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Gunter Severloh

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Historical Background

Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive

It is summer 1944, and war clouds are again gathering over occupied Poland. In the southeastern sector of the country, not far away from Ukraine and Lvov, the Germans performed a combat test of their new heavy King Tiger tanks. The battles in the area were a mixture of well-planned small and large-scale tactical operations, where both armies showed their best experience and weaponry.


Although losing much ground in 1943 and 1944 and sustaining several losses, the German army retained most of its capabilities for active warfare, able to inflict heavy loses on any opponent. Being very well-armored, bolstered by many new recruits and equipped with all the latest technology of the period, it was still an enemy to be feared by the Red Army. The primary role on the eastern theatre of war became to halt the upcoming soviet offensives at any cost, and then, after wounding the Soviet Army severely, to launch a counter-offensive and repel the Russians from German soil.

Red Army

The Red Army of the 1944 year was a complete new phenomenon in the history of warfare. After terrible loses in 1941 and 1942, 1943 became critical for its structure, tactics and equipment. Learning from the Germans, the Russians advanced to a large, well-equipped and especially well-trained army, capable of large-scale deep operations, causing devastating damage to the Wehrmacht. Battle by battle, their main task was obvious – to liberate the Soviet lands and other countries from the German occupation both with the Allies from the West, and enter Germany to bring a sure end to the war.

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