At the front 12.12.1942
3 copies -
On the action of the Battlegroup
for the period 11.11 to 12.1242
Battlegroup formed in Perelazovsky from following:
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
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
08.00 Report: Enemy attacks at
Kletskaya and Blimov
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
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
guns are positioned against tanks reported from the road junction
1.5 km south of 185.9 to cover the troops pulling back, especially
Personal contact with 14 Panzer Div in Platonov sees
Battlegroup attached to Division. Agreement with measures already
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.
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.
On the way the units of the group in Vlassov are collected
and taken to SsseIvanov.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After making contact with Group, Oberst Ludwig (PzArtRgt 4,
14 Pz Div) takes over security of Platonov, to the SW, from the
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.
End of withdrawal and occupation of Hill 219.3
Cdr makes contact with Oberst Leppers 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).
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
21.00 Oberstleutnant Simons is replaced by Oberst
Ludwig as commander of the section for the night.
Oberstleutnant Simons resumes command. 1 Panzer company of 14
Pz.Div is attached.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
In Venzy the Battlegroup receives the order from 376 ID to
move to Verchnaya Golubaya via Oskinsky, to assemble there and
elements of PzArtRgt 4 come under Oberst Ludwig in Venzy.
Remaining elements of the Battlegroup are as
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
Arrival in Verchnaya Golubaya. Contact made with 44 ID while
looking for 14 PzDiv.
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.
14 PzDiv sends alert: enemy has penetrated the Golubaya
Valley through Tyoply. Occupation of the front line, planned for
daybreak, is carried out immediately.
Alert cancelled because of false report.
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).
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.
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.
Battlegroup departs with following vehicles:
2 Kfz 15
2 Kfz 17
1 Kfz 23
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
Arrival in Peskovatka.
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.
the morning, command authorisation
changes du to structural changes. Cdr takes over the section from
about 1 km NW of the Foresters 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
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
NachrAbt 4 70
3 & 4
Bridging unit 160
2 companies BauBtl
remnants PzJg & RA
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.
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
1 Group Hptm. Wiese (384 ID)
Elements Pi Btl 384
3 & 4 Fahrkol
Remnants PzJg & RadfAbtl
2 Group Rittm. Lange
1/, 2/, 4/
3 Group Rittm. Scharping
Elements RA 113
4 Group Hptm. Bogner
III/ AR 83/ PzJgABt 113 (assault guns)
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.
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.
Heavier attacks on the right flank (Hptm. Wiese) with tank
support. Around 11.00 attacks are repelled with heavy enemy losses.
1 tank destroyed.
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.
Withdrawal carried out according to plan. Russians do not
pursue during the night.
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
Cdr tasked with reconnaissance and erecting defensive
positions. Also available for this task;
Bau-Btl.K 1 (total 80 men)
Beginning of extension of 2 position.
The useable remnants of the units of 62 ID are divided into 2
companies of 40 men each and attached to GR131.
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
190 (62 ID)
Old front line
Own front line