July 1942



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 Oksol. 

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
the bridge.

German Panzers reaching the Don near Voronezh
A new Soviet front, under General Vatutin is created by the Red Army,
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 encirclement.

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
Stalingrad Front.

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.


The German 4th Panzer Army is managed to reach Boguchar and Millerovo
150 milies south of Voronezh and 200 miles from Stalingrad. (see map)
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 : "Werewolf".

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 few weeks.
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 Panzer Division.
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 Tsjetkask.

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 not
believe what they are reading. German Panzers are still fighting for Rostov.

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 oilfields.

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 good order.

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 oilfields.
The last Russian resistance in the Don bend near Kalatsj is destroyed.

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 counterattacks.

 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
the Don.

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.