The advancing Germans were halfway to Voronezh. Facing
themselves a strongly-built
Soviet position which was held by four rifle brigades. Two tank
brigades were spotted behind it.
Operation Blue : A first envelopment was completed at Star
At von Bock's headquarters, Poltava, Hitler tells von Bock that
the Russians are nearly finished.
The end of the fighting at Sevastopol. 90.000 Red Army
soldiers went into captivity.
Colonel-General Erich von Manstein is promoted to Fieldmarshall.
08.00 PM the seventh company of the motortised infantery
regiment Grossdeutschland takes
the main bridge over the Don direction Voronezh. German
engineers provided the destruction of
German Panzers reaching the Don near Voronezh
A new Soviet front, under General Vatutin is created by the Red
trying to stop the German Army. The Germans are facing a badly
organised Red Army.
General Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army crossed the Don near
Voronzeh. A first part of
Operation Blue is completed.
6th Army is advancing towards Valuiki were it will meet General
Hoth's 4th Panzer Army.
Although the capture of Voronezh was already announced the
Germans are not able to control
the city. The important supply-line Moscow - Voronezh is still
held by the Red Army.
The Germans are fighting against tough Russian ressistance
in the Voronezh area. Hitler is
directing Hoth to move south instead of south-east along the
Don, with one Panzer Corps to
execute a short encircling movement in conjunction with 1st
Panzer Army in the area of
Kamensk-Shakhtinskij. This is the first modification of the
plan, a desperate attempt to cut
off the retreating enemy. But von Bock has already ordered the
panzer corps south-east,
along the Don, and so, by the time it returns back and meets up
with von Kleist's forward
units, only 14.000 enemy soldiers are taking in the
German forces breaks through theVoronezh defense line at Rossosh
and cross to the east
bank of the River Don
Hitler issues Directive # 43.
Operation Blucher is ordered by Hitler. It will bring his
Crimean forces into the Caucasus.
While German Panzers are fighting in the Donetz Basin, Stalin
ordered to create a new
Hitler fired Fieldmarshall Bock, apparrently because he did not
want to share the glory of
victory with anyone, and he refused to let the general staff be
mentioned in articles of
his victories. All this was an indication of how rapidly
Hitler's xenophobia was growing.
Von Bock is also fired because his failure on the 9th of July.
(some sources says that he's fired the 14th of July.)
Hitler transferred Hoth's 4th Panzer Army from Bock's command to
List's and ordered it to
move west towards Rostov. On the night Army Group A and Army
Group B were ordered to
continue operations on the lower Don. There was no mention of
Stalingrad. The Russians
were to be persued and cut up inthe south. The Russians were now
alive to the German
intentions to cut up their armies as well as take territory, and
in a sense they were ahead of
the German thinking. Confused by Hitler's rapid changes of mind,
the Germans had not
placed much importance on Stalingrad, seeing it simply as a
hinge on which
they would move their operations south. But Hitler saw
Stalingrad as a central position.
Up to now some 130.000 Soviet troops are captured since the
start of operation Blue
It was obvious that most were escaping across the Don. A
state of war was declared
in the Stalingrad area. Now the Russians saw Stalingrad as the
central position in the
whole German drive.
German 4th Panzer Army is managed to reach Boguchar and
150 milies south of Voronezh and 200 miles from Stalingrad. (see
Rostov is cut off from the world by German panzers, the railroad
from Voronezh to
Rostov-on-Don is captured by the Germans.
Hitler moves his HQ to Vinnitsa in the Ukraine. The HQ code :
The German General Staff receives a report of a secret
meeting of the Stavka ,13 July 1942,
from an intelligence agent at Moscow : Retreat of the Soviet
forces to the Volga and into
the Caucasus. Defend there so that the German forces would be
forced to spend the
winter in inhospitable areas. Evacuation of all important
industries to the Urals and Siberia.
Hitler considered the report a hoax.
General Chuikov finds out that his troop do not have a high
morale. It seems that they lost faith
in their commanders and officers.
Hitler, who thinks that the Red Army is almost beaten, denies
the stratigical redraw of
the Red Army. Once Stalingrad and Astrachan are captured and the
Volga is reached
the war will be over at the Eastern Front. It will take only a
German panzers reaching Voroshilovgrad, also the Don at
Tsimlyansk is reached.
German Panzer moving on towards Rostov, Hitler tells General
Franz Halder that the Russians
are finished. Halder replies : I must admit, it looks like it.
The Germans are reaching Rostov. On their way to Rostov
they are not capable to make
any prisoners. The summer campaign had been a failure in the
matter of prisoners.
For the second time the German Army attacks Rostov. Again
General Eberhard von
Mackensen III th Panzercorps attacks the city with 14th and 22th
The first time had been a failure.
Colonel Rodts 22th Panzer Division is fighting northeast of
Rostow. 204th Panzer Regiment
moves south and 14th Panzer Division is heading for Nowo
Hitler issues Directive # 45
One of the most important orders given in WW II.
Directive #45 splits up Army Group south. Hitler's generals can
believe what they are reading. German Panzers are still fighting
The fighting for Rostov goes on. Streets are full of barricades
and Russian resistance is not
expected to be that hard. Russian snipers are everywhere. The
Germans have to fight for
every building and for every cellar. The Russian tactics are
completely new to the German
Army. It seems that the Russian have learned from the past.
Halder explains Hitler that Russian
tactics have been changed. Hitler refuse to believe this.
Rostov, is captured by the German Army. At 05.30 AM. German
troops reach the Don River.
The fight for Rostov is over. But the Red Army is still
defending the bridges over the Don.
The bridges are the gates to the Caucasus, the gates to the
The Germans are starting an intensive attack against the Russian
defenders of the Don
Bridges. The Germans are advancing but they have to fight for
every single part of the bridges.
But what is worst for the Germans : The Soviet army retreats in
German tanks and infantry of the LVII Panzer Corps are on the
Don bridges moving south into
the Caucasus. On there way to Maikop and Grozny and to the
The last Russian resistance in the Don bend near Kalatsj is
Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227 (Russian
version), (English version)
Not one step backwards !
6th Army faces 4 Russian armies, 21th, 62nd, 63th and 64th at
the Russian bridgehead
across the Don at Kalach. Also the first and the 4th Russian
Panzer Army. The 4th Panzer
Army are ready to encircle XIVth German Panzer Corps.
Fifty-first Army corps of General
Von Seydlitz-Kurzbach is in a dangerous position. It is short of
ammunition and fuel. Infact the
complete 6th Army is short of munition and fuel. Hitler divided
Army Group South in two
smaller armies and these two smaller armies are marching away
from each other, the
supply-lines are too long. Also the organisation of the
supply-lines needs too much time.
The Germans are losing valuble time in their race to the
Volga.(Stalingrad) Hitler's adjudant,
Major Engel, is visiting von Weichs and Paulus. They both
explain that 6th Army is too weak
for jobs assigned to them. They are not able to withstand strong
Jodl explains to Hitler that forces must be urgently
transferred from Army Group A to
Army Group B "the fate of the Caucasus will be decided at
Stalingrad". 6th Army crossed
As Jodl said and as Halder said six days before, Hitler takes
away 4th Panzer Army from the
Caucasusfront to Army Group B. He's ordering Hoth to attack the
Kalatsj front at Stalingrad.
Hitler now understands that 6th Army is not strong enough to
capture the Stalingrad area.
The supply of fuel and ammunition for 6th Army is insufficient.
Lots of the supply for 6th
Army is send to the Caucasus.