Belostock Offensive

After completing its mission of liquidating the pocket east of Minsk, in which the Fourth Army had been trapped, the bulk of the 2nd Belorussian Front was issued new objectives: initially, to capture Volkovysk and advance towards Białystok.

The 49th Army, however, was further employed in reducing the encirclement until mid-July. The 4th Air Army continued its mission of providing support for the Front's ground forces.

After the fall of Minsk the Oberkommando des Heeres could call on few reserves to stop the Soviet advance. On the Białystok axis, the remaining forces were organised into a 'blocking group' under the command of General Helmuth Weidling. This included several new formations in addition to the very few troops that had escaped from east of Minsk. To the south, the defence was conducted by the northern wing of Second Army, which had been reinforced, notably with the 28th Jäger Division, in the hope of mounting an attack to break through to the units of Army Group Centre still trapped east of Minsk.

The Germans' defence efforts were aided by the presence of old fortifications and defence works from World War I and earlier.

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.