Friday, July 22, 2011

Panzerschlacht - Armoured Operations on the Hungarian Plaines September-November 1944

The rupture of the German lines weeks earlier along the Romanian border hacl profound repercussions. Suddenly, within a few days, what was thought by the Germans to be a secure area became a fluid, chaotic region for both opponents. Romania quickly switched sides and the former ally was now a German enemy. Russian troops had burst through as Romania fell quickly. German and Hungarian unit positions had been severely compromised. Many German and Hungarian units simply had no choice but to retreat against the tide of red flood, attempting to grab onto some terrain to hold against this raging, swift, torrent. This was never more great than following the fall of Bucharest. Russian troops literally faced no opposition as far as the Hungarian border. As Russian troops were sent to secure the mountain passes heading north towards Torda, along the Maros towards Arad, they experienced the vast expanses which were now theirs to defend. The Russians carefully had to choose where to send their strong forces - in the last week of August it was mostly northwards or to consolidate the territory they had suddenly won. When Romania jumped ship and switched sides in favor of the Russians, they inherited the Romanian 1st and 4th Armies also. Suddenly, the vastness of the territory was not that vast anymore.