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Operation Fredericus 1942

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Kai-Petri, May 19, 2005.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Operation Fredericus and 1942

    The Great Battle South of Kharkov - Operation Fredericus
    17th May 1942

    Before the Summer Campaign had taken place, 6th Army of Paulus and
    1st Panzer Army of Kleist had captured the Sovjet Balakleya-Izyum
    salient near Kharkov. 1250 tanks and 2026 gunswere destroyed.
    The Soviets losing 239.000 men as prisoner alone and the Germans gaining
    a valuable area from which to begin the new offensive. The Soviets launched
    an attack towards Kharkov on the 12th May 1942, pre-empting a German
    strike code-named 'Fredericus' in the same area by six days. Although the
    OKH commanded to start 'Fredericus', one day earlier, as planned
    (17th instead of 18th May 1942).
    A counter-attack, not defence, was believed to be the best solution.
    It was by the 22nd the enemy was encircled between von Kleist's and
    Paulus' armies and a great victory was achieved.

    After Kerch and Kharkov the German eastern army showed itself to be once
    again at the peak of it superior strenght. Within three weeks 409.000 Soviet
    soldiers taken prison, 3159 guns and 1508 tanks destroyed or captured.
    Victory dominated the minds of the soldiers and the Wehrmacht communiques.
    It certainly was amazing. But forgotten was the terrible winter and the
    spectre of defeat.



    http://216.198.255.120/germanpart/agsouth_part4.html
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    May 1942-No wonder Hitler believed the Red Army was finished. But how wrong he was...

    :eek:
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The awful beginning for the Red Army spring 1942. The Germans were getting ready for the summer 1942 offensive and the Red Army was caught in the middle of the AGS being ready and was annihilated after some first victories that gave them false feeling of victory.
     
  4. Jesica

    Jesica New Member

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    Well if the soviet offensive was conducted elsewhere (considering key spots along the front) it would have had the same ending. Keep in mind that while Blau was ongoing, stavka not only kept huge reserves in front of 9. Armee, but they also launched two large offensives in which Model managed to grind an absurd amount of soviet soldiers. I don't think the result is about the germans preparing Blau but about their defensive doctrine and available reserves (greater than in 1943-1944).
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Then Hitler divided his forces, and stuck 6th Armee into Stalingrad. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Read about the rhzev area OPS. Model kept on Moving available troops to hot points around the 'bag' and was available to force the Soviet forces to pockets and areas where they could not go forwards like roads. The Grossdeutschlnd was The fire brigade and suffered huge losses and they did not like Model.
     
  7. Jesica

    Jesica New Member

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    I'm aware that Model was infamous among the men because of his ruthlessness regarding losses. But there wasn't something better to be done. Model on the other hand was a brave man, who was always up front, sharing the same pain and combat conditions of his men. He was wounded many times too.

    Well that ain't the biggest problem. Considering the vastness of the Kuban region and the Volga's basin, Heeresgruppes A and B would have had to become active at a certain point during the operation. In fact it was part of the plan. The problem is beyond dividing forces. Is about reading the picture.

    Right after seizing Voronezh, Feldmarschal Fedor von Bock had the impression that the enemy was reluctant to stand and fight and kept withdrawing, conserving their strength. He also read that the withdrawals were thrusting southeast, something that in his mind was a mistake. But most of high command concluded that 'the enemy is defeated'. Hitler was of that opinion well before Blau (Fredericus) and thus was glad that most of his generals thought the same way. Fedor von Bock on the other hand was up front and he had only seized one railhead: Voronezh. Without seizing Rostov (the second planned railhead), the Heer was in no position of dividing forces, not because of lacking strength but because of lacking logistics. von Bock was right on another thing: the enemy was intentionally retreating, thus heading south as the germans did to seize Rostov and activate Heeresgruppes A and B was a wrong turn. He saw a flaw on soviet command was resolved to exploit it. He wanted to strike east, fast and headlong and outrun soviet retreat past the Don bend to seize the Volga basin trapping them south. Turning south back then, he declared was 'striking at thin air'. After some arguments with Hitler he was relieved from his command.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall Reading from von Richthofen that after they had gone as far as Stalingrad and in the South was it Grozny the AGS air force power alone after summer battle had the size of Greater Germany to Control...Not including the Black Sea harbors under Red Army use.
     
  9. Jesica

    Jesica New Member

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    That was a huge problem and it was appalling since Rostov railhead exclusively supplied Heeresgruppe A. So both Luftwaffe and Heeresgruppe B fought an administrative war to get what was left on the Voronezh railhead.
     

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