Battle of Debrecen

Battle Of Debrecen

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Battle of Debrecen

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The Battle of Debrecen, called by the Red Army the Debrecen Offensive Operation, (6–29 October 1944) was conducted by the 2nd Ukrainian Front on the Eastern Front of World War II. It was opposed by Army Group South Ukraine's General Maximilian Fretter-Pico's Sixth Army (II formation) and allied Hungarian VII Army Corps units which were forced to retreat some 160 kilometers, while opposing Marshal Rodion Malinovsky's 2nd Ukrainian Front which had Debrecen, Hungary as its strategic objective.

Crisis in Hungary

In mid August 1944, Generaloberst (Colonel General) Johannes Friessner's Army Group South Ukraine was on the brink of collapse. To the north, the Red Army's Operation Bagration was completing the destruction of Army Group Centre.

On 25 August 1944, Germany's former ally, Romania had switched sides and declared war on Germany and its ally Hungary. The subsequent drive of Soviet General Fedor Tolbukhin's 3rd Ukrainian Front into Romania destroyed any semblance of an organised defensive line.

On 8 September, Bulgaria, another former German ally, also declared war on Germany. By this time, Tolbukhin, aided by the 2nd Ukrainian Front under Malinovsky had annihilated thirteen Axis divisions, taking over 100,000 prisoners. Both Malinovsky and Tolbukhin were promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union for this on 10 and 12 September respectively.

The actions of Bulgaria and Romania had opened up a 650 kilometer gap in Friessner's Army Group. As Friessner desperately struggled to...
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