romanian army – 1st armoured division counterattack

source : ‘the romanian army in 1944’ by Wayne Turner

While the 18th mountain division tried to hold the 6th tank army, general Korne of the 1st armoured division organised his counterattack for 14.00 hours. His aim was to push back the penetration made by the soviet 6th tank army south of the Bahlui river. He sent german kampfgruppe Kessel to retake Podul Iloaiei and kampfgruppe Brausch to take Cosinteni and Scobilteni. The 1st armoured division would attack Hoisesti.

However, the soviet tanks were in too greater number. Kampfgruppe Kessel was forced back well short of Podul Iloaiei and kampfgruppe Brausch could only reach Cosinteni.

The 1st armoured division’s battle group B retook the heights of Hoisesti, which they only held temporarily. By 19.15 hours the soviets had flooded the area with masses of infantry and tanks. The hard pressed 18th mountain division began to give and the flanks of the armoured units were exposed forcing them to withdraw.

During the night of 20/21 august the 1st armoured division was reorganised, with the battle group A merging with kampfgruppen Kessel and Braucsh under colonel Constantinescu. This group contained the 4th motorised rifle regiment, 1st motorised artillery regiment, 101st anti-tank battalion, an armoured infantry company, a reconnaissance group, TACAM battery, and 10 german assault guns (StuG G). Battle group B, commanded by colonel Nistor, contained a tank battalion (20 T-4), an assault gun company (10 TA) and the 3rd motorised rifle regiment. General Korne also signalled the german 20 panzerdivision to send forward the tanks and assault guns left with them to train the romanian 2nd armoured division. However, the germans held on to the armour for their own use.

The germans began to plan more counterattacks for 21 august, but the limited armoured resources available could do little. 20 panzerdivision was ready, 10 panzergrenadier-division only had 20 tanks and made no impression on the 18th mechanised corps it was sent against and the romanian 1st armoured division was just holding its own against the 6th tank army without trying to launch an attack.

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