BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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Matt_McK
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BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Matt_McK » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:46 am

Greetings.

I am looking for information regarding the crossing of the USSR frontier east of Suwalki, specifically the 21JUN41 Tactical Positions of 3.Pz.Gr and fighting over the next 2 days through the bridgehead on the Niemen River. I'm interested in contact reports, tactical graphics, etc.

I have found the image below, but its source is not referenced.

Image

Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

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Kaiser116
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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Kaiser116 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:46 am

Hello Matt, I just read your post requesting some help and info on Panzergruppe Hoth and the first two days of Barbarossa. I have many histories of participating German units fighting there, as well as an atlas detailing daily operational movements for all of Army Group Center during Barbarossa. If you can give me some more specific details on perhaps what units (divisional or regimental) you might be interested in, please send me a private message. I'll look at my references when I get home later today and see what was happening in the Suwalki area.
Es geht um das Reich...Kurt :beer:

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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Matt_McK » Wed May 04, 2016 5:29 pm

I'm not exactly sure who I'm looking for as much as where. Bottom line, I'm interested in action in the area now known as the Suwalki Gap - Lithuanian territory between modern day Belarus and Kaliningrad. According to the map clipping I included in my original post, this appears to be the sector assigned to Panzergruppe 3. I know little more than that, but am particularly interested in action on the frontier and vicinity Seirijai and Simnas.

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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Kaiser116 » Thu May 05, 2016 12:53 pm

Hi Matt,
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].
Respectfully yours,
Kurt Gillies
Es geht um das Reich...Kurt :beer:

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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Matt_McK » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:42 pm

Kurt,

I appreciate your message, and the information it contains!

I have been busy with work and fatherhood, but have returned to my research.

I have been able to determine that the area of interest for my research is action in the Alytus Fortified District of the Molotov Line. I've included a link to some summary information.
http://bikelis.lt/tunelis/fortification ... ex.en.html

What will assist me the most is tactical maps showing the disposition of Soviet and German forces 22-23JUN1941.

Thanks for your patience.

Regards,
Matthew McKeegan

Edit:
I've also obtained this from the US Army's Foreign Military Studies series.
Screenshot_20160623-215045.png
Screenshot_20160623-215045.png (940.13 KiB) Viewed 1746 times

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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Matt_McK » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:34 pm

Also this.
Screenshot_20160623-220640~3-01.jpeg
Screenshot_20160623-220640~3-01.jpeg (311.98 KiB) Viewed 1746 times

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Re: BARBAROSSA Suwalk to Vilnius - Lithuanian Frontier Battles

Post by Matt_McK » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:13 am

These documents I've found seem to pertain to actions of the 35th Infantry Division, V Corps. While interesting, I have determined that I am most interested in the division on their left flank, 7th Panzer Division, XXXIX Corps. I understand that the division penetrated as far as Alytus by midday, 22JUN41, and was able to establish bridgeheads across the Neman River where there advance was halted by Soviet counterattacks carried out by the 5th Tank Division which withdrew to the east that evening.

This is the time period/battlespace I'm looking at specifically now and am digging through the forums for more information.

Thanks for assistance in helping me zero in on my search and for whatever other information can be brought to light!

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