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 Romanian-German 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
Ion Antonescu
Nicolae Ciupercă
Petre Dumitrescu
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]
4 gunboats sunk
Before the start of the Operation
1 cruiser damaged
1 destroyer leader sunk
1 destroyer leader damaged
2 river monitors damaged
1 patrol boat sunk
2 patrol boats damaged
After the Operation
14 submarines sunk
Total: 21,738
4,112 killed, 12,120 wounded, 5,506 missing[3]
58 aircraft[4]
Nazi Germany Unknown

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]

Despite being the first Romanian Operation, Romanian and Soviet forces had been fighting since the start of Barbarossa, on 22 June. On 22–23 June, the Soviets launched two attacks against the Romanian Tulcea Tactical Group (river monitors Mihail Kogălniceanu and Basarabia and four patrol boats). The attacks were repelled, the Soviets losing one patrol boat sunk and two more damaged as well as two river monitors damaged.[8] On 26 June, during a Soviet naval attack against the port of Constanţa, the Soviet destroyer leader Moskva was sunk by a Romanian minefield,[9][10][11] laid by the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Regele Carol I and Aurora.[12] The cruiser Voroshilov was damaged by the same minefield while the destroyer leader Kharkov was damaged by the German coastal battery Tirpitz.[13][14] After the Operation, the Soviet submarine Shch-213 and up to 10 more Soviet submarines (M-58, M-59, M-34, M-33, M-60, Shch-211, Shch-210, Shch-208, S-34 and L-24) were sunk by Romanian mines,[15] while Shch-206,[16] M-31[17] and M-118[18] were sunk by Romanian warships.

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. Until the end of the Operation, four Soviet gunboats were also sunk by Romanian coastal artillery.[19][20] On 17 August, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were formally re-integrated into the Romanian State.[21]

Other "Operation Münchens"[edit]

Another "Operation München" took place in March 1942, in Lithuania.[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. ^ Jonathan Trigg, Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front, Chapter 3
  9. ^ Robert Forczyk, Where the Iron Crosses Grow: The Crimea 1941–44, p. 39
  10. ^ David T. Zabecki, World War Two in Europe, p. 1468
  11. ^ R. L. DiNardo, Germany and the Axis Powers from Coalition to Collapse, p. 109
  12. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 70
  13. ^ Robert Forczyk, Where the Iron Crosses Grow: The Crimea 1941–44, p. 39
  14. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Volume 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 73
  15. ^ Mikhail Monakov, Jurgen Rohwer, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, pp. 265-266
  16. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Vol 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 134
  17. ^ M. J. Whitley, Destroyers of World War Two, p. 224
  18. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Volume 7: The Allies Strike Back, p. 179
  19. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 72
  20. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Vol 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 134
  21. ^ Dutu A., Dobre F., Loghin L. Armata Romana in al doilea razboi mondial (1941-1945) - Dictionar Enciclopedic, Editura Enciclopedica, 1999
  22. ^ Rich man's war, poor man's fight: race, class, and power in the ... - Page 308 Jeanette Keith - 2004 "This air detachment was to be made ready for action as part of Operation Munich, an anti-partisan sweep planned to ... Operation Munich was launched on March 19. Supported by the newly created air detachment, German troops struck at ..."


  • 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.