The first battle of Targul Frumos -
early April 1944
As already mentioned and shown in the Maps on the previous page, the
Soviets pushed into Romania in two directions: First, from the East over
the Dnestr and second, further west, the pushed outhwards from Dnestr bridgeheads near Jampol and
via Botosani. In this second direction, there were two central striking
directions: Through the Prut valley just north-east of Iasi and along
the major road "W3" leading from Botosani via Targul Frumos
southwards into the Romanian heartland.
8th of April
The 7th and 8th
Romanian Infantry Divisions withdrew slowly
from Botosani to the West, also from Harlau to Belcesti, Erbiceni and
Targul Frumos (T-F). This village is
occupied by the Russian 35th Guards Rifle Corps (GRC), while ca. 600 of
its cavalrists are
approaching it from the North. Ca. 1.000 red infantrists march from
Harlau towards T-F; these troops occupy Facuti during the
German view on the situation around Targul Frumos and
9th of April
In the morning, vanguards ofthe 35th GRC reach as far as 6km SE of Targul
Frumos, in T-F still is a German protection group. Twelve Panzers from
24.Panzerdivision, backed up by Panzergrenadiere,
attack Letcani from the West, but cannot overcome the tough defense
including strong PaK. Elements of the 2nd Tank Army are tied by
parts of 24.PD and thus cannot move to T-F to support the southwards
In the afternoon, 60 Soviet cars and hundreds of troops march SE from
T-F. Munteni and Belcesti are taken by the Russians, as is Zahorna.
The 7th Rumanian Infantry Division
retreats there on a broad front. West of
T-F, Soviet cavalry attacks the Rumanian 1. Guards Division.
In the evening, first elements of Pz.G.D. "GD" arrive in Iasi. Rumanian
troops and one armed Reccon vehicle from 24.PD defend Podul Iolaei. Ca.
1.500 Russian soldiers with horsecars approach T-F from the N. 50 to 60
soviet tanks are observed near Epureni.
During the night, a mixed Rumanian-German grouping is attacked near
Helestieni without result.
10th of April
Soviet Recconaissance reaches 10km SW and SW of T-F.
At noon, a german pincer-attack versus T-F begins: Stu.Gesch.Abtl.335
with 18 StuG and 200 Rumanian infantrists moves in from Strunga, while
"GD" pushes from N of Podul-Iolaei. The attack is backed up by the 4th
Rumanian Army as flank protection in the South of the valley, where the
main combat line (HKL) "Strunga-Line" is established. Its task is also
to destroy Russians who have advanced South of the main road Iasi
In the early afternoon, the push from the South has closed to T-F up to
3km, while GD stormed a small dwelling N of Podul-Iolaei and later takes
At evening, GD's tank head reaches ca. 10km W of T-F. During the whole
day, I. German Fliegerkorps and I. Romanian Air Corps heavily support
the German counterattack.
From 22:00 up to 2:50, heavy fighting in T-F brings the city back in
German Panthers of Panzergrenadierdivision
"Gro▀deutschland" on the move in Bessarabia, April 1944 [Bundesarchiv]
11th of April
At 3:30, Stu.Gesch.Abtl.335, now with 20 assault guns, attacks to the
In the morning, Soviet troops South of the road Iasi
― T-F retreat
northwards. These troops block the road W of Podul-Iolaei. Tiger tanks are
sent there and clear the situation until noon, while Rumanian infantry
follows the russian retreat for the whole day up to the road.
In the afternoon, around Iasi two Soviet attacks with 6 and 10 tanks
each (from Stanca and towards Ungheni) are repelled by 23.PD.
Until evening, "GD" reaches the railway line between Erbiceni
and Belcestia and occupies the heights N of T-F. A lot of booty including
22 anti-tank guns is taken [page 1032, KTB 8.Armee]
German view on the situation around Targul Frumos and
12th of April
Until the morning, "GD" takes ca. 100 POW from three Soviet regiments
who tried to break through to the North. "GD" also pushes westwards from
T-F with support by the 1. Romanian Guards Division.
The Prut-bridge between Iasi and Ungeni is destroyed by a soviet air
In Harlau, a fuel depot of th Red Army explodes after an Axis
air attack with a "200m high darting flame" at 3:30.
In the afternoon, the Soviet 16th Tank Corps (70 tanks) attacks 24.PzD (15
tanks, 30 StuG) North of Erbiceni and Letcani and reaches the main road.
13th of April
With another attack, the Soviet 16th Tank Corps takes Erbiceni and
adjacent areas in the morning, only to be pushed out again and loosing 9
tanks in the fightings, one of which is captured in usable condition by
In Bals between Harlau and T-F, a Soviet courier plane with important
post and a staff officer is captured by elements of "G-D".
Until the evening, "GD" widens its "bridgehead T-F" up to ca. 6km E of
Altogether, the Axis troops take ca. 1.000 POW's during these days.
Involved in the Air war were the Romanian I. Korpus Aeriane Lupta and parts of Luftflotte 4's I. Fliegerkorps
who fought against the 5th VA (Air Army). For daily details on the air
actions please refer to page Bessarabia 1.
German FK I & Romanian 1st
||4.IAK, La5, Balti*
7.IAK, P-39, Jampol*
|St, I./JG52, Bf109G,
Zilistea / Iasi**
2., 4. Grupul Vanatoare, IAR81C, Tecuci
7., 9. Grupul Vanatoare, Bf109G, Tecuci
|Ground Attack units
||1GShAK, IL2, ?
||IV./SG9, Hs129, Roman / Iasi**
St., I., III.,10.(Pz.)/SG2, Ju87D/G, Husi
St., I., II./SG10, Fw190F, Leipzig/ Tiraspol/ Iasi
8. Grupul Asalt, Hs129, Tecuci
3. Grupul Asalt Picaj, Ju87D
||1GBAK, Pe-2, A-20, ?
||I./KG4, He111H, Focsani
5. Grupul Bombardement, Ju88, ?
Table: Opposing Air units during the first battle of Targul
Frumos (9th of April 1944)
* = only data of one division or regiment per Corps known
** = Iasi was only used as "Absprunghafen" (temporary
base during combat days), as it was subjected to soviet artillery
Home | Introduction | Targul Frumos 1 | Bridgeheads | Intro Sonja & Katja | Diary Iasi 1 | Diary Iasi 2 | Diary Iasi 3