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Operation München

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Operation München
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Romanian cavalryman escorting Soviet prisoners
Date July 2 to July 26, 1941
Location Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina
Result Axis victory
Soviet Union Soviet Union Romania
Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Ivan Tyulenev
Soviet Union P. G. Ponedelin
Soviet Union Yakov Cherevichenko
Soviet Union Filipp Oktyabrskiy
Ion Antonescu
Nicolae Ciupercă
Petre Dumitrescu
Horia Macellariu
Nazi Germany Eugen Ritter von Schobert
Units involved
Odessa Military District:
Soviet Union 9th Army
Soviet Union 12th Army
Soviet Union 18th Army
Army Group Antonescu:
3rd Army
4th Army
Nazi Germany 11th Army
Soviet Union 364,700 troops
700 tanks
1,750 aircraft
325,685 troops[1]
201 tanks
672 aircraft
Nazi Germany 5 divisions, 420 aircraft
Casualties and losses
Total: 17,893
8,519 killed/missing, 9,374 wounded
255 aircraft[2]
7 armored patrol boats sunk
3+ submarines sunk (2 after the Operation)
Total: 21,738
4,112 killed, 12,120 wounded, 5,506 missing[3]
58 aircraft[4]
1 auxiliary minelayer sunk

To be distinguished from the German documentary film LH 615 – Operation München about the 1972 hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner.

Operation München (Operaţiunea München) was the Romanian codename of a joint German-Romanian offensive during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, with the primary objective of recapturing Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, ceded by Romania to the Soviet Union a year before (Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina).[5] The Operation concluded successfully after 24 days of fighting. Axis formations involved included the Third Romanian Army, the Fourth Romanian Army, and the Wehrmacht Eleventh Army.[6] The invasion was followed by a genocide against the Jewish population of Bessarabia.[7]

The offensive started on 2 July, with Romanian forces striking North. On 5 July, Chernivtsi, the capital of Northern Bukovina, was seized by the 3rd and 23rd Vânători de Munte battalions. On 16 July, Chișinău, the Bessarabian capital, was seized after heavy fighting by Romanian forces spearheaded by the 1st Romanian Armored Division (Divizia 1 Blindată), equipped mainly with 126 R-2 light tanks. By 26 July, the entire region was under Romanian-German control. On 17 August, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were formally re-integrated into the Romanian State.[8]

Naval Operations[edit]


On 3 July, Romanian gunboat V6 and torpedo boat V2 attacked the Soviet observation point at Musura.[9] On 8 July, Romanian monitor Basarabia and torpedo boat V2 shelled Soviet artillery positions at Giurgiulești, the main port of the Moldavian SSR.[10] On 14 July, Romanian monitor Bucovina and torpedo boat V2 shelled a Soviet battery near Giurgiulești.[11] Seven Soviet armored patrol boats were also lost to Romanian riverine artillery during the Operation: four were sunk at Cahul on 8 July, one was sunk at Vâlcov on 11 July and two more were sunk at Periprava on 19 July.[12]

Black Sea[edit]

On 9 July, near the Romanian Black Sea port of Mangalia, the Romanian gunboat Stihi informed the Romanian 250t-class torpedo boat Năluca and motor torpedo boats Viscolul and Vijelia that the periscope of an enemy submarine was sighted near Mangalia. In the ensuing battle, the Soviet Shchuka-class submarine Shch-206 was attacked by Năluca, at first with 20 mm rounds and then with depth charges, eventually being sunk with all hands (Shchuka-class submarines had a crew of 38).[13][14][15] According to Romanian sources, a second submarine was also sunk by the two motor torpedo boats.[16]

On 15 July, the Romanian auxiliary minelayer Aurora was sunk by Soviet aircraft at Sulina.[17]

After the Operation, two more Soviet submarines were sunk near the Bessarabian coast by Romanian warships: M-59 was depth-charged by the Romanian destroyer Regele Ferdinand on 17 December 1941[18][19] while M-118 was depth-charged by the Romanian gunboats Stihi Eugen and Sublocotenent Ghiculescu on 1 October 1942.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ Axworthy (1995), p. 45.
  2. ^ Axworthy (1995), p. 286
  3. ^ Axworthy (1995), p. 47.
  4. ^ Axworthy (1995), p. 286
  5. ^ Operation Barbarossa 1941: Army Group South - Page 41 Robert Kirchubel, Howard Gerrard - 2003 "Hitler finally felt chances of a Soviet ground attack were low enough that his far right flank could move out under Operation Munich. All Axis forces in Romania nominally fell under the command of dictator Ion Antonescu."
  6. ^ Germany and the Axis powers from coalition to collapse R. L. DiNardo - 2005 "It was not until early July, once the Soviet offensive was spent, that the Romanian Fourth Army was ready to go over to the offensive.101 Operation Munchen turned out to be a somewhat staggered affair. Schobert's German Eleventh Army "
  7. ^ Deutsche und Juden in Bessarabien, 1814-1941 Mariana Hausleitner - 2005 "... größte Katastrophe für die Juden Bessarabiens war die Rückeroberung Bessarabiens durch die rumänische Armee im Juli 1941."
  8. ^ Dutu A., Dobre F., Loghin L. Armata Romana in al doilea razboi mondial (1941-1945) - Dictionar Enciclopedic, Editura Enciclopedica, 1999
  9. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, p. 40
  10. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, p. 40
  11. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, p. 40
  12. ^ Nicolae Koslinski, Raymond Stănescu, Marina română in al doilea război mondial: 1944-1945, p. 364
  13. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 72
  14. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, p. 135
  15. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Volume 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 134
  16. ^ Constantin Cumpănă, Corina Apostoleanu, Amintiri despre o flotă pierdută, Volumul II – Voiaje neterminate (Memories of a lost fleet, Volume II - Unfinished journeys) (in Romanian)
  17. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 72
  18. ^ Jipa Rotaru, Ioan Damaschin, Glorie și dramă: Marina Regală Română, 1940-1945, p. 67 (in Romanian)
  19. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Volume 5: Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This Is Not a Drill, p. 63
  20. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, pp. 79-80
  21. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Volume 7: The Allies Strike Back p. 179
  22. ^ Mikhail Monakov, Jurgen Rohwer, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, p. 266


  • Axworthy, Mark; Scafes, Cornel; Craciunoiu, Cristian (1995). Third Axis Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941–1945. London: Arms & Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-267-7.