Slovakian Forces: Operation Barbarossa, June-July 1941

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The Slovak State was in fact Germany’s first ‘ally’ during WWII. As such it was ready to support Operation Barbarossa almost immediately and declared war on the Soviet Union on 22nd June 1941. Obviously the armed forces that Slovakia could produce were extremely limited due to limited resources. Nevertheless, it contributed significant forces in support of (the German’s) Army Group South, especially in the early stages of the campaign.

The Slovak Army and Slovak Air Force (Slovenske Vzdusne Zbrane) Forces Available to Support Operation Barbarossa from 25th June to 4th July 1941

  • The 1st (Slovakian) Field Corps with 2 divisions and 52 600 personnel.
  • 2 infantry divisions and 1 ‘mobile group’. The latter is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Pilfousek Fast Brigade’.*
  • 84 tanks and armoured cars, 70 combat aircraft (excluding 1 transport aircraft),^
  • 329 (37-150mm) artillery pieces (including 124 37mm AT guns), 20 (20-88mm) AA guns,
  • 72 (80mm) mortars, and 1 020 motor vehicles (excluding artillery prime movers, armoured cars and motorcycles).
  • Overall Commander: (State Minister of National Defence) General Ferdinand Catlos.
* It included a motorised infantry battalion, an armoured battalion and a few support units, with a total of 1 910 personnel.
^ An additional 52 combat and transport aircraft, and an additional 51 training aircraft were in service. These were not deployed with front line Letky units (Aviation Squadrons) supporting Operation Barbarossa.