Semliansk 1942 - 5th tank army

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cpa95
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Semliansk 1942 - 5th tank army

Post by cpa95 » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:50 am

Hi,

early in July 1942 the russian 5th tank army attacked west of Woronesch, south of Semliansk. On the german side the 9., 11.PD and one infantry corps defended the flank of the movement of 48. Panzerkorps towards Woronesch.

On the russian side, the 2. and 11. tank corps (5th tank army), 1., 7. 16. tank corps were beaten between 5. -9.7.1942.

Does anyone have informations about this battle?
Thanks
Thomas

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Post by GaryD » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:05 am

The 11th TC was formed in May, 1942. The following is taken from 11th Tank Corps in Battles for the Motherland, by I. I. Yushchuk, Moscow, 1962, pages 4-14.

Here's the relevant part about the fighting (leaving out the many stories of personal heroism by Soviet fighters). My comments are in brackets [].

"In the beginning of June [1942] the fascist command planned an offensive in the Voronezh area.

On the morning of June 28th the enemy opened an offensive against the left flank of the Bryansk Front with 7 Infantry, 3 Panzer, and 3 Motorized divisions with aviation support. Outnumbered in infantry and tanks, our 13th and 40th Armies could not repulse the enemy's attacks. By the end of July 2nd enemy forces succeeded in penetrating our defenses to a depth of 80 kilometers. Despite the commitment of Front reserves, there was a danger that the enemy would break through to the Don and capture Voronezh.

After evaluating the Bryansk Front's situation, Stavka quickly sent the 5th Tank Army, which included the 11th TC, to the Voronezh region.

On July 6th the Corps was concentrated in the area of Ivanovka-Vislaya Polyana. The 11th and 7th TCs were ordered to destroy enemy infantry and tanks in the region Khrushchevo-Ozerki-Malopokrovka.

On July 7th and 8th the 11th TC attacked in the direction of Khruschevo-Ilinovka. The 59th TBde, in cooperation with a battalion of the 12th MRBde, captured the northern edge of Khrushchevo by 1600. To stop our troop's attack, the Hitlerites fired on them from 12 batteries of 6-barreled rocket launchers. No one meter of ground was left untouched by the enemy rockets. Enemy aviation ruled the air, dropping its deadly cargo on the attacking units of the corps."

"The 12th MRBde, under the command of V. L. Kalashnikov, at 1100 on July 8th began to exploit the attack in the direction of Ivanovka and Golosnovka. Near Ivanovka the brigade was counterattacked by infantry and 60 tanks. The Hitlerite tanks were able to break through our troops' dugouts, but the fascist infantry was cut off from their vehicles by automatic fire and destroyed."

"By the end of the day the the main forces of the 11th TC had crossed the Kobylya Snova river, having destroyed 5 tanks and 8 AT guns.

The morning of July 9th our forces renewed the attack in the direction Malopokrovka-Ilinovka-Spasskoe. Bitter fighting ensued."

"On July 10th the 53rd and 160th tank brigades, and the 12th MRBde took Ilinovka and attacked Fedorovka."

"In the afternoon on July 10th the right-flank of the corps crossed the Sukhaya Vereika river and took Fedorovka. The fighting was savage. The enemy had a numerical advantage in tanks and infantry, and attacked the flank of the 53rd TBde, trying to surround and destroy it."

"The 59th and 160th TBdes were thrown into the fighting with the 53rd TBde to the south of Spasskoe, and by 2000 on July 10th tried to attack Chibinsovka without success. The slow tempo of the attack allowed the enemy to organize a strong antitank and antipersonnel defense.

After resupplying with ammunition and fuel, the corps began to attack in the direction of Nikandrovka-Malaya Vereika-Zemlyansk. When the corps advanced into the area of Cibisovka, it was hit with strong bomber attacks. In all there were 13 attacks, each of which consisted of 20-27 airplanes. At 1800 on July 11th the enemy counterattacked the corps with 27 tanks, infantry, artillery, mortars, and aviation. The attack was successfully beaten off."

"At 1400 on July 12th the Hitlerites began an artillery and aviation preparation. Afterwards, up to 80 tanks with infantry attacked into a 5-kilometer gap between the positions of the 11th TC and the 340th RD in the direction of Perekopovka.

The Corps repulsed the enemy attack... however the Hitlerites managed to push in the corps's left flank, thretening to encircle the corps and break into the rear of the defenders. At this time the enemy aviation destroyed the crossing on the Kobylya Snova river at Perekopovka. In this dangerous situation the corps commander, General-Major of Tank Troops A. F. Popov, took the decision to pull back across the Sukhaya Vereika river [5 kms further south], covered by artillery and motorized rifle units, and not allow the enemy to cross the river.

On July 13th the corps continued to fight for the crossings, while at the same time constructing a strong defense line along the northwest bank o the Kobylya Snova on the line Perekopovka-Ozerki [a distance 2 kms or less long]. The defense as deeply echeloned with tanks and artillery. At night on July 14th enemy infantry tried once again to cross the Kobylya Snova river between the villages of Perekopovka and Ozerki, but artillery and mortar fire beat them back. [this is strange. The previous paragraph said that the corps had pulled back to the next river]

In morning of July 14th the Hitlerites began a savage attack all along the corps's front. Enemy aviation conducted massive attacks on all positions, river crossings, and the corps command post. The sky was filled with smoke and dust, but the enemy, despite trying at all costs to take our crossing at Perekopovka-Ozerki, was repulsed.

The 53rd TBde and 12th MRBde continued to hold the crossing of the Kobylya Snova at Perekopovka. The 160th and 59th TBdes strongly defended the crossing at Ozerki.

At the same time, our artillery intensively attacked enemy tank and infantry concentrations in the area Perekopovka-Ozerki."

"In the Voronezh area battle the Hitlerite forces suffered huge losses in personnel and equipment. 100 tanks were destroyed or knocked out, along with 250 artillery pieces and mortars.

The 11th TC, in cooperation with other units of the Soviet Army held the enemy at the Kobylya Snova for a long time."

After the fighting NW of Voronezh in July and August, the 11th TC was withdrawn into the Bryansk Front reserves in the area of Prostor (40 km SW of Efremov, where it received reinforcements and training. It's next combat seems to have been in February, 1943.

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Post by cpa95 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:30 pm

Hi GaryD

thanks a lot for your informations! :up:

Do you have something additional to the other tank korps?

Greetings
Thomas

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Post by GaryD » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:26 am

Maybe :wink: What do you have on the 9th and 11th Panzer Divisions?

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Post by cpa95 » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:48 pm

GaryD wrote:Maybe :wink: What do you have on the 9th and 11th Panzer Divisions?
Here they are - 11. Panzerdivision - according to the book of Donnhäuser-Drews

27.6.
order by radio for the 11. PD to attack the next day - direction Woronesch.
28.6.
the whole artillery of the sector fired, with a minor russian reaction. 11. PD built two attacking groups, they crossed the river Tim. 8,8cm crossed the river and went in positions on the eastside of the river. PR 15 attacked in the direction of Kschen, together with Schützenbatallione of 11. PD it took the villages of Gratschewka 2+3. This morning 8 russian tanks were destroyed. A brigdehead east of the Kschen was built up. Annother part of the division (Kampfgruppe) took Michailowka and the railway line north of it.
29.6.
during the night it was heavily raining. The streets became very bad, so the spearhead of 11. PD was supplied by Luftwaffe-units. Then the bridgehead east of the Kschen bacame larger.
30.6.
russian attacks against the bridgehead were pushed back. Supplying was difficult like on yesterday.
1.7.
More russian planes attacked during the night and at dawn the supply lines. At dawn PR 15 attacked in the direction Wyss.-Bolschoje, some russian tanks (KW-1) were destroyed with the help of the 88-guns. The Schützenbatallione took Wolotschik and built annother bridgehead near Kschenski on the eastside of the river Kschen. The russian defensive got stronger, and the attacking groups dig in for the night ("Igelbildung"). Russian planes attacked once more the supply lines of the 11. PD, russian troops attacked the supply lines from villages and woods in the rear.
In the evening the 11. PD got a Werferabteilung for supporting the attack next day.
2.7.
The attacks went on, direction Wolowo and Witrowka-west. The tanks of PR 15 crossed the river Olym near Nebereshnoje, the Schützenbatallione built a bridgehead near Olchowatka. 11. PD was given to the XXIV. Panzerkorps (formerly the XIII. Armeekorps was leading and the commanding unit). XXIV. PK ordered to largen the bridgeheads across the Olym. The intention is to attack next day in the direction Semljansk. Russian troops attacked the bridgeheads during day and night, so the 11. PD took the Kradschützenbat. 61 into the bridgehead. In the evening one Panzerabteilung of PR 15 attacked Wassilewka, which was strong defensed, and destroyed 7 russian tanks. At night the russian troops went back to the east.
3.7.
The XXIV. PK ordered to take Beresowka, 15 km to the east of Nabereshnoje. At the beginning both Kampfgruppen of the 11. PD went on, they destroyed 8 heavy russian tanks. Then the defense became stronger, russian planes attacked the Kampfgruppen, which moved without support by the Luftwaffe. At high noon the Kampfgruppen reached the hill near Nowosselskoje and after this, they took the line Liwenka-west - point 251,9 - Fetisowska - 3 km north of Nowosselskoje (meanwhile Kradschützenbataillon 61 was lying there). The attack towards Semljansk could not go on caused by supply problems (fuel and ammunition for the tanks). During the night one more time the russian troops in the rear could cut of the supply lines, supplying by air was ordered.
4.7.
Heavy russian attacks from the north on both sides of Nowosselskoje with heavy air support. 11. PD fought in a defensive position, in the afternoon the engineers took Nowosselskoje by support of the Panzerregiment 15. Just before this situation russian tanks attacked and reached the headquarter of 11. PD, they were pushed back by german tanks and heavy aa-guns (8,8cm). Some more russian attacks against the other bridghead Nabereshnijo were beaten, 10 tanks were destroyed. One bridge was lost, then was taken back and the Kampfgruppe of 11. PD started a counterattack in the N-E direction to help the 377. ID, which stood in heavy fights there.
The supply lines were cut off again, transports needed the help of tanks of PR 15. During the night a contact was built with troops of the 9. PD, which stood east of Semljansk.
The 11. PD reported 160 destroyed russian tanks (70 percent heavy ones) since 28.6.
The 11. PD suggested, that the russian troops looked for a determing fight on each aerea of the battlefield.
5.7.-9.7. heavy fighting each day, the 11. PD was succeded in securing the support lines.
6.7. 11. PD reported, that the russian 55th cavalry division is destroyed, remants were flying to the north. Once again the german tanks had no fuel.
8.7. The 11. PD got the order, that they will be taken off the lines together with the 9. PD. The aerea was given to the VII. Armeekorps. On the same day the Fla-Abteilung 38 was withdrawn from the 11. PD, her support was decisive during the last days by destroying over 50 russian tanks. During the withdrwan annother russian attack started, 20 russian tanks (english Mark II) were destroyed by PR 15.
9.7. The 340.ID took place in the aerea. The army command sent a aerial photo from the tank battle near the Kschen.


Greetings
Thomas

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Post by Paul B » Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:36 am

A fairly good account on this battle can be found in the book "Forgotten Battles of the Soviet-German War 1941-1945 - Vol 3. The Summer Campaign (12 May - 18 November 1942 )" by David Glantz.

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Post by GaryD » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:47 am

The following is summarized from pages 11-20 of "The Kotelnikov Guards: the Combat History of the 3rd Guards Kotelnikov Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Tank Corps", by V. P. Bogachev, Moscow, 1981 (Bogachev was the reconaissance chief of the 7th Tank Corps, later 3rd Guards Tank Corps.

The German army attacked on 6/30/42 and by 7/2 had penetrated 80 kilometers towards Voronezh and surrounded parts of the 21st and 40th Armies. By 6 July the Germans had captured a bridgehead on the left bank of the Don and occupied a large part of Voronezh.

The 5th TA (2, 7, 11 TCs, 340 RD, 19TB) was ordered to attack on 5 July, but only the 7 TC was ready. The order was to concentrate at Kamenki and attack in the direction of Ozerki-Zemlyansk along wth 19 TB. The 11 TC was to attack in the direction of Kozinki and with 7 TC take Zemlyansk. 2 TC was to follow behind 7 TC. and exploit to Khokhol, thus cutting off the Germans around Voronezh. The attack started on 6 July, and in the area of Krasnaya Polyana a meeting engagement took place which involved a total of 170 tanks. 11 TC was opposed by 11 PzD of the XXIV PzK.

On 7 July 7 TC was helped by one brigade of 11 TC and reached the Kobylya Snova river but could not cross because there were no bridges standing. The 7 TC attacked with 3 GTB in the center, 62 TB on the right, and 87 TB on the left with 7 MRB supporting all three. The corps engineers built 3 crossings of the Kobylya Snova and the corps attacked Perekopovka. The Germans retreated. The 62 TB attacked Ivanovka.

On 8 July 7 TC continues the attack accross the Sukhaya Vereika river and captures Khrushchevo - 15 German tanks, up to 2 infantry companies , and 2 mortar batteries destroyed. 11 PzD withdraws the night of 7/8 July and is replaced by Gross Deutchland.

On 10 July 11 TC takes Fedorovka and 2 TC begins its attack with no success.

11 TC is withdrawn from the line in mid July to refit but is back in action on 25 July at Pankovets (30-50 km north of Voronezh)

The 7 TC commander, P.A. Rotmistrov (same as 5th GTA commander at Kursk) discusses this battle on pages 114-117 of his memoirs, "Steel Guard", Moscow, 1984. I won't repeat what he says which agrees with Bogachev.

7 TC had 5,600 men, 168 tanks, 32 artillery pieces and AT guns, 20 AA guns, 44 mortars, and 8 BM-13 rocket launchers.

He claims that he opens the attack by hitting a sleeping German encampment of the 11 PzD and capturing 200 Germans. He says that 62 TB destroyed 20 German tanks when it attacked Ivanovka. Then it moved on to Dolgoe as the enemy retreated to the south.

E .F. Ivanovskiy, operations chief of the 2 TC (later 8 GTC), says in his memoirs "Tankers Led the Attack", Moscow, 1984, that 2 TC destroyed the 378 Infantry Division. He writes that on 7/9 2 TC was ordered to attack on 10 July and take Bolshaya Vereika and then move to Gremyache, and that the enemy wasn't expecting an attack. On the morning of 10 July the 2 MRB, 148 and 27 TBs attacked and took Chirikov and Sklyaevo. Germans counterattacked with 30 tanks, 13 of which were destroyed. 2 TC dug in on the Vereiska heights.

Katukov, commander of the 1 TC writes in his memoirs "At the Sharp End of the Attack", Moscow, 1974, that 1 TC destroyed the 246th motorized infantry regiment (26 guns destroyed, 2,000 dead), on 3 July at the Kshen river. He also says that some of the German tanks were painted beige, because they had been transferred from Libya.

The chief of staff of the Bryansk front, M.I. Kazakov, writes in his memoirs, "At the Map of Past Battles", Moscow, 1965, that 40 A was handled very poorly by it's commander M.A. Parsegov (later relieved and sent to the Far East Front), and how the 5 TA attack was poorly executed.

Most of the authors emphasize that they had no air support while the Germans mercilessly bombed them (a common theme).

By the way, most writers agree that 5 TA commander Lizyukov, a Hero of the Soviet Union for his actions in the summer of 1941, was not up to the challenge or army command, and after the battle the Army HQ was dissolved and Lizyukov made commander of 2 TC and died in battle on 25 July.

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Post by Shingo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:15 am

Hello Thomas, GaryD and Paul B,

I have gone back my home temporarily. :(

Very interesting topic and replies. :up: :wink:
I drew a image map dealing with "Battle of Semiliansk (Zemilyansk)".
If you are interested in the image map, please see my weblog. (Unfortunately Japanese only...... )
I hope this information will prove useful to you.
-Image map
http://russo-germanwar.at.webry.info/20 ... cle_1.html
-Soviet OOB
http://russo-germanwar.at.webry.info/20 ... cle_8.html
-German OOB
http://russo-germanwar.at.webry.info/20 ... le_12.html

Glantz also translated the following material. Good account.
-The Combat Operations of Briansk and Voronezh Fronts Summer 1942:
Sbornik voenno-istoricheskii materialov Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Collection of Military-Historical Materials on the Great Patriotic War)

Other excellent russian book
-Boi v izluchine Dona 28 iiunia - 23 iiulia 1942 goda (Battle on Don river. June 28 - July 23, 1942) / 2002 Strategiia KM

Best Regards,
Shingo

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Post by cpa95 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:13 am

Hi Shingo,
fantastic map - :up:
Thanks for the russian OoB.

@ GaryD
great arrangement of sources, thanks a lot, too.

Thomas
Das Studium der Tagesmeldungen der Heeresgruppen ist mühseliger als die Lösung eines Kreuzworträtsels (Guderian 4.2.45)

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Re: Semliansk 1942 - 5th tank army

Post by BobM » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:25 am

Just in case anyone is interested - pre-war topo map of the area of the battle

Image

From

http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/prewarm ... 7-138.html

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Re: Semliansk 1942 - 5th tank army

Post by BobM » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:59 am

Dear All

Forgive the thread necromancy but does anyone have more detail on 9 Panzer Division's part in the battle?

Thanks

Bob

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