Polotsk Offensive

The 1st Baltic Front continued to extend its offensive westwards from June 30, pushing the shattered remnants of Third Panzer Army's IX Corps back towards Polotsk.

Two of the 6th Guards Army's rifle corps, the 103rd and 23rd Guards, had advanced some 18 km by the end of the day against some German counter-attacks, while the 4th Shock Army had reached the Sosnitsa River. The Front's tank corps, in the meantime, successfully cut the Molodechno - Polotsk rail line, despite advancing a smaller distance than planned due to being held up at the Ulla crossings.

With the IX Corps having suffered heavy losses, the LIII Corps effectively wiped out in the encirclement of Vitebsk a few days earlier and the VI Corps largely destroyed south and east of Vitebsk, Colonel-General Reinhardt committed his rear-area security divisions into the lines. In response to a request from Field-Marshal Model, the 290th and 81st Infantry Divisions were hurriedly shifted from Army Group North to shore up the collapsing defences on the approaches to Polotsk. In the south of the sector, the remnants of IX Corps (the 252nd Infantry Division and Korpsabteilung D) and of the former VI Corps (mainly from the 95th Infantry Division), continued to offer weak resistance, but the Soviet advance, and German retreat, was rapid. A survivor from the 252nd Infantry Division described the experience as "a virtual race westwards, trying to outpace the Soviet units advancing as fast as their logistics would allow them. The Division travelled nearly 500 kilometres".

Bagramyan's planning envisaged the launch of a final offensive against Polotsk, an important communications and transport centre, on July 1, taking the city by evening. The attack was launched that morning by the 4th Shock Army's 100th and 83rd Rifle Corps in co-ordination with elements of the 6th Guards Army. German resistance was strong, and Soviet units were only able to penetrate the town's defences by the next day. On July 2, Soviet forces were involved in fierce fighting to capture the main railway bridge over the Dvina, which formed the main link between the German forces in the north and south of the city; the bridge was eventually taken by the 156th Guards Rifle Regiment. There were intense street battles until the evening of July 4, after which the surviving German forces withdrew.

On June 22, 1944, the Soviets launched their main summer offensive (Operation Bagration) in Belarus. Involving 2.5 million soldiers and over 6,000 tanks, the offensive sought to destroy Army Group Center while also preventing the Germans from diverting troops to combat the Allied landings in France. In the ensuing battle, the Wehrmacht suffered one its worst defeats of the war as Army Group Center was shattered and Minsk liberated.