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Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:09 am
by castro323

Can anyone please provide any information regarding tank availability/quantity for the following Soviet units:
2nd Guards Mechanized Corps (2nd Guards Army)
7th Tank Corps (5th Shock Army)
254th Tank Brigade (51st Army)

So far, what I have available is:
13th Tank Corps (51st Army) - 49 tanks: 28 x T-34 , 21 x T-70
6th Mechanized Corps (2nd Guards Army) - 195 tanks: 117 x T-34 , 78 x T-70
4th Mechanized Corps (5th Shock Army) - 70 tanks: 32 x T-34 , 38 x T-70

Is there any books available recommended for this kind of subject.

I appreciate for any help and thanks,

I provided the Soviet units deployed during Kotel'nikovsky Operation in December 1942 at Stalingrad Front.
Soviet Army - 12 December 1942.jpg
Soviet Army - 12 December 1942.jpg (100.3 KiB) Viewed 1664 times
Unternehmen Wintergewitter & Kotel'nikovskaya Operatsiya.jpg
Unternehmen Wintergewitter & Kotel'nikovskaya Operatsiya.jpg (392.23 KiB) Viewed 1663 times

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:04 am
by castro323

Further research at Russian sites and here's what I found.
Still incomplete.

Kotel'nikovsky Operation
12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942
tank strength

51st Army
-- 13th Mechanized Corps
------ (13th Tank Brigade , 17, 61, 62 Mechanized Brigade)
------ 28 x T-34 , 21 x T-70 (12 Dec. 1942)
-- 235 Tank Flamethrower Brigade
------ 21 x KV (21 Dec. 1942)
-- 254 Tank Brigade
------ ???
-- 234 Separate Tank Regiment
------ 39 x tanks ??? (Unknown date)

2nd Guards Army
-- 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps
------ (4, 5, 6 Guards Mechanized Brigade, 22 Guards Tank Regiment)
------ 118 x T-34 , 76 x T-70 (20 Dec. 1942)
-- 6th Mechanized Corps
------ (51, 54, 55 Mechanized Brigade, 77, 78 Separate Tank Regiment)
------ 117 x T-34 , 78 x T-70 (19 Dec. 1942)

5th Shock Army
-- 7th Tank Corps
------ (3rd Guards Tank Brigade, 62, 87 Tank Brigade)
------ 20 x KV , 41 x T-34 (19 Dec. 1942)
-- 4th Mechanized Corps (18 Dec. 1942 to 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps)
------ (36, 59, 60 Mechanized Brigade, 55, 158 Separate Tank Regiment)
------ 32 x T-34 , 38 x T-70 (4 Dec. 1942)

- Военная летопись 2002 № 3. с.
- Перелом 1942. Когда внезапности уже не было
- Рязанский А. П. В огне танковых сражений.
- ... i2/17.html
- ЦАМО. Ф. 220, оп. 50681, д. 18, л. 529, 606
- ЦАМО. Ф. 603, оп. 23114 с, д. 3, л. 33; оп. 296261 с, д. 13, л. 20

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:01 pm
by castro323
Information about the 7th Tank Corps on 18 Dec., 22 Dec., & 24 Dec.
based on the book of Rounov & Zaytsev "Hot Snow Stalingrad"

18 December Corps had been ordered to withdraw from the battle in the Lower Chirskaya, Upper Chirskaya, where he acted as part of the 5th Shock Army to march into a new area in readiness to act in the direction Gromoslavka, Kotelnikovo.

22 December Corps was transferred to the 2nd Guards Army and was given the task to prepare a counterattack in the direction Gromoslavka and further Vasilevka.

By the morning of 24 December in body composition had 174 tanks,
ready for combat, including 20 heavy tanks KV, 80 units of T-34 and 66 light tanks T-70.
Mechanic Corps was fully staffed. The presence of tanks in its composition,
65% of which is in its combat and technical qualities superior enemy tanks,
as well as possible to solve the bulk of infantry offensive missions.
7th Tank Corps.jpg
7th Tank Corps.jpg (140.18 KiB) Viewed 1588 times
- Валентин Рунов. Лев Зайцев. "Горячий снег Сталинграда. Все висело на волоске!"
(Valentin Rounov. Lev Zaytsev. "Hot Snow Stalingrad. All hanging on the balance!")

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:14 pm
by castro323
Information about the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps on 20 Dec. & 24 Dec.
based on the book of Rounov & Zaytsev "Hot Snow Stalingrad"

In accordance with decision Commander Army 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps was to advance after the 10-minute fire raid in conjunction with the 7th Tank and 13th Guards Rifle Corps in the direction of Gromoslavka.

As of 20 December Corps has a little more than 17 thousand personnel, 195 tanks (including 118 T-34 and 76 T-70),
74 armored car, 173 guns and mortars (76 mm caliber and above), 8 armored rocket artillery M-13.
For the movement of people and material value corps had a few more than 1,400 trucks and special vehicles and 19 tractors.

Start attack was scheduled for 12 hours 24 December 1942.

In accordance with the decision of the troops 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps
on the established routes began to advance and river crossing Myshkova.
But at 8 hours 24 December crossing was not finished, and Corps has taken the initial area to only 12 hours 30 minutes,
when nearby 7th Tank Corps also completed the crossing.
By this time 1st Guards Rifle Corps divisions of the first echelon was fighting at the turn of the Upper Kumsky, Zagotskot,
height 121.3, where he met stubborn resistance, and the neighbor on the left -
13th Guards Rifle Corps, which went on the offensive and hours 30 minutes and has since moved to 4-6 km,
also met stubborn resistance.

As a result of moving the individual compounds Corps created conditions for the strike at the flank of the enemy,
defending in the area of meadow, beam Koronnaya, beam Osipova.
Therefore Commander Army ordered tank regiments of the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps to strike in this direction and
in conjunction with the compounds of the 13th Guards Rifle Corps to defeat the enemy in this area,
not allowing him to escape river Aksay.

2nd Guards Mechanized Corps.jpg
2nd Guards Mechanized Corps.jpg (327.24 KiB) Viewed 1583 times

- Валентин Рунов. Лев Зайцев. "Горячий снег Сталинграда. Все висело на волоске!"
(Valentin Rounov. Lev Zaytsev. "Hot Snow Stalingrad. All hanging on the balance!")

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:45 pm
by castro323
Information about the situation on 12 December and the first day of the German counter-attack.
based on the book of Rounov & Zaytsev "Hot Snow Stalingrad"

Defensive battles of Troops of the 51st Army

12 December

From the Soviet Information Bureau reports the evening

"South-west of Stalingrad the enemy launched several counter-attacks which were repulsed by our soldiers.
On the other side the Germans power up 2 infantry regiments and supported by 80 tanks attacked our positions.
Fierce fighting ensued, during which our fighters inflict heavy losses.

12 November 1942 was the first heavy snowfall. Falling from the sky white flakes concealed opponents from each other. Across strip no man's land is almost nothing to be seen. Vague outlines positions outposts, barbed wire only occasionally peeped through snow squalls. Similarly, in the headquarters of the opposing armies looked at the vague contours of the enemy forces. Exploration gave only vague outlines of the actual composition of the troops which was soon to encounter in mortal combat.

Offensive Army Group "Goth" started in 8 hours morning 12 December after a short, but powerful fire attack artillery and
air strikes on the combat formations of the 51st Army. Proceeding from the area Kotel'nikovo in a general direction northeast,
the enemy main attack on a narrow section of the front along the railway Tikhoretsk - Stalingrad.
Here comes the 6th and the 23rd Tank Division of the 57th Tank Corps, which opposed the 302nd and the 126th Rifle Division of the 51st Army. On the flanks of the tank divisions acted cavalry and infantry German-fascist troops.
Connection with Group Paulus planned south-west Tundutovo (height with a mark of 180 east Zetas).
After artillery preparation, the enemy broke through the defense in part of the 302nd Rifle Division of Colonel E.F. Makarchuk at the little station Kurmoyarsky. The soldiers of this division offered stubborn resistance.

By nightfall advanced units of the 6th Tank Division reached in some areas to the south bank of the river Aksay,
and the 23rd Tank Division - in the area north of Nebykova.
Part of the 302nd Rifle Division moved to the line Chilekov - Nebykov - State Farm "Ternovy".
Ovladev Gremyachy and siding 161st km, fascist tried move to the flank and rear of the 126th Rifle Division,
pushed her right-flank regiment, but were stopped.

General-Colonel A.I. Yeremenko asked the commander of the 51st Army General-Major N.I. Trufanova
keep occupied its troops abroad and to restore the situation in the area of the 302nd Rifle Division.
On strengthening the army was directed from Reserve Front the 235th Flamethrower Tank Brigade and the 87th Rifle Division.
At the same time the commander of the 5th Shock Army General-Lieutenant M.M. Popov was ordered to accelerate
the concentration of military forces for an offensive in the area Rychkovskogo to eliminate the German bridgehead there.

On the actions of German-fascist troops during deblocking impact X. Sheybert reports that prior to the offensive
6th Tank Division was divided into four battle groups:
Three weak infantry groups (Tsollenkopfa, Unreyna and Kventina) and one strong armored group Gyunersdorfa.
Summing up the results of the first day of the offensive, he wrote,
the most important of goals was not achieved - failed to capture crossing across the river Aksay.

About the beginning of the enemy counter-attack near Kotel'nikovo
commander troops Stalingrad Front General-Colonel Yeremenko immediately reported to the Supreme.
In response he heard: "Hold on. We now send the reserves."

- Валентин Рунов. Лев Зайцев. "Горячий снег Сталинграда. Все висело на волоске!"
(Valentin Rounov. Lev Zaytsev. "Hot Snow Stalingrad. All hanging on the balance!")

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:26 pm
by castro323
Information about the situation on 13 December. The second day of the German counter-attack.
based on the book of Rounov & Zaytsev "Hot Snow Stalingrad"

13 December

From the Soviet Information Bureau reports

From morning reports:

"South-west of Stalingrad the enemy was trying to counter our position.
Encountered heavy artillery and mortar fire the Germans retreated to the starting line,
leaving the battlefield more than 400 corpses.
N-skoye subdivision knocked out fortified positions of the enemy and captured 8 guns, 2 mortars and 126 rifles.

From evening reports:

"South-west of Stalingrad fascist infantry forces and tanks launched an offensive on the position, who defends N-skaya part.
Met by artillery fire, they retreated, leaving the battlefield many corpses.
Shortly the enemy launched yet one after another three attacks.
One group of German tanks succeeded in penetrating our defenses.
Soviet artillery and anti-tank riflemen shot down 15 and burned 7 enemy tanks.
Destroyed up to 800 German soldiers and officers.

At dawn 13 December the German-fascist troops resumed the offensive.
The main enemy attack continued to strike the 302nd Rifle Division.
To stop the advance of German tank divisions on frontier patrol Biryukovsky - State Farm "Ternovy",
at battle were introduced of the 13th Tank Corps.
During the day 30 assault planes of the 8th Air Force twice attacked on this section on the German tanks.
The enemy again failed to reach the flank and the rear of the 126th Rifle Division.
However the main effort of the enemy continued to besiege the 302nd Rifle Division, who retreated to the river Aksay.
By the end of 13 December the enemy advance units seized Vodyanskim, Zalivskim, crossed Aksay and
went into the area of the Upper-Kumskogo.

The 6th Tank Division continued to advance.
As a result the second day of the offensive the 6th Tank Division seized a bridgehead on the river Aksay at Zalivskogo,
hence part of the forces moved to a hamlet Upper-Kumsky and captured it.
The 23rd Tank Division, advancing from the area Nebykova, also went to the river,
capturing bridgehead at railway and road bridge at Kruglyakova.

The book Sheyberta these events set forth as follows:

"Group Gyunersdorfa seven hours progressed by 25 km, capturing ...
the crossing of the river Aksay and creating a bridgehead to a depth of 10 km.
It is much ahead of the main forces of both your own and the 23rd division ...
Coming right the 23rd Tank Division as they crossed the Aksay encountered resistance of Russian tanks and
it was forced to seek help from the 6th Tank Division.
To this end two tank companies of the 6th Tank Division were put forward in the band of the 23rd Division.
By the end of the day, so manner, managed to create two bridgeheads on the north-west bank of Aksay.

On the edge river Aksay-Yesaulovsky fierce struggle,
the outcome of which depended largely on the further development of events at the front.
Former fascist General Mellentin so estimates the value of these battles:

"During this period there have been full of tragic events, the historical significance can not be overestimated.
It is no exaggeration to say, the battle on the banks of the obscure river led to the crisis of the Third Reich,
put an end to hopes Hitler's creation empire and it was a crucial link in the chain of events,
predetermined the defeat of Germany.
This definition is not scientifically accurate, but the basic meaning of the events it transmits true.

With the troops Army Group "Goth" to river Aksay there is a real danger of a breakthrough its outer front of encirclement.
The question was then as follows:
the enemy will be able to relieve his encircled grouping and restore the front at Stalingrad or,
conversely, Soviet troops attempt to eliminate this, that would lead to far-reaching consequences.

Stavka Supreme Command immediately saw the seriousness of the threat and took action, that answered current situation.

So, A.M. Vasilevsky wrote:

"Returning to the Upper-Tsaritsynsky, I contacted the commander of the Stalingrad Front, who was in Raygorode;
we agreed, that he would immediately take care of strengthening the 51st Army and, besides that,
allocate part of the forces for the defense of the river Myshkova.
After that I went to Zavarygin, so that notifying Stavka, take stronger action against the fascists, advancing by Kotel'nikova.
To connect with Supreme Commander to me at once failed.
Then I was informed about the situation in the south Commander Don Front K.K. Rokossovsky
and it turned out while at its headquarters commander of the 2nd Guards Army R.Ya. Malinovsky about,
that he intends to ask Stavka with the arrival of the 2nd Guards Army immediately send them to the south of Stalingrad,
toward the advancing troops of Manshteyna.
I suggested Malinovsky immediately begin to organization transfer ready made parts and compounds his army
forced march to the river Myshkova, so that, forestall the enemy, give him on turn Myshkova resolute rebuff.

After a while a conversation with Supreme Commander.
I reported on the start of a major tank offensive of the enemy side Kotel'nikova, as well as about,
that with the release of these troops to the river Aksay because of a lack of reserves
we have here poses a serious threat breakthrough external front of encirclement troops Paulus.
To eliminate this threat, requires serious and urgent measures to strengthen both the external front,
so and to strengthen the southern and south-west filling the internal front.
These measures are taken, but they are far from sufficient.
Next I asked Supreme Commander to allow immediate begin redeployment arriving 2nd Guards Army on the Don Front
and deploy it on the river Myshkova, stop the advance of the troops of Manshteyna, further,
subordinating the 2nd Guards Army Stalingrad Front, to defeat them,
a operation to eliminate the encircled troops Paulus temporarily postponed.

This proposal initially met with a fairly strong objections from I.V. Stalin.
He said, that the issue of transfer of the 2nd Guards Army from Don in Stalingrad Front will be reviewed
State Committee Defense.

With great excitement I was expecting solutions Stavka ...
About 5 hours morning 13 December
I received from High Command appropriate instructions.
He ordered the transfer of 2nd Guards from Don in Stalingrad Front 15 December
a leadership of the troops to eliminate deblocking groups enemy laid on me.
In the coming days I had to submit views on the use of the 2nd Guards Army on Kotel'nikovo direction.

- Валентин Рунов. Лев Зайцев. "Горячий снег Сталинграда. Все висело на волоске!"
(Valentin Rounov. Lev Zaytsev. "Hot Snow Stalingrad. All hanging on the balance!")

Re: Kotel'nikovsky Operation - 12 December 1942 - 30 December 1942

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:56 pm
by castro323
Information about the situation on 14 December. The third day of the German counter-attack.
based on the book of Rounov & Zaytsev "Hot Snow Stalingrad"

14 December

From the Soviet Information Bureau reports

From morning reports:

"South-west of Stalingrad our troops fought with the infantry and tanks of enemy.
Artillery of N-skoy part shot down 10 German tanks and scattered large group of enemy infantry,
in another area of our fighters repulsed two counterattacks of German infantry.
As a result the battle killed more than 200 fascists.

From evening reports:

"South-west of Stalingrad infantry and tanks of enemy counterattack resumed our positions.
Heavy losses they managed to oust several of our units.
In this battle Soviet soldiers destroyed up to 1,000 enemy soldiers and officers,
destroyed 11 tanks and 7 self-propelled guns.

14 December at 22 hours 30 min. directive to A.M. Vasilevsky of Stavka Supreme Command
required due to the changed situation in the south of the first phase of Operation "Ring" postponed,
The 2nd Guards Army proposed a forced march to move to the south and is located in the rear part,
acting against Kotel'nikovo enemy groups.

Commanders Don and Stalingrad Front Generals K.K. Rokossovsky and A.I. Yeremenko
was ordered "continue the systematic extermination of the enemy surrounded by air and ground forces,
not to give the enemy a respite or day, or night,
more compress the encirclement, fundamentally prevent attempts to break out of the ring surrounded.

"The main task of our southern troops - break Kotel'nikovsky enemy group,
Trufanova forces and Yakovlev in the coming days to take Kotel'nikovo and gain a foothold there permanently.

Therefore, 2nd Guards Army heading to defeat Kotel'nikovo enemy group.
Prior to her approach to the place of fighting the onslaught
Group Gotha had to restrain them opposing forces of the Stalingrad Front.
Commander Front decided active actions of troops to cut off the advancing front of
German tanks from the infantry and rear, and then destroy them apart at the turn river Aksay.

To this end it has been established the shock group of 51st Army,
it composed the 4th Mechanized (transferred from the 5th Shock Army) and
the 13th Tank Corps, 235th Flamethrower Tank Brigade, 234th Separate Tank Regiment, and
the 1378th Rifle Regiment of 87th Rifle Division (also from the 5th Shock Army)
This group of troops was ordered to attack in the general direction of Chilekov.

Characterizing the state of 4th Mechanized Corps, Yeremenko wrote:

"13 December all parts of 4th Mechanized Corps after they were replaced by the 300th Rifle Division,
were on the march; by this time the body for more than 20 days of continuous fighting led and
it had a loss of more than 60% of staff and materiel part. In it remained 42 tanks and 2000 fighters.
Also the second day of moving out of the Volga the 87th Rifle Division,
approaching the head regiment in area Kapkinskogo.
Simultaneously tank and artillery reserves approached to Gromoslavka.
The troops were representatives of the Staff of the Front,
sent there immediately after our decision to establish a group to parry threats from Kotel'nikovo.
Their main task was to do their utmost to accelerate the pace of concentration and advancing troops.

At morning 14 December these parts, received still on the march out their tasks,
bravely rush to meet the enemy, dealing a counterblow on the Upper-Kumsky.
Began a counter fire fight mechanized units.
Location point was attacked 4th Mechanized Corps from two directions:
From one he broke into the town and the other covering his right.
Simultaneously from the area Gromoslavka the 235th Tank Brigade
with subordinate separate tank regiment covered this point to the east.
The 20th Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade appeared in time to head
the 1378th Rifle Regiment of 87th Rifle Division
(the remaining portion, detained at the crossing of the Volga, we were on approach)
I turned to the left (east) 235th Tank Brigade at the level Upper-Kumskogo and
stop the advance of the enemy group, dealt a blow to the east of the Upper-Kumskogo.
As a result rapid counterstrike advanced parts enemy were semicircle and
suffered heavy casualties and technology (up to 40 tanks and many infantry).
Under pressure from our opponent's pieces left Upper-Kumsky and moved on boundary river Aksay.

To alleviate the situation the troops of the 51st Army, 5th Shock Army (315th, 258th, 300th, 87th Rifle Division,
the 7th Tank and the 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps), was ordered to go on the offensive on the Lower-Chirskaya.
As a result the path of the enemy offensive strike force already since 14 December
had to get up far more powerful group than the one that was there on 12 December.

In accordance with the general objective of the resulting N.I. Trufanov decided
to pin down the enemy from the front by the rifle divisions and give them artillery,
and mobile units to attack the flanks of the advancing group of German-fascist troops,
the 13th Tank Corps was ordered to move from the area of river Aksay westward and
hit the right wing of the advancing enemy.
The 4th Mechanized Corps to give it the parts had to strike a blow on the left flank of the enemy troops
(from area Dorofeyeva to go on Vodyansky).
To support mobile forces allocated 100 fighters and assault aircraft of the 8th Air Force.

Scheduled action plan really could not lead to the destruction of superior enemy forces,
but it is consistent with the plan of the Supreme Command - the maximum delay and
weaken the breakthrough on intermediate lines to the encircled Stalingrad grouping forces Manstein and
bleed them until the place battles of the 2nd Guards Army.

Within the framework of the implementation of tasks in the morning of 14 December
the two opposing sides again went into action.
The enemy sought to build on this success in the area of the farm Upper-Kumsky,
which has become the main hub of struggle.
This was because location is the most convenient road from south to north to Stalingrad,
forcing the fascist to persist in the development of the offensive on this direction.
The road from the north German tanks blocked the 1378th Rifle, 234th Tank Regiment,
235th Flamethrower Tank and the 20th Separate Fighter Brigade.
From the air the enemy attacked the advancing Soviet assault aircraft, acting in groups of 4-6 aircraft.

Appointed to meet the advancing German troops the 4th Mechanized Corps of General V.T. Volsky
were fighting in the area of Upper-Kumskogo and Vodyanskogo.
The 13th Tank Corps came close to the enemy in the vicinity of the junction Biryukovsky and,
join the battle, he pulled the part of the forces of the 23rd Tank Division.
Throughout the day the 51st Army was heavy fighting with the advancing army group Manshteyna - Gotha.
X. Sheybert writes, on 14 December 1942 was the day of the
"beginning last three days tank battle in the Kalmyk steppes,
one of the biggest and fierce tank battles in the Second World War.

On the same day the troops of the 5th Shock Army launched an offensive against the enemy in force
in the area Rychkovsky, Upper-Chirsky.
After a fierce battle the 7th Tank Corps of General-Major Rotmistrov,
258th and 4th Guards Rifle Division rejected fascist from the bridgehead,
that eased the situation of the 51st Army on Kotel'nikovo direction.

With respect to this day A.M. Vasilevsky wrote:

"14 December at 22 hours 30 minutes we received an official directive on how to temporarily postpone
the implementation of Operation "Ring".
The 2nd Guards Army move to the south ...
The general idea of reflection forces of Manshteyna was formulated in the Directive as follows:
the main task of our southern troops - to break the Kotel'nikovsky group enemy forces
Trufanova (51st Army) and R.Ya. Malinovsky, in the coming days to take Kotel'nikovo and firmly to gain a foothold there.

... On the night of 14 December was followed and another very important decision by Stavka:
Change the direction of the main attack South-Western and the left wing of the Voronezh Front.
If the plan of Operation "Saturn" is planned directly south through Millerovo to Rostov,
in the rear of all enemy troops on the southern wing of the Soviet-German front,
now it was decided after the defeat of the Italian Army in the middle reaches of the Don
direct blow to the south-east, towards the Morozovska and Tormosin, then there is at rear unlocking group of Manshteyna.

- Валентин Рунов. Лев Зайцев. "Горячий снег Сталинграда. Все висело на волоске!"
(Valentin Rounov. Lev Zaytsev. "Hot Snow Stalingrad. All hanging on the balance!"