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> 14. The Battle of Expectation
dragos
Posted: January 07, 2004 07:05 pm
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by Maria Sinescu

According to the German General Headquarters' overall concept on the military operations on the Southern Flank of the Eastern European Front, the German-Romanian troops on the territory of Romania were assigned, trough the Order No.28, dated June 22, 1941, issued by General Ion Antonescu, the task of "creating the axis of the strategic maneuver and of pinpointing maximum enemy forces", to be able to launch, later on, the offensive. Consequently, by July 2, 1941, the German-Romanian forces conducted active defensive operations on a wide front, in varied terrain behind the Prut river and in Northem Bukovina's mountainous area.

Altough the military operations unleashed on June 22, 1941, at dawn, had a local character, they were dynamic and enthusiastic. From Northem Bukovina, to where the Danube flows into the Blak Sea, the Romanian and the German forces carried out inroads and reconnaissance tasks either in the beautiful Bukovina's places or across the Prut, in Bessarabia, and they succeeded in gaining a number of bridgeheads. Simultaneously, the Romanian Air Force units, which greatly contributed to this stage of the military operations, conducted reconnaissance and air strike missions to the directions: Chisinau (Kishinev), Basarabenca and Bolgrad, Cetatea Alba. In response, the Soviet Air Force also conducted many air attacks on eastem Romanian localities, including the capital. At the same time, the Soviet warships and the forces in southern Bessarabia attempted at "breaking" up the front with a view to penetrate into the Danube Delta and they even succeeded in occupying some localities along the Chilia branch of the river.

The forces deployed along the Prut river carried out incursions east of the river and established bridgeheads at Albita, Oancea, Falciu, Bogdanesti, Ranzesti, Cotu Morii, Giurgiulesti, Orofteanca, Badarai, Sculeni, Stanca, Lingurari, Trifesti, Tutora, Cahul, Satu Nou, Varatec, Chetris, Ungheni, Stefanesti, Serbeni. The last were secured during the night of July 1/2, 1941, then they were maintained and enlarged for the forthcoming offensive.

Generaly, the bridgeheads east of the Prut were not maintained (except for the ones in Badarai and Sculeni and until the night of June 29/30 - the one in Bogdanesti). On the river front, the Romanian units, due to the specific nature of the terrain, conducted their tasks in insolation, which facilitated the Soviet troops' operation with the effect that they occupied several sectors of the Chilia branch.

The losses recorded up to June 30, 1941 amounted to 442 dead, 659 wounded and 374 missing in action.

The Romanian military operations carried out between June 22-July 2, 1941, although they had a local nature, prepared, as General Ion Antonescu put it on July 1, 1941 - "the offensive that was to completely crush the Soviet troops on the southern wing" and to liberate the Romanian territory invaded by the Soviets in 1940.
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Florin
Posted: January 17, 2004 01:45 am
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[quote]
The Romanian military operations carried out between June 22-July 2, 1941, although they had a local nature, prepared, as General Ion Antonescu put it on July 1, 1941 - "the offensive that was to completely crush the Soviet troops on the southern wing" and to liberate the Romanian territory invaded by the Soviets in 1940.[/quote]

From another point of view, there were 9 precious days in which the Soviet forces lost any trace of surprise, and became fully aware of the enemy about to come.

In the same first days in Poland the German forces succeeded deep advances and destroyed 1600 Soviet planes on ground, especially because of the surprise factor. The Germans advanced on average 80 km from the first day, and in some points 300 km in the first 4 days. However, it would be unreasonable to expect this from the Romanians.
The Germans did not face rivers when they started the fight on June 22.
Also, like every other army in Europe excepting those of Germany and Soviet Union, the Romanian army did not have big compact units of tanks and armored vehicles, able to advance up to 200 km per day if possible.
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MMM
Posted: August 19, 2011 12:17 pm
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And we didn't have anything to surprise the Soviet with! Anyway, the Soviet troops were to withdraw because of the advance of the Center and North Army Groups. We were just a minor partner in Barbarossa, for very good reasons!
The Romanian Army had some accomplishments in this "Battle of Expectations", though not in the Danube Delta! Suvorov has the theory according to which the Soviet troops in that particular area carried on with their planned attack, regardless the conditions' change. Interesting point...
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