Excerpt from the campaign journal of 2nd Lieutenant Constantin Nicolescu (3rd Romanian Mountain Division)
"12 January 1943. The patrols dispatched at dawn reports that the enemy forces are setting up for attack on the entire front of the battalion. I visit each casemate and embolden the fighters. At 9:00 hours the enemy airforce bombs and machineguns the defense perimeter of the battalion. At 9:30 hours the artillery preparation starts. They fire with guns and howitzers of all caliber, with katyushas and mortars. The bombardment lasts more than one hour on the entire front of the battalion: in the right flank, 2nd Company (2nd Lieutenant Victor Botocan), in the center the company of Lieutenant Lucian Ionescu and in the left flank, the Reconnaissance Company of 2nd Lieutenant Constantin Nicolescu. The bombardment was ferocious but little efficient because all the casemats stays whole. An 150 mm shell fell directly on the casemate named "Pe aici nu se trece" but it held, finding afterward the plaque with its name thrown 50 meters away. The mountain troops stand in their casemates with the fingers on the trigger, waiting for the assault of the enemy infantry. Our mountain artillery executes a precise barrage only 150-200 meters away from our positions, down the slope, where the Russian infantry is ready to attack. After the last shells of the enemy artillery, waves of soldiers with bayonets fixed and intoxicated by alcohol, rush upon my company's position and upon the entire front of the battalion. The automatic weapons - light and heavy machine guns, submachine guns - open a deadly fire, the field of fire limiting to approximately 100 meters because of the rough terrain. The bolsheviks fall struck by the bullets of the mountain troops in casemates. At the link between my company and 1st Company from my right, five tanks appeared, but the cannon destroyed all of them in front of our position. The Russians came swarming but few returned. The struggle lasts by evening. The Russians fall back on their starting positions. In front of my company, as well as on the entire position of the battalion, are laying hundreds of bodies, as a proof of the courage and determination of the Romanian mountain trooper. I visit each casemate and congratulate all the fighters, especially the machine gunners (sergeants Bondar and Tataru). At nightfall I go to each casemate and deliver bread, meat and cigarettes, because nobody ate since last night at 3:00 hours.
26 January 1943. The new, great, strong and true Russian offensive begins on the entire front of 6th Mountain Battalion, supported by tanks. At my company the attack begins at 11 hours, in the sector of 2nd platoon, 2nd Lieutenant Coroiu Ion, but without tanks because the terrain is rough. The Russians attack, but could not get over the obstacles, abatis and the minefield in front of our position. The machine-guns do their job. The attack also begins at the rest of the Reconnaissance Company. The struggle lasts by evening, with little breaks. The Russians fall back down the slope. At 2:00 hours in the night they assault our position, but fail to achieve something. Their losses are high. In front of the perimeter an "unusual obstacle" made of the bodies produced by the automatic weapons starts to take shape.
27 January. At 8 hours the attack is resumed on the entire front of the battalion. At 1st company, Lieutenant Ionescu Lucian, in my right, there is a tank attack. Six tanks are destroyed in front of the position by the single Breda gun. All gunners are incapacitated. Several tanks manage to break through our lines, but without infantry, and they retreat because two tank are knocked out by the tank hunters. At 14:30 hours, 2nd Lieutenant Coroiu Ion is badly wounded by a heavy artillery shell. I evacuate him at our neighbors in the left. The German stretch-bearers take him to the first aid, then he is transported to the hospital in Krimskaya, where he died. I promote Sergeant Dan in command of the platoon. I have no officer or NCO in the platoons' command, but company holds and defends its sector. At dusk the struggle ceases for a while."
The losses of 6th Mountain Battalion: 5 dead and 10 wounded. In front of their positions 5000 bodies were counted.