Operation Föhn (i)

alpine wind

This was a German operation against partisans in the area of the railway line linking Brest-Litovsk and Pinsk in the Belorussian region of the German-occupied western USSR (early March/21 March 1943).

This railway line was one of the primary lines of German communication in the central sector of the Eastern Front, a fact well appreciated by the Soviet high command in Moscow, which instructed its partisan forces based in the Pripyet Marshes (on whose edges lies Pinsk) and other areas to strike at it whenever possible, and in particular when the Germans were preparing an offensive in the sector. The partisan operations which spurred ‘Föhn’ (i) were designed to reduce the flow of supplies and equipment toward Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge’s Heeresgruppe ‘Mitte’, by which ‘Zitadelle’ was being prepared in the aftermath of the German disaster at Stalingrad.