- 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 linenorth of the Dravariver 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 Nagykanizsaregion 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 Murariver 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 postureat the Veliki Kog- Yastrebtziline and remained there until 7 May.
On the 7 May they resumed advance which soon became a matter of
pursuitof fleeing enemy and capture of the remnants of the Wehrmacht and Hungarian troops. By 13 May 1945, the Bulgarian 1st Army reach the Austrian Alpsin the Klagenfurtarea where they met the British Eighth Army.
* 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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