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Operation Frühlingserwachen

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For those of you who don't know operation Frühlingserwachen(Spring Awakening) was the last offensive carried by the german army.It begun on 6 march 1945 and it's objective was to reclaim/secure the hungarian oil fields near lake Balaton.My question,for you,those who do know,is if you y have any knowledge of the armor(numbers and types) involved in this battle(german/hungarian/russian ones).From one source i found out that the

germans had about 800 afv's:

-105 jagdpanzers

-162 stugs

-141 pz4

-248 panthers

-20 tigers

-92 king tigers

and the hungarians:

-10 stugs

-12 turans 2

Can someone confirm this,becouse i personally have some doubts believing that( almost 250 panthers and 100 kt in march '45 !!!!).Any of you who have some knowledge on this and would want to share is welcomed smile.gif .

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  • 3 months later...

This response comes late, but I found this thread while doing a search on Operation: Spring Awakening and maybe I can answer your question.

First, I believe the primary objective of the operation was the recapture of Budapest(if for only political reasons), or at least to relieve the encircled friendly troops in Pest, but they were too late.

I believe those figures are wildly overestimated, especially considering the heavy losses suffered not long beforehand during the Battle of the Bulge.

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It is a believable report. I've seen other rougher estimates that say 700 tanks, which might be an operational figure at the start.

The Russians claim 650 German tanks taken out, roughly half of them burnt out.

German AFV production in 1945 was running at a rate of 940 per month. The front line forces were getting clobbered of course, but the factories were still operating. In more detail, here are the average rates for various classes of vehicle, per 1945 month -

King Tigers - 28

Jadgpanthers - 42

Panthers - 115

Panzer IVs - 95

Jadgpanzers - 110

StuG&H - 265

Hetzer - 280

Accumulating 90 KTs may seem high for that production level, but it amounts to 2 battalions, the standard unit of deployment strategically. Those and Jadgpanthers can be seen as alternate "heavies". The Panthers are likewise a couple of months production. Assault guns are somewhat underrepresented, as those were also being used piecemeal to support less mobile forces.

The Russians had a large number of SU-100s for this operation, one of the only ones of the war of which that can be said. Here is a breakdown I find for the front engaged on March 1, not counting 6th Guards Tank Army (423 AFVs mid March, but not engaged).

IS-2 - 16 (10 in the 249 Tank Regiment, rest scattered)

T-34/85 - ~100 (most in 18, 23 tank corps with about 40 and 20 respectively, plus 1 regiment (20) with an independent guards motor rifle brigade - remainder scattered)

Sherman 76 - 50-60 (1st Guards Mech corps)

IS-152 - 10 (most in 18th Tank corps)

IS-122 - 16 (all with 18th Tank corps)

SU-100 - 182 (!) 208, 209 SU brigades, 3 ind. SU regiments, 4th SU regiment in 1st Guards Mech

SU-85 - 32 in 3 weak SU units

SU-76 - 166 at start, 74 more during, in 7 SU regiments and 1 SU brigade

Captured StuG - 19 (in SU formations)

Captured Panther - 2 (used in SU formations)

Around 600 all told, maybe reached 700 with reinforcements.

Some units were at only about 1/3rd of the strength they had in January, so TOE is not a good guide. Major formations are step reduced, tank corps the size of brigades etc.

The major armor formations were 18 tank corps with ~40 T-34/85s and ~25 ISUs, 1st Guards Mech with 50-60 Sherman 76s and ~20 SU-100s, and 208 and 209 SU brigades each with lots of SU-100s (60, 40). Those 4 had 40% of the armor.

23rd Tank corps was quite weak in comparison, only regiment strength. The rest was scattered among a large number of independent units, mostly SU. SU regiments are a wide mix - best ones have 20 SU-100 (recent), some have 10 SU-85 (worn down), many have a full 24 SU-76 (plentiful replacements). Some use captured StuG.

For artillery, the reports aren't exhaustive but I find -

57mm ATG - ~120

76mm ATG+Div - ~1200

76mm infantry gun - ~240

45mm ATG - ~450

85mm AA - ~60

37mm AA - ~300

203mm - 24

152mm Gun-How - ~275

122mm Howitzer - ~650 (some actually gun)

132mm MRLs - ~250

120mm mortars - ~900

82mm mortars - ~1650

Overall, an average German AFV taking part would face 2 towed 76s and 1 lesser towed gun (45mm or 76mm IG), and 1 AFV. The Russians had enough AFVs in the area to bring that to more like 3:2, but did not need them. Russian manpower odds were also 2 to 1 early and 3 to 1 by the end.

I hope this helps.

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Great info raz_atoth and JasonC. I was trying to find info on operation sring awakening myself. By the way, where did you both get your info from.

Also what artillery did the Germans and Hungarians have for the operation (type and numbers available).

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Originally posted by Shmavis:

This response comes late, but I found this thread while doing a search on Operation: Spring Awakening and maybe I can answer your question.

First, I believe the primary objective of the operation was the recapture of Budapest(if for only political reasons), or at least to relieve the encircled friendly troops in Pest, but they were too late.

The timeline doesn't hold for this.

Pest (the eastern side of Budapest) was evacuated by January 18th. The last breakout from Buda occured on Feb 10th. I think organized resistance in the city was over by Feb. 13.

The relief operations to breakthrough to Budapest were Konrad (I, II and III). The last effort fizzled out sometime around Jan. 27/28.

I'm not familiar with the operation in question, but the relief of the garrison would have been long since past.

[ May 17, 2006, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Bannon DC ]

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All it takes is the right search phrase! In this case ("spring awakening" operation). Also used

("lake balaton" operation) and ("lake balaton" defensive operation).

9th SS Panzer in Spring Awakening (bottom paragraphs)


Would you believe dioramas from the op?


Very brief overview, with unusual grog tidbit


Wikipedia entry; seems deficient, lists no Russian AFVs


OOB III Panzerkorps (bottom); note old friend Arko


A bit of new info here and more grog chrome


This is just funny (bottom of main blog)


This looks like it would be a big help to scenario designers.


Op pertinent book and CMBB goodies here


Simply amazing Russian multimedia project! Bottom two main items are op specific


Operational map


16th SS Panzer-Grenadier Division (op near bottom)


Hungarian troops defend Hungary (eye popping Russian quote)


Glantz, THE SOVIET-GERMAN WAR (Balaton on p. 86 et seq.)


Items 217, 246 and 248 from VIZh look most useful

(doubtless many others, but brain's too fried)


Hope these help.


John Kettler

[ May 21, 2006, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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*Yawn* Don't forget the Soviet habit of inflating AFV kill totals. Oh, and production totals never equal frontline presence, especially at this point in the war.

I guess Raz has long since taken his questions elsewhere. I need more coffee.

[ May 22, 2006, 12:25 AM: Message edited by: Shmavis ]

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  • 2 months later...

The aim of this operation was (as raz_atoth wrote) securing raw materail mines such as oil, manganese and bauxite located in Dunántúl (area located west to river Danube). In addition Germans planned to reach Danube and setting up bridgeheads at Dunapentele (today: Dunaújváros), Dunaföldvár and Baja on the eastern bank. Budapest had no special role in this op. as the city fell on the 13th of February, 3 weeks earlier.

Launching area was the 'balcony of Székesfehérvár' which important city was recaptured by the Axis during operation Konrad III on the 22nd of January, 1945.

According to the Hungarian technical literature, the 6.(SS-) Armoured Army had 303 tanks (114 of which were Panthers and Tigers) and 132 assault guns&tank hunters when the op. began. General Balck's 6.Army had 121 AFVs, including 32 Tiger B.

As to losses, 6.(SS-) Armoured Army had 99 operational AFVs and 105 assault guns&tank hunters on the 13th of March, on the 8th day of the offensive (op.ended with a massive counterattack by the Soviets on the 15th-16th).

Soviets recorded Axis losses as 45.000 soldiers, 500(!) AFVs, 280 artillery guns and mortars, 500 halftracks and armoured cars, 50 planes. On the other hand, German data shows only 46 AFVs, 5 halftracks, 19 arty guns and 22 mortars as destroyed by the 13th of March.



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