The Bukrin Bridgehead 24 September 1943


Map Code: Ax00341

Having encountered strong defences along much of the Dnieper’s western bank, the relative lack of German troops in the Bukrin loop provided the perfect place for the Soviets to attempt to establish a crossing over which their forces could advance. On 24-25 September a large airborne assault attempted to leapfrog the Dnieper; ground forces were then to follow once the west bank was secured. Severe lack of Russian organization meant that the operation resulted in costly failure. Only some of the paratroops ended up being deployed, many of them with no prior experience. To make matters worse they were scattered across a large area deep within enemy lines without any means of communication, some even landing in the river itself. Land forces that had crossed three days earlier managed to establish two bridgeheads in the area, but they came under heavy German attack, following the German retreat across the bridge at Kanev.

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