The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
ATH
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Post by ATH » 02 Nov 2007 07:05

Jan-Hendrik wrote:
KG Tzschökell
Please, it is the GM Paul Tzschöckell :wink:

Jan-Hendrik
lol, noted.

While Gruppe Pfeiffer was active and defended the Bystraja-Gnilaja line in front of the oncoming Soviet 24TC, Gruppe Philipp was only forming around the core of Stab.Harko.310 in Werchne Kolzoff, south of Tatsinskaja. Its main combat group was to be G.R.579, from the overstretched 306.I.D. which was also stationed around Werchne Kolzoff.

So, around the time it was fighting to recapture Tatsinskaja, Gruppe Philipp was composed of:

Gruppe Philipp – Werchne Kolzoff
-Stab Harko 310
- Inf.Rgt.579 (9 schtz.-, 2 M.G. Kp. [ohne 1 btl. = w/o Stab I.Btl. and 4.Kp.]*)
---- Rgt.Stab, StabsKp., 9., 10., 11.Kp.:Kolzoff (23.12)
---- Stab.III.Btl., 1., 2., 3., 12.Kp.:Gorloff (23.12)
---- II.Btl. und 14.Kp.: Kolzoff (23.12)
- I./Flak 61 (3 schwere, 1 leichte Bttr.)
- 1 leichte Flak Bttr. / VIII Flieger-Korps
- 1 StuG-Bttr. / Lw.FD.8 (4 StuG)

* Stab.I.Btl. and 4.Kp. were sent northeast to Gruppe Pfeiffer either on the evening of the 23.12 or on the 24.12.

Gruppe Philipp was tasked to attack Tatsinskaja from the south (thus to recapture the aerodrome). It was subordinated to XXXXVIII.Pz.K., then directly to 11.Pz.D. for the main attack on the town, and then back to rum.AOK.3 (soon to be Armee-Gruppe Hollidt). Actually, every units attacking the town were under the command of the 11.Pz.D.

Abel Ravasz
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Post by Abel Ravasz » 17 Dec 2007 01:52

ATH,

I've just stumbled upon this topic, excellent replies, my friend! Yes, and it is quite an answer to my Pfeiffer query some years ago :D

Thanks,

Abel

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 04 Aug 2015 16:01

For the first time I see a reliable source describing condition of the Badanov's tank corps after the raid:
Image
As of 30 December 1942 2 Guards Tank Corps had 4728 men out of authorized strength equal to 7 thousand. Combat strength (in 54 Tank Brigade and 24 Motorized Brigade) was about 1500. Tank strength was 18 battle-ready T-34 and 18 battle ready T-70 out of authorized 121 T-34 and 79 T-70. Also available were 16 76-mm guns (out of 36 authorized).
On 2 January 1943 there were 2100 men in the 54 Tank Brigade and 24 Motorized Brigade of them about 1000 rated as combat personnel. There were 11 T-34, 16 T-70 and 16 76-mm guns. About 40% of authorized motor transport.
Two tank brigades (4 Guards and 130) were placed in reserve without tanks, while 54 Tank Brigade with most remaining tanks and 24 Motorized Rifle Brigade were taking part in offensive actions at Skosyrskaya.
From the battle report of the 2 Guards Tank Corps, 2 January 1943 (TsAMO RF, f.312, op.4245, d.76, l.7)
According to the corps war diary on 29 December 1942 after breakout from Tatsinskaya the tank strength was as follows:
4 Guards Tank Brigade - 32 T-34 and 20 T-70 on strength of them 4 T-34 and 4 T-70 on hand at Ilyinka, 5 T-34 and 5 T-70 in need of small to medium repair, 22 T-34 and 12 T-70 - irrecoverable losses, 1 T-34 remained on the route due to breakdown
54 Tank Brigade - 32 T-34 and 20 T-70 on strength, including:
15 T-34 and 4 T-70 on hand, 2 T-34 in need of repair, 4 T-34 and 5 T-70 - irrecoverable losses, 11 T-34 and 11 T-70 left on march
130 Tank Brigade - 32 T-34 and 20 T-70 on strength, including:
5 T-34 and 6 T-70 on hand, 3 T-34 and 1 T-70 in need of repair, 19 T-34 and 9 T-70 - irrecoverable losses, 5 T-34 and 4 T-70 - left on march
As one can calculate there were 24 T-34 and 14 T-70 battle-ready, 45 T-34 and 26 T-70 were total losses from the start of the operation.
On 31.12.42 according to the war diary
4 Guards Tank Brigade had 3 T-34 and 1 T-70 in proximity to the frontline including 2 T-34 and 1 T-70 in running order
54 Tank Brigade - 18 T-34 and 18 T-70 (all battle-ready)
130 Tank Brigade - 5 T-34 and 3 T-70 (1 T-70 in running order)
23 T-34 were unloading at the railroad station as replacement for the corps.

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 24 Dec 2015 17:24

Some more primary sources in memory of the battle's anniversary
A record of personnel and equipment strength of the 3 Guards Army as of 5 January 1943:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/dou/?docID=132353119
2 Guards Tank Corps (former 24 Tank Corps) is said to possess 4728 men, 1826 rifles, 1247 SMGs, 7 heavy, 32 medium and 81 light machine-guns, 43 mortars, 21 field and AT guns, 7 anti-aircraft guns, 48 AT rifles, 424 automobiles, 12 operational tanks and 8 armored cars.
From the record on personnel losses of the South-West Front armored formations 2 GTC (24 TC) lost in December 1942 1272 men including:
447 killed, 717 wounded, 72 missing in actions, 36 sick (TsAMO RF, f.232, op.590, d.12, l.43) Admittedly the report doesn't mention losses of attached anti-aircraft and rocket units.
Whereas some author say that the unit was virtually destroyed in the battle of Tatsinkaya (see Robert Forczyk in Osprey Raid) those archival docs show that to be an overstatement.

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 24 Dec 2015 22:20

Also tank status of the 2 Guards Tank Corps on 30 December 1942:
Total tanks on strength in three tank brigades - 96 T-34, 61 T-70
Operational on 30.12.42 - 28 T-34, 15 T-70
Losses:
a) destroyed by fire from cannons - 17 T-34, 9 T-70
b) damaged in battle - 4 T-34, 3 T-70
c) left at Tatsinkaya - 29 T-34, 17 T-70
d) left on march due to technical problems - 8 T-34, 15 T-70
e) sent for factory maintenance - 3 T-34, 1 T-70
f) undergo repair in units - 6 T-34, 3 T-70.
From after-action report of the corps (TsAMO RF f.232, op.590, d.26, l.22)

Jan-Hendrik
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 25 Dec 2015 08:55

Thank you ...and merry christmas!

Jan-Hendrik

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 14 Sep 2016 20:17

From a daily situation reports of group Hollidt's chief of staff, 28.12.42:
Image
The report lists Soviet tank losses at Tatsinskaya beginning from 24 December as 63 including 3 tanks captured. Captured materiel also included 3 armored cars, 4 field guns, 26 anti-tank guns, 50 anti-tank rifles, 32 machine guns and some trucks. 100 prisoners are said to be captured. Basically the same picture as from Soviet docs: several dozen tank lost at Tatsinskaya, but men mostly managed to get away.

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 08 Nov 2018 12:22

Some information on casualties of the 24 (2 Guards) Tank Corps from unit-level documents

4 Guards Tank Brigade - according to a causalities report lost 115 men killed, 161 wounded, 1 sick, 6 frostbites, 12 missing, 1 other, total 296 men during 16-30.12.1942
On the same day (30.12.1942) the brigade reported 698 men on strength
54 Tank Brigade - 113 men killed, 87 wounded, 1 frostbite, 3 missing, total 204 men (16-30.12.42)
130 Tank Brigade - 117 men killed, 136 wounded, 2 sick, 18 missing, total 273 men (16-18.12.1942) according to a brigade's after-action report. Battle report of 28.12.42 provides higher numbers: 202 killed, 187 wounded, 11 missing, total 400
24 Motorized Rifle Brigade - 154 killed and 269 wounded, total 432 men 16-28.12.1942. The same report gives 2182 men available on 29.12.1942.
Also 658 Anti-Aircraft Regiment attached to the corps according to its war diary lost 17 men killed, 17 wounded, and 32 missing, total 68 16-28.12.1942
All that fits rather well with about 1300 casualties in the entire corps in December 1942 (see above).

It is worth to repeat again that the statement that the corps was "nearly destroyed" in Balcks' memoirs and elsewhere doesn't correspond to actual state of affairs.

FORBIN Yves
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by FORBIN Yves » 13 Dec 2018 18:21

Very interesting battle raid and a very good book of 80 pages about it
https://ospreypublishing.com/red-christ ... -raid-1942

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 13 Dec 2018 19:56

Forczyk gives a a sound general account but is not always accurate about details. For example, highlighted parts in the abstract
Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein rapidly organized a counterattack with elements of two panzer divisions, crushing most of the raiding force between 26 and 28 December. Just before the raiding force was annihilated, it received permission to abandon its heavy equipment and escape back to Soviet lines on foot. Thus, the raiders accomplished their mission of severely disrupting the airlift to Stalingrad, but at the cost of an entire tank corps.
As demonstrated above, the corps wasn't even nearly destroyed. Also it left Tatsinkaya with all tanks and vehicles that were able to move on their own, yet those damaged and incapacitated were burnt.
That the entire idea that the event was a raid launched to sever the Stalingrad airlift is not accurate either. The plan of the operation "Saturn" was devised even before the Stalingrad pocket was closed and it primary goal was a destruction of the Italian 8 Army and a part of the Romanian 3 Army. Later it was updated to include an attack on the German 4 Panzer Army from the rear. Airfields were only an incidental targets and initially they were supposed to be harassed by motorcycle units. Only a couple of days before the "Saturn" started 24 TC received a Tatsinkaya as an attack objective. The same for 25 Tank Corps and Morozovksaya airfield. From a German perspective it was also more than a battle for possession of the airfield, but rather a part of a wider action - namely building a blocking position that protected Group Hollidt and 4 PzA from the flak and rear.

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 24 Dec 2018 22:13

Aerial image of the Tatsinkaya airfield

Image

Contours of the old airfield are still seen on modern images

Image

Art
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Re: The Raid on Tatsinskaya - Christmas 1942

Post by Art » 17 Oct 2022 20:15

The original plan of operation "Saturn" (apparently from November 1942):
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=100551859

This plan didn't relate to airfields at Tatsinskaya or Morozovskaya in any way and the planned line to be reached on the 8th day of the operation was quite far from both airfields.

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