Did two Red Army Fronts ever "collide" against eac

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Marc Binazzi
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Did two Red Army Fronts ever "collide" against eac

Post by Marc Binazzi » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:46 pm

I read a story a long time ago according to which two Red Army "Fronts" literally "collided" against each other in the rush to the West around the turn of 1944 and 1945 and in the frenzy of conquest between the two commanders of each Front many Russian soldiers would have died. Since that time I have not been able to get more details and I am now wondering if it is just my imagination... So if someone has also heard of that story and can confirm it with more details...
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Mike Higgins
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Post by Mike Higgins » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:46 pm

I think it would be pretty hard for two different Soviet Fronts to actually collide with each other. I could see units from one front possibly sliding across the front of another where the two meet.

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Post by sniper1shot » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:28 am

Fronts would not of collided as they run parallel to each other with defining features as the boundaries ie: a river, major roads.
What might of or probably did happen is that forces from both fronts might of gone for a feature on the boundary lines. A city, high hill, a forest etc and fought it out. Friendly fire a night or a built up area would of been normal.
By '44-45 the Soviet forces had their act together but not to say that the Soviet commanders didn't race for certain targets to say "I was here first" and win favour w/Stalin.
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Post by Stephan H. » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:01 pm

I know this is an older post, but I'd argue they did clash.

Zhukov's 1st Byelorussian and Koniev's 1st Ukrainian Front's ran into each other in the streets of Berlin.

Without making this post too long, I'll briefly summarize the main dates and what happened. My sources are derived directly from Chuikov, Koniev, Popiel (Ops Officer 1st Guads Tank Army), accounts, German accounts, and a 1994 documentary called Berlin at All Costs!. The documentary was particularly revealing as it was filmed in the Moscow military archives and Russian Staff Officers were actuallying showing the battle log that coroborated the clash of the two Fronts.

16 April - "Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation" is launched.

17 April - Koniev clears the German defensive zone with the 3rd Guards Tank Army and orders it to drive toward Berlin - they actually had sealed orders already issued to head northwest into the city

20 April - Zhukov clears the final German defensive zone and begins his drive toward Berlin

22 April Koniev's 3rd Gurad Tank Army reaches the Teltow Canal, beating Zhukov to Berlin - the interfront boundary runs straight to the Anhalt S-Bahn Station

24 April - The 1st Guards Tank Army reaches the Teltow Canal and finds out that Koniev's forces are already there. An upset Zhukov orders this fact to be verified immediately

Sidebar: Zhukov sent nearly 1M soldiers headlong into Berlin . . .Koniev was driving north with close to 100K, neither of their actions were coordinated at all.

25 April - Zhukov finally accepts Koniev is in the city, and against all military reason does two things: 1) he orders Chuikov to cut across Koniev's line of advance and the Stavka interfront boundary to cut off Koniev physically from reaching the Landwehr Canal (btw, he didn't tell Koniev he was doing this) and 2) he orders operation "Salute" a massive air assault within the city.

26 April - Koniev forces radio in that they are being attacked by Soviet aircracft all along the front.

27 April - German forces in Steglitz and other southern districts report the presence of Koniev forces just a few kilometers south of the Landwehr Canal

28 April - Chuikov launches an offensive across the Landwehr Canal into the Government Quarter

28 April - Koniev launches his offensive to reach the Landwehr Canal

28 April - The 3rd Guards Tank Army supplemented with infantry divisions from the 28th Army runs directly into Chuikov's forces stopping Chuikov's assault cold- runing street battles between both Soviet Fronts occur that cause fratricide.

29 April - Stavka steps in, pushes the interfront boundary further west and Stalin personaly asks Koniev to leave Berlin and prepare for an offensive toward Prague.

According to Senior Russian Staff Officers interviewed for Berlin At All Cost! Koniev's forces actualy crossed the Landwher Canal and took the Anhalt S-Bahn Station before Zhukov. I might argue that this didn't happen, but I am confident based on the material I accessed that both Fronts did clash in the streets of Berlin. Koniev himself is pretty open about this in his memoir. I detail all this in Bloody Streets.

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Post by sniper1shot » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:15 pm

A city, high hill, a forest etc and fought it out
As stated, but I am to understand that Zhukov did it on purpose.
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Post by Stephan H. » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:32 pm

Zhukov clearly did not coordinate his operational manuver with Koniev. Whether or not he wanted or expected to engage Koniev's forces directly, I can't say that for sure, nor do I suggest this was the case.

What I do pose for consideration is the fact that he didn't attempt ANY direct coordination, and diliberatley sent Chuikov across the inter-front boundary. He was actually more concerned with who reached Berlin first, according to the Ops Officer of the 1st GTA.

Imagine, this was the fourth largest offensive operation of the war launched by the Soviets--two titainc fronts with thousands of tank, self-propelled guns, and aircraft charging to the same target, and no direct coordination existed between the two sides!? Tissier mentions this in Race for the Reichstag but dosen't go beyond questioning why Chuikov's forces were sent so far west in the city even though other Soviet forces were already in the area.

Zhukov had no intention of letting Koniev reach the Reichstag (also known as Target 105 I believe) before his forces. I'll also contend that Koniev saved Zhukov's offensive against Berlin, but that (as they say) is a different post.

So they didn't collide over a hill top, or other key terrain to my knowledge, but they did collide in Berlin, which is what I thought the thread might be referring too based on the original post.

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Post by sniper1shot » Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:31 pm

Good Point.
I was taking the original post to mean "always" have the fronts collide and not just in this one occasion.
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