Operation Nachbarhilfe

neighbourly assistance

'Nachbarhilfe' was a German pair of operations ('Nachbarhilfe I' and 'Nachbarhilfe II') against partisans in the region of Kletnya in the German-occupied western USSR (May/June 1943).

This area lay astride the main railway line from Mogilev to Bryansk and Orel, and over this line the Germans were trying to bring up new equipment and reinforcements for the formations of Generaloberst Walter Model’s 9th Army of Generalfeldmarschall GŁnther von Kluge’s Heeresgruppe 'Mitte' before the launch of 'Zitadelle'. The Soviets were well aware of the Germans' plans for this operation, their last attempt to regain the strategic initiative on the Eastern Front, and at the express command of the Stavka (high command) in Moscow, the partisans were very active in harassing German operations aimed at bolstering the 9th Army, which was the core left-wing German pincer force for 'Zitadelle'.

Undertaken between 20 and 27 May, 'Nachbarhilfe I' was directed at partisan operations in the Bryansk area in the sector of Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici’s 4th Army and, undertaken between 2 and 18 June, 'Nachbarhilfe II' was aimed against partisan operations in the Mglin area also in the sector of the 4th Army.