Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

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

Post by Art » 05 Dec 2023 20:30

Yuri wrote:
04 Dec 2023 20:57
Map 336.ID, on which one exploded rocket launcher based on a T-60 tank is presented as the destroyed 307th OGMD.
It's on the map because the 307 Battallion was identified here by the German intelligence through prisoners testimony. Or more correctly because the prisoner (either from the 307 Guards Battalion or 117 Tank Brigade, I can't understand) was captured in that area (4 km north of the State Farm 79) and said that the 307 Battalion was attached to the 117 Tank Brigade and ald also told more or less accurate information about the battalion's composition.

One more question. According to the daily report of the 5 Tank Army staff as of 19.00 8.12.42 one tank company from the 216 Tank Brigade was attached to the 333 Rifle Division by the Army commander's order. Do you know what was this company? All the tanks of the 216 Tank Brigade was supposed to near the State Farm 79 by this moment. Does it mean that the 216 Tank Brigade was supposed to detach one company later whan it would be able to do that?

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

Post by Yuri » 06 Dec 2023 07:23

TsAMO RF (331-5041-14 l. 111)
COMBAT ORDER No. 11
DIVISION HEADQUARTERS 333
8.12.42 22:20
Ostrovsky
The map is 100 000 -41.

To the commander ……

1. To strengthen the defense in the division's band and destroy the counterattacking enemy, as well as to improve the positions occupied by the units, the 8th Guards TBr attached to the division.
2. The specified brigade should be distributed as follows:
a/ 1st tank group - 7 vehicles operating in the training battalion area.
b/ 2nd tank group - 6 vehicles, operating in the area of the 1120th Rifle Regiment. With the same group, the 1120th Rifle Regiment is assigned one company of the brigade's submachine gunners.
c/ 3rd tank group – 5 vehicles operates on the site of the 1116th Rifle Regiment.
d/ 4th tank group - 6 vehicles operates on the site of the 1118th Rifle Regiment.
3. My reserve: 5 tanks with a motorized rifle battalion and an anti-tank battery of the 8th Guards TBr. It will be located in the ravines on the western outskirts of Golovsky in readiness for action by special order.
4. To the commander of the 8th Guards TBr, by 3:00 on 9.12.42, withdraw tank groups to the sections of units and place a reserve in the area indicated for him.
5. Unit commanders should closely coordinate their actions with tank group commanders, and have a plan for these actions in the directions of possible enemy counterattacks. Tanks should be located in ambushes, sufficiently dug in and camouflaged, and when enemy tanks break through, they should destroy them from their positions. Only after the destruction of enemy tanks or their withdrawal is it allowed to use small tanks to destroy enemy infantry.
6. To inform the execution of this order by 3:30 on 9.12.42.

Commander of 333 RD Colonel / ZHEREBIN/
Chief of Staff 333 RD Lt. Colonel / SUSHKO/
Today's day will be full of events, therefore, I will not be able to report on the situation of the 216th TBr and the 8th OMCP earlier than in the evening or only tomorrow.

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

Post by Art » 06 Dec 2023 21:03

Meanwhile let's revisit probably the most known and oft-remembered episode of the day of 8 December, that's the defeat of the Soviet motorized column, described in a number of secondary sources quoted below:

1. Hermann Balck “Order in Chaos. The memoirs of the general of panzer troops Hermann Balck”, University Press of Kentucky, 2015
...When the Russians got ready to attack the next morning [8 December] we were right there. They did not suspect our presence. The 15th Panzer Regiment, under its tested commander, Colonel Theodor Graf von Schimmelmann, was followed by the 111th Panzergrenadier Regiment. Both of my regiments hit the Russians in the rear, just at the moment they were starting to advance to the East. First they annihilated a long column of mechanized infantry, and then the mass of the Russian tanks that were attacking the 336th Division.
2. F.W. von Mellenthin’s memoir “Panzer Battles 1939-1945”, various editions:
On the night 7/8 December the 11th Panzer Division regrouped in accordance with the Balck’s orders, and the units moved to their assembly areas. When the attacked at dawn on 8 December they hit the Russians at the very moments when they were about to advance against the rear of the 336th Division, in the confident belief that the Germans were at their mercy. Panzer Regiment 15 bumped a long column of Russian motorized infantry coming from the north and took them completely by surprise, lorry after lorry went up in flames as the panzers charged through the column throwing the Russians into the wildest panic. The column was destroyed, and the Balck’s panzer regiment then advanced into the rear of the Russian armor at Sowchos [State Farm], with panzergrenadiers and artillery in close support.
3. A. Harding Ganz “Ghost Division. The 11th “Gespenster” Panzer Division and the German Armored Force in World War II”, Stackpole Books, 2016
During the night of 7–8 December Balck’s strike force moved over the high ground to the west, over terrain that was snow-covered and unmapped, to attack at 04,30 Uhr before that winter dawn, in freezing rain with the temperature hovering at zero degrees Celsius (32 F). Sighting through the gloom a long column of truck-mounted infantry heading south to support the Russian armor assembled at Sovkhoz 79, the panzers swept down behind the vehicles. They laced the trucks with Sprenggranate and machine-gun fire, conserving their main gun anti-armor rounds. The Rotarmisten drivers careened their trucks askew and the Ivans tumbled out, many to fall in the bloody snow. Schimmelgraf’s panzers continued south to Sovkhoz 79 behind the Russian armor, which was already moving out to attack what they believed was the weak left flank of the 336.I.D.
4. Schrodek G.W. Ihr Glaube galt dem Vaterland. Geschichte des Panzer-Regiments 15 (11.Panzer-Division). Munchen: Schild Verlag, 1976
..After the 111 Panzergrenadier Regiment came up the attack started at about 7.00 a.m. At this moment it became clear that the Russians themselves launched an attack to the east and didn’t expect any troubles in their rear.
The attack of the Panzer Regiment first struck a long column of hostile motorized infantry, which was fully defeated. Then Russian tanks appeared.
5. “Endgame at Stalingrad: Book Two” by David M. Glantz and Jonathan House, University Press of Kansas 2014:
…since the 11th Panzer Division’s enveloping 15th and 111th Regiments managed to maneuver northward 3 to 5 kilometers west of the state farm surreptitiously, they were not detected by the Soviet tank corps’ security and reconnaissance units, which were deployed roughly 2 kilometers west of the farm. Therefore, when the 15th Panzer Regiment began its assault eastward at 0650 hours, the first force it encountered was the 44 Motorized Rifle Brigade marching southwestward in column formation. The attacking panzers caught the motorized riflemen totally by surprise at about 0700 hours when the column was 2-3 kilometers north of the state farm.

According to XXXXVIII Panzer Corps’ and 11th Panzer Division’s daily records and situation maps, Balck’s forces began their attack promptly at 06.50 hours (see map 5). Attacking eastward, 15th Panzer Regiment’s tanks crushed the main forces of the 1st Tank Corps’ 44th Motorized Rifle Brigade along the road 2 to 4 kilometers north of the State Farm No.79 at 0700 hours, destroying most of the brigade’s truck, killing many of its riflemen, and scattering the remainder to the winds in a two-hour fight.
So, all sources agree that early in the morning tanks of the 11 Panzer Division surprised a large Soviet motorized column somewhere north of the State Farm 79 and defeated it completely. The identity of the column is mostly a mystery. The book by Glantz and House is the only one which identifies it as the 44 Motor. Rifle Brigade. Unfortunately, it’s based entirely on a guess, which the authors believed to be realistic enough to fit the German accounts. However, it is unambiguously clear from many Soviet documents (e.g. situation report of the 1 Tank Corps) that on 8 December the 44 Motorized Rifle Division (reduced by that moment to a battalion of infantry) fought dismounted near the Hill 161 and did the same on the day before and the day after and didn’t march on trucks or on foot anywhere from this area.

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

Post by Art » 06 Dec 2023 21:56

I’m quite sure that the entire story is either entirely a fantasy or at least a small episode blown out of proportion. There is a number of reasons for this:
1. German Sources. All sources quoted above are secondary. Surprisingly neither the war diary nor the situation reports or other records of the 11 Panzer Division fully support the story. The report from the 15 Panzer Regiment sent on 07.00 8 December said that the hostile motorized column with anti-tank guns was spotted moving from north toward the State Farm 79. But that’s all, nothing about size, surprise, destruction etc. The corps intermediate situation report from 8 December said rather ambiguously “hostile motorizes forces, marching from the north to Swch. Krasnaja Swesda, were destroyed”. The division, however, described the same action as “heavy combat against hostile tanks and infantry, which were in part pulled from the north”. Which apparently implies that they were pulled from the north in a reaction to the German strike.

2. Soviet sources – not a slightest confirmation thus far.

3. German claims – the 15 Panzer Regiment claimed 9 trucks destroyed and captured on 8 December. Too few for an allegedly huge truck column.

4. German intelligence – the only Soviet units identified by the German intelligence on 8 December (or at least before the evening) in the area through prisoners and captured papers were the 216 Tank Brigade and the 333 Rifle Division (1118 Rifle Regiment). The 216 Tank Brigade was already at the State Farm by the morning of 8 December (except, probably, train elements), the 333 Division didn’t have motorized elements and had no reasons or orders to march to the Farm. It is hardly probable that a large destroyed column left no prisoners or documents for intelligence to work with.

5. Geography – the initial German attack early in the morning bypassed the road to the State Farm 79 at a large enough distance from the west, hence no possible contact with Soviet troops on this road. The first contact with Soviet forces of unspecified size and identity was reported near the field camp 2.5 km west of the point 155, that is some 2 kilometers west of the road between Ostrovskiy and the State Farm. Only after that and after the combat started the road was reached at a point which was within sight of the positions of the Soviet 1118 Rifle Regiment and a heavy combat ensued. It is rather improbable that Soviet trucks could be surprised on the road in this way. Contrary to Glantz and House the Panzer regiment simply wasn’t present “2-3 kilometers north of the state farm” early in the morning, but was rather several kilometers further to the north.

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

Post by Yuri » 07 Dec 2023 00:24

First, the offensive plan of the 333rd Rifle Division.
This will help eliminate speculation about the location and actions of the 8th Separate Motorcycle Regiment on December 7 and 8.

TsAMO RF (333sd-1-23 Map)
I approve
Commander of the 333rd Rifle Division
Colonel / Zherebin/

The scheme of interaction of units of the 333rd Rifle Division for the offensive on 7.12.42.

I. Offensive and preparation for attack.

1. The beginning of the artillery offensive at 8.20 (infantry begins the offensive 500-600 m from the front edge of the enemy's defense).
2. The beginning of artillery preparation - "X" - 0.40
897Art.Rgt. - suppresses enemy firing points and infantry in the areas: nameless farm (8442), height 122.1, height 129.0, altim157.8. Conducts fire raids on areas of heights 117.4, 107.2.
75 GMR (Guards Mortar Regiment-Yuri) - Makes raids on the areas of bushes (7640), field camp (7638b), height 155.0.
35 GMR - Makes raids on the areas of height 122.1, field camp (8042) and height 118.3.
3. 216 TBr at the starting positions in the horizontal area with a mark of 100 (7844).
4. 8 MTsR at the starting positions in the Golovsky, Ostrovsky area.
5. Training battalion, 1120 RR and 111 RR - put their firepower into battle. They take the starting position for the attack.
6. 1118 RR - enters the line of the other regiments and takes the starting position for the attack.
7. Each regiment with access to the line of attack gives a conditional signal (see the signal on the borders).
8. RD Commander's reserve - in the Sviridovsky area.

II. Attack
1. The beginning of the attack at 9.00 on 7.12.42 - at the time of the transfer of artillery fire into the depth. The line of attack is no further than 200 m from the enemy.
2. The beginning of the offensive of the tanks is "X"-0.25.
3. The infantry attacks the enemy after the tanks.
4. 8 MTsR begins to perform its task.
5. Artillery -
897 Art.Rgt/ – methodical fire on areas of height 118.3, height 107.2, field camp, height 117.4.
75 GMR - fire by one abteilung on a field camp (7640).

III. Fight in depth and complete the next tasks.
1. After the attack, the units, performing the next tasks, go to the line according to the order.
2. The artillery is firing according to the scheme and is ready to repel counterattacks by enemy infantry and tanks.
3. Tanks destroy the enemy in the area of heights 155.0, 129.0, 158.3, 172.4, shrub (7640) and go out on the road to the southwest to the area of height 165.6 - state farm No. 79.
4. Reassignment of artillery:
I./897 AR – 1120 RR.
II./897 AR – 1118 RR.
III./897 AR – 1116 RR.

IV. Performing further tasks.
1. Units continuing the offensive reach the line according to the order.
2. 35 GMR performs tasks as directed by the Commander 333 RD.
3. Tanks - leave the offensive zone of the division and carry out their further task.

Chief of Staff of the 333rd Rifle Divisions
Lt. Colonel (Sushko)
Tomorrow, the text of the Evening Operational Summary of the headquarters of the 333rd Rifle Division dated December 6 will be given, which reports on the arrival of the 216th TBr, 117th TBr and 8th SMTsR in the area of the division's combat formations.
Last edited by Yuri on 07 Dec 2023 14:07, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Yuri » 07 Dec 2023 01:56

Art wrote:
06 Dec 2023 21:56
4. German intelligence – the only Soviet units identified by the German intelligence on 8 December (or at least before the evening) in the area through prisoners and captured papers were the 216 Tank Brigade and the 333 Rifle Division (1118 Rifle Regiment). The 216 Tank Brigade was already at the State Farm by the morning of 8 December (except, probably, train elements), the 336 Division didn’t have motorized elements and had no reasons or orders to march to the Farm. It is hardly probable that a large destroyed column left no prisoners or documents for intelligence to work with.
Maybe you meant the 333rd SD?

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

Post by Art » 07 Dec 2023 10:47

Sure, corrected.

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

Post by Dunnigan » 08 Dec 2023 22:17

Is there any indication where the 510th and 511th Flamethrower Tank Battalions were during the battle? Were they in the area where the 11th Panzer Division was fighting? Or was it in another sector under the 5th Tank Army?

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

Post by Yuri » 09 Dec 2023 04:56

Dunnigan wrote:
08 Dec 2023 22:17
Is there any indication where the 510th and 511th Flamethrower Tank Battalions were during the battle? Were they in the area where the 11th Panzer Division was fighting? Or was it in another sector under the 5th Tank Army?
The 510th OOTB (SFTB) and the 511th OOTB (OOTB/rus = SFTB/ang - Separate Flamethrower Tank Battalion) arrived at the bridgehead along with the 8th Separate Guards Tank Brigade on December 9.
At the same time, the personnel of the 510th did not take part in the fighting. All tanks of this battalion were transferred to the 511st OOTB. The 511st OOTB operated at hill 161 together with the 44th MSBr.

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

Post by Yuri » 09 Dec 2023 08:58

117 TBr
42-12-06 20-00 117TBr BP-016.jpg
COMBAT ORDER No.016 HEADQUARTERS 117 TANK 20.00 6.12.42 OSTROVSKY
THE MAP 100000
1. The enemy defends the line: heights 122.1, 129.0, 155.0, southern slopes height 161, height 156.0, southern part of LISINSKY.
Having the nearest reserves in the field camp, state farm No. 79 /Sysoikin/, NIZH.SOLONOVSKY.

2. On the right, the 216th Tank Brigade is advancing with the task, together with the 333rd RD, to break through the front and destroy the enemy's grouping in the field camp area and capture state farm No. 79.
The 89th TBr is advancing from the left with the task of defeating the opposing enemy at height 155.0 west and south of heights 161, 156.0, 145.6, and capturing KUSTOVSKY and NIZHNEPODGORSKY.

3. The 117th TBr with one battery of the 33rd FATR, the abteilung RS of the 75th GMR has the task of attacking and defeating the enemy located in the MTF area, the field camp and capturing NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA.

4. I decided to strike the enemy with the 326th and 325th TB in the main direction of the brigade.

5. The 326th TB will advance in the direction of height 155.0, field camp /3 km south/, MTF, height with a mark of 156.1, southern edge of the grove / which is west of 2 km NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA / with the task of destroying the enemy in the area of MTF, field camp. The starting position for the attack is 2 km to the west of OSTROVSKY along the road by 7.00 on 7.12.42.
After the capture of NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA, settle down in the southern part of NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA by organizing a circular defense from the south, east and west by placing tanks in ambushes.

6. The 326th TB will advance in the direction of height 155.0, field camp /which is south of 3 km/, MTF, mark 156.1, along the NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA road with the task of destroying the enemy in the MTF area, the beam Trinozhkina will further master in cooperation with the 326th TB NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA.
Upon reaching line of the MTF, height 156.1, set up a T-70 platoon barrier with a squad of machine gunners at a fork in the road /4 km east of the NIZH.SOLONOVSKY/ with the task of covering the brigade's battle formations from the rear.
Upon capture, NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA will be located in the northern part of NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA, organizing a circular defense from the east, from the west by putting tanks in ambushes.
The initial position for the attack should be 2 km west of OSTROVSKY along the road by 7.00 on 12.7.42.

7. The brigade headquarters with the attached battery of the 33rd FATR should act behind the T-70 company with the task of supporting the actions of tanks and be ready to repel enemy tank attacks. Take the starting position 2 km west of OSTROVSKY by 7.00 on 7.12.42.
After the capture of NIZHNE-CHISRKAYA, it will be located on the southern outskirts and be ready to open fire along the road to the southwest and east.

8. The MSPB follows for the 326th TB with the task of supporting the actions of tanks with all types of fire, destroying the remaining enemy in the path of the battalion.
After mastering NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA, organize defense on the eastern outskirts of NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA, paying special attention to the road from VERKHNE-CHIRSKAYA. Take the starting position by 7.00 on 7.12.42.

9. The abteilung RS of the 75th GMP advance behind the MSPB and be ready to open fire on the line: field camp, barn /which is south of the mark 160.8 2 km/, the MTF. In the future, according to my instructions.
After mastering NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA, it is located on the western outskirts.
The initial positions should be occupied 2 km west of OSTROVSKY along the road by 7.00 on 7.12.42.

10. The beginning of the attack with an additional order and a radio signal "GRAD". /"Hailstorm"/

11. Communication with units – radio, communications officers.
To send a report:
a/ after taking initial positions;
b/ upon reaching the heights of 129.0, 155.0;
c/ state farm No. 79, height 156.0;
g/ MTF, height 145.6;
d/ height 156.1, Kulpinsky;
e/ by occupation NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA;
w/ by occupation defense NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA.
12. The order of movement according to the attached diagram.
13. I am behind the 326th TB in the combat formations of the brigade.
BRIGADE COMMANDER
LIEUTENANT COLONEL /FEDOROV/
CHIEF OF STAFF
MAJOR /SAZONTOV/
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Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 09 Dec 2023 13:17

From the brief combat report of the commander of the 117th Tank Brigade Lt. Col. Fedorov on the actions of the brigade for the period from November 19 to December 18, 1942.
Pages that are of interest for the battle for State Farm No.79. (fourth, seventh and eighth pages).
42-12-18 117TBr Raport(4).jpg
42-12-18 117TBr Raport(7-8).jpg
SUMMARY REPORT
About the fighting of the 117th Tank Brigade 5TA
For the period from 19.11.42 to 18.12.42.

1. 117 TBr by 19.11.42 – was fully equipped with combat materiel, wheeled vehicles and personnel, having T-34 = 32, T-70 =21 tanks and personnel = 1083 people, having stocks of ammunition=3 ammunition.
Fuel and lubricants =3 refills.
Food =10 days.
....

11. 5.12.42 by 15:00, parts of the brigade concentrated in OSTROVSKY as part of T-34 tanks =18 pcs. and T-70 =8 pcs., a company of machine gunners and an AT Battery.
Two tank ambushes have been sent, one tank platoon in each.
On 6.12.42, the tanks allocated to the ambush conducted combat operations to repel enemy counterattacks, supporting the actions of the 1116th Rifle Regiment [333rd Rifle Division].
As a result of the fighting, the enemy was partially pushed back.
The brigade suffered losses: as a result of fighting in personnel and materiel from artillery and enemy tanks.
T-34 tanks burned down = 2 pieces;
Two car commanders and one driver were killed.
Three people were injured.

12. 7.12.42 – brigade units, on the basis of the order of the Headquarters of the [1st] Corps, went on the offensive for the capture of the MTF, Field camp, State Farm No. 79 and NIZHNE-CHIRSKAYA. By 15:00 on 7.12.42, the brigade captured the MTF and fought for the Field Camp.
On 8.12.42, the enemy launched counterattacks in certain sections of the brigade's offensive, but all of them were repelled with heavy losses to the enemy. The brigade attacked the enemy from MTF, height 156.0 and State Farm No. 79, concentrated 1 km north of MTF and put itself in order.
As a result of the fighting, the enemy suffered damage: destroyed guns =18, captured: guns =21, of which 8 150 mm, 11 75 mm, 2 37 mm, 16 machine guns, 36 light machine guns, up to 1,000 submachine guns and rifles. Up to 300 cars, 30 motorcycles, 5 kitchens and up to 180 horses and wagons were destroyed and taken. Up to 1,000 soldiers and officers were destroyed, and up to 6 infantry battalions were scattered.
At 16:00 on 8.12.42 – the brigade was fighting with enemy tanks in the area 5 km south-east of the MTF. As a result of the battle, the enemy suffered damage: three tanks were burned and eight tanks were shot down.
Casualties in the personnel and materiel of the brigade suffered as a result of the fighting:
22 people were killed,
46 people were injured
Damaged T-34 tanks = 2 pcs.
Burned T-34 tanks = 1 pcs.
4 T-70 tanks were hit.

13. On 9.12.42, the enemy launched an infantry counterattack with tanks from the direction of the Field Camp, height 155.0, hill 161, seeking to regain previously lost positions. The counterattack was successfully repulsed with heavy losses for the enemy.
Parts of the brigade, after fighting in the area of state farm No.79, MTF, Derbentsev's beam, inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and suffered losses in the match, withdrew from the battle at dawn on 9.12.42 and concentrated in the OSTROVSKY farm.

14. On 10.12.42 at 16.00, the enemy, with the strength of up to an infantry regiment and with 20 tanks, launched a counterattack in the direction of OSTROVSKY and pushed our units, Throughout the day the enemy accompanied his offensive actions with mass aerial bombing of the front edge of our defense and settlements along the CHIR River. By 7.00 on 12.10.42, brigade units consisting of 5 tanks and remnants of the MSPBtl. 110 active bayonets, a commandant's platoon and a sapper platoon, headquarters of the 325th and 326th TBtls, headquarters of the MSPBtl. and brigade headquarters occupied the starting position for the offensive according to the order of the Corps Headquarters along the northeastern slopes of hill 161.
As a result of the aerial bombing, the brigade had losses in personnel and materiel.
1 person was killed.
5 people were injured.
5 wheeled vehicles were burned.
On 11 and 12.12.42, the brigade occupied the area occupied on 10.12.42 for the offensive, no fighting was conducted.

15. 13.12.42 – on the basis of the order of the Corps Headquarters, the brigade occupied the defense area north of 1 km BOL.OSINOVKA as part of the T-34 tanks =5 pcs., T-70 =2 pcs. and MSPBtl 38 active bayonets.
The brigade occupied the defense in this area until 3:00 on 15.12.42, after which it was transferred to the OSTROVSKY district, where it occupied the defense area.

NOTE: From the first days of the operation, the 1st company of the 326th tank battalion, consisting of 10 tanks and 2 tanks of the same battalion, left on a business trip on the orders of 5TA, who did not participate in the battles as part of the brigade, but performed special tasks as part of other units.

CONCLUSION: In these combat operations, tanks were used in accordance with the order of the People's Commissar of Defense No. 057 and 325.
How disadvantages should be noted:
1/ The lack of air cover made it possible for enemy aircraft to dominate the air, which paralyzed the control of units with massive raids and introduced disorder into combat formations.

2/ Losses of the material part of tanks mainly from anti-tank artillery and from the fire of numerically superior enemy tanks. Our artillery did not have sufficient saturation to suppress the enemy's anti-tank artillery, and the enemy's aviation processing was completely absent.

In the battles for the capture of state farm No.79, MTF and field camp, tanks conducted offensive operations with insufficient infantry support, which made it impossible to gain a foothold at the turn of state farm No.79, MTF.
As a result of a counterattack with numerically superior enemy tanks, the brigade's tanks were forced to withdraw to the OSTROVSKY area.

3/ In all cases of the use of tanks, it is necessary:
a/ a sufficient number of infantry to secure the occupied lines with tanks.
b/ artillery support and escort on wheels to complete the task of the day.
d/ air cover by our aircraft and have an anti-aircraft battery as part of the brigade as an active air defense.

4/ The lack of evacuation facilities in the brigade made it impossible to evacuate the damaged tanks from the battlefield in a timely manner, as a result, tanks had to be used as an evacuation means.
The lack of availability of spare parts also made it impossible to quickly put the damaged tanks into operation.
It is necessary to have evacuation vehicles in the brigades – powerful tractors and more mobile in speeds. It is also necessary to have a sufficient number of spare parts for tanks and wheeled vehicles.

5/ The main method and means of controlling tank units and subunits in recent battles were: radio equipment and communications officers.
Radio communication has proven itself in all types of combat, as a fail-safe means of communication.

COMMANDER OF THE 117 TBR
LIEUTENANT COLONEL / D. FEDOROV/
CHIEF OF STAFF
MAJOR /P. SAZONTOV/
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Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 09 Dec 2023 20:26

A view from space on the battlefield for state farm No. 79.
The alignment of forces on the morning of December 8 and the movement of the units will be monitored on black-and-white images.
SckhNo79().jpg
Modern roads are easily removed from black-and-white images, then you can plot road routes from the 1941 map.
In the middle of the color spectrum scale, I perceive colors differently from most of you (color anomaly). This color scheme of the names of settlements, balkas and heights suits me very well.
But if you need to change the colors, I can easily replace them with another color scheme. Which one has what opinion?
If the color scheme for the inscriptions is suitable, I can replace the names of the beams from Cyrillic to Latin.

Maybe someone can tell where can get better pictures of this area?
That would be great. In these pictures, the balka with the number 1 (Kalinovskaya balka) is not visible behind the clouds, and balka 2 (Golaya balka)is not very clearly visible.
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Art
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Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Art » 10 Dec 2023 16:15

My attempt to reconstruct the counterattack of the 11 Panzer Division on 8 December 1942 based on German and Soviet documents
8Dec-I.jpg
1. Movement of the 11 Pz. Division starts early in the morning (after 4.30 Berlin Time/6.30 Moscow Time). 15 Pz. Regiment followed by the 111 PzGr. Regiment marches to north via Points 172.4 – 158.3 initially having no contact with the enemy.
2. The raid group of the 8 Motorcycle Regiment (2+1/3 motorcycle companies and two anti-tank batteries) marches to the State Farm 79 from the north. Regimental commander lt.col. Belik reports to general Romanenko from the Farm at 9.00 MT/7.00 BT. 15 Pz. Regiment reports seeing a Soviet motorized column with anti-tank guns moving toward the Farm from the north at 7.00 BT/9.00 MT. Pz. Artillery Regiment 119 shells the Soviet column marching along the road toward the Farm (time unspecified). The raid group hardly suffers appreciable losses but is unable to continue movement to Tormosin as planned, since exits from the Farm to the south and south-west are blocked by German units.
3. First contact between the advancing German troops and Soviet forces at the group of houses (field camp) 2.5 km east of the Pont 155.0 (after circa 7.00 BT/9.00 MT).
4. 15 Pz. Rgt. and 111 Pz.Gr. Rgt. attack position of the 1118 Rifle Regiment/333 Rifle Division near the road from Ostrovskiy to the State Farm 79 (circa 8.00 BT/10.00 MT). Lt. col. Belik rushes to the Hill 155 and reports from there to Romanenko at 10.35 MT/8.35 BT about the German tank attack. Romanenko orders (at 13.15 MT/11.15 BT) to maintain contact with them and destroy them with all means.
5. Soviet tanks and infantry on trucks arrive to the Point 155 from the north (apparently along the road from Ostrovksiy, Golovskiy) and enter combat against the attacking German forces. According to Belik he assembled “all tank and guns” in the area to counter the German advance and counterattacked with tanks near the Hill 155. Belik himself was injured in combat (Belik's report to Romanenko 14.?? MT 8.12).
6. 216 Tank Brigade attacks from the State Farm 79 to the south against positions of the 209 Pz. Pioneer Battalion after 08.20 BT/10.20 MT. The attacks are repulsed, 2 KV tanks are destroyed by 88-mm guns of the IV (Flak) Battalion/119 Pz. Artillery Rgt.
7. After a heavy battle with Soviet tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns 15 Pz. Rgt. and 111 Pz. Gr. Rgt. occupy the Hill 155 and block the road to the State Farm (after 12.00 BT/14.00 BT). 1118 Rifle Regiment retreats to the eastern slopes of the Hill 155. 15 Pz. Rgt. claims 20 Soviet tanks destroyed, but its III Battalion expends ammunition and is unable to continue.
8. II Battalion/15 Pz. Rgt. resumes the attack and establishes connection with the 336 Infantry Division south of the Hill 161 at 13.45 BT/15.45 BT. Soviet forces between the Hill 161 and the State Farm 79 are cut off.
9. 110 Pz. Gr. Rgt. starts attack on the Farm from the south at 12.00 BT/14.00 BT and for some time is checked by Soviet defenders, but then the 216 Tank Brigade breaks combat and retreats from the Farm (apparently accompanied by a group of the 8 Motorcycle Regiment), which is occupied by the 110 Pz.Gr. Rgt. at circa 14.30 BT/16.30 MT. The regiment claims 9 Soviet tanks (probably, counting tanks knocked out or damaged earlier, because no losses were confirmed by the 216 Pz. Bde) and 3 76.2-mm guns.

After dusk the attack effectively ends. 11 Pz. Division regroups and prepares for continuation of offensive on the next day.
Unclear/unresolved questions:
a) What were the Soviet reinforcements committed to the battle near the Hill 155 (“tanks and guns” described by Belik) and to what units did they belong?
b) What did 89 and 117 Tank Brigades do throughout the day? Butkov asserted that he gave them order to counterattack the German tanks. It is unclear if they received and followed it.
c) II Battalion/15 Pz. Regiment seems to be less involved in the first half of the day than the III Battalion. What did it do exactly?
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Yuri
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Re: Battle of Sovkhoz «Red Star» (Sovkhoz 79)

Post by Yuri » 11 Dec 2023 01:40

1. Your diagram does not indicate the location of the 119th Motorized Artillery Regiment of the 11th Tank Division.

2. Your diagram incorrectly indicates the height of 137.8, at which two KV tanks of the 216th tank Brigade were burned on December 8.
South of State Farm No. 79 there are two heights with a mark of 137.8.
The first height with a mark of 137.8 is located about one kilometer south of the state farm. According to your scheme, it follows that two KV were burned at this height.
However, the second height with a mark of 137.8 is closer to the Nizh. Solonovsky. It is about 3 km south-southwest of the first elevation with such a mark.
According to the combat report of Lieutenant Colonel Kozhanov, the tanks of the 216th Tank Brigade attacked on Nizh.Solonovsky at 12 o'clock on December 8, but were stopped by enemy artillery on the southern slopes of height 137.8.
According to German documents, at the same time, a Russian attack took place on Nizh.Solonovsky, which was reflected on the northern slopes of height 132.1 and two tanks were shot down.
The southern slopes of height 137.8 are at the same time the northern slopes of height 132.1.
See my space views, which are indicated height is 137.8 and height is 132.1 (north-west from Nizh.Solonovsky)

3. Your reconstruction of events proceeds from the fact that on December 8, the main task for the Soviet troops was to fight the German 11th TD. That's not so. Repelling the attack of the 11th TD was a secondary task for the Soviet units.

4. State farm No. 79 was not captured by German units at 16 o'clock (14 o'clock Berlin time). If this were true, then you need to specify the place where 10 tanks, a motorized rifle company and an anti-tank battery of the 216th tank brigade were located for 8 hours.
Perhaps they drank vodka, celebrating the assignment of the Guards rank to the brigade? where? maybe there in the Kamennaya balka?
In that case, why didn't the Germans take them prisoner? And why did the German units stop at the state farm? it would be more logical to continue moving towards height 161.

The problem in the German description of the battle is that there is no logic in this description of the actions of the German troops.
On the other hand, it is clear from the documents of the Soviet units that they act according to the tasks received and correspond their actions to the prevailing situation.

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

Post by Yuri » 11 Dec 2023 10:03

Errors in the interpretation of the actions of the Soviet troops in your scheme of reconstruction of the battle in the area of state farm No. 79 on December 8, 1942.
8Dec-I(mod).jpg
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