Operation Wintergewitter

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 28 Jan 2019 17:26

After-action report of the 216 Cavalry Regiment about the battle for Verkhne-Yablocniy
After retreating from Pokhlebin the 216 Cavalry Regiment bivouacked at Nizhne-Yablochniy where it underwent reorganization. By the order of the divisional staff a training squadron was incorporated into the regiment.
As of 7.12.42 the regiment had 462 men, and 362 horses. Armament: 2 medium machine guns, 6 light machine guns, 4 mortars, 2 AT guns, 1 regimental gun, 6 anti-tank rifles, 40 PPSh, 340 rifles.
On 6.12.42 the regiment received an order of the divisional staff to march to Verkhne-Yablochniy and assume defense there.

After arriving to Verkhne-Yablochniy the regiment assumed all-around anti-tank defense.
From 7 to 12.12.42 the regiment received attachments: 5 medium and 3 light tanks, 45-mm anti-tank battery with mechanized traction of the 55 Tank Regiment, anti-tank squadron of the 4 Cavalry Corps with 8 AT rifles, and 7 light machine guns, a tank destroyer battalion, part of which arrived at 5.00 12.12.42 having 110 men and 42 AT rifles.
The defense center of the regiment was Verkhne-Yablochniy village. Its strong points: on the right wing a point 67.2 was occupied by the 1 squadron, consisting of 49 men, 1 AT gun, 2 AT rifles, 1 light machine gun. 2nd strongpoint on the left wing at point 62.4 was occupied by a platoon of the 3rd squadron, having 25 men, 1 AT gun, 1 AT rifle, 1 light machine gun.
The forward defense line was running 1.5-2 km south of Verkhne-Yablochniy in the direction of the road to Kotelnikovo having a fire support from strong points and was occupied by the anti-tank squadron, 4 platoons of tank destroyer battalion with 32 AT rifles.
Anti-tank means were supported by two platoons of the 3rd squadron, and 2 medium and 4 light machine guns.
Attached tanks were deployed at southern and northern edges in dugouts as static weapons with all-around field of fire and supported with their fire strong points and defense positions of the regiment.
2nd squadron with attached three tank-destroyer platoons assumed defense north of Verkhne-Yablochniy in the direction of the road to Generalovskiy, sands.
2nd line of defense was on the southern edge of Verkhne-Yablochniy
Reserve consisted of a submachine gun platoon and an AT rifle platoon.

At 8.00 12.12 19 hostile bombers attacked Verkhne-Yablochniy from the south-east to north-west, dropping 60 bombs and inflicting heavy losses to horses of the regiment. At 9.00 8 hostile airplanes repeated the bombing attack, dropping 30 bombs and strafing the village with machine guns.
Simultaneously hostile motorized infantry and 25 tanks appeared 5 km south of Verkhne-Yablochniy at the grader road.
Infantry dismounted and deployed in combat formations, positioned mortars and opened fire on defense positions from mortars and artillery.
Hostile reserves approached every minute, concentrating on the aforementioned positions in three columns, each consisting of 30 trucks.
At 9.30 from the point 94.5 an enemy column with 50 tanks and 30 trucks approached the strongpoint at the point 62.4 and started an attack. Simultaneously an attack was started by the infantry from the south along the grader road.
The second column with up to 60 tanks from the north-east direction crossed the Yablochnaya ravine started to bypass the village from the north detaching columns with infantry carried on tanks along the road to Generalovsky.
Right of the point 67.2 a hostile column of 30 tanks with infantry reached the road to Nizhne-Yablochniy, halted, and opened cannon, machine gun and automatic fire on the village.

Strong points and the forward defense line checked enemy attack until 12.00, and in view of enemy superiority in material and firepower by the regimental commander’s order they started a planned withdrawal by platoons to the main line of defense along the southern edge of the village.
Communication with defending units was carried out by telephone and duplicated by messengers. Telephone communication with the divisional staff worked until 11.30 and with the corps staff until 12.30 without interruptions, at the time indicated it was severed by hostile tanks.
Situation was systematically reported to the corps and divisional staffs, and the regimental commander requested support which was promised to him.
At 13.00 2 medium tanks of the 85 Tank Brigade arrived for liaison from the 227 Cavalry Regiment, regiment’s situation was reported to their commander, and the regimental commander asked to convey the situation and a request for support to the divisional commander.

The enemy subjected defense positions to a hurricane artillery and mortar fire, which was adjusted by 3 observation airplanes and continuously dropped bombs from 4 airplanes. At 14.00 the enemy owing to his superiority in material and firepower encircled the regiment with a ring of tanks, infantry and automatic gunners, showing targets to his weapons from airplanes.
At 14.30 the regiment’s commander gave an order to break contact and break through the enemy ring toward Niznhe Yablochniy along the Yablochnaya ravine.
When breakout was organized the enemy unleashed strong artillery, mortar, machine gun and automatic fire at the command post, and the staff had to divide into two groups.
The regimental commander colonel G.G. Goncharov, chief of staff captain Abakshin, chief of communications lieutenant Sal’nikov went to the sector of the 3 squadron, where they united retreating groups of the 3rd squadron, crossed the river, and went along the ravine toward the point 67.2.
The second group with political deputy commander major Ishimnikov, regimental chief of reconnaissance lieutenant Markevich, assistant chief of divisional staff captain Pogorelov, assistant chief of staff lieutenant Sinitsyn went to the sector of the 1st squadron and tried to break out to the west along Yablochnaya ravine.
Since hostile airplanes constantly patrolled in the air, and tanks and infantry were guarding all exits from the village, and sufficient weapons to break the ring of encirclement were lacking, all elements of the regiment were forced to escape to hideouts, using terrain covers for concealment.
A group commanded by the regiment’s commander which consisted of 30 men was hiding in a ravine 300 meters from the village. With onset of darkness they started to seek an escape route and only at 3.00 13.12.42 they managed to infiltrate through the hostile security line and escape to Niznhe-Yablochniy and then to Ostrovksiy where it organized elements and groups escaping from encirclement.

The regiment started battle hostile against tanks and infantry at 9.30, and used its material and firepower to the utmost and carried out the order of the division’s staff to defend Verkhne-Yablochniy. The battle continued until 15.00, as a result hostile 14 tanks and 8 automobiles were burnt down and knocked out, and large casualties were inflicted to personnel.
As a result of the battle the regiment has the following losses: personnel – 377 missing in action, 362 horses, 302 rifles, 27 PPSh, 6 AT rifles, 6 light machine guns, 3 50-mm mortars, 2 DShK, 2 medium machine guns, 2 AT guns, 1 regimental guns. Despite hostile superiority in material and personnel the regiment carried out the division’s staff order and heroically defended its positions to the last round.

Regiment’s commander colonel Goncharov
Chief of staff captain Abakumov
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450676046

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Mr.No one
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 29 Jan 2019 16:03

Art wrote:
28 Jan 2019 17:26
After-action report of the 216 Cavalry Regiment about the battle for Verkhne-Yablocniy
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450676046

Hi Art,

Thank you very much for providing your translation of this detailed and interesting report!

Cheers,
Sean
Believe in truth!

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 09 Feb 2019 17:36

Please i remenber a member talking about weather, temperature on the Eastern Front seems we have a topic for it where i can find it ?

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 10 Feb 2019 10:20

viewtopic.php?f=55&t=71938
A thaw in the first week of December was one of the reasons for delaying the operation.

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 10 Feb 2019 11:02

Art wrote:
10 Feb 2019 10:20
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=71938
A thaw in the first week of December was one of the reasons for delaying the operation.
Thank you for your help !

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 10 Feb 2019 13:30

Weather

Up to 23/12 end of the offensive, 24/12 6th Pz Division the more powerful is retired and Soviets troops went on the offensive in the general direction of Kotelnikovo they take the 29/12 with the 7th Tank Corps.

Not too cold for this area especialy first days, snow about 20 cms but icy roads was a problem for wheeled vehicles and less but also for tracked vehicles

Températures during the day maximum.

12/12 : Weather clear, Temperature -5°C
13/12 : Weather clear, Temperature -2°C
14/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature +2°C
15/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature +2°C
16/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -7°C
17/12 : Weather clear, Temperature -12°C
18/12 : Weather clear, Temperature -10°C
19/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -7°C
20/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -4°C
21/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -5°C
22/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -2°C
23/12 : Weather cloudy, Temperature -3°C

Source : Stalingrad Battle Atlas: Volume IV, Operation Winter Storm

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 12 Feb 2019 18:29

Art wrote:
10 Feb 2019 10:20
A thaw in the first week of December was one of the reasons for delaying the operation.
From the evening situation report of the Army Group don, 5 December
Due to bad weather (terrain is completely impassible) a breakthrough toward the 6 Army is at the present time impossible. On the other hand movement of Russian motorized formations is also strongly hindered.
...
Continuing bad weather is the reason why by today's experience any movement of motorized troops is impossible.
http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phocaga ... l_0302.jpg
http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phocaga ... l_0303.jpg

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 12 Feb 2019 22:42

Very good sadly in German :) indeed German offensive was initialy justely planned the 5 December but not only weather problem because also the 23rd Panzer in transit from the Caucasus is not arrived and even the 12 not completely.
BTW in more with 2nd Guards Army arriving in reinforcement for the Germans to have a real chance of success it would have been necessary to have the 12/12 the 17th Panzer and surely also 16 ID Motorized to Elista replaced by 444 or 454 Security Divisions the more close units disponible low nut normaly sufficient with a small 28th Army in Elista area.

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 13 Feb 2019 08:30

Hello

on December 12, 1942, what units of the 23rd Armored Division were available to take part in the German offensive ??
do we know the details of the arrival days of the different units of this armored division?

thank you

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 13 Feb 2019 16:50

From records of the HG Don - as of 13 December 2 trains carrying tracked vehicles (Stug Abteilung) were still absent as well as 6 trains of the service elements of the division. On the same day 6 PzD had the combat echelon fully concentrated, the service echelon still had 2 trains missing:
http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phocaga ... l_1021.jpg
As follows from the same folder many combat elements of the 23 PzD arrived virtually in the last minute. For example, elements arriving on 11 December:
http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phocaga ... l_1136.jpg

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 13 Feb 2019 17:21

marthus wrote:
13 Feb 2019 08:30
Hello

on December 12, 1942, what units of the 23rd Armored Division were available to take part in the German offensive ??
do we know the details of the arrival days of the different units of this armored division?

thank you
Good question :) i think the Gepanzerte KG with 201th Pz Rgt to 2 Bns, the I/126 Mech Bn ( II/126 stand was down before ) the Recc Bn, one Artillery Bnand some engineer etc... about 50 %

I have see the part which don't attack have difficulties to cross Aksai and arrive at the end of the day the 12/12 but possible a part arrive only the 13.
I don't have yet all read maybe i discover later.

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 13 Feb 2019 17:30

13/12 6th Panzer cross Aksai 8-) tanks on a boats bridge because the river is not enough frozen
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dgfred
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by dgfred » 13 Feb 2019 17:57

Nice pics... have not seen those before.

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 13 Feb 2019 20:03

Status of the 23 PzD was described previously:
viewtopic.php?p=1977092#p1977092

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 14 Feb 2019 08:35

there are very few pictures on this wintergetwitter operation, but in view of the importance of this operation, there must have been German photographic reporters with the 57 PZK?

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