Nagykanizsa–Kermend Offensive


Nagykanizsa–Kermend Offensive

The Nagykanizsa-Kermend Offensive carried out between 26 March and 15 April 1945 was an offensive operation of the 3rd Ukrainian Front's Viennese Strategic Offensive Operation during World War II against the Army Group South (including Hungarian and Croatian) forces defending the Kisbajom-Nagykorpád-Nagyatád-Heresznye defensive line north of the Drava river and west of Lake Balaton. [p.91, Bishop]

The objective of the operation was to cut the Axis access to the oil wells and fuel processing plants in the Nagykanizsa region west of Lake Balaton for the protection of which the Army Group South force built up three defensive lines behind the natural water obstacle of the Mura river linked to the western shore of the lake. The German reference to this operation is the "Budapest front". [p.772, per Colonel Werncke, former deputy G-4 of the 6th SS Panzer Army, in "The Employment of the 6th SS Panzer Army in Hungary and Austria from February to May 1945" (manuscript), Glantz D. Colonel (ed.), 1986 Art of War symposium, "From the Vistula to the Oder: Soviet Offensive Operations - October 1944 - March 1945", A transcript of Proceedings, Center for Land Warfare, US Army War College, 19-23 May 1986]

The bulk of the forces for the operation comprised of the Bulgarian 1st Army with two Corps composed of six infantry divisions and other smaller units (~100 000 troops) [ [http://members.tripod.com/~marcin_w/index-bul.html Bulgarian Armed Forces of World War II] ] which advanced on the southern flank of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, with the 57th Army positioned to its east (64th and 66th Rifle Corps), and the other three Armies of the Front concentrated in the area between Lake Balaton and Budapest. [pp.665-756, Glantz D. Colonel (ed.), "An overview of operations in Hungary, 1 January - 16 March 1945", 1986 Art of War symposium, From the Vistula to the Oder: Soviet Offensive Operations - October 1944 - March 1945, A transcript of Proceedings, Center for Land Warfare, US Army War College, 19-23 May 1986] The South-western flank was occupied by the Yugoslav partisans.

The primary opponents on this sector of the front was the 2nd Panzer Army which included the LXVII and XXII Army Corps.

After the successful 2nd Ukrainian Front's Kecskemét-Budapest Offensive (29 October 1944 - 10 December 1944) and Szolnok-Budapest Offensive (29 October 1944 - 10 December 1944) east of Balaton, the German forces south-west of the lake retreated, which aided the Bulgarian advance. The Bulgarian 1st Army breached the first two defensive Axis lines and crossed the Mura river. They then assumed a defensive posture at the Veliki Kog-Yastrebtzi line and remained there until 7 May.

On the 7 May they resumed advance which soon became a matter of pursuit of fleeing enemy and capture of the remnants of the Wehrmacht and Hungarian troops. By 13 May 1945, the Bulgarian 1st Army reach the Austrian Alps in the Klagenfurt area where they met the British Eighth Army.

References

ources

* Glantz D. Colonel (ed.), 1986 Art of War symposium, "From the Vistula to the Oder: Soviet Offensive Operations - October 1944 - March 1945", A transcript of Proceedings, Center for Land Warfare, US Army War College, 19-23 May 1986
* Bishop, Chris, "The Military Atlas of World War II", Igloo Books, London, 2005 ISBN 1904687539


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