Let's Build The Battle of Targul Frumos

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 15 Nov 2002 16:32

Well, those awards were actually planned to be given to soldiers after the war, Rudel became the exception.

regards

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 16 Nov 2002 17:16

Because Rudell's Schlachtgeschwader 2 was active over Targul Frumos,mayby strenght reports of that unit are relevant.I have reports only for 31.3.44,but mayby it give some advice.

Schlachtgeschwader 2 in 31.3.44

Stab SG2 1 Ju 87 D-5

I/SG2 28 Ju 87 D-5


II/SG2 26 Fw 190(A-5,F-3,G-3)


4./SG2 10 Hs 123 B-1


III/SG2 3 Ju 87 D-3
25 Ju 87 D-5


10.(Pz)/SG2 6 Ju 87 D-5
4 Ju 87 G-1


Source:Hans-Ulrich Rudel-Mein Kriegstagbuch(strengt reports are added by translator)

Take care/Juha

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Erich

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 16 Nov 2002 17:53

Hard job for me... :idea: ... Juha, we need the help of Erich!
Where are you, Erich?

combrig
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Rumanians on 1st Day of Targul Frumos

Post by combrig » 16 Nov 2002 21:51

I don't have all of the Rumanian deployments for 2 May, but here's what I do have regarding the forces near 57th Panzerkorps:

1. Gherghe's 1st CdA (6th Div.Inf. and 20th Div.Inf.) was deployed west of the Sireth River Sireth River opposite 40th Armiya and was not really a factor in the battle, though 6th Div.Inf. did earn Kirchner's praise for its actions on 2 May.

2. Avramescu's 6th CdA was deployed behind the Strunga Line, well to the rear of the German HKL, backstopping Gruppe Hell on GD's right.

3. Niculescu's 5th CdA (4th Div.Inf. and Divizia Garda) was deployed to the left of Avramescu's corps. Mihaescu's 4th was behind 24th Pz.Div. The main body of Nicolescu-Cociu's Divizia Garda was deployed NNE of Roman and SW of Halaucesti, with one regiment in a forward deployment at Ruginoasa.

4. Part of Korne's 1st Divizia Blindata was in reserve at Halaucesti.

At about 1430, the bulk of Langkeit's regiment was operating in Niemack's sector of the front on GD's right wing when things came apart over on the left. The 24th GvSK renewed the attack down W-3 from the area west of Bals, while other Soviet forces attacked SE through Ruginoasa along the ridge leading to Halaucesti. A force of at least 60 Soviet tanks broke through the left flank of Lorenz's Pz.Gr.Rgt. GD. German accounts attribute the Soviet success to the retreat of what they call a "Rumanian brigade" at Ruginoasa, which left the flank of I/Pz.Gr.Rgt. GD hanging in air. One company from that battalion was overrun and wiped out. The retreating Rumanian unit seems to have been a regiment of Divizia Garda.

The situation on the left wing of GD was finally restored with the support of the Luftwaffe, which arrived on the scene around 1535 (having been instructed by Schörner to throw everything available at the Soviet concentrations west of Bals. Between 1535 and 1700, German aircraft shot up enemy vehicle columns moving up to support the Soviet effort southwest of the town.

Meanwhile, Priess's SST had been preparing to launch its own attack toward Ruginoasa on GD's left flank early in the afternoon, but was instead forced to come to the aid of Lorenz’s Pz.Gr.Rgt. GD. Korne's 1st Divizia Blindata, which was planning to launch its own attack toward Ruginoasa from Helestieni at 1300, was apparently forced onto the defensive instead. It wasn't until 1700 that Axis forces in this sector kicked off an attack against what the Germans later claimed was light resistance. However, it is unclear to me just how successful that attack was at pushing the Soviets off the 300m height linking Ruginoasa and Helestieni because during the night, part of SST was forced to mount a new attack westward from Crivesti toward Helestieni.

Anyway, that's as much as I've been able to piece together about events in this sector up to this point. The second volume of Spaeter's history of GD has a good account of all of this from GD's perspective, but what we really need is detailed info on what SST was doing, if anyone can supply that.

Two points of interest. First, I was in error when I said that Kirchner had praised Korne's division in his telephone call to Antonescu on the night of 2-3 May. It was Divizia Garda that earned his praise -- the same division whose forward-deployed regiment must have abandoned its positions on the afternoon of 2 May (the 1st Divizia Blindata being well to the rear and in reserve at that time).

Second, there was a serious lack of coordination between German and Rumanian forces in this sector at this time -- apparently stemming from a disagreement over how to conduct the defense. Schörner and Wenck wanted to site the HKL forward of Targul Frumos to control the main lines of communications (W-3 and Iasi-Targul Frumos-Pascani). Antonescu and the Rumanian General Staff wanted the main defensive line to be sited on the high ground south of Targul Frumos, where they in fact did establish the Strunga Line. This was a far more defensible position, and in the aftermath of the retreat from the Ukraine and then across the Pruth, Rumanian forces needed to fight from a strong defensive position. Unfortunately, units positioned along the Strunga Line could not control the communications which were the whole reason for fighting in that area at all. So the German went ahead and established a defensive in front of Targul Frumos while the Rumanians formed their own line behind it. Effectively, then, the Rumanian corps deployed on this line were backstopping the German front!

Anyway, the Rumanians believed that the German HKL would not hold and that the main battle in the Targul Frumos area would end up being fought for the Strunga Line. It is entirely possible that Divizia Garda intended to fight from that line all along, and that its forward regiment did not collapse and run or simply make a "separate peace" with the Soviets, but rather retired to join the division's main body and fight on the Rumanians' ground of choice according to some plan to which the Germans were not privy. Given Manteuffel's disdain for the Rumanians and his evident refusal to work them into his own defensive plans, it is unlikely that local Rumanian commanders felt compelled to make the extra effort to coordinate with him. Thus, the soldiers of Grossdeutschland would have seen only that an "unreliable" ally had scarpered -- but the entire affair might have been something altogether different. This is all speculation, of course, but it would be nice to be able to figure out exactly what the divisional commanders were thinking at the time.

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Re: Rumanians on 1st Day of Targul Frumos

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 17 Nov 2002 01:26

combrig wrote:The situation on the left wing of GD was finally restored with the support of the Luftwaffe, which arrived on the scene around 1535 (having been instructed by Schörner to throw everything available at the Soviet concentrations west of Bals. Between 1535 and 1700, German aircraft shot up enemy vehicle columns moving up to support the Soviet effort southwest of the town.
Thank you for collaboration, Combrig. Now the role in the succession of events carrying Oberst Rudel to gain the only Gold Knight Cross with oak-leaves, swords and diamonds extreme award is clear: during this action he lost a leg and only a couple of days later Oberst Rudel was leading his Stuka-kanone on the heads of Totenkopf during the main counter-attack as Juha well explained. This tile seems to be locked.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 17 Nov 2002 12:24

Combrig wrote:
It is entirely possible that Divizia Garda intended to fight from that line all along, and that its forward regiment did not collapse and run or simply make a "separate peace" with the Soviets, but rather retired to join the division's main body and fight on the Rumanians' ground of choice according to some plan to which the Germans were not privy.
Anything is possible, but would the Romainians follow a course of action such as this, knowing what the possible reprecustions could have been for the German line and for one of Germanys premier fighting units?

:D Andy from the Shire

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 17 Nov 2002 18:01

combrig wrote: Two points of interest. First, I was in error when I said that Kirchner had praised Korne's division in his telephone call to Antonescu on the night of 2-3 May. It was Divizia Garda that earned his praise -- the same division whose forward-deployed regiment must have abandoned its positions on the afternoon of 2 May (the 1st Divizia Blindata being well to the rear and in reserve at that time).
That clears it up. It would have been very dubious for lt. Ion S. Dumitru not to mention that the 1st Tank Regiment saw action near Targu-Frumos in his memoirs. As I said, he only mentions the deployment near Halaucesti in reserve of the Guard Division. There were according to him only two alarms, but no actual fighting for them in May.
combrig wrote: Second, there was a serious lack of coordination between German and Rumanian forces in this sector at this time
Your theory is very interesting. However, I cannot back it up with anything. The documents that would shed more light on this is the Operations Diary of the Guard Division, but to which I do not have access, yet. Probably next summer I will begin browsing through the archives, if I will be able to.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 17 Nov 2002 19:47

So are we saying that the Romanian "Brigade" as eluded to in several posts and as shown on Charlie Dont Surf post is an element of 1st Divizia Blindata or the Guards?

:? Andy from the Shire

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Post by combrig » 17 Nov 2002 21:08

Andy H wrote:So are we saying that the Romanian "Brigade" as eluded to in several posts and as shown on Charlie Dont Surf post is an element of 1st Divizia Blindata or the Guards?

:? Andy from the Shire
I think we are saying that this "brigade" was actually the forward-deployed regiment of Divizia Garda not Regimentul 1 from Divizia Blindata. It is still unclear why this regiment retired, but it seems to be the only unit whose actions could have opened up the gap on the left flank of PZ.Gr.Rgt. GD.

As to the theory I advanced about why and how that might have happened, it is only a theory -- something to think about.

Regarding SST's deployment at Targul Frumos, I know very little. According to an Ultra intercept of 1 May, on that date part of SST deployed at Goestesti, near Targul Frumos. At that time, the division had just finished rearming and replenishing, and previous losses were made good at Goestesti by a draft of 4,500 replacements from 16th SS-Pz.Gr.Div. Reichsführer-SS. Beyond that, and the slim info I've already posted on its actions on the 2nd, SST on that date is pretty much opaque to me.

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Targul Frumos Day 2

Post by combrig » 18 Nov 2002 02:07

So far, we've concentrated on the first day of Targul Frumos. There's still a lot to do there, I think, but there's no particular reason not to look at some of what happened after Day 1. The following description of events on Day 2 is based mainly on Poirier and Conner's paper on Targul Frumos and on the A.G. Wöhler KTB. Maybe some of you can fill in the holes or correct items I have wrong.

3 May 1944

Battlefield Events:

During the night of 2-3 May, 57th Panzer-korps regrouped its forces around Targul Frumos to place its tank strength well forward. Meanwhile, two (unidentified) Rumanian infantry divisions moved north to establish a new HKL on the corps' west flank.

At 0300, 2nd Ukrainian Front opened a second day of assaults against Kirchner's corps. In the initial attack, elements of 2nd TkA attacked Hill 192 (Füsiliers' sector) with 60-70 tanks in two assault groups driving from the area east of W-3. Fifteen minutes later, a force of infantry and tanks attacked German positions on Hill 274. As the first Soviet attacks went in, SST was conducting its own night attack on the enemy grouping northwest of Helestieni, and 24th Pz.Div. was regrouping west of Targul Frumos.

By 0830, the front was breached between Nicola and Hill 192. In combat north of point 189, 40 Soviet tanks broke through to Targul Frumos and a force of 19 more tanks got astride the Bals-Nicola road. Kampfgruppe W of 24th Pz.Div. counterattacked to restore the situation.

At 1430, SST became heavily engaged at Helestieni, and the battle in that sector continued uninterrupted for several hours.

At around 1650, GD and 24th Pz.Div., with strong support from 1st Fliegerkorps, mounted an assault to retake Hill 132 near Nicola.
By day's end, German observers were convinced that the balance had tipped in their favor at Targul Frumos.

Events at 57th Panzerkorps HQ (Roman)

At 0825, 57th Panzerkorps reported that the Soviets had broken through the German line between Nicola and Hill 192.

The 1800 Luftwaffe reconnaissance report noted the first enemy tank withdrawals in the Targul Frumos area.

Events at Armeegruppe Wöhler HQ (Barlad)

In summarizing the events of the second day's fighting around Targul Frumos, Armeegruppe Wöhler's KTB estimated that the enemy had fired only 2,330 artillery rounds (half the 2 May total) against 3,500 fired by the Germans. The Armeegruppe claimed an additional 107 Soviet tanks knocked out during the day's fighting and reported that 1st Fliegerkorps has downed 11 enemy aircraft. In fact 1st Fliegerkorps and 1st Corpul Aerian had strengthened their presence over the battlefield on this day, flying a combined total of 700 sorties.

The Armeegruppe Wöhler Ic identified 3rd TK as the main enemy armored assault formation in contact with 57th Panzerkorps. He also indicated that 6th Motorized Artillery Regiment (6th TkA) had been regrouped to support the attack. The 5th GvTkA had reportedly sustained heavy losses in two days of intense fighting, and, in an effort to achieve some decisive results, the Soviets had been forced to commit their new JS-2 tank to combat for the first time.

By 1900, Armeegruppe Wöhler was reporting signs that enemy offensive activity had become uncoordinated. Battlefield observations indicated that the enemy was not following through and seizing objectives that were easily within his grasp.

The Armeegruppe Wöhler KTB for this date commended Gen.Lt. Manteuffel and Oberst Langkeit for their conduct during the day's battle.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 18 Nov 2002 18:25

Ok thanks for that.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 18 Nov 2002 20:06

The two Romanian divisions could have been the 18th Mountain Division (mention by Axworthy and Scafes for its actions during 2-4 June, which I suspect it was 2-4 May actually) and maybe the 11th Infantry Division, whose counter attack near targu Frumos (again in June/probably May) earned its commander Edgar Radulescu a RK.

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Marcus
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Re: Erich

Post by Marcus » 18 Nov 2002 21:10

gabriel pagliarani wrote:Hard job for me... :idea: ... Juha, we need the help of Erich!
Where are you, Erich?
He probably have not seen the thread, you might want to send him a pm.

/Marcus

gabriel pagliarani
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EHM...

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 18 Nov 2002 23:38

:oops: ...why I didn' have thougt at P.M. before?...you are right! Just done. I need a good brain doctor for my losses of memory...sorry for my poor contribution.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 21 Nov 2002 15:07

from Helmuth Spaeter-Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland-A Picturial History
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