Jassy-Kishinev Offensive and Romania's Surrender

8 Apr 1944 - 26 Sep 1944

Contributor:

ww2dbaseHaving crossed the Romanian-Ukrainian border in the first week of Apr 1944, the Soviet STAVKA ordered 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front to embark on the Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, named after the Romanian cities of Iasi and Chisinau (now a part of Moldova), two among the several objectives of this operation. On 9 Apr, Soviet troops captured Târgu Frumos, Romania by surprise. On the following day, German Grossdeutschland division (with 160 tanks in support, including 40 Pather and 40 Tiger models) counterattacked from the east while Romanian 1st Guard Division and Romanian 7th Infantry Division attacked from the south, driving Soviet troops out of the city by 2200 hours. Although the Soviets would continue to make limited attacks in northeastern Romania, the German South Ukraine Army Group (Heeresgruppe Südukraine) was able to stand its ground, even making limited counterattacks of its own. As both sides grew exhausted, Jun 1944 was relatively quiet in Romania, but small scale engagements would last through the entire month. Meanwhile, starting in early Jun, anti-German political leaders in Romania began engaging the Soviet Union for peace terms. In Jul 1944, Soviet troops were finally able to capture Iasi, but it was more so due to German and Romanian inability to maintain an effective defensive that led to the Soviet capture.

ww2dbaseIn Aug, a fresh offensive was launched by 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front. While the 2nd Ukrainian Front assaulted north of Iasi, 3rd Ukrainian Front attacked near Tiraspol (now a part of Moldova). German 13th Panzer Division attempted to counterattack, which was repulsed by the Soviets; German 13th Panzer Division suffered such heavy casualties that it would soon cease to exist as an effective fighting formation. By late 21 Aug 1944, less than two days after the commencement of the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, the German-Romanian defense line began to crumble, and Soviet 6th Guards Mechanized Corps seized the opportunity to strike, penetrating the Axis lines by 40 kilometers. By 23 Aug, German 6th Army and Romanian 4th Army were encircled by the two Soviet fronts. On the same day, 23 Aug, King Mihai I of Romania, backed up Romanian communists, ousted Conducator Ion Antonescu and sent negotiators to the Soviet Union. German troops attempted to occupy Bucharest on 24 Aug, the capital of the country, but they were repulsed by troops loyal to the king. On 12 Sep, the armistice was signed; the terms were so one sided that the document effectively constituted an instrument of surrender by the Romanians to the Soviet Union. Soviet troops, with their new Romanian allies, fortified the Romanian-Yugoslavian and Romanian-Bulgarian borders on 26 Sep 1944.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Dec 2012

Jassy-Kishinev Offensive and Romania's Surrender Timeline

5 Apr 1944 Soviet troops captured Dorohoi, Romania.
8 Apr 1944 Ivan Konev ordered Soviet 27th Army and 40th Army to attack Romanian positions near Târgu Frumos, Romania.
9 Apr 1944 In Romania, Soviet 27th Army captured Târgu Frumos while Soviet 42nd Guards Rifles Division wiped aside Romanian 6th Infantry Division and captured Pascani 14 miles to the west.
10 Apr 1944 German Großdeutschland Division counterattacked westward from Podu Iloaiei toward Târgu Frumos, Romania. To the south of Târgu Frumos, Romanian 1st Guard Division and Romanian 7th Infantry Division attacked in concert. Soviet troops withdrew from Târgu Frumos by 2200 hours.
12 Apr 1944 German troops wiped out a small pocket of troops (elements of Soviet 206th Rifle Division and Soviet 3rd Guards Airborne Division) west of Târgu Frumos, Romania.
31 May 1944 A German counterattack near Iasi, Romania was repulsed.
2 Jun 1944 Secret peace talks began between Romania and the Soviet Union in Stockholm, Sweden.
14 Jul 1944 Soviet troops under Rodion Malinovsky captured Iasi, Romania.
20 Aug 1944 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front launched the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive into northeastern Romania. The Romanian 3rd Army was broken, while Axis shipping was attacked by Soviet aircraft on the Romanian coast.
21 Aug 1944 Soviet 6th Guards Mechanized Corps separated German 6.Armee from the Romanian 3rd Army in northeastern Romania; as the Germans under Generaloberst Johannes Frießner fell back, Romanian troops began to refuse orders from German officers to engage the Soviets.
23 Aug 1944 In Bucharest, Romania, King Mihai I removed Marshal Ion Antonescu from power and began to publicly engage the Soviet Union diplomatically. To the northeast, Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front and 3rd Ukrainian Front encircled German 6th Army.
24 Aug 1944 The Romanian Royal Guards blocked the German attempt to occupy Bucharest as Romania declared war on Germany. German Luftwaffe responded by bombing the Royal Palace.
25 Aug 1944 King Mihai I of Romania called for war with Germany.
26 Aug 1944 German forces led by Lieutenant General Reiner Stahel attacked Bucharest, Romania.
29 Aug 1944 Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front captured the Ploesti oilfields in Romania.
31 Aug 1944 Soviet forces captured Bucharest, Romania.
2 Sep 1944 Romanian troops entered the German legation in Bucharest, Romania. German Minister Manfred von Killinger shot himself after citing that a ship's captain should also go down with a sinking ship; Romanians arrested the remaining diplomats and military attachés including General Erik Hansen, Admiral Werner Tillessen, General Alfred Gertenberg, and General Karl Spalcke.
5 Sep 1944 Soviet forces repulsed a German-Hungarian counter attack near Klausenberg, Romania.
6 Sep 1944 Red Army units captured Turnu-Severin, Romania on the Danube River and advanced toward the Yugoslavian border.
7 Sep 1944 Romania declared war on Hungary.
12 Sep 1944 Soviet Marshal Rodion Malinovsky signed an armistice agreement with his Romanian counterparts.
22 Sep 1944 The leading Divisions of Marshal Fedor Tolbukhin's 3rd Ukrainian Front commenced a crossing of the River Danube near Turnu Severin, Romania, meeting strong opposition from German Army alpine and German Waffen-SS troops under Field Marshal Maximilian Freiherr von Weich's command.
26 Sep 1944 Soviet troops fortified positions along the Danube River on the Romanian-Yugoslavian and Romanian-Bulgarian borders.
29 Sep 1944 21 American OSS agents (under Lieutenant Commander Frank Wisner) were dropped into Bucharest, Romania to liberate 1,888 interned Allied airmen. As they evacuated the airmen, they also brought out with them many Romania diplomatic documents to prevent Soviet capture.
11 Oct 1944 Soviet troops of the 2nd Ukranian Front assaulted and captured the town of Cluj in Romania, the capital of Transylvania.

Photographs

Panzer V Panther tanks of German Army Großdeutschland Division in Iaşi, Romania area, Apr 1944

Maps

Map depicting Soviet advances in the Baltic States and Romania, 19 Aug-31 Dec 1944




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Johnny says:
21 Apr 2017 03:26:13 PM

Any information about "Dacia" and "Traian" fortifications lines ? Thanks .

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More on Jassy-Kishinev Offensive and Romania's Surrender
Participants:
» Mihai
» Antonescu, Ion
» Dumitrescu, Petre
» Konev, Ivan
» Manteuffel, Hasso

Location:
» Romania

Related Book:
» Atlas of the Eastern Front 1941-45

Jassy-Kishinev Offensive and Romania's Surrender Photo Gallery
Panzer V Panther tanks of German Army Großdeutschland Division in Iaşi, Romania area, Apr 1944




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