Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 13 Nov 2023 00:02

Art wrote:
12 Nov 2023 21:39
Situation report of the 1 Tank Corps' commander:
To the commander of the 5 Tank Army
Battle report No.039, southern edge of SVIRIDOVSKIY 1.10 8.12.42 HQ of the 1 Tank Corps
Map 100 000

1. At 9.00 7.12.42 the corps attacked with all its brigades, broke through the front and brigades proceeded to their missions.
216 Tk Bde to the field camp /69504A/, turned to the south and came to the area of the Hill 160.3, and thence was diverted by me to its route.
89 Tk Bde, after reaching the road SYSOYKIN [State Farm No.79]-SUROVIKINO, turned to the south, but lost its route and went straight to SYSOYKIN. Captured it at 12.00.
216 Tk Bde came on its steps and occupied defense positions on hills with a front to the south.
117 Tk Bde also entered SYSOYKIN with one battalion.
The second battalion under leadership of the brigade commander turned to the east and ran into ravines and by the end of the day concentrated in the area /69706C/, 89 Tk Bde which I sent from SYSOYKIN, also arrived there.
At the present time both brigades are reorganizing themselves in this area.
326 Tk Bn [117 Tank Brigade], which was at SYSOYKIN, not staying there went further to the south-east and reached the road in the area of the field camp /67207 a/, where it encountered 16 medium and small hostile tanks.
Hostile tanks evading combat retreated to the east. The battalion entered combat with hostile artillery, destroyed several guns and returned back to the brigade.
44 Mot Rfl Bde during the day repulsed three strong hostile attacks with a strength up to two battalions from the southern slopes of the Hill 161, one company at the flank from the SW and one company from the Hill 156.0.
The brigade suffered large losses in personnel.
159 Tk Bde arrived to the area of OSTROVSKIY at 23.30 7.12.42.
....
Commander of the 1 Tk Corps
Major General of tank troops
/Butkov/
In this report Butkov vaguely alluded to disorientation and a loss of control during the day. That was partly due to his complicated plan of maneuver: one of his brigades was to turn 90 degrees, and the other two – almost 180 degrees in the process of attack. In the steppe terrain lacking landmarks that easily produced confusion. Another reason was a decision to assign a separate route to each of the three tank brigades. It was correct by the book, but meaningless when they were hardly equal to one full-strength brigade, and contributed to a loss of control. In any case, the short daylight time (about 8.5 hours + early darkness in cloudy weather) was squandered, and the attack was to be resumed on the morning of 8 December. That delay proved fatal.

Butkov correctly concluded that fresh German forces were arriving to the area. He decided to stick the original plan, apparently expecting that the 216 Tank Brigade, left at Sysoykin (state farm No. 79), would be able to delay possible counterattacks of foot infantry against his flank. He was seemingly unaware of a new German tank division. Contrary to Butkov he didn’t preempt the German offensive, as it began simultaneously with his own attack on the morning of 7 December but came to a standstill during the day.

A scheme from the wartime history of the 1 Tank Corps illustrates rather intricate movements on the day of 7 December.
00000021.jpg
This is a wrong assumption.

State Farm No. 79 was captured by the actions of the 216th Tank Brigade of the 26th Tank Corps and the 8th separate motorcycle Regiment. In his report, the commander of the 1st Tank Corps, General Butkov, tries to attribute the seizure of state farm No. 79 to the brigades of his corps and therefore indicated that state farm was occupied by the 89th TBr of his corps. In fact, this brigade was not in the state farm.

The initial positions and movements of the tank brigades were chosen correctly by Butkov.
I've traveled the length and breadth of this area.
No other attack routes are possible there.
There is a very good landmark there. Kalinovskaya beam. It stretches in the meridional direction (north-south) and tanks cannot pass this beam. At the same time, the spurs at this beam extends in the latitudinal direction (west-east). This circumstance dictates the movement of tanks along the road to the south towards state farm No. 79, after heights 129.0 and 155.0 are captured.

The commander of the 11th Tank Division did not take this into account and chose the attack route west of the state farm, apparently believing that the tanks would be able to bypass the state farm from the west and attack in the direction of heights 155.0 and 129.0 on a wide front. However, along the route chosen by General Balk, tanks can only move in a column, and in zigzags.
Everything is smooth on the map. And I have already written that General Balka's everything turned out like this, says a well-known Russian proverb:
(гладко было на бумаге,
да забыли про овраги)
it was smooth on paper,
but they forgot about the ravines.

I have repeatedly been convinced that it is almost impossible to restore the details of the fighting according to the records and diagrams from the diaries of the fighting. These records and diagrams were compiled many days after the end of hostilities. This does not mean that combat diaries are useless in research. In fact, they are very informative. But, if someone wants to restore events with such details as in our case, it is always necessary to find documents compiled directly at the time of the actions and, moreover, to have several independent reports about the same event.
In particular, the report of General Butkov on the fighting for December 7 and the diary of the 1st Tank Corps confirms this.
As for the records and diagrams from the diaries of the combat activities of the 336th Infantry Division of General Lucht and the 11th Panzer Division of General Bolk, there is very much distorted, especially distorted in the schemes of the 336th Infantry Division. And the reason for such distortions has a simple explanation.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 13 Nov 2023 07:01

Actions of the 89th TBr in the battle for state farm No. 79 according to the Diary of the combat operations of this brigade
00000053.jpg
Diary of combat operations of the 89th TBr.
7.12.1942
At 9.30 89 TBr went on the attack, having tanks in two lines.
Small tanks were moving in front and medium and heavy tanks were moving in the second line. Due to the fact that tanks 216, 117 and 89 TBr made a breakthrough in defense, the enemy, stunned by the massive use of tanks, first resisted, after which he began to retreat (run) in panic, leaving weapons on the battlefield, including large-caliber weapons and many other trophies.
At 10.15 on 7.12.1942, 89 TBr captured the height of 157.8 and at 12.10 reached the western slopes of the height of 161.0. After the destruction of the enemy in this area, the brigade deviated to the west and by the end of the day concentrated in the area 3 km southwest of the height of 161.0.
For one battle on 7.12.1942, 1 T-34 tank was disabled.
The enemy suffered exceptionally heavy losses in manpower and materiel, the remnants retreated in the direction of height 148.3 and the Trinozhkin beam.
During the night from 7 to 8.12.1942, the combined column of the battalion's rear brought fuel, ammunition and food for the crews and at 7.30 on 8.12.1942, the combat vehicles were replenished with ammunition and refueled with fuel.

On 8.12.1942
From 8.00 to 10.00, 89 TBr attacked the enemy defending on the southern slopes of height 161.0, where it was met by enemy tanks, the attack was unsuccessful, and the tanks retreated to their starting positions 3 km southwest of height 161.0.
At 13.00 on 8.12.1942, under the cover of aviation, the enemy engaged 28 tanks in the direction of height 129.0 and height 160.0, thereby cutting the road going to Ostrovsky, and cut off our tanks from the infantry of the 333 Division and other units defending at heights 129.0, 161.0 and 156.0.
Along with the attack of tanks, the enemy bombed battle formations during the day brigades. As a result, 89 TBr had to fight their way out from the effects of aviation, artillery fire and enemy tanks. 89 TBr suffered heavy losses.

9.12.1942
On the night of 8 to 9.12.1942, the remnants of tanks led by the brigade commander were fighting out of the encirclement. At first, from state farm No. 79, the tanks moved in an easterly direction, after which they turned north to the south-western slopes of height 161.0 and by 6.00 the brigade's tanks reached the Ostrovsky district.
In the operation carried out from 7 to 12/19/1942, the brigade destroyed: up to 1,200 enemy soldiers and officers, 6 radio stations, 6 bunkers, 6 large-caliber guns, 8 75 mm guns, 80 supply lines, 31 telephone sets, 40 km of cable.
At the same time, the brigade suffered losses in tanks: 7 T-34 units were shot down and burned, 2 T-70 units, 3 T-60 units. Losses in personnel 88 people were killed, 44 people were wounded. During the day, the tanks were in Ostrovsky and put themselves on alert.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 13 Nov 2023 18:53

Yuri wrote:
12 Nov 2023 22:01
If my memory does not change, then at 15:00 on December 7, Lieutenant General Romanenko ordered the 159th TBr to transfer four T-34 tanks and all T-70 tanks to the right bank of the Chir in the area of height 161, 156.0.
What happened to other tanks?
The quotes above do not explain why this order wasn't issued earlier. That seems to be perfectly possible.
There is a very good landmark there. Kalinovskaya beam. It stretches in the meridional direction (north-south) and tanks cannot pass this beam. At the same time, the spurs at this beam extends in the latitudinal direction (west-east). This circumstance dictates the movement of tanks along the road to the south towards state farm No. 79, after heights 129.0 and 155.0 are captured.
According to the Butkov's order after the initial breakthrough his tank brigades were to veer to the left by three separate columns, and only the rightmost column went to the Farm No. 79. It was a complicated maneuver by any standards and control over three separate columns was difficult. Just from my layman's perspective an immediate strike on the Hill 161 from the east with all the three brigades was probably the best option and it would likely cause the flank of the German 336 Division to collapse. Butkov himself chose a similar plan on 8th.
I have repeatedly been convinced that it is almost impossible to restore the details of the fighting according to the records and diagrams from the diaries of the fighting. These records and diagrams were compiled many days after the end of hostilities. This does not mean that combat diaries are useless in research. In fact, they are very informative. But, if someone wants to restore events with such details as in our case, it is always necessary to find documents compiled directly at the time of the actions and, moreover, to have several independent reports about the same event.
In this case the Butkov's report should have a higher priority than the war diary. I'm agree that's it's difficult to understand the precise units' movement from these fragmentary and contradictory sources. Yet it's clear that the day's objectives were not reached and the plan of maneuver wasn't fully followed. Butkov's report alludes that confused and disorganized movement contributed to a loss of time and postponement of the attack to the next day.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 15 Nov 2023 21:15

From the battle report of the South-West Front command to Stalin as of 24.00 7.12.42:
....
In the sector of the 5 TA from Surovikino to Rychkovsky tough battles occurred, which assumed the character of a meeting engagement.
The fighting was most stubborn on the right bank of the Chir River, where, as revealed from captured documents, the enemy at 7.30 went to a counteroffensive with forces of the 336 Infantry Division, trying to liquidate our bridgehead on the front Surovikino( exl.) - Ostrovskiy – Lisinskiy. Met by organized artillery fire and subsequent strikes of the 1 Tank Corps, 333 Rifle Division and the main forces of the 3 Guards Cavalry Corps, the counterattacking enemy was repulsed and driven back from his lines and his defense front was broken. By the end of the day our troops advanced to the line: unnamed settlement 3 km south of Surovikono, Sysoykin, machine tractor farm (4 km south-west of Sysoykin), Lisinskiy. 8 Motorcycle Regiment was committed into the breach for actions against hostile rear.
Among captured document there is a battle order for attack of the 336 Infantry Division, whose HQ is situated at Verkhne-Solonovskiy.

On 8.12.42 units of the 5 TA will exploit the success on the right bank of the Chir. 47 Guards Rifle Division from the army reserve, 8 [Guards] Tank Brigade and 5 Mechanized Corps are moved to this direction.
Hostile air forces were active on the right wing of the army. Total 300 sorties were registered.
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=132352593

Soviet intelligence was already aware of the presence of the new 336 Infantry Division in this sector, and the order captured on 7 December further confirmed it. Yet the 11 Panzer Division was still undiscovered.

Plans of both sides for the day of 8 December 42:
Plans 8Dec.jpg
Soviet 8 Motorcycle Regiment (with attached 481 Anti-Tank Regiment and several tanks) was directly subordinated to the 5 Tank Army and was given a mission to undertake a deep raid behind the German lines. On the morning of 8 December the regiment was supposed to march from Ostrovskiy to Sysoikin (State Farm 79) and then proceed to the raid.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 15 Nov 2023 22:58

Art wrote:
15 Nov 2023 21:15
Soviet 8 Motorcycle Regiment (with attached 481 Anti-Tank Regiment and several tanks) was directly subordinated to the 5 Tank Army and was given a mission to undertake a deep raid behind the German lines. On the morning of 8 December the regiment was supposed to march from Ostrovskiy to Sysoikin (State Farm 79) and then proceed to the raid.
At the time of the defense breakthrough on December 7, the 8th separate Motorcycle Regiment followed the battle formations of the 216th Tank Brigade. After breaking through the enemy's defenses, the motorcycle regiment overtook the tanks and went on a raid on the enemy's rear in two detachments. These detachments had tasks:
- one squad operates on Verkhne-Aksenovsky and further on Tormosin;
- the second detachment to Verkhne-Solonovsky and then to Nizhne-Chirskaya.
However, motorcycle detachments could not perform these tasks as they met with enemy tanks and motorized infantry (most likely it was the 11th Tank Division). Therefore, on the morning of December 8th, the motorcyclists returned to the Field Camp area, which is north of State farm 79.
The commander of the 5th Tank Army was extremely dissatisfied with this and sent a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Belik (commander of the motorcycle regiment). I have previously published the text of this letter on this topic. Now this letter can be seen on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
The 481st separate anti-tank Regiment was subordinated to the 8th separate Motorcycle Regiment even before the start of Operation Uranus and operated all the time as part of a motorcycle regiment. In Operation Uranus, the 8th Motorcycle Regiment was also subordinated to one company of tanks (10 tanks) from the 117th Tank Brigade. Upon arrival of the 8th separate motorcycle regiment in the lower Chir area, the tank company returned to its brigade and during the battle for state farm No. 79, the motorcycle regiment operated without this tank company. In the report of the headquarters of the 8th separate Motorcycle Regiment on the actions for the period from November 19 to December 25, 194, this circumstance is noted as a disadvantage.
With regard to the 8th separate motorcycle Regiment of Lieutenant Colonel Belik, the scheme you published is misleading.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 15 Nov 2023 23:14

This is a report from the headquarters of the 8th separate motorcycle regiment 12 hours 55 minutes on December 7, 1942 about the actions of two detachments on the enemy's rear.
"Sergeev" is the pseudonym of the commander of the 5th Tank Army, Lieutenant General Romanenko
00000406.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 15 Nov 2023 23:29

The order of battle of the 8th Separate Motorcycle Regiment during actions together with the 481st IPTAP and the T-34 tank company from the 117th Tank Brigade during operations in Operation Uranus.
I have previously published this scheme in English
OoB-8SMcR(1240).jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 16 Nov 2023 07:11

Yuri wrote:
15 Nov 2023 22:58
In Operation Uranus, the 8th Motorcycle Regiment was also subordinated to one company of tanks (10 tanks) from the 117th Tank Brigade. Upon arrival of the 8th separate motorcycle regiment in the lower Chir area, the tank company returned to its brigade and during the battle for state farm No. 79, the motorcycle regiment operated without this tank company.
From the regiment's situation report as of 16.00 6.12.42:
"One detachment composed of a motorcycle company, 2 T-34 tanks, 3 armored carriers and a mortar company operated along the route..."
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=154009560

It appears that some tank were present, where they came and what happened to them - I don't know.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 16 Nov 2023 08:40

Art wrote:
16 Nov 2023 07:11
Yuri wrote:
15 Nov 2023 22:58
In Operation Uranus, the 8th Motorcycle Regiment was also subordinated to one company of tanks (10 tanks) from the 117th Tank Brigade. Upon arrival of the 8th separate motorcycle regiment in the lower Chir area, the tank company returned to its brigade and during the battle for state farm No. 79, the motorcycle regiment operated without this tank company.
From the regiment's situation report as of 16.00 6.12.42:
"One detachment composed of a motorcycle company, 2 T-34 tanks, 3 armored carriers and a mortar company operated along the route..."
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=154009560

It appears that some tank were present, where they came and what happened to them - I don't know.
Earlier (back in 2007) I have already posted information from this document.
The diagram with the attack plan of the 5th tank Army shows the location of the consolidated detachment
as part of a motorcycle company, a mortar battery and two tanks on December 6.
One day before the start of the offensive, this detachment operated west of Surovikino in the direction of Nizhny Kalinovka - Chuvilevsky. The task of the detachment is to mislead the enemy about the direction in which the offensive is being prepared. Mortars were firing, tanks and motorcycles were moving intensively, imitating the concentration of troops. Late in the evening of December 6, motorcyclists and tankers returned to their units.

P. S.
On my diagram with the attack plan of the 5th Tank Army, the simulated actions of the consolidated detachment of the 8th separate motorcycle regiment on December 6 are indicated by a dashed arrow.

User avatar
Yuri
Member
Posts: 1969
Joined: 01 Jun 2006 11:24
Location: Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 16 Nov 2023 13:19

В радиограммах, а нередко и в документах, вместо официального названия используются условные наименования для обозначения частей и соединений
В помощь тем, кто читает документы о бое за совхоз №79 на сайте ЦАМО.
Позывные частей и соединений 5-й танковой армии, действовавших на нижнем течении рек Чир, на плацдарме южнее Суровикино.

«Грива» - 5-я танковая армия
«Микрофон» - 47-я гвардейская стрелковая дивизия
«Карбюратор» - 1-й танковый корпус
«Сумка» - 8-я гвардейская отдельная танковая бригада
«Электрон» - 8-й отдельный мотоциклетный полк
«Ландыш» - 333-я стрелковая дивизия.
=========

In radiograms, and often in documents, conventional names are used instead of the official name to designate units and formations.
To help those who read the documents about the battle for the state farm No. 79 on the TsAMO website.
The call signs of the units and formations of the 5th Tank Army operating on the lower course of the Chir River, on the bridgehead south of Surovikino.

"Mane" - 5th Tank Army
"Microphone" - 47th Guards Rifle Division
"Carburetor" - 1st Tank Corps
"Bag" - 8th Guards separate tank Brigade
"Electron" - 8th separate motorcycle regiment
"Lily of the Valley" - 333rd Rifle Division.

An example of a document where conditional call signs are used instead of the name of formations.

TSAMO RF Fund 331 Inventory 5041 Case 11 Sheet 33

Order to the troops of the MANE 12.12.42
Active army ==
Comrades of the Red Army, commanders and political workers of the Microphone, Carburetor, Bag, Electron, 510, 511 flamethrower STB, Lily of the Valley.
For 5 days you are fighting with superior enemy forces. In all areas of the battlefield, you have shown the superiority of fortitude, discipline and the ability to fight. For five days, you have the initiative in your hands on the entire battlefield. In five days, the enemy suffered such heavy losses that his numerical superiority, which reached more than three times in the first days, began to move towards equality by the end of 11.12. Today is the decisive and at the same time the last day of defensive battles.
Double the energy, tenfold the strength of endurance. Exsanguinate the enemy. Finally snatching the initiative from the hands of the enemy is the task of today.
Tomorrow, [everyone] will prepare for a general offensive along the entire front of the army for the final crushing and destruction of the opposing enemy forces. Order to announce to all personnel = ROMANENKO, TUMANYAN, DANILOV ++
1tk, 8mtsp, 8gtbr, 510, 511, 47, 333

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 19 Nov 2023 21:49

The war diary of the 11 Pz. Division:
8.12.42 Verkhne Solonovskiy
Weather: occasional rain, it becomes brighter in the afternoon. Temperature about 0 degrees.

The night passes quietly. Elements of the divisions maintain blocks on roads leading from the State Farm 79 to the south, south-west and west in order to prevent advance of the enemy and get ready for the offensive. Jump-off positions remain unrecognized by the enemy.

4.15 15 Panzer Regiment departs west of the State Farm 79 enveloping it from the north. At 4.30 111 PzGr. Regiment departs from Verkhne Aksenovskiy to maintain contact with the panzer regiment. At 5.20 the 110 PzGr Regiment starts an attack to the north-west.

The terrain with elongated hills separated by many gorges between them is not suitable for a tank strike. In particular, gorges with their ample cover provide new and new resistance positions for the enemy.

The 15 Pz. Regiment manages to advance to the group of houses 5.5 km north of the State Farm 79. Weak hostile resistance at the Hill 158.2 is broken by a reinforced company of the 111 PzGr Regiment. During a further strike toward the point 155 the enemy brings reinforcement with tanks from the north. Simultaneously the enemy attacks with tanks from the State Farm 79 to the south against the front of the 209 Pioneer Battalion, which took over the sector of the II Battalion/282 (sic! must be 686) Gr. Regiment, and to the north-west toward the Hill 161. The hostile attack rolls over the infantry of the 336 Infantry Division. Since this front is staggering the 336 Infantry Division requests a fast strike of the 15 Panzer Regiment from the west, in order to alleviate situation of the infantry fighting at the Hill 161.

At 07.10 the enemy at the Hill 161 attacks the south wing of the 336 Infantry Division, and at 09.30 the 111 PzGr Regiment establishes contact with the southern wing of the group Selle near the point 129. In a heavy battle the 15 Pz. Regiment manages to destroy hostile tanks at the point 155 and continue movement to the east. After retreat route from the State Farm 79 has been blocked the enemy notices the threat of encirclement and tries to break out to the east and north.
By well laid artillery fire and actions of the 110 PzGr Regiment these attempts are for the time being thwarted and here 9 tanks are destroyed. At the same time the enemy in a repeated attack manages to seize the Hill 161 and settles here.

III Btl./15 Pz. Regiment cannot attack toward the Hill 161, since it runs out of ammunition. It is therefore replaced by the II Btl/15 Pz. Regiment which moves to this Hill and establishes here a contact with a back-folded left wing of the 336 Infantry Division.

14.25 Meanwhile the 61 Motorcycle Battalion as reserve battalion is moved to the point 148.6. At 14.25 the State Farm 79 is taken.

After the division cuts off the penetration area its units during the evening are moved up to the elevation line 160.

The division in cooperation with the 336 Infantry Division has defeated the Russian tank corps with approximately 3 tank brigades. On 9.12 a continuation of the offensive to the Chir River is planned. Units are informed about that by radio. The division will attack at 6.00 to the north-east with the 111 PzGr Rgt on the left, 110 PzGr Rgt on the right, overtaken by a battalion of the 15 Pz Rgt striking to the Chir. The group Langer composed of the Pioneer Battalion 209 and two 8.8-cm anti-aircraft batteries in association with one battalion of the Pz. Rgt. 15 blocks the Hill 161 from the south. The artillery supports the attack with the focal point on the left wing. 61 Motorcycle Battalion follows mounted behind the 110 PzGr Rgt.
From NARA T315 R594 (original scans has been posted earlier here).

Situation as of 12.00 and 20.00 (Berlin time) of 8.12.42 (NARA T315 R2094)
00561.jpg
00562.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 20 Nov 2023 07:09

Daily report of the 11 Pz Division from 8.12.42:
To the commanding general of the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps

1.) The division went to attack on 06.00 with the 15 Pz. Rgt and 111 PzGr. Rgt toward Points 160.3 – 155.0 enveloping the State Farm 79 from the west and north. First contact with the enemy at the group of houses 2.5 west of the Point 155.0. After that a heavy combat against hostile tanks and infantry, part of them was pulled from the north another part has already broken through. Circa 09.30 a contact with the left wing of the group Selle was established.
After 08.30 a hostile tank and infantry attack from the State Farm 79 to the south was repulsed by artillery and the 209 Pioneer Battalion reinforced with two 8.8-cm batteries.
Attack of the 15 Pz Rgt to the east for relieving the situation of the 336 Inf. Div. toward the Point 161 was considerably delayed by a lack of ammunition.
At 13.45 a contact with the 336 Inf. Div. was established by the II Btl./15 Pz. Rgt in the area of the Point 161. 111 PzGr. Rgt attacked at 12.00 the State Farm 79 from the south-west versus strong forces of tanks and infantry, later supported by the 61 Motorcycle Battalion and took the State Farm after a heavy battle at 14.30.
The reinforced Pioneer Battalion went to the north-west to the line Point 64.7 – Point 127.8.
Effective support by own air forces.

2) [Situation at the evening]
Pioneer Btl with 2 anti-aircraft batteries at Points 64.7-127.8
61 Motorcycle Battalion at the State Farm 79.
110 PzGr Rgt 110 about 1.5 km north-west of the State Farm 79 reaching this night the elevation line 160 (2.5 west of the Point 161) with the mass of its forces.
15 Pz. Rgt and 1 Btl. 111 PzGr. Rgt on the line Point 155.0 – group of houses 2.5 west of the Point 155.0
One battalion immediately south of the Point 160.3
The bulk of the artillery south of the elevation line 160.

6.) [Hostile losses] Will be reported additionally – estimated 31 tank knocked out and 2 batteries destroyed.

7.) [Intentions] At 06.00 Attack from the line attained to the Chir.
From NARA T315 R595

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 21 Nov 2023 07:46

From the war diary of the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps
8.12.1942 Corps HQ at Tormosin
Weather: cloudy, then clear.

After a calm night the enemy launched an attack at 6.00 with 40-50 tanks against the left wing of the 336 Infantry Division at the point 161. It appears that the bulk of his tank was replenished with fuel during the night at the area of the Point 157.8 and now tries to penetrated the left wing of the 336 Infantry Division bent to the south. Simultaneously tank attacks form the north are undertaken.

The 11 Pz. Div. at the dawn prepared its panzer regiment and 111 PzGr Rgt for offensive in the region of the Points 172.4-158.3. It is given the order to immediately counterattack to the east. 110 PzGr Rgt was moved to Verkhne Solonovskiy and got itself ready for an attack to the north in conjunction with the motorcycle battalion. Due to strong hostile resistance the attack of the division initially progressed very slowly.

The Panzer Regiment followed by the 111 PzGr Rgt advanced via the Point 172.4 to the Point 160.3 and entered here combat with hostile motorized forces, which moved from the north toward the State Farm 79. Fierce resistance of the hostile motorized infantry and tanks thwarted an early strike of the II Panzer Btl. to the Hill 161.

Meanwhile the 686 Gr. Rgt of the 336 Inf. Div reported that its strongpoint at the Hill 161 was subjected to a powerful attack of a mass of hostile tanks supported by strong infantry, which creates a difficult situation. In a heroic struggle the Division repulsed most attacks and knocked out numerous hostile tanks.

New hostile tank attack over the Hill 161, which was lost after a heavy combat and a loss of 8 anti-tank guns, reached the rear of the III Btl/686 Gr. Rgt but was dispersed by a “Stuka” strike. Despite being rolled over by tanks twice the battalion retained its positions south of Ostrovskiy.

11 Pz Division destroyed hostile motorized forces, which moved from the north on the road to the State Farm 79, and after replenishing ammunition continued to attack toward the Point 161 to render assistance to the 336 Inf. Div.

At 10.00 110 PzGr Rgt and motorcycle troops of he 11 Pz. Div launched an attack to the north and after a heavy battle took the State Farm 79 by 14.00. The enemy retreated to the east. Elements of the Luftwaffe field division here were disorganized by a yesterday’s hostile breakthrough and are now gathered by energetic officers.

111 PzGr Rgt after a heavy battle with hostile tanks and infantry took the Hill 155 and established a contact with the battle group Selle, which joined its attack and reached the western exit of the Golaya gorge with its right wing.

Before darkness one Panzer battalion managed to connect with the 686 Gr. Rgt of the 336 Inf. Div at the Point 161.

Air forces rendered excelent support to the Corps throughout the day.

After onset of darkness the Corps can be proud with achieved success. It can be assumed that the Russian 216 Tank Brigade is destroyed

The Plan for 9.12 – continuation of offensive of the 336 Inf. Div and 11 Pz. Div with a goal to destroy the enemy south of the Chir and organization of defense front on the southern bank of the river…
At 18.25 the chief of the German liaison staff of the 3 Romanian Army informs that the 11 Pz Div and 336 Inf Div should be withdrawn from the front as soon as possible and replaced with the 7 Luftwaffe Field Division.

At the evening the Corps commander expresses his gratitude to the both divisions for their demonstrated battle readiness.

No major changes in the situation by the evening. 336 Inf.Div still holds its north front, the Point 161 is back in our hands, from there the frontline turns to the south and is covered by a weak screening force. One group of the 11 Pz.Div is from the Point 64.7 north-west of N. Solonovskiy via the Point 127.8 and the State Farm 79 to 1.5 km north-east of the State Farm. The second group is at the Point 155.0 and west of it (the panzer regiment is here as well). The bulk of artillery is situated south of the elevation line 160.

The corps knocked out 46 tanks and destroyed two batteries today and captured large trophies. Losses of personnel and material in the 11 Pz Div are small, but in the 336 Inf Div are larger owing to a heavy battle with tanks.
From https://nordrigel.livejournal.com/169991.html

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 21 Nov 2023 16:50

In summary the German counterstrike on 8 December didn't go as planned. The 336 Infantry Division was subjected to a strong tank attack (3 tank brigades of the 1 Tank Corps) beginning from the early morning and was unable to attack itself. The 11 Panzer Division had to change the attack direction by about 90 degrees on the fly in order to alleviate the crisis at the 336 Division. A Soviet breakthrough was sealed and a semblance of continuous front was established by the evening, but both divisions didn't advance to the Chir River and didn't eliminate the Soviet Chir bridgehead as planned. The command of the XXXXVIII optimistically expected that it could be made on the following day. Since the Chir crossings remained open, new Soviet reinforcements - 47 Guards Rifle Division and 8 Guards Tank Brigade were moving to the Chir bridgehead. Thus the balance of forces was changing to the Soviet advantage.

The heaviest fighting on that day occurred at the Hill 161 where the German 336 Division sustained repeated tank attacks. What happened at the State Farm itself was of secondary role. Here the Soviet 216 Tank Brigade as a flank screening force fought essentially a delaying action against a half of the German 11 Panzer Division, keeping it occupied until darkness. By the evening of 8 December three Soviet tank brigades - 89, 117 and 216 - an a half of the 8 Motorcycle Regiment were cut off in the area between the State Farm and the Hill 161. There was no airtight pocket around them so they leaked out to friendly lines during the night, albeit in a chaotic way and with losses.
8Dec.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 26 Nov 2023 17:09

War diary of the 336 Infantry Division in many instances described Soviet forces evading to the east in the rear area of the division on the evening of 8 December and the following night:
8.12. 15.30 Strong enemy (including tanks and motorized infantry) dislodged from the State Farm 79 by the attack of the 110 PzGr. Rgt and cut off from his rear by elements of the 11 Pz Division closing the gap between right wing of the division and the right wing of the battle group Selle, now floods in the course of the afternoon the rear area of the division to the east.
Due to generally unclear situation, caused by lacking wire communications and uncertainty regarding omnipresent scattered enemy, battalion, batteries and staffs had to adopt the all-round defense.

In the evening and night hours bitter close-range fighting develops at the headquarters and train areas with the enemy striving to break out to the east.
The enemy was blocked, however the situation remains completely unclear, partly because the Russian tanks are mistaken for ours, and the Russians are wearing the winter uniform partly captured at the State Farm 79, partly taken from dead.
Personnel and material losses of the Russians were exceptionally high and their scale couldn’t be even estimated.

Due to this situation communications, food supply and evacuation of wounded presented exceptional difficulties. By employment of “convoys’ with strong anti-tank gun cover the troops were supplied with the essential.

9.12.42
Violent close-range fighting with the scattered enemy in the rear of the regiments bring large casualties to both sides. The regiments have no forces at their disposal to secure their flanks and rear. All wire lines to the front are destroyed. By request of the division one panzer battalion of the 11 Pz. Division and the remaining battalion of the Division (II Btl./687 Gr. Regiment) are employed with the task of destroying the enemy in the rear area of the Division.
08.40 Wire communication with the 685 Gr. Regiment despite great difficulties are recovered.
The commander describes the violent fighting during the night and calls the dispersed hostile forces “the beasts”. Many men belonging to the regimental trains were killed in a violent way.
At the present moment the enemy stands with 3 tanks and infantry in the gorges west of Lisinskiy [that was on the route of the Soviet 216 Tank Brigade]. The regiment has no forces to handle them at its disposal.

The enemy, who managed to hold on west of Lisinskiy during the day, was destroyed in the evening hours.
From NARA T315, R2094.

On 9 December the remains of the three tank brigades and the motorcycle regiment assemble on the Soviet bridgeahead near Ostrosvskiy after crossing the German lines, although some men became killed or captured during the night-time fighting.

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”