Some more info about the brilliant Yassy-Kishyniev (Iasi-Cisiniau) Operation, 1944.
As a result of successful Russian offensive in Ukraine the forces of the 2nd Ukrainian Front of General Malinovsky in April 1944 reached to the line to the north of Yassy and Orgeev and shifted to the defense. The forces of the 3rd Ukrainian Front of General Tolbukhin reached the Dnester River and captured a few bridgeheads on its western bank. In front of the Soviet forces of Generals Malinovsky and Tolbukhin, there was the Group Armies of the South Ukraine of General Frisner, comprising from two groupings: First one: 8th German and 4th Romanian Armies +17th German Infantry Corps. The second one: 6th German and the 3rd Romanian Armies.
By August 20th 1944 in the sector of the 2nd & the 3rd Ukrainian Fronts and the Group Army South Ukraine was the following correlation of forces.
Numerical strength (in thousand of men):
Russian forces: 930,0 + 320,0 (rear units)
German and Romanian forces: 640,0 +260,0 (rear units)
Tanks and SP Guns:
Russian forces: 1900
German and Romanian forces: over 400
Artillery and mortars:
Russian forces: 16100
German and allied forces: 7600
Russian forces: 2200
German and Romanian forces: 800
The Germans created strong-hold defense, comprising from three defense lines supported by complex terrain. In accordance with plans of the Soviet Stavka, the forces of the 2nd & 3rd Ukrainian Fronts in coordination with the Black Sea Fleet & Dunai River Flotilia had to breakthrough in two sectors: to the north-west to Yassy and to the south of Bendery and encircle & defeat the main forces of the Group Armies South Ukraine in the areas of Yassy and Kishynev. And then develop an offensive inside the Romania. In the main breakthrough sectors (16 kilometers on the sector of the 2nd UF and 18 kilometers in the sector of the 3rd UF) high concentration of forces were achieved: up to 240 cannons and mortars and 56 tanks and SP guns per kilometer of front. The Rifle divisions were advancing on the front of less than one kilometer. On August 20th 1944, the Russian forces began its strategic offensive supported by the aviation of the 5th and 17th Air Armies. The Shocking grouping of the Russian troops broke through the first German defense line and the second defense line in the sector of the 27th Russian Army, where the 6th Russian Tank Army was engaged in the breakthrough. By the end of the first day of offensive, the Russian forces advanced for 6-16 kilometers. On the second day of offensive, two tank, two motorized and a cavalry corps’ were engaged into combats. At the night of August 22nd 1944 the war ships of the Dunai River Flotilia carried out landing through Dnestr River estuary with an aim of encircling the right flank of the 3rd Romanian Army and captured Vilkovo and Kilia ports.
On the August 24th, the mobile groupings of the Russian forces reached areas of Hushi and Leovo and completed encirclement of 18 (eighteen) German divisions of the The Group Armies South Ukraine out of 25 divisions.
The 46th Russian Army of the 3rd Ukranian Front of General Tolbukhin pushed the units of the 3rd Romanian Army to the Black Sea, where on the 24th August 1944, the 3rd Romanian Army finished its resistance. By the end of the 24th August, Russian forces advanced for 130-140 kilometers. As a result of the success of the Russian Army, on the August 23rd, the Antonesku regime fell and Romania announced its exit from the German block and next day entered into war against Germany. The main Russian forces went on its offensive. By 29th August 1944 the elimination of the encircled German units to the west of Prut River was completed. The advance units of Russians reached oil-fields of Ploeshti, Bucharest and Konstanza. Retreating, Germans applied the “burnt soil” tactic and destroyed 76% of residential buildings in Kishynev, 80% in Bendery, 71% in Orgeev, 50% of residential buildings in Belzy and 44% in Tiraspol. In the rural areas thousands of peasant’s houses were burnt by Germans. The Russian Army inflicted the crushing defeat to the enemy near Yassy and Kishynev.
Yassy-Kishyniev (Iasi-Cisiniau) Operation, 1944 was performed in the classical Cannes style and was characterized by wise choice of main offensive directions, decisive forces concentrations in the breakthrough sectors, high advancing rate, quick encirclement & defeat of sizeable grouping of German troops and close cooperation of infantry units, aviation and fleet forces.
The casualties of the Russian forces during Yassy-Kishyniev operation were 67,130 men (13,197 killed or missing and 53,933 sanitary losses) as per Krivosheev. The casualties of Germans and Romanians were standing at 256,000 killed or captured as per http://wolnapolska.boom.ru/index-cc.html
Best Regards from Russia,