West direction

On the West direction resisted each other German group of armies "Centre" and Soviet forces of Western Front with 11th Army of Northwestern Front. For German command this direction was main in operation "Barbarossa", and consequently the group of armies "Centre" was strongest group on all front. 40 % all German divisions, unwrapped from the Barents sea up to the Black sea (including 50 % motorize and 52,9 % tank) here was concentrated. In offensive line of group of armies "Centre" in immediate proximity from border was only 15 Soviet divisions, and 14 settled down in 50-100 kms from it.                                 

Other Soviet forces have begun, in middle of June concentration to border, and by June 22 in movement there were forces: 2nd (100th, 161st RD), 47th (55th, 121st, 143th RD), 44th (64th, 108th RD) and 21st (17th, 37th, 50th rd) Rifle Corps. Besides the forces of 22nd Army from Ural military distric were focused to territory of Polotsk, from which structure to June 22, 72016 men, 1241 guns and mortars and 692 tanks have arrived on a place.

  Western Front and            11th Army   Group of army "Centre" Ratio
Divisions                                54                             51,5                               1:1
Men                        791445                      1455900                            1:1,8
Guns and mortars                          16151                          15161                               1:1
Tanks                            3852                            2156                            1,9:1
Aircrafts                            2129                            1712                            1,2:1

The line of border curved by an arch in Warsaw direction, created for German armies especially favorable conditions. Before them the wide tasks were put. By impacts of strong groupings of the both wings this group of armies should break the Soviet forces in Byelorussia, leave by mobile connections to the south and to the north of Minsks and as soon as possible grasp by them of Smolensk. After achievement of this purpose the large mobile connections owed in interaction with group of armies "North" destroy Soviet forces conducting fights in Pribaltic and in area of Leningrad.

The group of armies "Centre" disposed on wings one field army, each was cooperated with one tank group. In area to the west and to the northwest of Brests were unwrapped 4th Field Army  and 2nd Panzer Group. The Panzer Group at support of 4th Army should break through a defense of the Soviet by both sides of Brest and fast progress on Slutsk and Minsk in interaction with 3rd Panzer Group, offensive on Minsk from the northwest, to create the precondition for an encirclement and destruction Soviet forces who are taking place between Belostok and Minsk. After that both tank groups should grasp area of Smolensk.

Was planned, that 4th German Army after break on both sides of Brest will come behind 2nd Panzer Group in a direction on Minsk, that, using offensive of both tank groups, in interaction with 9th Army destroy the Soviet forces in area between Belostok and Minsk. On this site the ratio was:  
  4th Soviet Army Parts of 4th Army and 2nd Panzer Group Ratio
Divisions                                  7                             20,5                            1:2,9
Men                          71349                        461680                            1:6,5
Guns and mortars                            1657                            5953                            1:6,5
Tanks                              520                            1021                            1:1,9

The similar task was put on the left wing of group of armies "Centre" on 9th Army and 3rd Panzer Group. These forces located in "Belostok" ledge, by impacts from Suvalok and Brest on Minsk rendered the main impact.  

  parts of 11th Soviet Army 3th Panzer Group Ratio
Divisions                                  3                                12                               1:4
Men                          34700                        265000                            1:7,6
Guns and mortars                              646                            3060                            1:4,7
Tanks                              102                            1057                          1:10,4

Both these formations should break through the Soviet front in a direction on Grodno and then form northern half of pincers for an encirclement of Soviet troops between Belostok and Minsk. The subsequent task of 3rd Panzer Group was capture Vitebsk, 9th Army — Polotsk at headwaters of West Dvina river.  

The offensive of group of armies began rather good. The Soviet forces were overtaken unawares and are perfectly stunned. On the south flank all ferries through Bug river have remained not destroy and have got in Germans hand.

Both Tank groups after successful breaks of a frontier defense are unceasing advanced on the east. June 24, 2nd Panzer Group has reached Slonim area, 3rd Panzer Group - Vilnius area. Them followed 4th and 9th German Armies. The Soviet forces wich are taking place in Belostok area, tried to retreat on the east and escape from the gradually formed encirclement. The coming tank groups at support of air forces nevertheless managed to detain a withdrawal Soviet troops so long as June 29 on the east of Belostok area did not establish connection between 4th and 9th Armies. Russian during two days undertook desperate attempts to break on the east and on the southeast and break off a narrowed ring of an encirclement. Then their forces have run low. The encirclement was completed, and July 1 the fights in this area have stopped.

Between this tank groups advanced further on the east again to carry out an encirclement of those Russian forces, which withdrawel on the east and have avoided the "boiler" in Belostok area. 2nd Panzer Group of June 27 has reached the south suburb of Minsk and has met there 3rd Panzer Group, which else on the eve, having advanced through Vilnius, has reached the north suburb of city.

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