Period of the duration


Axis units

Allied units

Short description of operation

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PERIOD OF THE DURATION  from 17th to 24th February 1945
PLACE  Slovakia (Southern Slovakia)
AXIS UNITS  8th German Army (1st SS Tank Corps (the cover name: SS Abschnittsstab Süd) and Tank Corps “Feldherrnhalle”): 44th Reichs Grenadier Divison “Hoch und Deutschmeister” (RGD HuD); 46th Infantry Division; 211. Volks Grenadier Division; 1st SS Tank Division “LAH” (the cover name: SS Ersatzstaffel Totenkopf); 12th SS Tank Division “Hitlerjugend” (the cover name: SS Ersatzstaffel Wiking); Tank Group “Feldherrnhalle”; Battle Group Hupe; Battle Group Staubwasser and 711th Infantry Division.
Army Commander: gen.lent. H. Kreysing
Casualties (KIA, MIA, WIA): 6,500 soldiers approx.
ALLIED UNITS   7th Guard Army of Red Army (24th Guard Infantry Corps; 25th Guard Infantry Corps and 4th Guard Mechanized Corps): 72nd, 81st and 93rd Guard Infantry Divisions; 6th Guard Airborne Division; 375th and 409th Infantry Divisions; 14th Guard Mechanized Brigade; 27th Autonomous Guard Tank Brigade.
Army Commander: gen.col. M.S. Šumilov
Casualties (KIA): 3,000 soldiers approx.

The main task of Axis forces within Operation Südwind was to eliminate the bridgehead in the west bank of Hron River near the town of Štúrovo.

The attack began on 17th February 1945, at 4.00 a.m. after two hours´ long artillery bombardment. RGD HuD attacked the positions of Soviet forces in the sector around villages of Fyr and Ker. This part of Soviet defense position was strongly held by 6th Airborne Division. RGD HuD suffered heavy casualties but Soviets were defeated in this sector and the Division advanced toward the village of Maïarský Sedlín and the village of Nemecký Sedlín which were in a short time in the hands of German units. 46th Infantry Division in the centre of the attack surprised the Soviet units and reached the Paris Channel. 211th Volks Grenadier Division attacked from the area near the village of Ke toward the village of Bruty. At this part of operational area Soviets carried out a counterattack and the advance of one part of the Division was stopped. 1st SS Tank Corps followed the first line units of 46th Infantry Division with its medium and heavy tanks and tank destroyers (Pz V Panther, Pz VI Tiger B and Jg Pz IV). 1st SS Tank Division “LAH” was divided into two parts. The Infantry Group under the command ofür. M. Hansen deployed northerly from the village of Kuralany. The Tank Group under the command ofür J. Peiper deployed in the southeast from the village of Farná supported by 501st Heavy Tank Abteilung ofür. Von Westernhagen (19 tanks Pz VI Tiger B). Units of Waffen SS began their attack early in the morning. In a short time the Waffen SS units captured the wilderness called Seres and in the middle of day linked combat units of 46th Infantry Division. Soviets bombarded the advance of the Division and Waffen SS units by mortars but without avail. In front of the village of Nemecký Sedlín the tanks of 1st SS Tank Division were surprised by Soviet anti-tank ambush. The German heavy tanks used the cover of terrain and seized the hill over the village and one by one destroyed all Soviet anti-tank guns. For the time being the Infantry Group of 1st SS Tank Division “LAH” supported the attack of 46th Infantry Division and together forced the Soviet units to retreat. The road toward the Paris Channel was opened. The Soviets damaged all bridges across the channel and the advance of German units in this sector was slowed. Nevertheless the German units were able to across the Channel till the nightfall. 12th SS Tank Division began its attack in the afternoon deploying its forces in the west from 1st SS Tank Division. The attack was successful because the unit captured area near the Paris Channel and built up the small bridgehead in the south part of the Channel´s bank. At 11 p.m. German units controlled two smaller bridgeheads in the south part of the Paris Channel´s bank and in the northeast their also found a ford which was used by German Tanks to cross the Channel.


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