Carpathian Thrust (Targul Frumos) - The Matrix Games version of East Front II
Targul Frumos, Romania, (2-4 May 1944) 330km NNE of Bucharest: At Targul Frumos Panzergrenadier Divison Grossdeutschland conducted one of the greatest combined arms defenses in the face of waves of Russian armor from the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army. So well-fought was this battle that in the 1980's NATO commanders would study it for clues to help them defeat a Soviet onslaught if it was ever to come. Yet, in 1944, General von Manteuffel's key to victory was not just the well chosen ground, well prepared positions or expert handling of his panzer reserves, it was the well trained and disciplined soldiers of Grossdeutschland. The division commander later wrote "In spite of the most careful preparations, the decisive factor in defense was the combat potential of the troops. It was this which allowed the defense to achieve the result it did: a huge fiasco for the Russians!" And what a fiasco it was; by the end of the three-day battle, the GD division had destroyed over 350 Russian tanks and damaged over 200, at a loss of only 10 tanks! Military historian David Glantz says, "According to German sources, foremost of which are studies by H. von Manteuffel, commander of Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division, and F. von Senger und Etterlin, the battle was precipitated on May 26th when the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army and cooperating 27th Army struck German positions north of Iassy (approximately 90 km northeast of Targul Frumos) in an attempt to seize the city and advance deep into Romania. The Russians succeeded in advancing towards Targul Frumos and in three days of heavy fighting, from 2-4 May, the German 57th Panzer Corps (principally Grossdeutschland and 24th Panzer Division) and 50th Army Corps defeated the Soviet force and destroyed over 350 Soviet tanks. Soviet sources are silent on the battle. Scattered reference appear in divisional histories concerning combat in Rumania during this period, but only the Soviet 2d Tank Army's history makes direct reference to this particular battle. It notes, that in late March 1944, the tank army regrouped into 27th Army's sector with the mission of "attacking in the direction of Fokuri and Podul-Iloaei. Subsequently, the army was to strike a blow toward the city of Iassy and secure it. In its narrative of subsequent operations, the history relates that the tank army attacked with 27th Army's 35th Rifle Corps, and, although 3d Tank Corps reached Targul-Frumos, it was thrown back by heavy German counterattacks. The account attributes the Soviet failure to a poor artillery preparation and German advance warning that the attack was to occur." This scenario depicts the decisive battle in this week long struggle and pits the breakthrough of the Russian 3rd Tank Corps and supporting 42nd Rifle Regiment and 57th Motorized Brigade against the mobile defense of Panzergrenadier Divsion Grossdeutschland. The map has been extensively revised and is more geographically accurate than the original EF2 scenario. Both sides Order of Battle are also extensively revised and corrected. Special thanks to Steve (von Niemack) Wyckmans for help with the map and OOB updates. The scale of the map is slightly compressed and some of the forces diluted to simulate the heavy fighting in the week prior to the final battle.