Operation Maus (i)


'Maus' (i) was the German initial plan for the offensive of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm List’s Heeresgruppe 'A' at the extreme south of the 'Blau' offensives (summer 1942).

The scheme of 'Maus' (i) was for the formations of Heeresgruppe 'A' to be divided into two groups, with Generaloberst Ewald von Kleist’s 1st Panzerarmee on the line of the Mius river slightly to the north of Generaloberst Richard Ruoff’s Armeegruppe 'Ruoff' (Ruoff’s own 1st Army and Generale d’Armata Italo Gariboldi’s Italian 8a Armata), which occupied the lower length of the Mius river and the coast of the Sea of Azov to the west of Rostov-na-Donu.

Heeresgruppe 'A' lacked the strength and bridging equipment for a major thrust across the lower reaches of the Donets river, however, so instead of advancing from the region of Taganrog to provide the right flank guard for the drive of Generaloberst Friedrich Paulus’s 6th Army toward Stalingrad, Heeresgruppe 'A' was directed to move its 1st Panzerarmee forward directly to the east from the area of Artemovsk, some 150 miles (240 km) to the north, while the Armeegruppe 'Ruoff' pinned the Soviet forces in the region of the Sea of Azov, with an eventual view to the advance of Heeresgruppe 'A' over the Don river upstream of Rostov-na-Donu to push into the western Caucasus and the oilfields at Maykop.

This 'Maus' (i) plan was subsequently modified into 'Blau III', also known as 'Dampfhammer', with its extension toward the oilfields becoming 'Edelweiss' (i).