Operation Edelweiss

Operation Edelweiss

Operation Edelweiss

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Operation Edelweiss (), named after the mountain flower, was a German plan to gain control over the Caucasus and capture the oil fields of Baku during the Soviet-German War. The operation was authorised by Hitler on July 23, 1942. The main forces included Army Group A commanded by Wilhelm List, 1st Panzer Army (Ewald von Kleist), 4th Panzer Army (Colonel-General Hermann Hoth), 17th Army (Colonel-General Richard Ruoff), part of the Luftflotte 4 (Generalfeldmarschall Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen) and the 3rd Romanian Army (General Petre Dumitrescu). Army Group A was supported to the east by Army Group B commanded by Fedor von Bock and by the remaining 4th Air Fleet aircraft (1,000 aircraft in all). The land forces, accompanied by 15,000 oil industry workers, included 167,000 troops, 4,540 guns and 1,130 tanks.

Preparations

Several oil firms such as "German Oil on Caucasus", "Ost-Öl" and "Karpaten-Öl" had been established in Germany. They were awarded an exclusive 99-year lease to exploit the Caucasian oil fields. For this purpose a large number of pipes, which later proved useful to the Soviet oil industry workers, were delivered. A special economic inspection "A", headed by Lieutenant-General Nidenfuhr was created. Bombing of the oil fields was forbidden. To defend them from destruction by Nikolai Baibakov and Semyon Budennyi, an SS guard regiment and a Cossack regiment were formed. The head of Abwehr developed Operation Schamil,...
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