Battlegroup Simons                                                 At the front 12.12.1942

-         3 copies  -

Battle Report


On the action of the Battlegroup

for the period 11.11 to 12.1242



11.11.42                    Battlegroup formed in Perelazovsky from following:

Fighting strength


Group Staff (Gren Rgt 190) 3 : 3 : 5

Recce pltn (NA 162) 1 : 4 : 22

Pz.Jg.Abt. 162 7 : 35 : 241

Radf.Abt.162 (minus I squadron) 4 :  24 : 184

II./A.R.54 12: 44 : 224



The group was formed as a kind of blocking unit under 48 Pz Corps and within the Romanian Army and held in the area of Perelazovsky.


12. – 18.11.42 On the orders of 48 Pz Corps the area southwest of Kletskaya is reconnoitred for possible action in the case of expected enemy attacks (artillery positions etc).  Pz.Jg.Abt.611 receives special orders from Corps to make a precautionary block on the commanding line of hills 218.8 – 196.7 ( 5km SW of Kletskaya) in the second line.



08.00               Report: Enemy attacks at Kletskaya and Blimov

08.30                              Group stands to. Should be ready to move off.

09.30               Radio order from commanding general: Group moves immediately to Hill 135.7 and prevents enemy breakthrough to the SW.

                        Moving up the group comes into contact with fleeing Romanian elements  near Yevstratovsky (18 km SW of Kletsyaka).

10.30               Detachments debus about 3km south of 196.7 and move up through the fleeing Romanians towards Hill 196.7, already occupied by just a few assault guns of Pz.Jg.Abt611.  Hill occupied. Artillery moved into pre-prepared fire positions in the ravine about 2 km north of 201.3.  All attempts to halt the fleeing Romanians, especially at the second line (Hill 196.7) – to keep infantry protection for the 75 mm HFL – fail.  With no officers and in complete disorder the Romanians continue to flee.

11.30               Pz.Jg.Abt.611 knocks out 6 tanks. Enemy push strong tank and cavalry forces round Hill 196.7 to the West, out of range, and take Gromky. The 75mm assault gun of Pz.Jg.Abt.611 knocks out 5 tanks but cannot prevent enemy attacking on the left flank and in the rear.

12.30               Group constructs hedgehog defensive positions round the ravine at group command post (5 km SW of Gromky) and fights off weak enemy attacks (cavalry) from this direction.

14.00               Report from artillery positions that strong enemy tank forces have broken out from Gromky in a southerly direction and are already approaching the road junction (about 1.5 km south of 185.9).

                        After the flight of all Romanian forces the Group is alone. No radio contact with Corps. When darkness falls the Cdr decides to pull back eastwards towards Sakharov-Yevstratovsky and there hold a  bridgehead over the Kurtlack Valley.

                        Pz.Jg.Abt.611’s assault guns are positioned against tanks reported from  the road junction 1.5 km south of 185.9 to cover the troops pulling back, especially artillery.

16.0                                  Personal contact with 14 Panzer Div in Platonov sees Battlegroup attached to Division.  Agreement with measures already in place.

17.0                                  Group HQ reaches Sakharov with a few assault guns. Assault guns then moved immediately to secure the northwest direction.

Recce officer (Lt Israel) to Yestratovsky establishes that this is heavily occupied by the enemy and reports heavy tank and logistics movement in a southerly direction on the Yestratovsky-Kalmykov road.  Enemy has also broken through further to the south, making formation of the bridgehead at Yevstratovsky unfeasible. Following report from units still on the march: column has encountered time-consuming problems on the road (2km south of 201.3); end of the column (heavy company R.A.162 and Pz.Jg.Abt.162) has been attacked in the ravine by enemy tanks and cavalry.

Merciless attacks from elements of Pz.Jg.Abt.162 and Pz.Jg.Abt.611 (assault guns) manage to cover the further withdrawal of the Group, so that the artillery unit, parts of Pz.Jg.Abt.162 and infantry elements of RA162 can reach Vlassov. Vehicles and heavy weapons belonging to heavy company R.A. 162 and the PAK belonging to PzJgAbt162 are lost or have to be blown up during the attack.

18.00               Group HQ outposts report enemy tanks in the immediate area of the group battle command post at Sakharov (80 m).  Enemy has entered the area unnoticed from the SW. Warned by radio, HQ and the assault guns, manage to withdraw soundlessly in the darkness to SseIvanov.

19.0                                   On the way the units of the group in Vlassov are collected and taken to  SsseIvanov.        

20.0                          The group constructs hedgehog positions facing north, west and south.  A Panzer company from 14 PzDiv is attached and deployed on the south bank of the Kurtlack with II/AR54, front to the West. Due to the lie of the land more attacks from this direction must be expected on 20.11.




02.0                                  Around 20 enemy tanks with tank riders quickly approach our positions under cover of darkness.  Exceptionally heavy night fighting develops, with our artillery engaging directly. In a short time night is turned into day by the fires of the knocked-out enemy tanks and our own vehicles.  The engagement continues until dawn.

04.30                              Attack beaten off.  16 enemy tanks knocked out but own losses high.  The artillery unit is badly hit and all the 100mm guns are out of action and a large part of the towing vehicles are burnt out. One heavy field howitzer and some trucks can still move. One of our own Panzers is totally out.

05.0                                  Renewed enemy tank attacks from the West and cavalry from the South against our own ‘Hedgehog’. Radio order from 14 Pz Div. Untenable situation, Group pull back to Platonov.

06.0                                  As a result of heavy losses, the Group is no longer capable of facing new attacks.  Under cover of the Panzers the remnants of the Group manage to get back to Platonov. The losses incurred during the night fighting and the withdrawal cannot yet be assessed.

10.0                                  After making contact with Group, Oberst Ludwig (PzArtRgt 4, 14 Pz Div) takes over security of Platonov, to the SW, from the Group.

12.0                                  Due to heavy enemy attacks from the N and NW 14 Pz Div orders the Group – now in Group Ludwig – to Hill 219.3 (about 4 km NE of Platonov), to protect the SW and hold the Hill.

15.0                                  End of withdrawal and occupation of Hill 219.3

18.0                                  Cdr makes contact with Oberst Lepper’s group in Orekhovsky.





05.00  In the course of shortening the front, which had become necessary due to weakened forces – with no infantry support – the Battlegroup receives the order, together with parts of Pz.Art.Rgt 4 – under  Battlegroup Lepper – to occupy a new position on Hill 232.2 (some 4 km WSW of Ssredny) and hold it against all attacks, especially from the west and NW.  The other parts of Battlegroup Lepper are to hold the line of Hills 172.1 – 202.2 (some 2 km of Orekhovsky).

11.0         After reconnaissance by the Cdr the Battlegroup takes up position on Hill    232.2.  1 company Pi. Btl.376 and elements of the 1st Romanian Cavalry division which have been rounded up, some 400 men, are put under the command of the Battlegroup.

With these elements and the remnants of our own Battlegroup we manage to construct a cohesive 3 km long front in front of Hill 232.2. Parts of PzJgAbt 611 and 670 are attached.


14.00 Enemy tank and infantry attacks from the NW are brought to a halt and beaten back. Enemy digs in, in front of our positions.

21.00 Oberstleutnant Simons is replaced by Oberst Ludwig as commander of the section for the night.



05.0          Oberstleutnant Simons resumes command. 1 Panzer company of 14 Pz.Div is attached.

07.30      Renewed enemy attacks with infantry and tanks. Hill 202.2, our right neighbour, is taken. Message received that the enemy has entered Orekhovsky under cover of darkness.  The right flank of the Battlegroup is open. Oberst Lepper wants to hold Ssredny.

08.30      Attack on our own section beaten off. The Panzer company deployed against Hill 202.2 knocks out 6 tanks.

Message arrives: Sseredny has fallen, Oberst Lepper and remnants of his group fall back on 221.1 (1.5 km SW of Krainy).

In accordance with orders the Cdr gives the command to hold the position to the last round. Breakthrough of strong enemy tank forces avoided, but around 10.00 the Battlegroup, including the artillery, is out of ammunition.

10.0                In order to avoid the threatened destruction of the Battlegroup and the artillery, the Cdr decides to pull back over 221.1 (link up with Lepper) to Venzy, covered by the Panzers and assault guns,

10.45           Personal contact with Oberst Lepper on 221.1 shows that that the Hill cannot be held with the  weakened forces remaining.

Covered by the Panzers and Pz.Jg. assault guns the whole of Group Lepper completes the withdrawal to Venzy, pursued by enemy tanks and cavalry.

11.30      In Venzy the Battlegroup receives the order from 376 ID to move to Verchnaya Golubaya via Oskinsky, to assemble there and ….The elements of  PzArtRgt 4 come under Oberst Ludwig in Venzy.

Remaining elements of the Battlegroup are as follows:

                        Staff and                                          26

                        PzJgAbt 162                                        118

                        RadfAbt 162                                        55

                        PzJgAbt 611                                        124

                        II/AR 54                                            36

                                                                        Total   359


13.00  Departure of elements, some totally exhausted, of the Group gathered in Venzy.  The high numbers of dead, wounded and missing, sick (especially frost-bitten) cannot yet be assessed.

16.0        Arrival in Verchnaya Golubaya. Contact made with 44 ID while looking for 14 PzDiv.

20.0          14 PzDiv order Cdr to occupy, with elements of NAG 4, PiKp 376 (still to be added) and own remaining troops, a new front line, about 7.5 km long, on the east bank of the Golubaya Valley, running along the line 3 km NW of Hill 225.5 – 225.5 – Verchnaya Golubaya, early on 23.11.




00.0          14 PzDiv sends alert: enemy has penetrated the Golubaya Valley through Tyoply.  Occupation of the front line, planned for daybreak, is carried out immediately.

04.0          Alert cancelled because of false report.

08.0          New order: main front line will stretch from Vrechnaya Golubaya to the NW, PiKp 376 re-attached to its own Division, NAG 4 to be used for other purposes.  Group staff summoned to 14 PzDiv battle HQ in Molkerey (10 km NW of Verchnaya Golubaya).

12.0          On orders from Division there was a radical reduction in vehicles still available in order to be able to carry out the evasive manoeuvre across the Don to Peskovatka (ordered for 24.11) with the remaining petrol.

Report comes in: enemy has taken Kalach.

15.0          Departure of the remaining elements of the Battlegroup in 14 PzDiv to Peskovatka via Radionov – Summer House – Luchinsky  is ordered for 24.11 at 02.00 ; Enemy probes  Verchnaya Golubaya with tanks and infantry.




2.30          Battlegroup departs with following vehicles:

2 Kfz 15

2 Kfz 17

1 Kfz 23

2 cars

4 trucks with 4 37mm Pak


            1 heavy Kettenkrad


All remaining vehicles and 37 mm Pak are destroyed or blown up. March to Peskovatka uneventful except for traffic problems.

09.30    Arrival in Peskovatka.

15.0          Battlegroup reaches 14 PzDiv dressing station (about 10 km SW of Peskovatka).  There Cdr receives orders to organise a new defensive front to the NW with various elements on 25.11.



25.11.42 During the morning, command authorisation changes du to structural changes. Cdr takes over the section from about 1 km NW of the Forester’s House – incl. the Sakharovsky – Kalach road with the front to the SW, while Battlegroup Oberst Schleusinger (GrRegt 536) deploys on the right with the front facing NW.

15.0                The front is quickly strengthened with all available elements just in time to repel an enemy attack with tank support. 3 tanks are knocked out by PzJgAbt 4.

After personal contact the following troops are put under the Cdr:

                           Elements  PiBtl 384            60

                                “           NachrAbt 4                70

                                   “           PzJgAbt 4

                                         3 & 4 Fahrkol.         80

                                             2 Fahrkol      30

                                “         Bridging unit 160

                                             &         122   100  

                           2 companies BauBtl 540             150

                           remnants PzJg & RA 162      80    

                                                      total       570

26.11      Despite command problems due to lack of any communications, the front line is held all day against repeated enemy attacks.

12.00 14 PzDiv orders front line pulled back about 2 km in the general line 50.8 – 103.4 at nightfall.

15.0          Battlegroup command post pulls back to Ssokarevsky.  From here  communications with the leaders of the newly reorganised units are restored with the help of the PzDiv.  The units in the new section from the crossroad 1 km west of 65.1 – 103.4 are divided as follows:



1 Group             Hptm. Wiese (384 ID)

                        Elements  Pi Btl 384

                        3 & 4 Fahrkol

                        Remnants PzJg & RadfAbtl 162

Scattered Romanians      

2 Group             Rittm. Lange               (Bau-Batl 540)

                        1/, 2/, 4/

                        Bau-Batl 540

3 Group             Rittm. Scharping             (Radf.Abt 113)

                        Elements  RA 113

                        3 Fedl-Prs.Btl.113

4 Group             Hptm. Bogner             (III/GrRgt 261)

                        III/GrRgt 261

                        Scattered Romanians


Heavy weapons:

III/ AR 83/ PzJgABt 113 (assault guns)


III/WerfRegt 53

I/FlaRgt 241



27.11.42                    Enemy attacks various positions along the 6.5 km section all day, especially on the left and right flanks, partly with armoured support, but is driven back with heavy losses.  On the left wing there is a gap of about 1.5 km which cannot be closed despite several attempts by the left neighbours ( II/GR672).

Hill 103.4 is taken in a counterattack in which 3/PzJgAbt 113 destroy 3 tanks.

Incorrect, inaccurate and exaggerated reports make command very difficult, especially deployment of anti-tank units.  This adds to the problems of the mixture of shattered and exhausted troops who are also inexperienced in infantry combat.  In the afternoon there are several heavy artillery strikes with Stalin organs on Ssokarevsky.



06.0                                  Heavier attacks on the right flank (Hptm. Wiese) with tank support.  Around 11.00 attacks are repelled with heavy enemy losses. 1 tank destroyed.

13.0                                  Renewed enemy attack continuing until dusk and partly repelled by counterattacks.

On orders of 14 PzDiv at 20.00 the Battlegroup is to break off contact with the enemy en masse at 20.00, rearguards at 23.00, and then move to the crossroads 129.0 (2 km NW Dmitriyevka).  There elements of 14 PzDiv will be attached. Own remaining elements of Battlegroup Simons (62ID) should be transferred to 44ID on orders of the Cdr.

20.0                                  Withdrawal carried out according to plan. Russians do not pursue during the night.



Remnants of Battlegroup Simons assemble in Dmitriyevka.  Cdr makes contact with 44 ID in Baburkin. During the day elements of the group are attached to 44 Div as follows:

9 officers 31 NCOs

1 doctor 121 men

30.11                              Cdr tasked with reconnaissance and erecting defensive positions.  Also available for this task;

2 companies Bau-Btl.K 1 (total 80 men)


1.12.42                        Beginning of extension of 2 position.

4.12.42                        The useable remnants of the units of 62 ID are divided into 2 companies of 40 men each and attached to GR131.

5-11.12                       2 position constructed in individual sections and completed.

12.12               Cdr ordered to organise the defence of the Rossoshka Valley.




Breakdown of enemy tanks definitely destroyed in individual actions by Battlegroup Simons


19.11.42                  11

20.11.42                  16

21.11.42                  4

22.11.42                  11

25.11.42                  3

27.11.42                  3

28.11.42                  1

Total 49



(signed) Simons

Oberstleutnant and Commander

Grenadier-Regiment 190 (62 ID)




Sketch 1



Old front line

Own positions

Own movements

Enemy movements

Enemy tanks

Enemy cavalry


Sketch 2



Own line

Own movements

Enemy movements



Sketch 3



Own front line

Neighbouring section

Own movements

Enemy movements