Thursday 10 April 2014

World of Tanks: Today in History: Liberation of Odessa

The goal of the Odessa Offensive Operation that took place between March 26th and April 14th 1944 was to defeat the 6th German and 3rd Romanian armies, liberate Odessa and the North-West coast of the Black Sea, and reach the border between the USSR and Romania.

The preparation of the operation was difficult due to poor conditions of the roads, muddy from spring rains. Supplies could only be delivered by tracked tractors and all terrain vehicles. Furthermore, the planning was done without stopping the offensive, which also caused problems.

The Odessa Operation began on March 27th, when the forces of the 3rd Ukrainian Front widened their footholds on the South Bug. By March 28th, the foodholds deepened to 25 kilometers. In order to continue the success, the mechanized cavalry of General Pliev and 23rd Tank Corps of General Akhmanov were sent in.

The penetration of the defensive lines at the flanks of the German-Romanian group forced them to retreat behind the Dniester river. The mechanized cavalry of the 37th Army cut off their retreat. Some amount of enemy forces broke through in the direction of Tiraspol, but many were encircled.

On April 9th, Soviet forces began advancing, and entered the northern outskirts of Odessa. After a night assault, with the cooperation from resistance and partisans, the city was fully liberated. The Soviet units continued their advance until the Dniestr, where they captured footholds and secured a start of an important offensive against the enemy armies.

Original article available here.

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