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Russian units at Jokubavas, Lithuania October 1944


Aragorn2002

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I would very much appreciate help with identifying the Russian units involved in the fighting around Jokubavas, Lithuania (East of Krottingen) on the 9th of October 1944 during the Russian Memel Offensive. Elements of the German GD Panzer division launched a counterattack there with some success. I suspect elements of the 5th Guards Tank Army fought at Jokubavas, but need the help of experts on the OOB of the Red Army to identify the exact units, preferably as detailed as possible.

I need this information for a scenario I'm working on and hope to release this autumn.

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Wow.  This is a tricky one, I'll give it a shot.  I'd love to know the people who can answer this and get their book collection.  If no one is able to give you the exact info, I guess you can lean on this:

I believe you are referring to the Battle of Memel.

This would have been the 1st Baltic Front under Bagramyan.  Under that would have been the 5th Guards Tank Army (Vasily Volsky), 33rd Army, 43rd Army, 51st Army, 4th Shock Army, and 6th Guards Army.

As for specific OOB, the best I can do is from July 1, 1944.  I don't know if this will be much help, but it is the best I can do:

July 1, 1944

5th Guards Tank Army - Colonel-General Pavel Rotmistrov  (obvious not the commander come October)

678 Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 689 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 76 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers), 6 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (146, 366, 516, 1062 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment)    3 Guards Tank Corps (3, 18 и 19 Guards Tank Brigade, 2 Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade, 376 Guards Heavy? Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 1436, 1496 Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 10 Guards Motorcycle Battalion, 749 Separate Antitank Artillery Battalion, 266 Mortar Regiment, 324 Guards Mortar Battalion (rocket launchers), 1701 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 29 Tank Corps (25, 31, 32 Tank Brigade, 53 Motorised Rifle Brigade, 1223, 1446 Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 108 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 75 Motorcycle Battalion, 271 Mortar Regiment, 409 Guards Mortar Battalion (rocket launchers)), 14 Guards Separate Tank Regiment, 1 Guards Motorcycle Regiment    994 Night Bomber Aircraft Regiment    377 Separate Engineer Battalion

33rd Army General Lieutenant V.D. Kryuchenkin

62 Rifle Corps (49, 70, 157, 222, 344 Rifle Division)    142 Gun Artillery Brigade, 873 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 538 Mortar Regiment, 1266 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment    1197 Self-propelled Gun Regiment    –    34 Engineer-Sapper Brigade    17 Separate Flamethrower Battalion
49th Army - Colonel-General, Grishin Ivan Tikhonovich 
69 Rifle Corps (42, 153 Rifle Division), 70 Rifle Corps (64, 199 Rifle Division), 81 Rifle Corps (32, 95 Rifle Division), 290, 369 Rifle Division    
143 Gun Artillery Brigade, 41 Guards, 517, 557 Corps Gun Artillery Regiment, 55 Guards, 49, 56, 81, 331, 472, 1231 Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 5, 27 Antitank Artillery Brigade, 593 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 540, 544 Mortar Regiment, 89 и 100 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers), 47 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (1585, 1586, 1591, 1592 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 49 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (1265, 1271, 1272, 2012 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 1273, 1479 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment    23 и 42 Guards Tank Brigade, 233 Separate Tank Regiment, 1196, 1434, 1444, 1902 Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 334 и 342 Guards Heavy? Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 1 Separate Armored Train Battalion
11 Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 345 Separate Engineer Battalion, 9 Pontoon-bridge Battalion, 87 Pontoon-bridge Battalion (8 Pontoon-bridge Brigade?), 122 Pontoon-bridge Battalion

43rd Army - General Lieutenant A. P. Belaborodov

1 Rifle Corps (179, 306, 357 Rifle Division), 60 Rifle Corps (235, 334 Rifle Division), 92 Rifle Corps (145, 156, 204 Rifle Division);    
28 Guards. Gun Artillery Brigade (8 Gun Artillery Division), 37 Guards. Gun Artillery Brigade, 480, 1224 Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 17 Antitank Artillery Brigade, 759 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 31 Mortar Brigade, 118 Mortar Regiment, 17 Guards. Guards Mortar Brigade (rocket launchers) (2 Guards Mortar Division (rocket launchers)), 34, 39 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers), 17 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (1267, 1276, 1279, 2014 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 246, 1626 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment;
10, 39 Guards. Tank Brigade, 105 Separate Tank Regiment, 377 Guards. Heavy Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 1203 Self-propelled Gun Regiment, 44 Separate Armored Train Battalion;
28 Engineer-Sapper Brigade; 
44 Separate Flamethrower Battalion;

51st Army - Lieutenant-General Ia. G. Kreizer

1 Guards. Rifle Corps (87, 279, 347 Rifle Division), 10 Rifle Corps (91, 216, 257 Rifle Division), 63 Rifle Corps (77, 267, 417 Rifle Division);    
151 Gun Artillery Brigade, 764 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 125 Mortar Regiment, 77 Guards. Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment;    
275 Separate Sapper Battalion;

4th Shock Army - General-Lieutenant P. F. Malyshev

83 Rifle Corps (119, 332, 360 Rifle Division), 100 Rifle Corps (21 Guards., 28, 200 Rifle Division), 16 Rifle Division, 101 Rifle Brigade, 155 Fortified Region    
138 Gun Artillery Brigade, 587 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 556 Mortar Regiment, 99 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers), 7 Separate Artillery Observation Balloon Battalion, 617 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment (46 Antiaircraft Artillery Division), 1624, 1714 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment, 622 Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion    
171 Separate Tank Battalion, 60 Separate Armored Train Battalion
2 Engineer-Sapper Brigade

6th Guards Army - General Lieutenant I. M. Chistyakov

2 Guards Rifle Corps (9, 46 Guards., 166 Rifle Division), 23 Guards Rifle Corps (51, 67, 71 Guards. Rifle Division), 103 Rifle Corps (29, 154, 270 Rifle Division);
21 Breakthrough Artillery Division (66 Light Artillery Brigade, 55 Howitzer Brigade, 94 Heavy Howitzer Artillery Brigade, 103 Super Heavy Howitzer Brigade БМ, 25 Mortar Brigade), 8 Gun Artillery Division (26, 27 Guards Gun Artillery Brigade), 4 Gun Artillery Brigade, 38 Guards Corps Artillery Regiment, 64 Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 496 Antitank Artillery Regiment, 1970 Antitank Artillery Regiment (45 Antitank Artillery Brigade), 295 Mortar Regiment, 2 Guards Mortar Division (rocket launchers) (20, 26 Guards Mortar Brigade (rocket launchers)), 22, 26 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers), 39 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (1406, 1410, 1414, 1526 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 46 Antiaircraft Artillery Division (609, 618, 717 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment), 1487 Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment;
34 Guards, 143 Tank Brigade, 2 Guards., 47, 119 Separate Tank Regiment, 333, 335 Guards. Heavy Self-propelled Gun Regiment;
10 Assault Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 29 Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 249 Separate Engineer Battalion, 91 Pontoon-bridge Battalion;    
35 Separate Flamethrower Battalion, 174, 178 Separate Knapsack Flamethrower Company 
12 Separate Flamethrower Battalion

 

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Okay, I do have a book or two about the fighting in this area, here are the few references to Soviet units GD fought around that time frame.  Unfortunately, no mention of Jokubavas,

You are correct, GD did fight 5th Guards Tank Army.  On October 8,  Kampfgruppe von Breese was trying to dig in when 5th Guards Tank ran into them along the Minija, and around Kretinga and Salanti.  The kampfgruppe suffered heavy losses and fell back to Kretinga.  Apparently they had fun crossing the entire battle group over a bridge that was over a railway that had a burning train on it, while under aerial attack.  Ammo and fuel trucks included.  Sounds like good times.

I have no record of Kampfgruppe Schwarzrock for this day, or for the the kampfgruppe built around the recon battalion.

On October 9, 5th Guards Tank apparently ran out of fuel, and 3rd Air Army ended up flying them out supplies to keep the spearheads going.

On October 10,  29th Tank Corps (of 5th Guards Tank Army) managed to take Kretinga, with a pincer attack from north and south.

This is a little fuzzier.  It seems 3rd Guards Tank Corps bypassed Vieksniai, but a counter attack by a group of panthers and a company of panzergrenadiers managed to hold them up for a bit, but all in all GD retreated back through Plikiai and towards Klaipeda through the day. 

(Vieksniai is 100km from Kretinga which is really making me wonder if this story is actually about GD)

Eventually it was 31 Tank Brigade (from 29 Tank Corps) that severed the link between 16th and 18th Armies when it reached the coastline.

Okay, I'll stop being lazy and google map this.  There we go.  Jokubavas is south east of Kretinga.  If 29 Tank Corps hit Kretinga the next day from the north and south, it must be them.  

So that means you have these formations to work with, and this is as far as I personally can go:

1st Baltic Front, 5th Guards Tank Army, 29th Tank Corps:

Tank Brigades:  25, 31, and 32

Motorized Rifle Brigades: 53

Self-propelled Gun Regiment: 1223 and 1446

Antitank Artillery Regiment:  108

Misc support:  75 Motorcycle Battalion, 271 Mortar Regiment, 409 Guards Mortar Battalion (Katyusha).

 

 

 

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Hattori. I've read "Abwehrkämpfe am Nordflügel der Ostfront 1944-1945" today (well, not the whole book :)) and I can't find any specific details on the Russian units that fought near Jokubavas. So I think that the 29th Tank Corps as an educated guess is as good as any other. This book is the most detailed account of the fighting in the Baltics I know of, so if no other details show up I will just pick one or several of the units you've mentioned. Thank you again for helping. Much appreciated.

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For websites -- I find there is often a lot of good info by some really knowledgeable people over at http://forum.axishistory.com/

I know people request OOBs over there too, and went for a look.  Someone had posted the entire Soviet OOB as of June 1, 1944, so I just lifted the relevant armies.

As for books, I really only have one for this area and time that goes into any sort of deeper detail -- "Between Giants - The Battle or The Baltics in World War 2' by Prit Buttar, but I doubt you will find what you want in there.  

I'm a big Glantz fan, so if I'm going to read a modern book on the Eastern Front these days, I do usually want to see his name in the bibliography somewhere.

I'm in awe you can read German source material.

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17 minutes ago, hattori said:

For websites -- I find there is often a lot of good info by some really knowledgeable people over at http://forum.axishistory.com/

I know people request OOBs over there too, and went for a look.  Someone had posted the entire Soviet OOB as of June 1, 1944, so I just lifted the relevant armies.

As for books, I really only have one for this area and time that goes into any sort of deeper detail -- "Between Giants - The Battle or The Baltics in World War 2' by Prit Buttar, but I doubt you will find what you want in there.  

I'm a big Glantz fan, so if I'm going to read a modern book on the Eastern Front these days, I do usually want to see his name in the bibliography somewhere.

I'm in awe you can read German source material.

Hattori. I've posted a thread at the Axis History yesterday, so with a bit of luck one of the Russians there will help me. They seem to be the experts on the subject of Soviet OOB's.

I think Prit Buttar is a superb author, not only on the war in the East in WW2, but also in WW1. I've just bought his new book "Russia's Last Gasp, the eastern front 1916-1917", about the Brusilov Offensive. Well written, at least that is my first impression. I've read 'Between Giants', also a very good book. His book on the battle of Eastern Prussia in 1944-1945 is also worth reading.

Glantz seems to concentrate mostly on the early years of the war in the East, so 1941-1943. Hopefully he will handle the battle for the Baltics and Eastern Germany soon too. There aren't many good books about the last year in the East. 

As for reading German. Well, Germany is our neighbour and very important to the Netherlands, so we are taught at school to speak German. It is a beautiful language and not unsimiliair to dutch in some respects.

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I've also started to become a little more interested in ww1 eastern front warfare because it was not as static as out west, so thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely keep it in mind.  Did you have any other ww2 eastern front book favourites that come to mind as well?

Fluent in 3 languages is pretty crazy, and I bet you know some french on top of that.  I struggled learning one foreign language, and all I can do with it now is order my food whenever I'm in Montreal.

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23 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

Place name: Jokubavas
Other names: Jokūbavas, Iokubavas, Jokubavas, Jokubavo, Jokubavos, Jokubiske, Jokūbavas, Jokūbavos, Jokūbiškė, Lakubov, Yakubovo, Yokubavas, Yokubishki, Йокубавас
Country: Lithuania

That's a lot of names :). I've  also seen a German name Jakobsdorf in some publications.

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4 hours ago, hattori said:

I've also started to become a little more interested in ww1 eastern front warfare because it was not as static as out west, so thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely keep it in mind.  Did you have any other ww2 eastern front book favourites that come to mind as well?

Fluent in 3 languages is pretty crazy, and I bet you know some french on top of that.  I struggled learning one foreign language, and all I can do with it now is order my food whenever I'm in Montreal.

Eastern front book favourites. Well, there are some good ones around, usually the expensive ones. Everything from Leaping Horseman publications, like 'Objective Ponyri' and the battle of Stalingrad . All books by Stephen Hamilton (Oder-front especially), all books by Axel Urbanke, especially his book on the Panther-Battalion "Brandenburg', which als includes the history of the I/Pz. R. 26. Books by Douglas E. Nash, especially his book on the battle of Charkow 1943, books by Rolf Hinze (especially on the collapse of Hr.Gr. Mitte in the summer of 1944 etc. etc. Another gem is 'Sd Kfz 250/1 GD Living History' by Richard Stone, about the recon battalion of GD, a pictorial reenactment with hundreds of pictures, which really give a realistic feel of how life must have been for a soldier in 1944. If you have a more specific subject in mind let me know and I will try to recommend you certain books.

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With thanks to one of the experts on Axis History Forum:

According to a situation report of the 5 GTA's staff:
During 9 October 3 Guards Tank Corps crossed the Miniia River, by the end of the day 3 Guards Tank Brigade - forest 1 km east of Budvieciai, 18 Guards Tank Brigade - forest 1 km north-east of Yakubovo (Jokubiske), 19 Guards Tank Brigade - took Genaiciai, 2 Guards Motor Rifle Brigade - with 3 and 18 Brigades. Losses during the day 3 tanks destroyed and 3 damaged. Presence of strong German armor is noted.
From an earlier report by the end of 8.10 the corps had operational armor:
61 T-34
6 M4A2
20 SU-57
17 SU-76
including 13 T-34 and 1 M4A2 in 3 GTBr, 24 T-34 and 3 M4A2 in 18 GTBr, 22 T-34 and 1 M4A2 in 19 GTBr.

Well, there's my OOB for the Russian side. :)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again with thanks to the superb Axis History Forum:

How things are described in the war diary of 2 GMRBr:
The brigade with 1496 Self-Propelled Regiment and 266 Mortar Regiment crossed the Miniia river at 17.00 9 October. At 18.00 an attack on Yakubovo began with 1 Battalion right of Raguviskiai-Yakubovo road and 2 Battalion left of the road. The enemy was holding up the attack with strong armor supported by infantry and heavy artillery. With onset of darkness own infantry bypassed German tanks, 2 Tigers were destroyed. Simultaneously 3 and 18 GTBr operated against German flanks. The enemy retreated and the brigade took Jakubovo at 21.00. During the night tanks stayed at Yakubovo, the brigade with 1496 SP Regiment continued to pursue to Memel, the German border was crossed at 5.00 10 October.

 

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