Krasny Bor Battle

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tigre
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 24 Jan 2010 14:08

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

The Soviets.

By 1943 the Red Army was already a formidable war machine. Before Moscow, in 1941, and the Volga River banks, in 1942, had known to stop and to humiliate to a Wehrmacht that until then did not know the meaning of the word defeats. By the dates of the battle of Krasny Bor its moral was as high as the clouds: the victory in Stalingrado had been completed and their troops advanced by very many sectors. Luckyly, neither Govorov (Commander of the Front) nor Sviridov (Commander of 55º Army), appear between the great Soviet generals. Straits of minds, Govorov (of whom their staff officers said that he had shopkeeper mentality) as much as Sviridov, were incapable to assimilate the instructions sent by the Stavka and therefore in the end they managed to launch something like a powerful local offensive, in spite of the amplitude of assets given to them.

From September of 1941 to February of 1943, many of the men who would go to attack the Spaniards had been 16 months in a fixed front, without taking part in nothing of more importance than a nigh raid. It was the case of the 72ª Rifle Division, under Colonel Iastrebov, which was sent against the Reserve Battalion 250º - to breach its front and, to a lesser extent, against the III./ IR 262 - to fix it in its positions. Composed by the Rifle Regiments 14º, 133º and 187º, along with the 9º of Artillery, the unit had been recruited originally in Leningrad.

The Eastern end was for another quite anodyne unit, the 43ª Rifle Division under Colonel Sinkevich, composed by the Rifle Regiments 65º, 147º and 708º, along with the 162º of Artillery. It had to beat the I./ IR 262, although also it would operate against the Germans. The Rifle Regiments 147º and 65º would take the task of fixing the 4 SS Division Polizei in their positions, whereas the 708º (reinforced by a Battalion of the 65º) would be the one which mounted the assault against the Spaniards.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 29 Jan 2010 00:47

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

The Soviets (last part).

Between both Infantry Divisions was deployed the unit which had to assume the weight of the main strike, the 63ª Guards Division. But in the sake of the truth we must say that it had reached such status exactly the previous month. Until that date it had been simply 136ª Rifle Division, but since it did an outstanding work in the operations due south of the Ladoga Lake it was given that prize, that also implied changes in the number of its subordinate units. The Division originally did not belong to the 55º Army, but it was one of the shock units maintained as reserve by the Front of Leningrad. Its three Guards Regiments (269º, 270º and 342º), along with the armored force which would stand by its side, had to erase the Spanish IIº/262 of the Earth’s face.

The other Guards unit which was going to operate, the 45º Division, under General Krasnov, had reached such status something before, in September of 1942. Even then it had been the 70ª Rifle Division. The Division did not belong either originally to the 55º Army, but was transferred to it shortly before the offensive by the 67º Army. In theory, this Division, which counted with the Guards Regiments 129º, 131º and 134º, plus the 96º of the Guards Artillery, would not take place in the rupture, but to exploit it.

Also would be part of the operation, the Skiers Brigades 34º and 35º, whereas the armored component would be represented by elements of the 31º Armored Regiment, for the breakthrough and the 222ª Armored Brigade for the exploitation phase.

The maneuver designed by Sviridov was clear. The famous General Simoniak, supported by heavy tanks, would attack frontally to make the breach in Krasny Bor. Their flanks would be covered by the Rifle Divisions 72ª and 43ª. Hardly consolidated that rupture, Krasnov would conduct the battle with his forces to advance towards the Tosna, while Simoniak continued quickly towards Sablino-Ulianovka and the Divisions 72ª and 43ª extended their attack in flanks.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 01 Feb 2010 21:00

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Black Wednesday. The attack.

On February 10 of 1943 at 06: 45 hours, the feared artillery attack had begun, one " storm of steel", was unleashed on the three Spanish Battalions through which it was wanted to breach the front (Iº/262, IIº/262 and Reserve 250º), perfectly comparable to the densities reached in some mythical battles like the one of Verdún. In some of the Spanish Companies the artillery fire caused until an 80 percent of losses and the average rate was of the 50 percent.

At 07:15 hours the Soviet aviation made its appearance: 30 bombers and 20 fighters (of a little more than 100 airplanes which the 13º Soviet Aerial Army of General Rybalichenko had sent against the L German Army Corps that day) attacked the objectives that the artillery had not managed to destroy in the sector of the Spaniards.

For the breakthrough operations, the Soviets had used throughout 1941 and first half of 1942 a gun each 14 meters. In second half of 1942 increased to a gun each 8 meters. In 1944 it had been reached the number of a piece each 4 meters. And in the battle of Berlin, in 1945, they had a piece every 2,6 meters.

Therefore around 08:00 hours, General Esteban-Infantes issued the order to the first reserve, which had been constituted with elements of 263º Regiment (two Companies of its I. Battalion, quartered already in Federovskoye since Feb 08 of 1943), to move towards the threatened sector, whereas he himself, with the Ops Officer of his General Staff, Comandante (Major) Manuel Andean García, and the Intelligence Officer, Comandante (Major) Jose Alemany Vich, started off for the advanced CP which had settled down in Raikolovo.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 08 Feb 2010 00:36

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Infantry’s Assault.

At 08: 40 hours, after two hours of hammering, the Soviet artillery ceased to crush the defense's forward edge and it lengthened his fire: the assault began. The unit which was going to take the weight of the assault, the 63ª Guards Division, was harangued by its Commander, General Simoniak. From the departure point to Krasny Bor, the men of Simoniak had to advance 3 km. The day was going to be a long one, since it would be necessary to advance up to Sablino-Ulianovka and that supposed almost 15 kilometers, but the Russian soldiers trusted that it would begin of the best way.

At 07: 45 hours, the first echelon of assault of General Simoniak’s Division, left its positions in the second line, in order to occupy its assault positions. With surprise, the Soviet soldiers accused an intense fire of the Spanish machine guns on their flank, coming from locations on the foot of the slope of the railroad, which caused an unexpected number of losses to them. But their moral was not altered and they charged with confidence. The assault of the tanks and the infantry were simultaneous on all the Companies of the Battalions Iº/262, IIº/262 and Reserve 250º (called Aunt Bernarda).

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 14 Feb 2010 19:53

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Annihilating the MLR.

For the Soviet, the elimination the I./262 was vital for two reasons: in order to leave open the flank of 4ª SS Division and to reject it of the positions throughout the embankment of the railroad (here attacked the 708 Rifle Regiment reinforced with one battalion of the 65 Rifle Regiment of the 43º Rifle Division and 25 tanks).

The 2ª/262 of captain Muñoz was almost immediately split of the rest of the Battalion. The Company of Skiers 250ª was sent to close the breach and to restore the liaison with Muñoz, but in its movement this unit was attacked by the enemy aviation, which inflicted serious casualties to them. Its captain, Gómez de Salazar, was severely wounded (one of his leg had to be amputated) and his soldiers had to fall back in the direction of the neighbor 4ª SS Division.

The 1ª/262 (captain Losada) and the 3ª/262 (captain Huidobro), both deployed on the embankment of the railroad, suffered still more. Captain Losada, with a really exceptional value and a skill controlled the battle until he fell dead. The enemy pressure was so strong that its front yielded: it was the first breach opened in the lines of 1ª/262.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 20 Feb 2010 16:31

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The history of the 3ª/262 was something different; the compact enemy masses which attacked its position knocked against the disciplined fire of the arms of Huidobro. In the second enemy assault, the Soviets entered into its lines, and a ferocious hand-to-hand combat ensued. When the captain fell, around 10:00 hours in the morning, the lieutenant Altura, took over the command and still maintained the resistance sometime more. At this moment, the 3ª/262 had received a new “barrage" of artillery and was attacked from the E. (rear) by the 43ª Rifle Division, which already had broken the neighboring lines, and from the W. by the 63ª Guards Division; most of them (the spaniards) were taken prisoners.

The crew members of the pieces of 75 mm belonging to the 13ª/262 attached to this Battalion destroyed their pieces when the company ran out of ammunition. The tank destroyer under Captain Diaz Cuñado, of the 2ª/Antitank 250, little could do with their little guns of 37 mm against the Soviet steel colossuses which had broken the lines. After fighting hard to avoid that the cannons fell into the hands of the enemy (Diaz Cuñado himself was seriously wounded) it was decided to destroy them and some survivors fell back towards the PC of the Iº/262.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 27 Feb 2010 14:31

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

As far as the CP of the Battalion hardly it could make another thing that to regroup the men of its Companies who had arrived there and to withdraw with them while fighting towards the south, following the railway line, towards the station of Popovka.

The same happened to 1./Pi. 250 of captain Nadal. Also it was surprised by the Soviet avalanche and the attempt to restrain it, organizing two pockets of resistance, was very expensive in blood and in the end it was impossible to hold.

Colonel Sagrado ordered to the 3./AA.250 of captain Domínguez Manjón that advanced towards the north along the route to reinforce the I. Battalion. He was useless. The whirlwind of Soviet forces that had entered through the positions of 1./262 of Losada overwhelmed it. To all the effects, the Iº/262 had ceased to exist.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 06 Mar 2010 12:34

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The IIº/262.

Against the men of Comandante Payeras' battalion, went to the attack the 63ª Guards Division of general Simoniak, with a very clear mission: to seize Krasny Bor itself quickly since the effective control of this locality would allow the Russians to advance towards the south, to Ulianovka, and the East, towards Nikolskoye.

All the attempts of the Iº/AR 250 to restrain the Soviet infantry before the lines of the IIº/262 were useless, wave after wave, the three Rifle Regiments of the 63ª Guards Division, continued their assault. The 6ª/262, in center of the deployment of Payeras, underwent serious losses in the artillery attack and its captain, Iglesia, died soon after beginning the enemy assault. This was the point by where the Soviets secured his first rupture in the sector of the IIº/262. The very little survivors ended up going towards the positions of the neighboring unit by the W., the 7ª/262 of Captain Campos.

This Company had had the fortune of not suffering so serious losses in the artillery barrage and was carrying out an energetic defense. Nevertheless, the breach open in its flank by the destruction of the 6ª/262 sealed the luck of the 7ª/262: Campos was attacked from the N., but also from the E. and the S. Finally also he and his men had to fall back towards the W. where it was the mass of the 8ª/262 of Captain Arozarena. In the Eastern end of the dispositive of Payeras still remained alive a very energetic resistance, carried out by the rest of the 5ª/262 of Captain Palacios.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by Armia Krajowa » 15 Mar 2010 13:43


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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 16 Mar 2010 02:12

Hello to all :D; thanks for that complement Armia Krajowa :wink:. More follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The IIº//262.

One hour after of launching the assault of its infantry, the 63ª Guards Division informed to the High Command that already it had reached Krasny Bor and it was heading towards the southern limit of the town, although it was a too optimistic official notice. One of the victims of the irruption was Lieutenant Colonel Ascarza, head of the Spanish artillery in the whole sector of Krasny Bor, who was killed together with almost all the officers of his Staff.

But, even so, Simoniak had been mistaken when announcing so soon his victory; also in this sector Colonel Sagrado arranged a counterattack. He ordered to 2º/Explo. 250, of Captain Andújar, that advanced as quickly as possible towards the Payeras’ CP to help him to seal the breach in his rows. Leaving two of his Platoons with the Commander, Andújar turned westwards with the rest. He could release a group of Spanish prisoners just caught, but the enemy pressure blocked further advance; when returning towards the CP of Payeras he found the commander was seriously wounded. The heroic battalion commander was evacuated immediately and would be sent to the Spanish Military Hospital of Riga, where he would die a month later as a result of those wounds.

Captain Andújar, mutilated of the Civil War, was wounded by enemy fire and was laying in the ground. In order to finish him off, the Soviet attackers attacked him with machete blows. But a group of his men improvised a counterattack, rescued his captain and evacuated him as best as they could. Together with Captain Andújar, was necessary to register the loss of Lieutenant Marchesi, due serious wounds, whereas Lieutenant Durán fell killed in action.

Also the IIº/262 seemed to have ceased to exist. But on its Eastern end, Captain Palacios with a handful of his men stayed alive, being contiguous to other miraculous survivors, the men of Huidobro. The Soviets attacked that bend of the Spanish lines with all means: artillery, aviation, etc. But Palacios resisted, around 15:30 hours, Captain Palacios, one of his officers, 14 NCOs and soldiers still unharmed and 21 wounded fell into the the enemy hands.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 23 Mar 2010 01:08

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The Reserve Battalion 250.

The luck of the Reserve Battalion 250º was not going to be less terrible. It was deployed cutting the highway of Leningrad-Moscow and was evident that the Soviets would try to release that route. This one was the unique sector where the Spanish lines were something more than a tenuous line of infantry, since Captain Miranda, Commanding Officer of the Battalion, had put in forward edge the 2ª/Res. 250 (Ulzurrun) and the 3ª/Res. 250 (Oroquieta), maintaining the 1ª/Res. 250 (Auba) like maneuvering force and the 4ª/Res. 250 (Anda) in positions to the rear to furnish support with its heavy weapons of infantry.

After the demolishing action of its artillery, the 72ª Soviet Rifle Division, whereas one of its Regiments fixed the IIIº/262 of captain García Calvo to its positions, went on to the offensive against the Reserve Battalion 250º with the mass of its force and with tank support. The attack was repulsed with serious own losses, but successfully, by the 3ª/Res. 250 of Oroquieta.

However, in the neighboring sector, the Russians broke through the line of the 2ª/Res. 250 of Ulzurrun in spite of its brave defense (Ulzurrun was wounded from the beginning of the combat). This Company fell back towards the Ishora, but the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Miranda, led himself a counterattack carried out by the 1ª/Res. 250 and the rest of the 2ª/Res. 250. The action was settled with a bloody drain for the Spaniards. Miranda and Ulzurrun fell during its development, while Auba was wounded. Actually, the front of the Reserve battalion 250º was broken and only the 3ª/Res. 250 (reinforced by one of the Platoons of the 1ª/Res. 250) remained in its positions.

Like in both previous cases, the reserves located in the rear of the sector tried to seal the breach. The 1º/Expl. 250 of the Lieutenant Rey launched a counterattack with such aim, but suffering to many losses, among them the lieutenant himself who was seriously wounded (Lieutenant Gavilán took command, until Captain Ortega, commander of the unit could reincorporate to his command post) and the death in combat of the lieutenant García Estepa. Finally the Squadron had to fall back towards the great meander of the Ishora.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 31 Mar 2010 17:44

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The Reserve Battalion 250.

The breakthrough in the front of the Reserve Batalion 250º and the failure of the Spanish counterattack, allowed the enemy to send its vanguards towards the Ishora. The most favorable points to cross it were in the great meander where the Factory of Paper was placed and in Stararia-Mysa and Sansonovka, two villages located one against another on either banks of the river.

The enemy attack was not limited to the sector of the Factory of Paper, where it was trying to take the IIIº/262 by its rear, but also it was intense more to the south, in Sansonovka, where was located the CP of the Leader of the Subsector, Araujo, who also sent to the battle his last reserve: the Assault Platoon of the regiment, which was fitted in the 15ª/262, that was sent against the enemy forces which advanced still further to the south, towards Podolovo. The sacrifice of this unit reflected in the death in combat of its leader, Lieutenant Rico, could not stop the offensive either . The rest of the 15ª/262 of Captain Ortíz, on the other hand, had to engage fully to contain the enemy before the village of Sansonovka.

It seemed that in this sector the Spanish front had been crushed. Nevertheless, with incredible obstinacy, Oroquieta remained in his positions in the forward edge. This epic defense continued until the night fell. His sacrifice had not been sterile. On one hand they had restrained the enemy advance much more time of the imaginable; besides, they had blocked the advance of the enemy whom tried to cross the Ishora.

By comparison, the IIIº/262 escaped relatively undamaged.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 08 Apr 2010 23:32

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The Reserve Battalion 250.

A bastion in the highway.

In the zone of contact between the Reserve battalion 250º and the IIº/262 was organized one zone more fortified than the rest, well-known as " The Bastión", manned by the men of the 8ª/262 of Arozarena and some antitank elements. On February 08 it had been deployed, connecting with "The Bastión", the 3ª/Zapad. 250 of Captain Aramburu (in fact, two of its Platoons). Surprisingly, during the bombing of day 10, as much the positions of Arozarena as those of Aramburu received less punishment than those of their neighbors. On the other hand, the heroic sacrifice of the forward edge caused that the Soviets arrived before those spanish positions already worn away.

When no longer they waited for more resistance they met head on with the 8ª/262 and the 3ª/Zapad. 250, which disturbed them totally. The first frontal attack against this Spanish group was registered in the morning around 10:00 hours. This discontinuous attack allowed that captain Campos, with the rest of his 7ª/262 and some elements of the 6ª/262 and 5ª/262 reached the positions of Arozarena and Aramburu. Shortly after, the position was also surrounded indeed by the south and all contact with the rest of the Blue Division was lost. But as the Bastion had resisted, the enemy was forced, actually, to turn aside from one of his main axes of advance.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 15 Apr 2010 21:15

Hello to all :D; more follows.......................

Annihilating the MLR.

The Reserve Battalion 250.

A bastion in the highway.

When the night fell (that is to say, around 15:30 hours) a handful of soldiers from Oroquieta arrived at the position; they informed on the extreme situation in which his unit was. As soon as it grew dark it was tried to connect with the surrounded 3ª/Res. 250, from the positions of Aramburu but without success.

Finally, around 22:00 hours, the three captains present there, Aramburu, Arozarena and Campos, held a meeting and decided that the assigned mission could be given as fulfilled, so the moment had arrived for saving the men trying to reach the own lines. At 00:40 hours of the day 11 and the luck accompanied to this group of almost 200 Spanish soldiers (rest of the Companies 5ª, 7ª and 8ª of the 262, 3ª/Reser. 250 and 3ª/Zapad. 250). The spaniards had taken advantage of dark and the fact that the Russians had not consolidated their positions yet, in order to withdraw towards Sablino; after marching aside Krasny Bor, they could reach their own lines at 06:30 hours of the day 11.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Krasny Bor Battle

Post by tigre » 23 Apr 2010 18:47

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The Soviets begin to pay for their errors.

After beating off the forward edge, the battle of Krasny Bor entered in its second phase, with two “fronts”, so to speak. One front was to be established along the Ishora. Another was, the new line which the spaniards tried to establish in the town of Krasny Bor and the nearby villages due southeast.

The Soviet attack already was lost its tempo. The bloody assault carried out against the first line had been the first reason for the delay. The Soviets had taken little advantage to their armored vehicles. Their tanks, even the lightest, had not problems with the Spaniards anti-tanks, whose shots did not affect to them. Only Cantalapiedra (with his 3ª/Antitanq. 250) could put out of action five of them, shooting at almost to point-blank, in the acess to Krasny VOR along the highway Leningrad-Moscow. The antitank guns "borrowed" by the 2ª Brigade SS and manned by personnel of the Legion SS Norway, was not so lucky, because the pieces were surrounded by the hostile infantry before being able to fight itself against the cars. The Norwegian officer who led this Antitank Platoon, "SS Untersturmführer" Lundemo fell in the battle.

Spontaneously, between the 11:00 and the 12:00 hours, the officers whom had had their CP in Krasny Bor began to organize an unexpected line of containment. But the decisive action would be the one accomplished by two other officers, the Majors Reinlein (CO of Iº/Art. 250) and Bellod (CO of Combat engineers 250º), who organized improvised battle groups that sent themselves to a desperate counterattack in order to expel the enemy infantry from Krasny Bor. The Russian were disturbed and withdrew themselves some hundreds of meters towards the north to reorganize its force.

Sources: Morir en Rusia. La División Azul en Krasny Bor.
http://members.libreopinion.com/ch1492/ ... u_div.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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