|Baltic Operation (1941)|
|Part of The Eastern Front of World War II|
Execution of operation 22.06.1941 - 10.07.1941
|Commanders and leaders|
|Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb||Fyodor Isodorovich Kuznetsov|
7,673 artillery pieces
5,573 artillery pieces
|Casualties and losses|
2,523 tanks & SPGs destroyed
990 aircraft destroyed
The Baltic Operation, also known as the Defensive operation in Lithuania and Latvia encompassed the operations of the Red Army from 22 June to 9 July 1941 conducted over the territories of the occupied Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in response to an offensive launched by the German army.
The operation consisted of three distinct smaller operations
The principal Red Army formations of the operation were the Northwestern Front and the Baltic Fleet, with the major ground forces consisting of the 8th (commander General Major P.P. Sobennikov), 11th (commander General Lieutenant Morozov) and later 27th Armies.
The operation was conducted after the forces of the Baltic Special Military District were alerted in the morning of 22 June 1941 following a surprise attack by the German Wehrmacht's Army Group North which consisted of the 18th, 16th Field Armies and the 4th Panzer Group, and elements of the 3rd Panzer Group, supported by the Luftflotte 1.
On 22 June, the Soviet 8th Army was positioned in northern Lithuania opposed by the German 18th Army. The Soviet 11th Army defended the rest of the Lithuanian border with East Prussia and sought to contain the attacks of the German 16th Army and the 4th Panzer Group.
While the Soviet 8th Army retreated along the Jelgava–Riga–Tartu–Narva–Pskov direction, the Soviet 11th Army sought to initially hold the Kaunas–Vilnius sector of the front, but was forced to retreat along the Daugavpils–Pskov–Novgorod direction. These withdrawals, although costly in losses of personnel and materiel, avoided major encirclements experienced by the Fronts to the south, and succeeded in delaying the Army Group North sufficiently to allow preparation for the defence of Leningrad.
The subordinate formations and units of the Armies were:
The Soviet forces were defeated and forced to fall back. The next operation, according to the Soviet official history, was the Leningrad Strategic Defensive Operation (10 July-30 September 1941), which attempted to establish a stable front along the Narva–Novgorod line.