20 November 1942 – Kalmuk Steppe
This day marked also the beginning of the offensive south of Stalingrad. Early that day, powerful Soviet forces, including 130 tanks, attacked in the sector of the Romanian 6th Corps (north Tundutovo, west Plodovitoye, 3 km west Tinguto, 4 km north Tinguto Railway Station). The 57th Army attacked towards Sovetsky (to the north-west) and the 51st Army towards Kotelnikovsky (to the south). The line was broken at the junction of the 2nd and 20th Infantry Divisions and at the junction of the 1st and 18th Infantry Divisions. The Soviets advanced fast into the breaches created by the first wave, pushing the 13th Tank Corps of the 57th Soviet Army towards Saty, the 4th Mechanized Corps of the 51st Soviet Army towards Plodovitoye and later, the 4th Cavalry Corps towards Abganerovo.
The 1st Infantry Division was severely hammered and its remains were subordinated to the 4th Infantry Division. The thin line of the 2nd Infantry Division was pierced in several places and Soviet mechanized elements bypassed resistance points and by 1230 hours they had reached the division's HQ at Morisof. Broken down into small elements, some of the remaining troops were subordinated to the 18th Infantry Division and other neighboring units. The 18th Infantry Division, which held a 33 km front line, was attacked in the sector of the 90th Infantry Regiment between the Tsatsa and Sharpa Lakes and in the sector of the 18th Dorobanti Regiment on the Bol. Cheapurniky-Dubovy Ovrag direction. In danger of being encircled the Soviet 51st Army, its forces retreated towards the Aksay River. On the left flank, the link with the 20th Infantry Division was interrupted. Despite the stubborn resistance put up by the 91st Infantry Regiment and the 20th Pioneer Battalion, the Soviets broke through towards Tundutovo and Ivanovka, getting behind the division’s position. Within an hour, most of the Romanian soldiers were either dead or captured. About 30-40 men got away. The tanks reached the positions of the 40th Artillery Regiment and destroyed the 2nd Artillery Battalion. At around 1000 hours, the Soviets attacked in the center and on the left wing of the 20th Division. Out of the 1st Battalion from the 83rd Regiment, only 32 men escaped. Maj. gen. Nicolae Tataranu, the CO, managed to form a line with his reserves as he pulled back.
The situation of the 7th Corps was, however, much different. Early in the morning, the Soviets made several small-scale attacks in the sector of the 5th Cavalry Division, all of which were repulsed. In the evening, at 2100 hours, another assault on Sharnut took place, at the junction of the 7th and 8th Rosiori Regiments and a small group of 80 Soviet soldiers managed to infiltrate behind Romanian lines and to threaten the division's command point. The reserves however managed to eliminate them. The 8th Cavalry Division was taken out of the front line and moved to the Aksay area in order to reestablish the link with the 6th Corps.