Operation Wintergewitter

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Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 08 Nov 2015 07:58

charles.sumpter wrote:I am also trying to run down the particular organization and strength of the Soviet 235th flame tank brigade.
A directive from the RKKA Main Auto Tank Directorate to the Stalingrad Front, 13 October 1942
A brigade of flame tanks is going to your disposal.
Brigade's organization:
Headquarters
Tank battalion of KV-8
Tank battalion of KV-8, T-O34 (2 in the brigade)
Headquarters company
Technical service company
Total tanks - 59:
KV-8 - 36,
T-O34 - 18,
T-34 - 3
Then follow instruction on combat employment of flame tanks. The documents quoted by A. Ardashev and S.Fedoseyev ("Combat employment of Soviet flame tanks")
As follows from original documents by the start of "Uranus" one tank battalion (506) was in action in Stalingrad with a part of its tanks. By the end of November 1942 several tanks that were not ferried over Volga joined the main forces of the 235 TBr, the remaining part of the battalion stayed at Stalingrad.

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Mr.No one
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 10 Nov 2015 07:55

Art wrote:Thanks.
Mr.No one wrote: Gefechtsstärke Pz.Rgt. 11
That must mean 201?
This report did not document the state of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 128, Pz.Pi.Btl. 51 and Pz.Jäg.Abt. 128, as they had not yet arrived.
Any info when they completed arrival? Why no mention of the motorcycle battalion except one company?
Yeah, obviously Pz.Rgt. 201 :)

I am actually not sure about the Kradabteilung, couldn't really find one in the Gliederung for 1st December...

Sean
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Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 17 Nov 2015 20:12

To give some boost for the topic report on strength of combat units of the Stalingrad Front on 10.12.1942:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/dou/?docID=113076428
a more detailed report listing strength of combat units of the 51 Army on the same date:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/dou/?docID=113076432
Total in the army 25 845 men, 511 machine guns, 369 mortars, 120 field, 99 anti-tank, 64 anti-aircraft guns, 346 AT rifles, 75 tanks. What attracts attention is that of 5 divisions in the army all were not more than reinforced regiments. 302 Rifle Division with 4000 men and 18 field guns was the strongest one.
However many additional units were committed after a start of German offensive.

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 18 Nov 2015 08:16

Hello Art

Soviet citizen on 10/12/42 at least can you give us the translation of the picture(board) concerning the state of the 51th Army has what correspond numberings from 2 to 10 thank you

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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 18 Nov 2015 08:21

Art

Can you make the same thing for the Russian armed forces for them
N 3 in 11?

Thank you

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 18 Nov 2015 09:28

Doc 1:
Column 2 - armies
Column 3 - total men
4 - total rifles
5 - machine guns all types
6 - sub-machine guns
7 - mortars all types
8 - Field guns/AA guns
9 - AT guns
10 - AT rifles
11 - Tanks all types/ light tanks
Lines are self-descriptive except 7 - units under Front HQ, 8 - rocket units attached to armies
Doc 2:
Column 1 - Units
Column 2 - total men
3 - total rifles
4 - machine guns all types
5 - sub-machine guns
6 - mortars all types
7 - Field guns
8 - AT guns
9 - AT rifles
10 - Tanks all types/ light tanks

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 18 Nov 2015 13:08

Thank you very much Art

Cordially

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 18 Nov 2015 18:26

Some more: an attempt to calculate tank strength immediately available to counter the German offensive, numbers from relevant combat reports.
In 51 Army:
13 Tank (Mechanized) Corps (11 December): 17 Mechanized Brigade - 4 T-34, 5 T-70 (including 1 T-34 and 2 T-70 in minor repair), 62 Mechanized Brigade - 6 T-34, 5 T-70 operational, 44 Tank Regiment - 21 T-34, 16 T-34 operational
13 Tank Brigade with attached 139 Tank Regiment (11 Dec) - 22 T-34, 13 T-70 operational, 1 T-34, 3 T-70 in repair
254 Tank Brigade (11 Dec) - 4 T-34, 2 T-70, 6 T-60, 4 T-26, 4 T-20, total 20 on strength. Of them 1 T-26 operational
85 Tank Brigade (attached to 4 Cavalry Corps, 10 Dec) - 2 KV, 8 T-34, 14 T-70
In other commands:
4 Mechanized Corps in the 5 Shock Army by 12.12.42. Tank strength on the evening of 12Dec: 44 T-34, 50 T-70 operational, 37 T-34 and 29 T-70 in need of repair, 36 T-34 and 8 T-70 - irrevocable losses (apparently counting from 20 November)
235 Tank Brigade in the 57 Army. 12 Dec: 31 KV and 17 T-34 on strength, 28 KV and 16 T-34 operational (KV and T-34 are mostly flame models)
234 Tank Regiment with 57 Army. 12 Dec: 23 T-34, 16 T-70 on strength, 21 T-34 and 14 T-70 operational.

charles.sumpter
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by charles.sumpter » 18 Nov 2015 19:25

Thank you Art, just fantastic infomation. I was reading through your Russian web links. I don't know Russian, but know some military terms and I can manage through cyrillic. Question re 491, 492 and 1246: "AP" = AT Regiment?
(The pi letter is 'P' for "Polk" I guess). Other questions: 80 "GMD" a katusha unit? and 125th -- motars, rockets? Thanks a bunch.
Charles

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 18 Nov 2015 19:33

charles.sumpter wrote:Question re 491, 492 and 1246: "AP" = AT Regiment?
Anti-tank artillery regiments
Other questions: 80 "GMD" a katusha unit?
That's a typo, must be 80 GMP - 80 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers)
125th -- motars, rockets?
125 Mortar Regiment (120-mm mortars)

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Mr.No one
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 19 Nov 2015 17:56

Thanks a lot for the links and your collection of information on the tank strength of 51st Army, Art! It is much appreciated. It is incredible and wonderful that so much Soviet material has been uploaded to Pamyat-Narody. Take the tank strengths for example: It is now possible to compare the tank strength on both sides of the front line on a daily basis :)

I believe that Red Army documentation has sometimes been criticized for not being thorough enough, primarily regarding statistical information... The above-mentioned documents clearly stand in contrast to this claim.

Regards,
Sean
Believe in truth!

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Mr.No one
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Mr.No one » 19 Nov 2015 19:30

Correlation of Operational Tanks at the Outset of Operation Wintergewitter

German Forces, LVII. Panzer-Korps

11th December 1942

6. Panzer-Division: 19 Pz. II, 29 Pz. III K, 63 Pz. III L, 23 Pz. IV L, 4 Pz.Bef.Wg. = 138

23. Panzer-Division: 13 Pz. II, 18 Pz. III K, 26 Pz. III L, 12 Pz. IV K, 26 Pz. IV L, 2 Pz.Bef.Wg. = 97

Total Einsatzbereiten Panzern = 235

Soviet Forces, 51st Army

13. Mechanized Corps (12th December 1942): 28 T-34, 21 T-70 = 49 (57 on 11/12)

254th Tank Brigade (11th December 1942): 1 T-26 = 1 (?)

85th Tank Brigade (10th December 1942): 2 KV, 8 T-34, 14 T-70 = 24

Total Tanks Operational = 74

This number equals perfectly the often mentioned number of operational tanks of 51st Army as being 77.

It is thus clear that LVII. Panzer-Korps possessed a significant numerical superiority in tanks at the outset of Operation Wintergewitter, 235 tanks versus around 74; this means a superiority of 3-1. In addition, a larger proportion of 51st Army´s tank park consisted of light tanks, especially the T-70.

If only medium and heavy tanks are counted, an even more disproportionate correlation of operational tanks is reached: 203 German versus 38 Soviet tanks. This equals a correlation of 5-1.

Within the first 24 hours, however, 4th Mechanized Corps with 94 tanks, 235th Tank Brigade with 44 tanks and 234 Tank Regiment with 35 tanks (a total of 173 tanks) were ordered to go into action on Trufanov´s orders to halt 6. Panzer-Division at the Aksai and Verkhne-Kumskii. These forces got their first contact on 13th December and went into action completely the next day. This move resulted in the decisive fighting for Verkhne-Kumskii, which delayed the progress of Operation Wintergewitter between 14th and 19th December, possibly shattering the last hope of relief for 6. Armee.

Finally, the strategic relocation of 2. Guards Army to the Myshkova River meant that LVII. Panzer-Corps, when it finally reached the Myshkova on 19th December, faced an adversary with some 600 tanks. From that point onwards LVII. Panzer-Korps was utterly outnumbered.

A statistical analysis of the respective armored strengths during Operation Wintergewitter is a s such really interesting, as the German offensive started out being numerically superior in tanks, but ended up being completely outnumbered, due to the strategic Soviet relocation of 2nd Guards Army.

All the best,
Sean
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Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 19 Nov 2015 19:42

Mr.No one wrote:Take the tank strengths for example: It is now possible to compare the tank strength on both sides of the front line on a daily basis :)
Unfortunately not, the uploaded documents are rather fragmented. There are detailed reports from the armor section of the Stalingrad Front HQ but they only available up to 30 November, nothing after that.
One should also remember that operational tank strength fluctuated somewhat even without combat actions, some tanks were repaired, some were broken.

Another part of the picture: distribution of artillery on the morning of 12 December. As far as I can reconstruct it:
4 Cavalry Corps - organic artillery + 149 AT Artillery Regiment, 1113 AA Artillery Regiment, 249 Guards Mortar Battalion/47 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers)
302 Rifle Division - organic + 492 AT Artillery Regiment, 1117 AA Artillery Regiment, most of 1105 Cannon Artillery Regiment.
126 Rifle Division - organic + 1246 AT Artillery Regiment, 125 Mortar Regiment
Other elements - organic artillery only.
In reserve: 491 AT Artillery Regiment, part of 1105 Cannon Artillery Regiment, 80 Guards Mortar Regiment (rocket launchers, 362, 363, 373 Guards Mortar Battalions).
Some units were not listed in the report linked above.

charles.sumpter
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by charles.sumpter » 19 Nov 2015 21:07

I have to agree with the sentiments above: with searching for the last two years (Glantz, Rebentisch's 23. PzDivision,"...bis Stalingrad 48 km," Alex' excellent RKKA website maps to name a few), I thought I got all I was ever going to see on this subject. Thank you so much!!
I reflect too the relatively obscure, outside Russia, maybe Germany too, the battle for the Verknie Kumsky crossroads was. The action of the 4. MK (half-strength, but reinforced) in holding off the nearly full-blooded 6. Pz Division from 14-19 December, was an epic battle and worthy of a book by itself. I think the
Russians were still in awe of the 'mighty' German panzer and rightly concerned to losing their precious mobile forces to them.
If I may as a point of note:I believe the 'Pz IIIIk' quoted for at least the 6.Pz D, should be understood to be Pz III with the 7.5cm L24. I do not know about the 23. Pz.
And while I'm at it, I am looking into information re 20. AT Brigade? My best guess is: AT bn of 7.62, AT bn of 4.5, two ATR bns, mortar bn, and 1-2 Pioneer bns?
thank you
Charles

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 20 Nov 2015 07:08

charles.sumpter wrote:I have to agree with the sentiments above: with searching for the last two years (Glantz, Rebentisch's 23. PzDivision,"...bis Stalingrad 48 km," Alex' excellent RKKA website maps to name a few), I thought I got all I was ever going to see on this subject. Thank you so much!!
I was interested in this piece of war myself some time ago, I must say that published docs add plenty of new info. But don't fill all gaps unfortunately.
And while I'm at it, I am looking into information re 20. AT Brigade? My best guess is: AT bn of 7.62, AT bn of 4.5, two ATR bns, mortar bn, and 1-2 Pioneer bns?
Organization in December 1942: 2 anti-tank rifle battalion, artillery regiment with 4 cannon and 2 mortar batteries, mortar battalion with 3 batteries. Also some service and HQ elements must be available, but I don't have info on them. On 11 December 1942 the brigade had 1265 men, 641 rifles, 339 SMGs, 4 anti-aircraft and 32 light machine guns, 123 AT rifles, 8 82-mm and 16 120-mm mortars, 16 76-mm guns, 43 automobiles (strength report of the 64 Army from this date)

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