The Belorussian Offensive Operation Bagration

The Belorussian Offensive Operation Bagration: Bagration was a massive Soviet attack which cleared German forces from the Belorussian and eastern Poland between June 22 and August 19 1944, consisting of four Soviet army groups totaling over 120 divisions that smashed into a thinly-held German line. More than 2,3 million Soviet troopers went into action against the German Army Group Centre, which boasted a strength of fewer than 800,000 men. The Germans had transferred some units to France to counter the invasion of Normandy two weeks before. At the points of attack, the numerical advantages of the Soviets were overwhelming: the Red Army achieved a ratio of ten to one in tanks and seven to one in aircraft over the Wehrmacht. Bagration was by any measure one of the largest single operations of World War II. According to official Soviet sources Soviet casualties in Operation Bagration were 770,888 (180,040 killed and missing). According to German historian Karl-Heinz Frieser, Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units suffered 399,102 overall casualties (including 158,480 captured). The offensive at Estonia claimed another 480,000 Soviet troopers. In Poland, as the Red Army approached, the Polish Home Army launched Operation Tempest. During the Warsaw Uprising, the Soviet Army halted at the Vistula River, unwilling to come to the aid of the Polish resistance. An attempt by the communist controlled 1st Polish Army to relieve the city was unsupported by the Red Army and was thrown back in September with heavy losses. Image: Public domain. Credit: Wikipedia.
5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking
Bottom image: Caught on camera in the thick of battle is 5.SS-Division Wiking panzergrenadieres in Sd.Kfz. 251 armoured half-tracks storming an unidentified village between Bialystok and Brest-Litovsk in July 1944. At this time the Wiking division was engaged in counter-attacks against Soviet armored and cavalry forces following their crushing defeat of Army Group Center in Belarus during the Red Army's Operation Bagration summer offensive. Photo by SS-Kriegsberichter Ernst Baumann. US National Archives and Records Administration. Fair use.

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