First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive

The First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, was fought between 8 April and 6 June 1944 by the Soviets and Axis powers of World War II. The offensive was actually a coordinated invasion of Romania conducted by Red Army's 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts, in accordance with Joseph Stalin's strategy to project Soviet military power and political influence into the Balkans.

According to the plans of the Main Command of the Soviet Military (Stavka), the two Soviet fronts would cut-off Axis vital defensive lines in Northern Romania. This then would facilitate a subsequent advance by the Red Army into the entire Balkan region. The First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, was fought between 8 April and 6 June 1944 by the Soviets and Axis powers of World War II. The offensive was actually a coordinated invasion of Romania conducted by Red Army's 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts, in accordance with Joseph Stalin's strategy to project Soviet military power and political influence into the Balkans.

According to the plans of the Main Command of the Soviet Military (Stavka), the two Soviet fronts would cut-off Axis vital defensive lines in Northern Romania. This then would facilitate a subsequent advance by the Red Army into the entire Balkan region. The Soviet attack commenced with the First Battle of Târgu Frumos and Battle of Podu Iloaiei, and culminated with the Second Battle of Târgu Frumos. However, Soviet forces failed to overcome German defenses in the region and the offensive operation ultimately failed. This happened mainly due to the low combat performance of the Soviet troops, as well as the well-prepared German defensive positions.

This operation is part of a series of forgotten battles almost completely ignored by Soviet archival records and historiography. According to military historian David M. Glantz, "During the almost 60 years since the end of WWII, Soviet and Russian military historians and theorists have carefully erased from the historical record any mention of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts' first Iasi-Kishinev offensive, during which the Red Army's two fronts attempted to invade Romania in April and May 1944. As is the case with so many other military operations the Red Army conducted during the war, they have done this deliberately, in the process relegating this offensive to a lengthy list of "forgotten battles" of the Soviet-German War." The Soviet attack commenced with the First Battle of Târgu Frumos and Battle of Podu Iloaiei, and culminated with the Second Battle of Târgu Frumos. However, Soviet forces failed to overcome German defenses in the region and the offensive operation ultimately failed. This happened mainly due to the low combat performance of the Soviet troops, as well as the well-prepared German defensive positions.

This operation is part of a series of forgotten battles almost completely ignored by Soviet archival records and historiography. According to military historian David M. Glantz, "During the almost 60 years since the end of WWII, Soviet and Russian military historians and theorists have carefully erased from the historical record any mention of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts' first Iasi-Kishinev offensive, during which the Red Army's two fronts attempted to invade Romania in April and May 1944. As is the case with so many other military operations the Red Army conducted during the war, they have done this deliberately, in the process relegating this offensive to a lengthy list of "forgotten battles" of the Soviet-German War."

As the war turned against Germany, and the Soviet Union began to run roughshod over Eastern Europe, Antonescu started looking west for allies to save it from Soviet occupation. At this stage, King Michael, son of the late King Carol, emerged from the shadows and had the pro-German Antonescu arrested, imploring Romanians, and loyal military men, to fight with, not against, the invading Soviets. The king would finally sign an armistice with the Allies and declare war against an already-dying Germany in 1944.