Here is the general situation. The German forces and their allies have twice attempted encircling moves this summer that have resulted in a significant weakening of their front line forces. Extensive fortified belts exist along rivers in the areas west of Kiev and extend to the Black Sea. German tank divisions are also refitting in the immediate area of Kiev. This indicates to us that the enemy expects the area south of Kiev to be the point through which the Red Army will make its main thrust come winter.
To the north, the swamp and wooded terrain in the Vitebsk-Minsk region is less useful to mechanized and tank formations and therefore has been fortified only along a narrow front behind the Berezina and Ulla Rivers. Over the past weeks, many of these fortifications have been overcome by elements of the Central and Western Fronts. Enemy units in this area are worn down by recent fighting.
We believe that the enemy is expecting the front lines to stabilize now with the summer campaign weather coming to a close in only a few short weeks. They would also expect the Red Army to take the rainy period as an opportunity to reinforce units in preparation for a winter campaign in the south. This provides a unique opportunity, as they now underestimate our ability to launch a short offensive campaign.
Operation Bagration will commence 16 September and involve the following commands: Central, Western, Southwestern and Steppe Fronts; in all a force of over 2.5 million men. This will be an offensive lasting four weeks.
The strategic objective of Bagration is the coast on the Gulf of Riga. If completely successful, it will break the German Army in half. Even if it is close to being successful, it will pose such a grave threat to the Germans that they will feel compelled to withdraw from much of the territory they occupy in the northwest.
The number of troops available on each front is as follows:
6th Guards Army Kalinin Front
2.5 million men
In the execution of this plan, Western Front will advance in the western direction using the Daugava as the northern flank. Central Front will advance to capture Minsk and be on the left wing of Western Front. Steppe and Southwestern Fronts will exploit any gap found in the enemy defense to break into the clear terrain and race westwards. Currently these breakthrough fronts are recovering troops from previous operations near Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk so they will need 1-2 weeks to reach full strength.
Kalinin and Bryansk Fronts will be prepared to support Bagration with additional attacks. Long Range Air Command will assist in air resupply of breakthrough formations. STAVKA’s 10th Airborne Brigade will be available for airdrop as needed. NKPS units will be made available to repair damaged rail lines to support the advance. STAVKA will remain located at Mogilev during the operation.
During Bagration, ancillary operations will be undertaken by Leningrad and Northwestern Fronts. They will re-take ground given up by the fascists with all possible speed. 8th, 27th and 46th Armies of the Northwestern Front along with Kalinin Front will not be committed on this task, but will instead prepare to shift lines laterally in the western direction in order to facilitate the securing of the flanks as the main forces are committed. Voronezh Front will remain in place. Southern and North Caucasus Fronts will re-form defensive lines and prepare to support winter offensive operations. All southern mobile formations to include 3rd Shock, 57th and 65th Armies will support opportunities for limited attacks against Axis lines in the Kirovograd-Krivoi Rog sector while Bagration is underway in order to force the enemy to continuously fight on a broad front.
The operation starts something like this...
< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 8/19/2012 5:44:02 PM >