Friday 7 February 2014

World of Tanks: Today in History: Toropetsk-Holm Offensive Operation

The Toropetsk-Holm Offensive Operation took place from January 9th to February 6th of 1942 with the forces of the 3rd and 4th Shock Armies of the North-Western Front. The goal of the operation was the destruction of German forces in the region west of the Ostashkovo settlement and develop an offensive in the south-western direction, around the Rzhev-Vyazma enemy concentration.

The operation was scheduled for December 24-26th, but was delayed due to a poor condition of the roads impeding timely concentration of forces. The Chief of General Staff, B.M. Shaposhnikov, rescheduled the offensive to December 30th. However, the 3rd and 4th armies still did not make it to their destination by then. The forces only arrived on January 8th.

Early in the morning of January 9th, after a 1.5 hour long artillery barrage, the Soviet forces began their offensive. They moved slowly, as commanders did not yet have experience in penetrating enemy defenses, and frequently wasted time on battles of local importance, heavily fortified regions, and settlements. Soviet progress over the first day was 4-15 km, depending on the sector. The city of Andreapol was liberated on January 16th. The Soviets cut off the Velikiye Luki-Rzhev railroad, and encircled the German garrison at Holm.

By February 4-5th, the Soviet forces moved forward 75-80 km. However, the possibility of further advance waned, as the army's front stretched to 200 km. Additionally, problems with supplies, typical of the early stages of the Great Patriotic War, plagued the advancing forces. On February 6th, the 3rd and 4th Shock Armies halted, and fortified for a defense.

The Toropetsk-Holm Offensive Operation freed a large amount of land from German occupation and interrupted operational cooperation between Army Groups North and Center. This eased further Soviet advances in adjacent operational directions.

Original article available here.

1 comment:

  1. "This eased further Soviet advances in adjacent operational directions." Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.
    This was the failed Operation Mars.