May 20, 2014

Enemy at the Gates! The Panzer Thrust on Warsaw

At 20:00 hours on August 25, 1939 an urgent message was received by Army Group South. “Hold everything, no attack tomorrow!” The Army Group with great difficulty communicated the order to its units which were already in their jump-off positions. Peace had a new chance but it didn’t last long.

German panzers during the Polish Campaign.
German panzers during the Polish Campaign.

May 14, 2014

A Panzer Raid in the North!

Ritter von Leeb with Erich Hoepner
Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb 
(center-left) with Generaloberst Erich Hoepner 
(center-right), June 1941.
On 22 June 1941 Operation “Barbarossa”, the largest land offensive ever, was launched. The Axis Armies were concentrated into three Army Groups; South, Center and North. Of them, Army Group North, with two Armies and one Panzer Group, was the weaker one. Commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, Army Group North was to cut off the Soviet troops stationed in the Baltic States and advance on Leningrad (Saint Petersburg). It was composed of:
  • the Sixteenth Army,
  • the Eighteenth Army and
  • the Fourth Panzer Group.

Against Army Group North was General Kuznetsov’s Baltic Special Military District, which at the start of the war was redesignated “The Northwestern Front”. It consisted of:
  • the Eighth Army,
  • the Eleventh Army and
  • the Twenty-seventh  Army.

May 3, 2014

Task Force Abrams Attacks a Fortified Position in the Saar

After the fall of Metz, Patton began his massive assault on the Saar basin. He used his entire army of six infantry and three armored divisions in a steamroller attack, which pressed back the Germans a few miles each day, along a front extending from Luxemburg in the north to the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in the south.

U.S. Third Army front
1. U.S. Third Army front on December 5, 1944.

May 2, 2014

Ferdinands at Kursk


Operation “Zitadelle” was planned as a pincer attack, with Fourth Panzer Army forming the southern jaw and Model’s Ninth Army the northern one. Model’s Army was furnished, for that operation, with a new and powerful Armored Fighting Vehicle; the Ferdinand.