Dniper River September 1943

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Ferdinand Foch, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Ferdinand Foch

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    Hey guys! My friend Emma is doing her final presentation on the Dniper River crossing of 1943. We are just having some trouble finding information. Any and all statistics, facts, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone, sorry to have to keep asking you stuff like this. FF.
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Only place I read anything on this was in Guy Sajer's "Forgotten Solider". Good book but it might not be what you are looking for.
     
  3. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #3 imalko, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Language barrier working against us on this one I'm afraid. There's a fairly good account of Dnieper crossings in book "Drugi svetski rat, knjiga 2" (Second World War, Volume 2), but too extensive for me to translate it entirely for you. However, here's some basic info. Hope it will be helpful...

    The crossing came as a part of Soviet fallow-up offensive after battle of Kursk. The goal was to maintain the pressure and deny the Germans time to re-organize their units after retreat from Donbass region. Soviet forces in this operation numbered five "Fronts" (Army Groups): Central front under general Rokossovsky, Voronehz front under general Vatutin, Step front of general Konev, Southwest front under general Malinovsky and Southern front under command of general Tolbuhin. All in all 33 infantry and armored armies with 5 air armies providing air support. (Note that Soviet units were by formation a lot smaller then German. For example, one typical Soviet infantry division numbered some 5-6000 men, while German Waffen SS divisions numbered as much as 20.000 men.) Dnieper line was defended by units of German Army Groups "South" and "Center" - 1st and 4th Panzer Army together with 2nd, 6th and 8th Army.

    It was decided to cross the Dnieper from movement, so preparations for the crossings were largerly conducted on route during advance to the river, with emphasis on using all available improvised means. Some 330 fishing boats were used in the crossing, together with number of barges, ferries, rafts, etc. Operation rested on element of surprise so speed was of the essence.

    Soviet 13th Army was first to cross the river on 22 September north of Kiev. By 30th September and despite German counter attacks the bridgehead was 40 kilometers deep. Second large bridgehead was formed at Dnepropetrovsk and then gradually 23 bridgeheads were formed along the 700 kilometers front.

    Immediate consequence of the crossing was liberation of Kiev on 6 November by the units of Voronezh front. Conditions were created for further advance of the Red Army into the west Ukraine.

    Here's one picture from book "Drugi svetski rat, knjiga 2" showing Soviet soldier crossing the Dniepper on improvised rubber boat.

    Cheers!
    Igor
     

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  4. Ferdinand Foch

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    Thanks guys! Especially Imalko. I think Emma can definitely use this. It's weird. Not much information is presented in the United States, apart from a paragraph here and there.
    I do remember, though, that there was some sort of Soviet airborn operation involved (I could be wrong though).
     
  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    How did Ema's presentation went by? Were you able to find some more detailed info on the operation?
     
  6. Ferdinand Foch

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    Hey imalko! She did pretty good on her presentation, thanks! We managed to find enough detail on the operation, so our professor was very satisfied.
    The only downside that happened, though, was that in the presentation Emma said that the victory on the Dniper River gave Stalin more influence over Churchill and FDR at the Tehran Conference, which Mr. Strokanov chuckled and said that was not true. I should have caught on that, but unfortunately I do not know much about the Tehran Conference. Other than that, she did a fantastic job.
     
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