Operation Wintergewitter

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

Post by marthus » 19 Jan 2019 08:37

Hello Art, can we know the number and detail of tanks per Soviet unit on December 12 and their losses on that day?

Thank you so much

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 19 Jan 2019 12:25

I believe that only the 85 TBr was involved. I'm working on their records, going to post some info later.

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 19 Jan 2019 16:41

marthus wrote:
19 Jan 2019 08:37
Hello Art, can we know the number and detail of tanks per Soviet unit on December 12 and their losses on that day?

Thank you so much
Art wrote:
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.
I think also only 85th Tank Bde with 24 tanks rattached to IV Cavalry Corps on the front with 81 Cavalry Division, 61th Cav Div is in reserve
But i don't have see on the Russian map for the 51 Army ( page 7 ) 85th Tank Bde where she is near the Don ?

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 20 Jan 2019 12:14

Other topic about this Operation
viewtopic.php?t=164026

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 20 Jan 2019 14:07

Some more about 81 Cavalry Division at Poklhebin. "Collection of material for studying the war experience" quotes its losses as 1897 men killed, wounded and missing and 1864 horses, which was reproduced by Glantz. It seems that the number was taken from the divisional situation report from the morning 6.12.42:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450675911

The numbers were however preliminary and didn't include personnel that returned later. As of 1 December 1942 the division reported 3023 men and 2600 horses on strength:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450675889

On the evening of 5 December there were by preliminary count 1226 men and 772 horses plus 213 men and 187 horses in the reconnaissance battalion which didn't took part in battle.
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451138569
Seems like the number 1897 was counted from this report and not correctly in a strictly mathematical sense 3023-1226=1797 instead of 1897. Also the recon battalion was completely forgotten.

With the corps training battalion incorporated into the division (the battalion reported 553 men and 540 horses on 5.12) the division had 2010 men and 1549 horses on the evening of 6 December:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451138570

Which indicates the losses on 1-5 December equal to 3023+553-2010 = 1566 men and 2600+540-1549 = 1591 horses. Again these numbers are preliminary, as men continued to return from Pokhlebin after 6 December.

Worth to say that those documents rebut the Raus' story about Soviet camel cavalry employed at Pokhlebin. It's quite clear that cavalry of the 81 CD were riding horses. Possibly Raus and other German witnesses saw camels used as draft or pack animals which led them to false conclusions.

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 21 Jan 2019 11:54

I catch very good new infos i udapte for Germans Armored units :

6. Panzer-Division : full only minor losses since it's arrival 2 weeks ago, 15000 troops, have 9 Marder III in Pz ATK Bn, normaly completely equiped with 75 mm PaK 40 ATK excellent unit with very good leaders !
139 tanks ( end 11/42 : 159 ) 21 Pz. II, 13 Pz. III K, 66 Pz. III 50 mm/60 cal, 26 Pz. IIIN, 23 Pz. IV L, 3 Pz.Bef.Wg.

23. Panzer-Division : only 3 Inf Bns the II/126 stand down before and I/126 Mech independent
97 tanks : 13 Pz. II, 18 Pz. III/50 mm 42 cal, 26 Pz. III 50 mm/60 cal, 12 Pz. IV/75 mm 24 cal, 26 Pz. IV/75 mm long, 2 Pz.Bef.Wg.

17. Panzer-Division : a bit weak, about 10000 personnals in refit to Orel after in rederve behind 8th Italian Army arrivo to the front 16/12
58 tanks : 4 Pz. II, 13 Pz. III K, 22 Pz. III L, 7 Pz. IV K, 9 Pz. IV L, 3 Pz.Bef.Wg.

Von Pannwitz Group alert unit very little known in fact a small kampfgruppe, 1 december : so the 12 about 30 - 40 tanks/Stug
1 Armored Company with 26 Panzer
2 Battery with each 8 Stug
2 small Inf Bns whose 1 Romanian
2 Romanians Artillery batteries

228 Stug Bn rft to front 15/12 very good unit with 42 Stug with long 75 mm gun !

243 Stug Bn only 2 batteries with 4 Romanian Army about ? 15 Stug

Total
12/12 : 290 tanks/Stug

In RFT
100 tanks/Stug

NB : 16 Mot Division have 20 tanks

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 22 Jan 2019 16:58

After 4 December the 85 Tank Brigade was still with the 81 Cavalry Division. The days before 12 December were uneventful, units were busy with reorganization and building fortifications. There was only occasional contact with German reconnaissance patrols. During the night 10/11 December 3 T-70 from the 85 TBr together with a cavalry squadron advanced to Veseliy, German patrols abandoned the village almost without a fight. Several tanks were repaired so by the morning of 12 December 1942 the 85 TBr had 2 KV, 9 T-34, and 14 T-70 operational. There were deployed as follows: 3 T-70 at Veseliy (as described above) with a squadron from 232 Cav.Reg. 4 T-70 at Verkhne-Kurmoyarskaya supporting the 232 Cavalry Regiment. 2 KV, 7 T-34 and 4 T-70 at Nizhne-Yablochniy in support of the 227 Cavalry Regiment and in divisional reserve. 2 T-34 and 3 T-70 at Verkhne-Yablochniy. Brigade HQ and motor rifle battalion were was at Nizhne-Yablochniy, AT battery and elements of the motor rifle battalion - at Verkhne-Kurmoyarskaya, brigade trains at Generalovskiy.

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 23 Jan 2019 20:21

That is how it looks when put on the map:

Image

Note that the original situation maps has wrong location of the 81 Cavalry Division's regiments. The 81 Cav. Division defended three large strong-points at Verkhne-Kurmoyarksay, Nizhne-Yablochniy, and Verkhne-Yablochniy (aka strong-points Nos.15, 16 and 2), each with a cavalry regiment (more like battalion in real strength). There were also two smaller strong-points at Safronov (No.1) and Veseliy, each occupied by a reinforced squadron. I can see tactical rationale from the map: these points had crossings over the Aksay River and a large Yablochnaya Balka (ravine) which were natural anti-tank obstacles in the open steppe. I can see also that the initial German strike was directed along a hill ridge on top of which a road from Kotelnikovo to Stalingrad runs. That was a natural gateway between ravines.

Attached or placed in support of the 81 CD were the 85 Tank Brigade, 149 Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, 4 Anti-Tank Battalion (a corps unit of the 4 Cavalry Corps), 1117 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment, 275 Engineer Battalion, and elements of the 5 Anti-Tank Rifle Battalion. Tanks were distributed by small portions between strong-points which was against normal rules, but probably justified given a dearth of heavy weapons in the division.

Also:
Defense positions of the 81 Cav.Division as of 7 December:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450675943
Minefields and bridge demolitions in the area:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450675943

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 24 Jan 2019 08:02

hello Art

is it possible to know the casualties in men and equipment of the 4th Corps of Cavalry (81st Division and 85th Armoured Brigade) and the 302nd Division following the German attack of 12 December 1942

thanks

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 24 Jan 2019 15:21

85th Armoured Brigade lost 11 tanks attacked by a part of 11 Pz Rgt and 4 IR Mot. Rgt with in more some AA guns.
Luftwaffe provide support with about 200 aircrafts, i don't now for Russian AF.

@ Art please i find it can you translated please
51 Army Artillery units :
1105 пап
149, 491, 492, 1246 иптап
125 минп, 3/141 минп
47, 80 гв. мп, 2 зенад
Also 20 ATK Bde

2 Guards Army Artillery units
117 гв. Кап
54 гв. Оиптадн
408 огв. Мдн

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 24 Jan 2019 16:23

On 12 December villages and troops concentrations in the area are subjected to German aerial bombardment. In the morning the battle group Hünersdorff (armored group of the 6 PzD) first attacks along the railroad from Kotelnikovo to the north-east and quickly defeats the 302 Rifle Division. Then it bypasses the Yablochnya ravine turns to the left and attacks Verkhne-Yablocnhiy from the rear (north). Simultaneously the battle group Unrein (PzGr.Rgt. 4 of the 6 Pz. Division) attacks the village from the front (south). The defenders have no chance to stand the attack, before the sunset they are overwhelmed, and the village is captured. All the 5 tanks in the area are destroyed. 216 Cavalry Regiment with attached units also suffers heavy losses in men and loses almost all heavy weapons. Remaining men join friendly forces by small groups using darkness.

A scheme of the battle for Verknhe-Yablochniy form the 4 Cavalry Corps war diary:

Image

FORBIN Yves
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by FORBIN Yves » 25 Jan 2019 12:22

Other map the 23 PZ engage the first day only a part of its units a KG mainly 201 Pz Rgt with surely one Inf Bn or more

12/12 :

6 Pz
158 Pz : 25 Pz IV long + 82 Pz III L + 26 Pz IIIN + 22 Pz II + 3 Pz.Bef.Wg : 138 :
138 Pz ops : 23 Pz IV long + 63 Pz III L + 29 Pz IIIN + 23 with Pz II/Pz.Bef.Wg
About 15000 mens

23 Pz
97 Pz : 26 Pz IV L + 12 Pz IV s + 26 Pz III L + 18 Pz III s + 13 Pz II + 2 Pz Pz.Bef.Wg
92 Pz ops : 26 Pz IV L + 12 Pz IV s + 26 Pz III L + 18 Pz III s + 10 Pz II + 2 Pz Pz.Bef.Wg
About 12000 mens
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dgfred
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by dgfred » 25 Jan 2019 17:20

Enjoying the thread and the great maps. Thanks!

marthus
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by marthus » 27 Jan 2019 16:01

thank you all for your information on this subject

is it possible to know the losses of the 302 division of Soviet rifles during his fights against the 6 German armoured division during the days of December 12 and 13, 1942, in advance thanks

Art
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Re: Operation Wintergewitter

Post by Art » 27 Jan 2019 17:35

Not so much records of the 302 RD are available, I'm afraid.

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