Operation Sumpfblume

swamp flower

'Sumpfblume' was a German operation against partisans in the region of Dorogobuzh in the German-occupied western USSR (6/18 July 1942).

The Dorogobuzh area was one of the main regions into which the Soviet high command had ordered that Polkovnik Aleksandr A. Onufriev’s 8th Airborne Brigade and the 201st Airborne Brigade of General Major Vasili A. Glazkov’s VIII Airborne Corps be dropped between 8 and 24 January 1942 in an effort to co-ordinate and bolster the partisan forces which were attempting to seal the gap between the southern side of the salient formed by General Leytenant Ivan S. Konev’s Kalinin Front and the northern side of the salient created by General Georgi K. Zhukov’s West Front in the area to the west of Moscow during the great Soviet 'Moscow Strategic Offensive Operation' of the winter of 1941/42. Had the Soviets been able to close the gap between Vyaz’ma and Smolensk, they would have trapped General Gotthard Heinrici’s 4th Army, Generaloberst Walter Model’s 9th Army, Generaloberst Hans-Georg Reinhardt’s 3rd Panzerarmee and Generaloberst Hermann Hoth’s 4th Panzerarmee of Generalfeldmarschall GŁnther von Kluge’s Heeresgruppe 'Mitte'.

As it was, the Germans had been able to stabilise the position by the end of April, when the onset of the spring thaw combined with total exhaustion to halt the Soviet efforts.

During the rest of the year the German command tried to re-order its front in the area to the west of Moscow by eliminating surviving pockets of airborne troops and partisans (supported by parts of General Leytenant Mikhail S. Khozin’s 33rd Army, which had broken through the 4th Army's front to link with the partisans and then been cut off by German counterattacks between Vyaz’ma and Spas Demyansk) in its rear, Adolf Hitler having forbidden the abandonment of any salients created by the Soviet advances.