battle of bautzen

Losses on both sides totaled around 20,000. Part of Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front, the Poles operated in the centre of the front, flanked on the right by the 5th Guards Army and on the left by the 7th Mechanized Corps. The Soviet 294th Rifle Division was encircled at Weißenberg by the Brandenburg Division. It is reported that Napoleon later (on Saint Helena) said that his agreement to this truce was a bad mistake, because the break was of much more use to the allies than to him. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish: Budziszyn) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. [2] In a relatively short time the Polish Second Army lost more than 22 percent of its personnel and 57 percent of its tanks and armored vehicles (about 200 total). [2] Coordination between the units was also lacking. Bautzen might appear in a future campaign book - some formations have been combined to cater for the number of players and overall tries to shadow the WHC order of battle - as we were playing with that collection! [3], By 25 April Polish units were able to stabilize a defense on the line Kamenz–Kuckau–north Bautzen–Spree–Spreewiese–Heideanger. Aleksander A. Maslov; David M. Glantz (30 September 1998). The Battle of Bautzen (or Battle of Budziszyn, April 1945) was one of the last battles of the Eastern Front during World War II. [5] Part of Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front, the Poles operated in the centre of the front, flanked on the right by the 5th Guards Army and on the left by the 7th Mechanized Corps. 6,500 casualties according to contemporary Polish sources. After an intense bombardment by the grande batterie of Napoleon's artillery that started about noon and hours of heated fighting, the French overpowered the first defensive lines and seized the town of Bautzen. [5], On 17 April, the Polish Second Army breached German defenses on the rivers Weisser Schöps[6] and Neisse. Following Napoleon’s victory at Lützen on 2 May 1813 Prince Ludwig Pyotr Wittgenstein’s Russo-Prussian army retreated to Bautzen, where it was reinforced by 13,000 Russians commanded by Prince Mikhail Barclay de Tolly. The allies, however, would not be idle; they too would mobilise and better prepare, and after hostilities were resumed, the Austrians joined the ranks of the allies. [6] Opposing these forces was the 4th Panzer Army under General Fritz-Hubert Gräser, of Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner's Army Group Center. [9] The events of 21 April marked the beginning of this battle. After the fall of communism, Polish historians became much more critical of Świerczewski's command, blaming the near destruction of the Polish force on his incompetence and desire to capture Dresden. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Battles of World War II involving Germany, Battles and operations of the Soviet–German War, most of its personnel and wounded executed, http://books.google.com/books?id=McFVHAAACAAJ, http://www.polska-zbrojna.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9205:zapomniana-bitwa&catid=116:historia&Itemid=145, http://books.google.com/books?id=mMc9tLaOGzsC&pg=PA16, http://books.google.com/books?id=xZ3IA0TiSGIC&pg=PA129, http://books.google.com/books?id=XX5KcTNWbooC&pg=PA65, http://books.google.com/books?id=f1NnAAAAMAAJ, "10. [9] The Polish Second Army lost cohesion and split into four groups. [9][10], Świerczewski decided to prioritize the taking of Dresden over securing his southern flank, deviating from the plan he was given by Konev. [2] During the period of the People's Republic of Poland it was portrayed merely as a difficult but victorious battle. To make matters worse, during the battle, Napoleon's close friend and Grand Marshal of the Palace, General Geraud Duroc, was mortally wounded by a cannonball the day after the battle and died. Campaign Bautzen allows the players to refight the battles of Lützen and the massive battle of Bautzen, which was the largest land battle fought in Europe up to this time, and many other actions of the Spring Campaign of 1813. Part of Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front, the Poles operated in the centre of the front, flanked on the right by the 5th Guards Army and on the left by the 7th Mechanized Corps. Bautzen definition, a city in E Germany, on the Spree River: scene of defeat of Prussian and Russian armies by Napoleon I, 1813. In the last months of World War II the Polish Second Army, under General Karol Świerczewski, took part in the Soviet drive on Berlin. [2] Komornicki correctly identifies the formation as the 5th Guards Army.[6]. Note Battle of Leipzig and the relative campaing was a large scale struggle with more indipendent Commands/Armies per side. [17] The Germans drove in between the Polish Second Army and the Soviet 52nd Army around Bautzen, some 40 kilometers (25 mi) north-east of Dresden and 25 kilometers (16 mi) west of Görlitz, sweeping the Soviet units of the 48th Rifle Corps, and driving towards Spremberg. It was fought on the extreme southern flank of the Spremberg-Torgau Offensive, seeing days of pitched street fighting between forces of the Polish Second Army and elements of the Soviet's 52nd Army and 5th Guards Army[a] on one side and elements of German Army Group Center in the form of the remnants of the 4th Panzer and 17th Armies on the other. [2] Świerczewski's lack of competence, according to some sources, included commanding the battle while drunk. [26] Attempting to withdraw quickly and to form back with the main forces, it was intercepted by the Germans and sustained heavy losses. By the time the Battle of Bautzen had begun, both the 21st Panzer Division and the 10th SS Panzer Division (minus its supply train) were committed to support the 9th Army and both were encircled in the Halbe Pocket. Without Ney's forces to seal them in; however, they again escaped the crushing defeat Napoleon had hoped for. [2] The units were moving with insufficient security, on the assumption that the line of retreat was safe; at the same time the Germans captured Polish orders with details of their planned withdrawal routes. The campaign would resume in August. [2] Meanwhile Schörner was concentrating his units (the "Görlitz Group") in the Görlitz (Zgorzelec) and Reichenbach region, and planned to launch a counteroffensive at the southern flank of the Polish Army. [2] A Polish military hospital convoy from the same division was ambushed near Horka, with most of its personnel and wounded executed (about 300 casualties). Bronikowski then lost no time and immediately ordered an attack into Bautzen. [2][4], On 21 April, a gap had formed between the Polish infantry units (8th and 9th Infantry Divisions) and the 1st Armored Corps pushing towards Dresden, and the Polish units which were securing the Muskauer Forst region. Gordon Williamson; Stephen Andrew (19 February 2003). [12] By the end of the month, the Polish Second Army and the Soviet forces had repelled the German attack, forming a line toward Kamenz–Doberschütz–Dauban, and was preparing to launch an offensive toward Prague. FRENCH FORCES: ARMY COMMANDER = NAPOLEON 3 x ADCs (Strategist) IMPERIAL GUARD 5 x ADCs [18], Meanwhile the German advance to the southeast of Bautzen was successful. [1][28] They managed, however, to inflict very serious casualties on the local Polish and Soviet units and stopped the Polish drive on Dresden (it was still in German hands at the time of the German capitulation on May 9). [12], According to some sources, 26 April marks the end of this battle, although less severe and isolated clashes in that region continued until 30 April. Several remaining pockets of resistance in the town were cleared during the next days. [2][27] The division commander, Colonel Aleksander Łaski, was taken captive. [12] The Germans continued their push toward Königswartha and Hoyerswerda. Coordinating with the trapped troops, he was able to break into the town. The Battle of Bautzen is the last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht. [2] Other sources note that heavy fighting still took place on 27 April, and that the German advance was only completely halted by 28 April. Opposing these forces was the 4th Panzer Army under General Fritz-Hubert Gräser, of Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner's Army Group Center. [2][9][11][18][18] Major General M. K. Puteiko, commander of the 52nd Army's 254 Rifle Division of the 73rd Rifle Corps was mortally wounded around Bautzen. b ^ Wawer and Solak assert that the 2nd SS Panzer Division was also present in the battle. ) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. After the battle both sides claimed victory and modern views as to who won the battle remain contradictory. It received orders to retreat on 26 April. In the last months of World War II, the Polish Second Army, under General Karol Świerczewski, took part in the Soviet drive on Berlin. Polish historiography during the People's Republic of Poland portrayed the battle as difficult, but victorious. According to one historian the Battle of Bautzen was one of the Polish Army's bloodiest battles. The assessments of Polish historian Kormonicki,[8] German general von Ahlfen, and Polish historian Grzelak all support the order of battle not including the 21st and 10th SS Divisions. [1], The 9th Division found itself alone at the spearhead of the abandoned Polish push towards Dresden. [2] To stabilize the situation, Konev ordered eight divisions from the Ukrainian Front to reinforce the Polish positions. Their pursuit of retreating German forces toward Dresden threatened to cut off additional forces in the Muskauer Forst region. [2] Some other estimates give the Polish casualties as up to 25,000. In the Battle of Bautzen (20–21 May 1813), a combined Prusso–Russian army, that was massively outnumbered, was pushed back by Napoleon but escaped destruction, with some sources claiming that Marshal Michel Ney failed to block their retreat. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen (Polish: Budziszyn) and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. Krzysztof Komorowski; Poland. The battle of Lutzen will rank higher than the battles of Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland and the Moskowa”. [2][9] The headquarters of the 5th Division, defended only by sapper and training battalions, came under attack. [12] 26th Infantry Regiment from the 9th Division took very heavy casualties (75 percent) in the "valley of death" around Panschwitz-Kuckau and Crostwitz. For a while Świerczewski was out of communication with his superiors, including Marshal Konev. [31] The 21st Panzer Division has also been mentioned in connection with this battle, but the 21st had already moved north as part of reinforcements provided by the 4th Panzer Army to the 9th Army. The German operation successfully recaptured Bautzen and its surroundings, which were held until the end of the war. Events were most of time dictated and influenced by troubles and mistakes in coordination of Commands/Armies efforts. [18] Konev also sent his chief of staff, General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov, and his chief of operations, General Vladimir Ivanovich Kostylev, to look at the situation. The Battle of Bautzen was one of the last battles of the Eastern Front during World War II. Once again, Marshal Ney became distracted and decided to seize the village of Preititz [de], and thus lost sight of the strategic importance of cutting off the allies. The battle was one of … [1][12] On that day, Hitler congratulated Schörner on his "victory". In the aftermath of the Russian campaign of 1812 the Russians slowly advanced into Poland and Germany. The Allied retreat was mainly through Gorlitz on the Neisse. [2][30] He was briefly relieved of command by Marshal Konev,[2] but due to the backing of the Soviet high command (most likely the NKVD) he not only retained his position but all controversies were hushed up, and after the war was hailed as a hero. A hastily assembled Polish counterattack was not successful and most of Bautzen was then recaptured after several days of bloody house-to-house combat. The 21st of May, The Emperor Napoleon assaulted the fortified positions of the Russo-Prussian army of Wittgenstein and Blücher. It was the last counterattack of the Wehrmacht which had the desired tactical results. [13] The supply train of the 10th SS Armored Division was also present near Bautzen. [2] The German forces failed in their objective of breaking through the 1st Ukrainian Front and coming to the aid of Berlin. [1][2][4][11][18] The recapture of Bautzen was one of the last successful German tactical victories on the Eastern Front. Ney's failure to cut the line of retreat robbed the French of complete victory. But these assaults were only intended to fix the allies in place so they could be cut off and enveloped. This force counted some 50,000 soldiers, 300 tanks, and 600 guns. [16] The command group managed to break through to the 16th Tank Brigade, but that unit itself was almost annihilated at Förstgen (Forsiegen), losing over 90 percent of its personnel; out of 1,300 soldiers, only about 100 survived. The battle's outcome is now generally seen in Poland as a very costly victory for the Soviets and their Polish allies. 76 relations. Following Bautzen, Napoleon agreed to a nine-week truce with the Coalition, requested by the Allies on the 2 June 1813. [2][12], In modern Polish historiography the battle's outcome is seen as a victory, if a very costly one, for the Polish and Soviet troops. [12] Several units of the Polish Second Army found themselves surrounded. The French victory at Bautzen is therefore often called a Pyrrhic victory.[5]. [2] In the west 20th Panzer Division commenced its drive on Bautzen, while in the east 17th Infantry Division advanced on Niesky and Weißenberg, freeing a number of trapped German troops on its way. Following the Battle of Bautzen, in May 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, both sides agreed to a seven week truce to plan and better prepare. "Bautzen 1813" is a game for two players that simulates the second battle day of Bautzen, the second main battle of the spring 1813 Napoleonic campaign. The battle of Bautzen (20-21 May 1813) was the second major battle of the Spring Campaign of 1813, and saw Napoleon come close to winning the decisive victory he needed to knock at least one of his opponents out of the war (War of Liberation). [19] At first, Polish general Świerczewski continued with his attempt to take Dresden, which contributed to the growing chaos in the Polish forces, as many communication lines were cut. Czesław Grzelak; Henryk Stańczyk; Stefan Zwoliński (1993) (in Polish). … [1][2][28] However, since the fall of communism modern Polish historians have been much more critical of Świerczewski's command, blaming his drive on Dresden for the near destruction of the Polish force. SS Panzer-Division "Frundsberg" - Lexikon der Wehrmacht (Encyclopedia of the Wehrmacht)", http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/PanzerdivisionenSS/10SSPD-R.htm, http://books.google.com/books?id=7Ff065RmrAsC&pg=PA40, http://books.google.com/books?id=c52tNnBdk7QC&pg=PA182, http://books.google.com/books?id=6UaU6ZLqK4UC&pg=PA591, http://books.google.com/books?id=l5aGjQbzkiYC&pg=PA180, "Gedenken an Kriegsgräuel von Niederkaina - Bautzner Anzeiger (Remembrance of the wartime atrocities of Niederkaina)", http://www.bautzen-anzeiger.de/bautzen/gesellschaft/6794_gedenken-an-kriegsgraeuel-von-niederkaina.html, http://books.google.com/books?id=Bg8drRyDGhEC&pg=PA395, "Budziszyn 1945 –zapomniana bitwa (Forgotten Battle)", http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20070311005707/http://www.myslpolska.icenter.pl/index.php?menu=historia&nr=2005050114473, http://books.google.com/books?id=vpq1AAAAIAAJ, http://books.google.com/books?id=p-ZJAAAAIAAJ, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bautzen_(1945)?oldid=4422857, Saxony articles missing geocoordinate data. 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