Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:54 am

Gents,

I am very interested to learn more about German counterattack at the Carpathian Mountains, which took place from April 17th to May 5th 1944 against the forces of the First Guards Tank Army with attached 72th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment & 399th Guards Heavy SP Guns Regiment and 38th Army. From the German side the units of the 17th PD, 6th PD, 100TH JD with attached sPzAbt and Hungarian units. According to Russian sources the most tenacious tank versus tank engagement took place on April 20th with heavy losses from both sides. From Soviets side JS-2, T-34 and JS-152 took part. It is known that German Tigers and other tanks participated in the combats.

I would be interested to know German order of battle, strength and losses. On my part I can contribute by providing information about Russian side.

Best Regards from Russia,
Igor

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Kamen Nevenkin » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:18 pm

Well, the axis side was represented by the right flank of 1.PzArmy (III PzK) and the entire Hungarian 1.Army. III PzK consisted of 1.ID, 367.ID, 101.JgD, 6.PzD and 17.PzD. Heerestruppen included sPzAbt 506, II./PzR 23, StuGBrig 249, StuGBrig 301 and sPzJgAbt 88. By the end of April they were joined by 1. and 16.PzD. Of these only sPzAbt 506 (48 Tigers) and II./PzR 23 (45 Panthers in three companies) were at full strength when the battle began. sPzJgAbt 88 had 13-14 Naschorns, while the panzer divisions that had just escaped from the pocket at Kaments-Podolsk, were in terrible condition - there were between 3 and 4 tanks in each and most of the units were fighting as ordinary foot infantry. The situation with the StuG Brigades was exactly the same.

Perhaps there was only one serious tank-vs-tank engagement - on 21(or on 20?).4.44 near Jezierzany. In a matter of minutes the entire II./PzR 23 was shot to pieces by a handful of Soviet ISU-152 sp guns. While on 20.4 the Abteilung reported 45 Panthers (39 operational), on 23.4. it had only 7 Panthers and 1 Bef.Panther still in running condition. 1 Panther was in short-term repair, 20 more were in long-term repair (over three weeks) and 16 more were declared as total of write-offs. The report wrongfully states that the destruction of the Abteilung was caused by the new Soviet "8.5-cm guns" (T-34/85?). Anyway, after that failure the whole attack lost momentum and front was stabilized. The strength of sPzAbt 506 was reduced by half also, but not because of enemy action, but rather due to mechanical breakdowns during the long march to the front.

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:40 pm

Hi Kamen,

Thanks for the outstanding information. I ordered "Fire Brigades" but didn't get my copy yet otherwise I probably wouldn't had asked this question.Coming back to the point. According to the Soviet sources the First Guards Tank Army by mid of April 1944 was also in dire conditions and had about 50 operational tanks (source - Combat History of the 1st Guards Tank Army -Lyuki otkrili v Berline, P.168). Rifle divisions of 11th Rifle Corps, 18th Guards Rifle Corps and 67th Rifle Corps were also significantly understrength (less than 50% of authorized strength) and weakened in the previous combats. According to General Moskalenko then commanding general of the Soviet 38th Army, the rifle divisions almost didn't have artillery. Thus, 141st RD had only 4 guns,226 RD had 11 guns, 280 RD had 7 guns, 237 RD almost didn't have guns as well. According to General Moskalenko the soviet forces planned to attack in the area of Stanislav on 21-22 April. However, Germans counterattacked on 17th April from the Nizgny bridgehead. Soviet 38th Army identified units of 101st JgD and 35-40 panzers of 17. P.D. At the same time 2nd Hungarian Corps was identified as building up forces to the south of Stanislav. During the day (17th) Germans pushed the units of 70th Gds RD but 161st R.D. and 211 R.D stabilized the situation.
General Moskalenko counterattacked on dawn of April 18th by forces of 101st Rifle Corps but Germans repelled this attack by commiting the units of 1. I.D, 367. I.D, 6. P.D and Nebelswerfer brigade. Moskalenko continues and says that the most tenacious combats took place on April 20th. Germans attacked by three tank groups with the total number of 150 tanks and SP guns. After numerous attacks they manged to breakthrough at some sectors and link two bridgeheads at Petrov and Nizhny. According to General Moskalenko on April 20 the Germans lost 68 panzers (disabled or destroyed) and about 1000 KIA. The major chunk of panzers was knocked out by the JS-2 and ISU-152 of the 72th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment and 399th Guards Heavy SP Guns Regiment.

The Combat History of the First Guards Tank Army provide info that both Guards Regiments arrived with 16 ISU-152 and 10 JS-2.

"On April 20 1944 the enemy renewed assault and broke through our defense. the German 17th Panzer Division rapidly advanced in the direction of Gorodenki. However, the German panzers failed to reach Gorodenki because they conforned our heavy tanks and SP guns on their path. Out of 48 German panzers and SP guns advancing to Nezvisko and Gerasimov only 8 escaped and remaining panzers were knocked out by the fire of the JS-2 and ISU-152. The SP-gunners of the 399th Guards Heavy SP Guns Regiment (Commander-Colonel D.Kobrin) distinguished themselves in this combat."

the Combat History of the First Guards Tank Army (p.169-170)

Best Regards from Russia,
Igor

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:47 am

General Moskalenko counterattacked on dawn of April 18th by forces of 101st Rifle Corps but Germans repelled this attack by commiting the units of 1. I.D, 367. I.D, 6. P.D and Nebelswerfer brigade. Moskalenko continues and says that the most tenacious combats took place on April 20th. Germans attacked by three tank groups with the total number of 150 tanks and SP guns. After numerous attacks they manged to breakthrough at some sectors and link two bridgeheads at Petrov and Nizhny. According to General Moskalenko on April 20 the Germans lost 68 panzers (disabled or destroyed) and about 1000 KIA. The major chunk of panzers was knocked out by the JS-2 and ISU-152 of the 72th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment and 399th Guards Heavy SP Guns Regiment.
I see we are at it again here Igorn. Let me start off with saying I really enjoy the facts that you post. Seriously I do. I learn something everytime.......however, they are very ONE SIDED. You state all the loses when the Germans lose but state NOTHING when the Soviets lose something. Why is that?? Was the victory achieved at a higher cost than was planned for.........maybe the Soviets really did not lose a single veh or soldier in a perfectly planned attack...........maybe you don't know the figures ???

Just looking for some balanced facts as I don't have any research facilities anywhere near me to learn about these battles and only have to go off of what others post.
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:03 pm

sniper1shot wrote: Was the victory achieved at a higher cost than was planned for.........maybe the Soviets really did not lose a single veh or soldier in a perfectly planned attack...........maybe you don't know the figures ???

Just looking for some balanced facts as I don't have any research facilities anywhere near me to learn about these battles and only have to go off of what others post.
I can only smile. :wink: Really, can you contribute something to the topic? Lecturing, emotions and arrogance are not the best means to moderate research on the forum.

Best Regards from Russia,
Igor

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:15 pm

Then let's rephrase it - what were the Soviet losses during those operations?
On my part I can contribute by providing information about Russian side
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:57 pm

You are walking a fine line here Igorn. Now you have 2 Mods looking for a balanced answer.
As I know you are a smart person, I know you can read....but in case you might of missed it, here it is again in quote:
I don't have any research facilities anywhere near me to learn about these battles and only have to go off of what others post.
So, your response of ...
Really, can you contribute something to the topic?
My answer would be NO......WHICH IS WHY I WANT A BALANCED POST. In what you posted you are telling me the Soviet forces destroyed numerous German Armoured vehicles but state that not one Soviet vehicle was even hit. It is not always in what you post but in what you DON'T post that opens these threads up for discussion.

On you comment of
Lecturing, emotions and arrogance are not the best means to moderate research on the forum.

I believe you are the first to call me arrogant here and I am taking offence to this comment. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOURSELF in this ! You can PM me if you so desire.

All I have asked for is a BALANCED post and you continually disregard this time and again.

So, you can continue to smile !!
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:00 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:Then let's rephrase it - what were the Soviet losses during those operations?
On my part I can contribute by providing information about Russian side
Did contribution only means information about losses of the Soviet side? What about information about Soviet order of battle, strength of units, first hand account of Soviet Army and Corps'commanders and official combat history of the Soviet 1st Gds Tank Aarmy? I have provided first-han accounts of th Commanding General of the Russian 38th Army General Moskalenko. I have in my collection the first hand account of the General Katukov, Commanding General of the First Guards Tank Army. Memoirs of General Poppel (his deputy) , General Getman and General Dremov (his both Tank Corps' commanders). If this is not not contribution then I beg your pardon.

However, according to above sources Soviet First Guards Tank Army on the eve of this combat (17.04.44) had about 50 operational tanks and SP guns and both attached Guards Tank Regiments had in total 16 ISU-152 and 10 JS-2. I am not aware about any other Soviet tank formations, which were committed in these combats.

Moskalenko is witnessing that one JS-2 was the total write-off in the tank vs. tank combat on 20.04.44. Katukov adds that Guards Regiments had a considerable losses but didn't provide exact numbers. Katukov also provided an interesting episode. Marshal Zhukov arrived to the HQ of the 1st Gds Tank Army and accused him of incorrect commitment of the Heavy Gds Regiments. Instead of defending myselves we went together to the battlefield nead Nezvisko where tens of destroyed Geman
panzers were in flames. Katukov commented that it was a job of his SP-gunners. Zhukov was standing speachless and then said that things clarified and left.

So, even if we assume that Soviet side lost all 16 of its ISU-152, which was not the case even then tank loss ratio in this combat was not in favour of German side. By the way the sPzAbt 506 on that day suffered not only mechanical failures as was stated by Kamen. According to Egon Kleine (Tiger. The History of the Legendary Weapon) the 20th of April 1944 saw the battalion and the 1. Infanterie-Division engaged in heavy fighting. On this day, the commander of the 2./schwere-Abteilung 506, Oberleutnant Brandt was killed near Oletsa.

Best Regards from Russia,

By the way,
Igor

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:11 pm

So far we have a German OOB, a Soviet OOB, the events, a list of German losses - and courtesty of your last post...
Moskalenko is witnessing that one JS-2 was the total write-off in the tank vs. tank combat on 20.04.44.
and
So, even if we assume that Soviet side lost all 16 of its ISU-152, which was not the case even then tank loss ratio in this combat was not in favour of German side.
Why are we making assumptions? ARE there no loss figures for the Red Army for
April 17th to May 5th 1944
...the other eighteen days of operations?
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:12 pm

sniper1shot wrote:
On you comment of
Lecturing, emotions and arrogance are not the best means to moderate research on the forum.

I believe you are the first to call me arrogant here and I am taking offence to this comment. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOURSELF in this ! You can PM me if you so desire. All I have asked for is a BALANCED post and you continually disregard this time and again. So, you can continue to smile !!
Just one example. When you are in the rude manner lectured Kamen - who just released an outstanding book "Fire Brigades" and myself on the thread dedicated to combats in Hungary, where you claimed that Soviet units failed at Konrad I, Konrad II and Konrad III while Kamen and myself proved the opposite. Yes, I continue to smile. :wink:

Best Regards from Russia,
Igor

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Kamen Nevenkin » Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:41 pm

Mr. roadking,

OOB information and strength/losses figures are a very delicate matter that is rarely available in the published works. What I posted here is taken from an archival source, which was generously shared with me by the renowned Swedish researcher Niklas Zetterling a while ago. Apparently, it is not available in a book. The same applies to the Soviet losses sustained during that battle. I'm sure that if Igor were in possession of that information he would have shared it with us. But it is obvious that he doesn't have it. So, please, do not seek a certain (political) agenda here. BTW, I was wondering on what grounds you have decided to join the anti-Igorn crusade and why you’re looking so desperately for the Soviet losses in that battle. So I checked your last 200 or so posts. It turns out that you're among the greatest and most important contributors to this forum. Your posts are very valuable and very COLORFUL, so, please, keep the great work going.

Kamen Nevenkin
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:07 pm

Kamen, thank you for your good wishes. I'm very careful NOT to maintain a politcal agenda - and where possible ensure ALL sides of something are presented for discussion or given their proper and merited consideration. Or simply not missed in the discussion...as my stated position on a LOT of what's discussed on Feldgrau is to ask/enquire why something has not been presented, or glossed over. Sadly, all too often, an agenda can actually be identified in the ommission of relevant material, so if it's quite simply that the material requested is not there to post - then that's of course fine. But - as I'm sure you'll agree - sometimes that needs to be stated to know what doesn't need to be discussed or simply can't be discussed. Better to know a fact/datum is not there than have to wonder...why? :wink:

If the material requested isn't available then of course the discussion ends on THAT particular aspect until someone CAN produce it. Which sometimes does take a bit of doing LOL And it won't be the first time on ANY forum that a 5 or 6 year old thread resurfaces with newly-discovered material to be appended.

What is the position on Red Army action reports? Surely they can't ALL be missing or unavailaible, or have to be correlated from personal anecdotes? For example - here we have 20 days' of operations, with daily contact between opposing forces during that time...yet so far we have only ONE daily loss reported. The position can't really be THAT bad, can it?
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:05 pm

Did contribution only means information about losses of the Soviet side?
No, not ONLY Soviet losses but INCLUDING Soviet losses. There is a difference here.
Just one example. When you are in the rude manner lectured Kamen
Sorry, Igorn, never rude. Never lectured anyone either. Actually the discussion between me and Kamen was on his tone too.

I really wish you would read what you post first.
where you claimed that Soviet units failed at Konrad I, Konrad II and Konrad III
What I posted was an educated guess.
tells me the Soviets were not able to fullfill all their objectives in Konrad I or II.
.
Nowhere is the word failure written. Usually, when a Roman Numeral is used during an operation it is because it is a continualtion of the previous attack or offensive's objectives.

Kamen- Be carefull here.
So, please, do not seek a certain (political) agenda here. BTW, I was wondering on what grounds you have decided to join the anti-Igorn crusade and why you’re looking so desperately for the Soviet losses in that battle. So I checked your last 200 or so posts. It turns out that you're among the greatest and most important contributors to this forum. Your posts are very valuable and very COLORFUL, so, please, keep the great work going.
-There is NO anit-Igorn crusade that I know of.....
-Not looking for JUST Soviet losses but also Soviet Losses.
-No one is seeking any Political agenda here as this is NOT a Political site.....carefull what you accuse a person of.
-The comment about colourful posts could be (and is by me) read as sarcastic.

You also might want to change your signature at the bottom. Igorn has said you have now published a book.

On a parting note, I really do enjoy reading the posts as I do learn. Books and the internet are all I have so I have to take them at truth value which is why I want/need balanced posts.
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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by Igorn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:04 pm

sniper1shot wrote: What I posted was an educated guess.
tells me the Soviets were not able to fullfill all their objectives in Konrad I or II.
.
Nowhere is the word failure written. Usually, when a Roman Numeral is used during an operation it is because it is a continualtion of the previous attack or offensive's objectives.
You discussed it with Kamen and myself on ( viewtopic.php?f=45&t=27377&start=15 )but didn't understand the basics. Konrad I, Konrad II and Konrad III were the GERMAN operations not Russian. They were undertaken by strong and determined German forces including IV SS Corps with the only mission to relief besieged Budapest garrisson. So, you see that Konrad II and III were continuation of GERMAN attacks not Soviet attacks. It was because German Konrad I attack failed German Konrad II attack was undertaken, and because German Konrad II attack failed German Konrad III was undertaken. Soviet units had the opposite mission. They are only objective was to prevent Germans from relieving Budapest garisson. Outcome: Germans 3 Konrad attacks didn't reach their objectives and besieged Budapest garisson (IX SS Corps and other units) was annihilated. Question: What objectives Soviet units didn't reach in 3 Konrad operations?

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Re: Tank combats 17.04-5.05.1944 at Carpathian Mountains

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:42 pm

The word is ignorant Kamen....and yes, I am ignorant of the Hungarian battles.
Yes, I have already mentioned this. I have already mentioned that I did not understand that. That was my misunderstanding.

The point of this particular discussion is the same as all the others we have with you, Igorn, is that you don't post balanced posts. I will thank you, of changing the subject from what I am trying to say to you in this thread, and dragging something up between two others (me and Kamen) from a post a few months old.
How about just posting balanced posts?? Is it really that hard???
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