Battle of Auvere

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Battle of Auvere
Part of World War II, Battle of Narva (1944)
Date July 20–25, 1944
Location Auvere, Estonia
Coordinates: 59°21′02″N 27°55′50″E / 59.35056°N 27.93056°E / 59.35056; 27.93056
Result German defensive victory
Belligerents
 Germany  Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Felix Steiner Filip Starikov
Strength
17,100 personnel[1][2]
4–6 batteries
49 dive bombers[2]
46,385 personnel[1][2]
30–50 batteries
546 bombers[2]
Casualties and losses
200 dead
600 wounded[3]
3000 all causes
17 fighters
29 tanks[3]

Battle of Auvere was a battle in Estonia, starting on July 20, 1944 and ending on July 25. It was a part of the World War II campaign in Narva.

The Soviet 8th Army started attacking the Auvere Station on July 20 with artillery fire. The defenders had some losses. The Estonians and Germans (of the 11th (East Prussian)[4] Infantry Division) had built trenches and dug themselves into foxholes. In the morning of July 24, the Soviet assault commenced with 30-50 batteries firing 17,000 shells and grenades (2,000 tons),[2] inflicting significant casualties to the Estonian 45th Regiment in Auvere and the 44th Infantry Regiment in the borough of Sirgala.[2]

After two hours of preparatory artillery fire, the two regiments were attacked from the air. Three German and eight Soviet bombers were shot down in air combat. Under artillery cover, the Soviet 122nd Rifle Corps and a tank brigade pierced to the German positions, while the 117th Rifle Corps encircled the Estonian regiment,[5] which reformed themselves in circular defence.[6]

Relieved by Paul Albert Kausch's Kampfgruppe (the "Nordland" Tank Battalion with additional units) and three rocket artillery launchers, the Estonians went on for a counterattack.[7] The 44th Regiment was saved by the swift movement of artillery behind them clearing their previous positions of Soviet troops.[8][page needed] The 117th Rifle Corps reached the headquarters of the Estonian I Battalion, who resisted by heavy machine-gun fire in circular defence.[7] The support by the anti-tank weapons of the 14th Company and Kausch's Kampfgruppe helped to seize the main frontline back to the control of the "Narwa".[2]

The attempts by the 117th and the 122nd Rifle Corps to break through were repelled in a similar way, causing them to lose 3,000 men, 17 planes and 29 tanks, compared to the loss of 800 troops of army detachment "Narwa".[3] On the next day, the Soviet 8th Army tried to capture the German positions again, but they were repelled by machine guns.[3]

Forces[edit]

Germany

  • III SS Corps
    • 11th East Prussian Infantry Division
    • 20th Estonian SS Division
      • 45th Estonian Regiment
      • First Battalion, 47th Estonian Regiment
      • 20th Estonian Fusilier Battalion (former Battalion Narwa)[citation needed]

Soviet Union[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Estonian Operation of the 2nd Shock Army of the Leningrad front, July–September 1944 (in Russian) 32. Affiliate of Estonian State Archive. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Toomas Hiio (2006). "Combat in Estonia in 1944". In Toomas Hiio, Meelis Maripuu, & Indrek Paavle. Estonia 1940–1945: Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity. Tallinn. pp. 1035–1094. 
  3. ^ a b c d F.I.Paulman (1980). "Nachalo osvobozhdeniya Sovetskoy Estoniy". Ot Narvy do Syrve (From Narva to Sõrve) (in Russian). Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. pp. 7–119. 
  4. ^ Although the name "East Prussian" is often associated with this division (two regiments were formed in East Prussian regions), the division also had personnel from other areas of Germany, particularly the Rhineland.
  5. ^ a b Евгений Кривошеев; Николай Костин (1984). "I. Sraženie dlinoj v polgoda (Half a year of combat)". Битва за Нарву, февраль-сентябрь 1944 год (The Battle for Narva, February–September 1944) (in Russian). Tallinn: Eesti raamat. pp. 9–87. 
  6. ^ Harald Riipalu (1951). Siis, kui võideldi kodupinna eest (When Home Ground Was Fought For) (in Estonian). London: Eesti Hääl. pp. 1035–1094. 
  7. ^ a b R.Säägi (2000). "Krivasoo ja Auvere lõigus (At the Section of Krivasoo and Auvere)" (in Estonian) 4. Võitluse teedel. 
  8. ^ W.Buxa (1952). Weg und Schicksal der 11. Infanterie-Division. (Path and Fate of the 11th Infantry Division) (in German). Kiel. 
  9. ^ On July 1, 1944, the 122nd Rifle Corps included the 98th and 189th Rifle Divisions. The 117th Rifle Corps had assigned the 43rd, 123rd, and 256th Rifle Divisions. During this period of the war, rifle division strength varied widely from around 4,000 to some 9,000 men, depending on the intensity of combat the division had recently experienced. For artillery support, the 8th Army had one gun-artillery brigade, five gun-artillery regiments, seven (120-mm) mortar regiments, and five rocket-launcher regiments.