Operation München

Operation München
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II

Romanian cavalryman escorting Soviet prisoners
DateJuly 2 to July 26, 1941
LocationBessarabia, Northern Bukovina
Result Romanian-German victory
Soviet Union Soviet Union Romania
Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Ivan Tyulenev
Soviet Union P. G. Ponedelin
Soviet Union Yakov Cherevichenko
Ion Antonescu
Nicolae Ciupercă
Petre Dumitrescu
Nazi Germany Eugen Ritter von Schobert
Units involved
Odessa Military District:
Soviet Union 9th Army
Soviet Union 12th Army
Soviet Union 18th Army
Army Group Antonescu:
3rd Army
4th Army
Nazi Germany 11th Army
Soviet Union 364,700 troops
700 tanks
1,750 aircraft
325,685 troops[1]
201 tanks
672 aircraft
Nazi Germany 5 divisions, 420 aircraft
Casualties and losses
Total: 17,893
8,519 killed/missing, 9,374 wounded
255 aircraft[2]
7 armored gunboats sunk
Total: 21,738
4,112 killed, 12,120 wounded, 5,506 missing[3]
58 aircraft[4]
To be distinguished from the German documentary film LH 615 – Operation München about the 1972 hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner.

Operation München (Operaţiunea München) was the Romanian codename of a joint German-Romanian offensive during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, with the primary objective of recapturing Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, ceded by Romania to the Soviet Union a year before (Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina).[5] The Operation concluded successfully after 24 days of fighting. Axis formations involved included the Third Romanian Army, the Fourth Romanian Army, and the Wehrmacht Eleventh Army.[6] The invasion was followed by a genocide against the Jewish population of Bessarabia.[7]

The offensive started on 2 July, with Romanian forces striking North. On 5 July, Chernivtsi, the capital of Northern Bukovina, was seized by the 3rd and 23rd Vânători de Munte battalions. On 16 July, Chișinău, the Bessarabian capital, was seized after heavy fighting by Romanian forces spearheaded by the 1st Romanian Armored Division (Divizia 1 Blindată), equipped mainly with 126 R-2 light tanks. By 26 July, the entire region was under Romanian-German control. On 17 August, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were formally re-integrated into the Romanian State.[8]

During the Operation, Soviet forces lost seven BKA armored gunboats to Romanian gunfire.[9][10]


  1. Axworthy (1995), p. 45.
  2. Axworthy (1995), p. 286
  3. Axworthy (1995), p. 47.
  4. Axworthy (1995), p. 286
  5. Operation Barbarossa 1941: Army Group South - Page 41 Robert Kirchubel, Howard Gerrard - 2003 "Hitler finally felt chances of a Soviet ground attack were low enough that his far right flank could move out under Operation Munich. All Axis forces in Romania nominally fell under the command of dictator Ion Antonescu."
  6. Germany and the Axis powers from coalition to collapse R. L. DiNardo - 2005 "It was not until early July, once the Soviet offensive was spent, that the Romanian Fourth Army was ready to go over to the offensive.101 Operation Munchen turned out to be a somewhat staggered affair. Schobert's German Eleventh Army "
  7. Deutsche und Juden in Bessarabien, 1814-1941 Mariana Hausleitner - 2005 "... größte Katastrophe für die Juden Bessarabiens war die Rückeroberung Bessarabiens durch die rumänische Armee im Juli 1941."
  8. Dutu A., Dobre F., Loghin L. Armata Romana in al doilea razboi mondial (1941-1945) - Dictionar Enciclopedic, Editura Enciclopedica, 1999
  9. Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 72
  10. John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Vol 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 134


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