from the natives. They deliberately attempted to demoralize the local civilians with sudden raids, rumour mongering and terror tactics.
In December 1941, the advent of the Russian counter offensive saw Partisan activity increase. The heaviest pressure remained on the northern wing of the Russian attack, in the area between Lake Ilmen and Lake Peipus, where the number of rail demolitions steadily increased. In the central sector, the Partisan groups had begun to concentrate their activity around the extensive forests in the Bryansk area. They began hitting the areas railroads, in addition to launching numerous raids on troop units and installations and keeping the natives in the surrounding countryside in a constant state of terror.
As the Red Army continued to press its advantage in the last days of January 1942, the groups in the central sector came more boldly into the picture. They began moving northward out of their forest bases around Bryansk and appearing around Smolensk. Here they joined forces with a number of Red Army parachute units dropped into the same area and were gradually pulled under the provisional command of General Belov. They caused such disruption along the Smolensk-Vyazma rail line and highway, that the Germans were forced to pull out elements of the 5th and 11th Panzer Divisions to right the situation.

The Restructuring Period

In early 1942 the German High Command started to realise the threat that the Partisan groups posed and began to organise a programme of measures to combat them. The first major anti Partisan operation was mounted between the 26th of March and the 6th of April, in the area of Glusk-Paritschi-Oktjabrski to the south of Bobruisk. Named operation 'Bamberg', it involved Police Battalion 325 and the 707th Infantry Division, but only resulted in dispersing the local groups into other areas. Two other operations that took place in the same month were 'Munich' and 'Hanover'. They were conducted in the Yelnya-Dorogobuzh area and involved the 221st Security Division. The operations were largely a failure due to a lack of manpower, fuel shortages and appalling weather conditions and strong Partisan counter attacks inflicted heavy casualties on the Division.
In May 1942 STAVKA established a central committee to reorganize Partisan forces and coordinate their operations to support those of the Red Army. Advisors, political officers and demolition, intelligence and communication specialists were provided to train and help coordinate Partisan formations. Weapons, ammunition, communications equipment and medical supplies were air dropped and in some areas strongly controlled by the Partisans, temporary airstrips were established. The loose concentrations of groups were gradually pulled together into tightly controlled commands, with individual units assigned specific areas as bases of operations. Units composed exclusively of irregulars were integrated into groups similar to a Brigade, numbering as many as 1500 men. The strength of the individual units comprising these, varied from 30 to 300 men, depending on the personality and leadership qualities of their commanders. Commissars sent from the rear exercised political control. The personnel were given some training and for the most part were adequately armed. The brigades and groups were normally designated by the names of Russian heroes past or present, or by the geographical area in which they operated. The lower echelon units were generally known by the names of their respective commanders. The groups were to lend tactical aid to the Red Army as fighting units, gather information of tactical value and continually attack the German lines of communication.
In May, prior to the commencement of the German summer offensives, Partisan activity increased considerably in all areas. However the open terrain that the German forces were advancing over did not suit Partisan operations and the effects were minimal. The restructuring of the Partisan forces continued and by the summer of 1942, all the larger groups were well armed and supplied with ammunition. Their materiel included light mortars, light and heavy machine guns and some of the groups had antitank guns, a few had motor vehicles, and several operated reconnaissance cars.
On the 5th of June army group Centre launched a large-scale antipartisan operation, code-named 'Vogelsang', in the area of Bryansk, to clear the forests of Partisans and scattered Red Army units and to secure the rail lines and highways. Despite the reasonable success of the operation, the bulk of the partisans withdrew from the area to the west.
It wasn't until October 1942, that the first large scale Partisan operations took place. On the 13th of October a large Partisan unit struck the north-south railroad between Bryansk and Dmitryev and virtually destroyed an entire 12 mile section. After they had removed some miles of telephone line, the irregulars simultaneously attacked all guard details along the stretch and blew the tracks at 178 different points. Despite the fact that Partisan actions against German military targets were having limited effect, the groups were having a serious impact on the economic infrastructure. Collective farms and the timber industry were particularly hard hit.

Continued with the Rail War

(modified 11/19/2007 18:08:37 by Mad Russian)
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Post #381   3535 days, 15 hours, 41 minutes, 28 seconds ago        
The Rail War

The 'Rail War' began in earnest in May 1943. As German preparations for operation Citadel began, STAVKA initiated a campaign of disruption across the entire front targeted against the German rear areas and along key road and rail routes.
In the northern sector, the Velikiye Luki-Rezekne and Vitebsk-Dvinsk rail lines were attacked by Partisan forces numbering some 11,000 men and the Brest Litovsk-Smolensk line by a force of approximately 8000. The largest number of attacks were carried out in the centre of the front. The Roslavl-Bryansk, Bryansk-Lgov and Bryansk-Gomel rail lines were attacked by three Partisan groups, each numbering some 6000 men. A group of seven temporary bridges across the Desna River, to the south of Bryansk, were also targeted. The Minsk-Gomel line, which ran along the eastern edge of the Pripyat Marshes, was also attacked by a force of 10,000. In the southern sector, the Kursk-Kiev rail line was targeted by a force of approximately 8000 men. However the terrain here was unsuitable for Partisan operations and attacks were not as prolific.
In an effort to halt the attacks in the Bryansk area, a series of five anti Partisan operations were mounted in late May and early June. Operations 'Zigennebaron' and 'Tannhaeuser', which utilized three infantry Divisions, two panzer Divisions, a Hungarian light Division and a number of security, Ost and Volkswehr units, were carried out to the south and southwest of Bryansk, while Operation 'Nachbarhilfe', which utilized the 221st Security Division and Ost and Volkswehr units, cleared an area to the west. Operation 'Freischutze', which utilized the 6th Infantry and 5th Panzer Divisions to the north and the smaller operation 'Osterie' to the east. The operations were reasonably successful, in that the Partisan groups in the areas were temporarily dispersed and separated from their supplies. However because none of the groups were destroyed, they simply reformed following the conclusion of the German operations and gradually resumed their attacks. Another operation mounted during June was 'Cottbus'. The operation was carried out in the Lepel, Begomel, Ushatshi area by a mixed force of Army, SS, SD and native volunteer units and became infamous for the brutality and ferocity, which the German forces employed, both against the Partisans and the local population.
After the failure of operation Citadel, Russian forces launched a series of offensives forcing the Germans onto the defensive. In July the position in the Bryansk-Orel salient became untenable and German forces began to withdraw westwards over the Desna River. At this time Partisan action increased considerably in an effort to disrupt the withdrawal. The Bryansk-Konotop rail line was attacked so heavily that it was completely closed from the 22nd to the 24th of July. In July alone, in the Bryansk area, Partisan forces carried out over 1000 rail demolitions, 30 bridge demolitions and almost 400 raids on various other targets. In the southern sector during July, as German forces were forced gradually westwards, many of the Partisan groups east of the Dnepr River began to gradually move into the lower Pripyat marshes. Also at about this time, began the emergence of Ukrainian Nationalist groups who openly engaged Russian Partisan forces in the area.
On the nights of August the 2nd and 3rd, a simultaneous series of attacks were made which resulted in over 8000 rail demolitions in the Bryansk-Smolensk area. Partisan groups also carried out raids against a variety of railway facilities, placing an additional strain on the network and its infrastructure. In the Pripyat area, roads, road convoys and communication centres were also heavily attacked. During September there was an early lull in the attacks, however on the 18th, Partisan forces resumed large scale attacks, mainly against railway targets, carrying out over 1200 demolitions during the month in the Pripyat area.
By the beginning of October German forces had completed their withdrawal to the Dnepr and the Partisan attacks began to recede. Partisan forces in the central sector carried out 5290 rail demolitions, 56 bridge demolitions and 900 separate raids. During the same month, Partisan groups first became active to the west of Brest Litovsk, in the areas of Lida and Vilna.
During November and December, Partisan activity declined considerably. The groups concentrated on consolidating the areas they held, constructing more permanent operating bases and improving supply lines and carrying out training. At the same time STAVKA increased its control over the groups, replacing commanders with regular, combat experienced Red Army commanders, improving regional and central command structures and improving links between Partisan groups and regular Red Army forces in order to link their operations more closely to those of the Army.
In January, Partisan forces in the northern sector carried out a series of operations in support of the Red Army's offensive to free Leningrad. They targeted specific areas of the German lines of communication, including the Dvinsk-Leningrad rail line and highway, the Dno-Soltsy-Leningrad rail line and major rail links in the Novgorod and Volkhov areas. They were also tasked with hampering the German withdrawal and providing protection to the Army's exposed left flank. On the evening of the 16th of January, a large band struck a railroad station 20 miles north of Luga and this attack was followed on the nights of the 17th and 18th by a general assault on all rail lines in the sector and by open attacks on security strong points and garrisons. The Dno-Soltsy-Leningrad line was blown in more than 300 places, while the Pskov-Luga line was broken in 157 places. More demolitions followed in the next 24 hours, and repair operations were repeatedly interrupted by attacks on repair crews. By noon of the 20th the Dno-Soltsy line was almost completely paralysed.
In April 1944, German forces in the central sector mounted a series of large anti partisan operations, from April the 11th until the 23rd of June, against groups concentrated in the areas west of Vitebsk and Orsha. The first operation, 'Regenschauer', utilized elements of the 3rd Panzer Army, which attacked westward down the left bank of the Dvina River, into the lake region just south of Polotsk. Contrary to expectations, the Partisans there, caught by surprise and mistakenly believing that the Germans would withdraw after the operation, pulled back across the lake line and into the depths of the Ushachi area with hardly a fight, despite orders to the contrary. The attacking force consolidated its gains and dug in. This operation was followed almost immediately by 'Fruhlingsfest', and involved the units which had executed 'Regenschauer', remaining in place along the lakes as a blocking force, joined in the north and west by elements of the 16th Army. Additional elements of the 3rd Panzer Army and a large force of Police and SS units drove into the area as the hammer against the anvil of the blocking line. When the attack groups were joined by elements of the 95th Infantry Division, the pressure became too heavy, and the Partisans began a series of attempts to break out to the south. The operations resulted in heavy casualties and considerable disruption of the Partisan networks. The final operation, 'Kormoran', was carried out in the area of Borisov, Minsk and Molodechno. The operation utilized elements of the 3rd Panzer Army striking westward through the Senno area, and police and SS units attacking to the east and northeast from the vicinity of Molodechno. To prevent a mass escape of bands to the north and south, additional elements of the 3rd Panzer Army had set up a blocking line on the northern fringe of the region while Police and SS units had established similar positions along the rail lines to the south and southwest. Again the operation was reasonably successful, but had to be ended before its conclusion due to the commencement of operation Bagration.
During June, air supplies to Partisan groups in the central sector was stepped up considerably in preparation for the large Russian offensive, operation Bagration. On the night of the 19th of June Partisan forces opened the preparation for the Russian offensive with their greatest single blow of the war against the German lines of communication. They launched large scale attacks across the sector, carrying out 9600 rail demolitions and raids against German held villages and supply depots. They carried out a further 892 rail demolitions the following night, with the Minsk-Orsha and Mogilev-Vitebsk rail lines being hit particularly hard and almost completely paralysed for several days. As the offensive swept through their concentration areas, the Partisans worked in close cooperation with the regular units. For the most part they held their formations and hit at their targets with a good degree of precision. In a number of instances they were identified fighting in the line as units under direct Red Army control. As the advance neared the Polish border, the units slowly fell apart. Many were absorbed into the line Divisions, while others broke off in small groups in an effort to avoid induction into the Regular Army.

Partisan War in the East
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Post #382   3535 days, 12 hours, 13 minutes, 39 seconds ago        
Occupation and Resistance September 1939 - May 1945


From the time of Hitler’s appointment to Chancellor, men and women lived and died resisting German occupation. Resistance groups sprang up in every occupied country, and several organizations in Germany herself. Their members succeeded and failed in all sorts of activities against the Third Reich.

In many conquered lands, the Germans made promises of independence or the redress of ancient ethnic disputes. In some cases they followed through, but most natives who hailed the Germans as liberators were quickly and sharply disabused of their illusions.

Different areas were controlled differently. In many places the Germans set up provinces that were incorporate into Germany, each run by a Gauleiter who held absolute power. In the vast areas of Russia, the Germans held little territory but used armored trains and tanks to project power anywhere. Collaborationists that worked with the Germans ran areas like Vichy France.

Especially after the losses in Stalingrad and Kursk, the Gauleiters were instructed to send resources to Germany. Besides natural resources, thousands of slave laborers were shipped into Germany to work in war production and other areas.

The romantic view of French Maquis fighting a hit-and-run battle while wearing black berets underestimates the horror and death that most resistance fighters lived for their short lives as partisans. Communists under the direct control of the Soviet Union organized much of the resistance in occupied Europe. This fact is often overlooked as the cold war precluded celebrating their actions.

The Gestapo was ruthlessly efficient in destroying resistance cells, and many resistance fighters died in torture or in concentration camps. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed in reprisals. Resistance often began as soon as the country was occupied. Defeated soldiers would hide their weapons in case of uprising; journalists and printers would hide their presses for future use. Often those Army officers willing to continue the fight would carry on after their government had surrendered.

By July 1940, it became clear to the British that they were not going to return to the continent anytime soon, and began to organize intelligence units to support partisans around occupied Europe. Called Special Operations Executive (SOE), it organized espionage and sabotage operations, supplied and trained guerilla units, and was the model for the US Office of Strategic Services.

When Czech SOE agents killed SS Chief of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, the Germans destroyed the town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia on June 10, 1942. The men were shot, the woman and children deported, and the town blown up and covered over. The name was removed from all German maps.

The effectiveness of resistance varied by country. In Germany, resistance movements were largely ineffective and were eliminated before the war. The best known is the Weisse Rose (White Rose) which was their password. Two University of Munich students, brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, organized students and soldiers opposed to the Reich in 1942. One soldier had seen the Einsatzgruppen (Action Groups) that shot Jews on the Eastern Front. In February 1943, they dropped leaflets critical of Hitler that said “Germany’s name will be disgraced forever,” from their University’s window. Both were arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death. Sophie, her leg broken by the Gestapo, was beheaded.

But most Germans were supportive of the Nazi Regime and loyal to Hitler. When the Allied armies approached the Rhine in 1945, the lack of the effective resistance that guided the Allies in France was deeply felt.

In France the resistance was well organized by the end of 1940. They fought two set-piece battles with German troops, rescued hundreds of Allied pilots, and sabotaged many trains and bridges. Their effectiveness has been overstated in the popular media, but they did hold divisions that would have made a difference on the Eastern Front. The Communist partisans in Paris rose up and fought the Germans as the Allies approached in August 1944.

Yugoslavia was the only country where the partisans were able to expel the oppressors. Partisans under Josef Tito received help from both the western Allies and the Soviet Union. His forces fought other partisan groups as well as the Germans. The Red Army and Tito’s partisans liberated Belgrade in October 1944.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the Polish Home Army attempt to liberate Warsaw in 1944 the shattered the resistance movements there. Often Jewish resistance units were separate and distinct from the other resistance movements. Anti-Semitism was not limited to the Nazis.

Greek partisans, like their comrades in Greece, spent as much time fighting each other as they did the Germans. By 1944 the fighting was so fierce between anti-Communist and communist factions, the British sent troops into Greece after the Germans pulled back. They did mount large-scale resistance that held German Forces that were badly needed elsewhere.

Norway, with the help of SOE, organized a resistance movement that confounded the Germans on a regular basis. Norwegian resistance members helped the British Commandoes that attacked the German heavy water plant, vital to their Atomic Bomb program. Norwegians helped locate the Tirpitz, which threatened convoys to Murmansk and was sunk by British Lancaster bombers in 1944. Resistance members brought Norwegians to Sweden, where they learned police training and filled the vacuum left by the Germans when they surrendered.

In the Soviet Union, partisans were communists, red army units, civilians, and plain clothes party operatives. Capture meant torture and death. Often without training or equipment, Stalin ordered a general resistance behind the lines on July 3, 1941. Especially vulnerable was the long Wehrmacht supply lines back to Germany. Eventually 250,000 partisans operated behind the German lines. Roving anti-guerilla units of the Wehrmacht killed thousands of Ukrainians, Georgians, Russians, and others. The resistance did pave the way for the advancing Red Army by providing intelligence, cutting transit, and rallying support for Stalin and the Red Army.

The Resistance movements in Occupied Europe became a symbol of the struggle against the Nazis. While their effectiveness is debatable, they did provide valuable intelligence for the advancing Allies and a focus for those willing to risk death to fight the Nazis.




Resistance in WWII

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