I’m writing in further response to your request for assistance regarding the “Suwalki gap” and the tactical operations of German and Soviet forces in the area from 21 to 25 June 1941. You have also specifically referenced the two towns of Seirijai and Simnas in Lithuania in your latest post as places of interest. I’ll try to provide you with what may be helpful information.
If you look at the image you provided, one can see it came from a Russian source and it contains both Cyrillic and Western alphabet names and numbers. The Soviet forces (in red print) and place names (in black print) on the image are in Cyrillic whereas the German forces are detailed in blue print and printed in military German.
To go directly to your area of interest, see where the German XXXIX A.K. (mot) with 7.Pz and 20.Pz Divisions are located. This is just to the east/northeast of the city of Suwalki, which was in German hands at the time. Facing the German Panzer units to the east, one can see the position of the Soviet 126th Rifle Division. South of the XXXIX A.K. (mot) one sees the German V. A.K. with the 35th and 5th Infantry Divisions. Facing the German infantry to the east is the Soviet 128th Rifle Division. Then, further to the east of the two Soviet Rifle Divisions one sees the primary Soviet reserve force, namely the 5th Tank Division.
I’ll make a topographical comment here now; one may observe in very fine black print to the east of the Soviet Rifle Divisions are two towns. The town east of the 126th Rifle Division appears to be Simnas and the one behind the 128th Rifle Division appears to be Seirijai. Between the two towns are three lakes, almost like fingers. You can go on the Net and Google the two towns and find a link to You Tube, lasting 16 minutes 42 seconds, that is a video of the 25 to 30 odd kilometer automobile drive between Seirijai and Simnas on Lithuanian National Road 181, filmed on December 28, 2013. You’ll note the very rural character of the landscape, with some woods abounding in a generally flat and somewhat open countryside. I’m sure the area still looks very similar to what the Soviet and German soldiers witnessed when they fought here in June 1941.
Anyway, to get back to the tactical stuff. I have copies of unit histories for all four German Divisions referenced so far; the 7th and 20th Panzer, as well as the 5th and 35th Infantry Divisions. Also of notable interest is my copy of General Hermann Hoth’s original book Panzer Operationen, which also details the action there, from the German perspective. Whereas there may well be some Soviet unit histories of the participating Soviet Rifle and tank divisions I don’t own those. I can really understand only English and German. Unfortunately, my Russian is negligible and I rely on some friends who can speak that language.
I hope this post may be of interest to you. I can provide further information on the specific battlegroups (Kampfgruppen) the Germans organized to invade the area as well as some commentary regarding their TO&E, the actual fighting, Soviet response, the German advances, personalities involved, etc. Perhaps you could send me a more direct e-mail address to contact you and I can write further about these matters and include some scanned images of maps and so on, if that’s okay. My personal e-mail address is [email protected]