Analysis of the operations Sonja and Katja
The two operations Sonja and Katja cannot be looked at separately.
Their target was purely on the ground: Push out the Soviet forces from
the high ground South of the Jiija creek, which offered a good jump-off
positions for an attack into the Romanian heartland. Known literature
which analyses these operations are the "24. Panzerdivision" by Rebentisch and "Red
Storm over the Balkan" by Glantz:
An own analysis from todays point of view - including the knowledge about the Soviet decision not to attack Rumania in early 1944 again - clearly sees the expenditure of German resources as decisive point of these operations. The improvement of the Axis positions N of Iasi did not have any impact on the success of the operation Iasi-Kishinev in August 1944 and therefore mainly was a waste of men and material.
Indeed, the Soviet bridgeheads South of the Jiija creek were pushed back very far, but the Axis failed in totally eliminating them, so on the tactical level it can only be talked about a part success. But, even more important is that the STAVKA gave up its original intentions of to start a major, two-pincer offensive in Romania. It must be assumed that the Axis operations against the bridgeheads at Pugaceny on the Dnestr and the mishaps earlier at Iasi / Targul-Frumos caused this decision. It is well-known that the Soviet offensive took place 3 months later very successfull, but this gain of a quarter year alone was a big success.
Analysis of the aerial battles
This is part of the analysis is still being worked on. In the meantime, you can have a look at some historical videos of the battles around Stanca in this youtube video. The Stanca-related scenes start at 3:50, even a Stuka attack is included. The total destruction of the castle and the whole scenery gives a good impression of the horrible battlefield. This youtube-video is part of the very 3-DVD-set Mit der Kamera an der Ostfront.
I still work on soviet personell losses and another article, whic currently is only available in RUssian language.
Last update 12.11.11