Military Review

Operation "Small Saturn". How they defeated the 8-th Italian army

36
16-30 December 1942, the forces of the South-West and the left flank of the Voronezh Front conducted Operation Small Saturn (Middle-Don offensive operation). Soviet troops broke through the enemy defenses and defeated the main forces of the 8 Italian Army, the Hollidt Task Force and the 3 Rumanian Army.


The Wehrmacht used up forces intended to attack Stalingrad and refused further attempts to unblock the Paulus group surrounded there, which predetermined its fate and led to a radical change in the situation in the Stalingrad-Rostov sector (and on the entire Soviet-German front). The death of the Italian army on the Don caused literally shock in Rome. The relationship between Italy and Germany has deteriorated sharply. Rome actually ceased to be an ally of Germany. The Fascist regime of Mussolini's duce in Italy faltered.

Plans of the Soviet command

The preparation of a new offensive operation, renamed Saturn, began at the end of November 1942. The troops of the South-Western and Left Wing of the Voronezh Front in the course of this operation were to defeat the main forces of the 8 Italian army defending New Kalitva, Veshenskaya, and enemy troops on the r. Chir and in the area Tormosina, and then advance in the general direction of Millerovo, Rostov-on-Don. The South-Western Front was strengthened by new connections. December 8 The 1942 directive of the Stavka made up the 1-th Guards Army under the command of V. I. Kuznetsov (the third formation) from parts of the operational group of the South-Western Front.

On November 25, the representative of the Headquarters A. M. Vasilevsky, the commander of artillery of the Red Army N. N. Voronov, the commander of the Air Force A. A. Novikov together with the commander of the Voronezh Front F. I. Golikov began reconnaissance work in the XF sector of the HF 6 Army. The next day, the same work was done jointly with the commander of the Southwestern Front, NF Vatutin, on the right wing of this front.

To defeat the 8th Italian army and the German task force Hollidt, it was planned to create two strike groups on the South-Western Front: 1) on the right flank of the 1st Guards Army to launch a strike from the bridgehead south of Upper Mamon on Millerovo; 2) in the strip of the 3rd Guards Army D. D. Lelyushenko east of Bokovskaya to strike also at Millerovo, closing the encirclement. After that, the advancing troops were to advance to Rostov. The shock group of the Voronezh Front - the 6th Army under the command of F.M. Kharitonov was to strike from the area southwest of Upper Mamon to Kantemirovka, Voloshino. 5th tank P.L. Romanenko’s army was tasked with defeating the enemy at the junction of the Southwestern and Stalingrad fronts, in the area of ​​Morozovsk, Tormosin, Chernyshevsky, and preventing his breakthrough to the encircled group. The actions of these troops were to be supported by the 17th Air Army.

The final version of the operation the command of the Southwestern and Voronezh fronts was to submit to 1942 in early December 21 Army of the Southwestern Front, 26 and 4 tank corps operating on the inner circle of the encirclement at Stalingrad, decided to transfer to Donskoy front. So that all the attention of the South-Western Front command was concentrated on the external line of the struggle and the preparation of Operation Saturn. The 2-I Guards Army of R. Ya. Malinovsky was transferred to the Stalingrad area. The Soviet Stavka initially planned to use the 2 th Guards Army as part of the forces of the South-Western Front to develop an offensive from the Kalach area in the direction of Rostov - Taganrog. However, in connection with the beginning of the offensive of the German army group "Got" in order to save the Stalingrad Paulus group, the army of Malinovsky was thrown into the fight against the German forces that were breaking through.

Operation "Small Saturn". How they defeated the 8-th Italian army

Soviet T-34 tanks with soldiers on armor on the march in the snow-covered steppe during the Middle Aid offensive

Germans

The Wehrmacht High Command attached great importance to retaining defense at the borders of the Don and Chir rivers, continuing to concentrate forces here to unblock Paulus's troops. The Germans were waiting for the strike of the Soviet troops in this direction and were afraid for the defense capability of 8 of the Italian army of General Italo Gariboldi. On the other hand, the attention of the German command was riveted to Stalingrad and the troops of Manstein and Goth, who were to save Paulus's 6 army.

Hitler still hoped that the front line in the Stalingrad sector could restore and maintain the gains of the 1942 campaign of the year. During the meeting in the Wolf's Lair (Wolfshah) 12 of December 1942, he noted: “If we voluntarily give up Stalingrad, then this whole campaign will lose its meaning. To believe that I once again manage to come back is insane. Now, in the winter, we can build reliable cut-off positions with existing forces. The enemy currently has limited transportation options on its existing railway line. Ice is melting, and a transport artery such as the Volga will be at its disposal. He knows what advantage it will give him. Then we are no longer moving forward here, which is why we have no right to leave this place. To achieve this goal, too much blood has been shed. ”

Moreover, the Fuhrer still hoped to defeat the Red Army in the Stalingrad sector. Hitler noted that the German command, if it acted correctly, would be able to carry out bilateral coverage of the grouping of Soviet troops in the Stalingrad area, and then continue the implementation of the previously assigned tasks. “I think,” said Hitler, “it is right to strike first from south to north and break through the ring. Only after that continue the blow to the east, but this, of course, is the music of the future. First you need to find and collect for this force. The decisive, of course, is how the day will pass for the Italians. ” That is, Hitler was aware of the danger in the Italian sector of the front. He feared that a catastrophe would happen here, and it did happen a few days after the meeting in the Wolf Den. But he still overestimated the capabilities of the Wehrmacht and underestimated the increased capabilities and power of the Red Army. He believed that the Stalingrad "bag" gives the German troops even greater opportunities than the Kharkov.

Thus, Hitler did not hurry with the withdrawal of Army Group A from the Caucasus, believing that there was still time to pull new large forces to Stalingrad and turn the struggle on the Russian front in the right direction, retaining the previous successes of the 1942 campaign of the year.

However, the grouping that was in front of the South-West and left wing of the Voronezh fronts was strengthened before the Soviet offensive. Thus, 385-I infantry and 27-I armored German divisions were additionally deployed in the Boguchar region. Wehrmacht command continued to replenish the group of armies "Don".


Romanian prisoner of war column near Stalingrad

"Little Saturn"

In the meantime, the command and troops of the Southwestern and left-wing Voronezh fronts were preparing for an offensive in the area of ​​the Middle Don. The concentration of troops and equipment due to the lack of transport and the workload of communications was not completed by the deadline. As a result, the start of the operation scheduled for December 10 was postponed to the 16. In addition, the plan of the operation was substantially adjusted by the Stake due to the delay in eliminating Paulus’s surrounded 6 Army, which could not be crushed on the move and Manstein’s deblocking blow (Operation Winter Thunderstorm).

As a result, taking into account the current situation, it was decided to change the direction of the main attack of the attacking troops. According to the plan of operation "Saturn", it was planned from the Upper Mamon region directly to the south, through Millerovo to Rostov-on-Don, to the rear of the whole Army Group "South". Now the troops were assigned the task of developing an offensive in the southeast direction, to the rear of the deblocking group of Manstein-Goth. That is, the scale of the operation was significantly reduced.

13 December The rate directive addressed to N. N. Voronov, N. F. Vatutina, and F. I. Golikova noted that Operation Saturn was conceived in a favorable military situation, which has now changed. The main attack was directed not to the south, but to the southeast, in order to "take the enemy's lateral-frost group into ticks, walk along its rear lines and eliminate it." The 1-I and 3-I Guards armies of the South-Western Front were to surround and destroy the troops of the 8-I Italian army and the Hollidt task force, and then attack Morozovsk. At the same time, the 6 Army of the Voronezh Front was tasked with striking from the area west of Upper Mamon in the general direction to Kantemirovka to ensure the advance of the strike force of the South-Western Front. The 5 Tank Army was instructed, in cooperation with the 5 Shock Army of the Stalingrad Front, to defeat the enemy in the areas of Lower Chirskaya and Tormosin in order to reliably isolate the surrounded Stalingrad Wehrmacht grouping. The specified plan of operation received the name "Small Saturn".



The forces of the parties

For the operation, the 6-I Army of the Voronezh Front and part of the South-Western Front — the 1-I and 3-I Guards Armies, the 5-I Tank Army, 2-I and 17-I Air Forces. 36 divisions of more than 425 thousand people, more than 5 thousand guns and mortars (without 50-mm mortars and anti-aircraft guns), more than 1 thousand tanks, more than 400 airplanes were involved in the operation by the Red Army.

Our forces in the area from Novaya Kalitva to the Lower Chirskaya (430 km) were opposed by the main forces of the 8 Italian army, the Hollidt task force and the remnants of the 3 Romanian army - around 27 divisions in total, including four tank forces. Enemy troops numbered 459 thousand people, more than 6 thousand guns and mortars, about 600 tanks and about 500 aircraft. The defense of the Germans, Italians and Romanians consisted of two lanes with a total depth of about 25 kilometers, very well equipped and trained in engineering.

Thus, the Soviet troops in comparison with the enemy had slightly fewer people, artillery, inferior to aviationbut had a serious superiority in the number of tanks. However, overwhelming superiority over the enemy was created in the areas of the main attacks of the Soviet troops. In addition, the Italian and Romanian troops had less combat stability than the German. They were worse motivated, armed, and equipped.


German tanks on the railway platform and other property seized at the Kantemirovka station (in the Rossosh-Millerovo section) of the Voronezh Region. Ahead Pz.Kpfw.38 (t) (Czech tank LT vz.38), followed by damaged Pz.Kpfw. IV early modifications

Breakthrough Enemy Defense

The offensive began on December 16. In 8 hours, heavy artillery fire fell on the enemy. However, the hour and a half artillery preparation was held in a thick fog, the shooting was carried out on the squares. And the aircraft could not immediately take part in the destruction of the enemy defense, the planes could not fly up to mid-day. As a result, the enemy fire system was not completely defeated during the preparatory phase. In 9 hour. 30 min. our troops went on the attack.

The troops of the 6 th army of Kharitonov and the 1 th Guards Army of Kuznetsov forced the Don over the ice and the induced crossings, and also advanced from the Osetrovsky bridgehead. The Red Army on a broad front went to the positions of the enemy. In the course of a three-hour fierce battle, the 6 Army's gunners broke into New Kalitva and Derezovka, wedging 2 — 3 km into the enemy defenses. The 1 Guards Army rifle units advanced by midday on its flanks on 1,5 — 2 km. Not having to wait until the infantry breached the enemy’s defensive orders for mobile units to reach operational space, and to speed up the breakthrough of the enemy’s tactical defense zone, the front commanders brought three tank corps into battle: 25, 18 and 17. However, this was done without prior engineering reconnaissance, and the tanks immediately ran into minefields, suffered losses and were forced to halt attacks before making passages in minefields.

In the second half of the day, the fog cleared, and Soviet aircraft began to strike at the battle formations and enemy airfields. German aircraft actively resisted. In the air, there were numerous battles between Soviet and enemy aircraft. The enemy commanders tried to thwart the Soviet offensive, trying to push the Soviet divisions back to their original positions, throwing operational reserves into counterattacks. As a result, by the end of the first day, the successes were small, Soviet troops advanced in the 6 Army’s offensive zone on 4 — 5 km, and in the direction of the main attack of the 1 Guards Army — only on 2 — 3 km. 3-I Guards Army on this day did not achieve success at all.


The pilot of the Italian fighter Macchi MC.202 "Folgore" from the 356 squadron (356 Squadriglia) in the steppe on the Eastern Front. 1942 Winter

17 December, the 6 th and 1 th guards armies continued to attack the enemy. Enemy artillery fire, counterattacks, bombing and assault strikes of aircraft sought to disrupt the advancement of our troops. However, rifle divisions now established good cooperation with aircraft and tanks, which ensured the development of initial success. By the end of the day, the troops of the 6 Army broke through the enemy defenses in the areas of Novaya Kalitva and Derezovka, and destroying the remaining centers of resistance of the enemy, deployed a further offensive. The 17 tank corps, which was introduced into the breakthrough, moved forward in the direction of Kantemirovka.

The troops of the 1 Guards Army, advancing from the Lower Mamon, Upper Mamon, Nizhnyaya Gnilusha areas, during the battles of 16 - December 18, broke through the defenses of the 3 Italian Infantry Division and the German 298 Infantry Division, deploying an offensive in the southern and south-east directions. In the offensive zone of this army, the 18, 24, and 25 tank corps were introduced. The troops of 3-th Guards Army, General Lelyushenko, advancing from the line east of Kruzhilin-Bokovskaya, also broke through the enemy defenses. December 18 The 1 Guards Mechanized Corps, together with the 14 rifle corps of this army, captured Astakhov, Konkov, Bokovskaya, and Old Zemtsov settlements. On the left wing of the South-Western Front, General Romanenko’s 5 Panzer Army forces of the 321 Infantry Division and the 5 Mechanized Corps forced the r. Chir and captured the bridgehead length of 15 km along the front and up to 5 km in depth.

Thus, during the three-day stubborn battles, the troops of the South-Western and the left wing of the Voronezh fronts broke through the strong defenses of the enemy in several directions, forced the Don and Bogucharka rivers to fight. The main attack was delivered in the offensive zone of the 1 th Guards and 6 th armies. Here the breakthrough of the enemy’s defense was extended to 60 km along the front, and the advancing troops advanced to 40 km, reaching the southern bank of the r. Bogucharka. 3-I Guards Army broke through the enemy defenses on 20 km along the front and advanced to 15 km in depth. The actions of the ground forces of the fronts were actively supported by our aviation - the 2-I and 17-I air armies of the generals K. N. Smirnov and S. A. Krasovsky.

The Soviet troops defeated the Italian 3 and 9, the German Infantry Divisions 294 and 298, inflicted significant damage on the Italian Infantry Division 52. The defense of the 8 of the Italian army collapsed, all reserves were used on the first day, the command and control of the troops was lost, and a non-stop retreat began.


The dog is sitting in the snow on the background of the column of Italian troops, retreating from under Stalingrad

The frozen bodies of Italian soldiers in a broken column of artillery FIAT SPA TL37 on the road near Stalingrad. Background (far right) - Italian truck Fiat 666 NM

Продолжение следует ...
Author:
Articles from this series:
1942 Campaign

The Third Reich again goes on the offensive.
"The whole Russian front was falling apart ..." Wehrmacht breakthrough in the southern strategic direction
Stalingrad Fortress
1942 year. "The operation in the south develops without stopping"
How the German army broke through to Stalingrad
Expectations to take Stalingrad a sudden blow failed
Breakthrough of the 6 of the German army to the northern outskirts of Stalingrad
Defeat of the Crimean Front
"The spirit of optimism ... vital at the command post of the front." Kharkov disaster of the Red Army
Khrushchev dumped all the blame for the Kharkov catastrophe on Stalin
How the Wehrmacht stormed the Caucasus
Battle for the Caucasus: no invasions from land
The battle for the "black gold" of the Caucasus
How failed operation "Edelweiss"
"Soviet troops fought for every inch of land ..."
"Verdun of World War II ..."
"It truly was hell." How to reflect the first blow to Stalingrad
"We will storm Stalingrad and take it ...". Second storming of the stronghold on the Volga
The second assault on Stalingrad. H. 2
The third assault on Stalingrad
"Tanks drive through people like wood." The third assault on Stalingrad. H. 2
“We are fighting as if we are possessed, but we cannot make our way to the river ...”
Battle of Stalingrad changed the course of the “Big Game”
The German command is focused on "extremely active" defense and "a sense of superiority of the German soldier over the Russians"
"Stalin's holiday": Operation "Uranus"
"Stalin's holiday": Operation "Uranus". H. 2
Stalingrad "boiler"
Bloody Mars
Bloody Mars. H. 2
As the Germans tried to save the army of Paulus. Operation "Winter Thunderstorm"
"Winter Thunderstorm." H. 2
How to stop the breakthrough of the army group "Got"
How failed Manstein offensive
36 comments
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  1. igordok
    igordok 22 December 2017 06: 54
    +6
    Thanks again! Very and very scrupulous.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 22 December 2017 07: 42
    10
    Photo: A dog sits in the snow amid a column of Italian troops retreating from near Stalingrad
    .. Symbolic photo ...
    1. igordok
      igordok 22 December 2017 08: 47
      +8
      Quote: parusnik
      Photo: A dog sits in the snow amid a column of Italian troops retreating from near Stalingrad
      .. Symbolic photo ...

      That dog is really sorry.
      Thank. I thought about it. Why kolyizurengoy only in Berlin was. About Rome, Bucharest, as well as Budapest and Vienna forgot?
      1. novel66
        novel66 22 December 2017 09: 35
        +8
        hell, he, the sick man, will have to travel all of Europe, weeping, who already was not there!
        1. ando_bor
          ando_bor 22 December 2017 11: 33
          +2
          Quote: novel xnumx
          he, a sick man, will have to travel all of Europe, crying, who already was not there

          They immediately apologized to the Italians as soon as they soaked them.
          Mikhail Svetlov Italian 1943:
      2. BAI
        BAI 22 December 2017 10: 15
        +2
        only in Berlin was.

        Still have time to ride. Or others will go.
      3. ando_bor
        ando_bor 22 December 2017 10: 44
        +2
        Quote: igordok
        Why kolyizurengoy only in Berlin was.

        Back in 1965, Italians made the film Italiani Brava Gente - "Italians are good people" with our participation - territory and extras:
  3. antivirus
    antivirus 22 December 2017 09: 25
    +3
    fewer people, artillery, were inferior in aviation, but had a serious superiority in the number of tanks.
    "DAYS AND NIGHTS AT THE MARTIN FURNACES ..."
  4. novel66
    novel66 22 December 2017 09: 36
    +3
    and at this time Zhukov .... request
    1. IGOR GORDEEV
      IGOR GORDEEV 22 December 2017 10: 10
      +1
      Quote: novel xnumx
      and at this time Zhukov ....

      What is Zhukov at this time?
      1. novel66
        novel66 22 December 2017 10: 12
        +3
        Google to the rescue. Sychevka!
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 22 December 2017 11: 33
      +3
      Quote: novel xnumx
      and at this time Zhukov .... request

      Stopped Operation Mars.
      Because in the central section of the front with Romanians, Italians and Hungarians there was a terrible tension, and had to break through the German fortified position. And with their assault and near Stalingrad it was very bad - just remember the failed attacks of the Red Army during the "Ring" on the northern front of the boiler.
      1. novel66
        novel66 22 December 2017 12: 03
        +5
        I would say what he did with the operation "Mars", if not for the loss of 1500000, in letters of one and a half million!
        1. IGOR GORDEEV
          IGOR GORDEEV 22 December 2017 12: 16
          +2
          Quote: novel xnumx
          I would say what he did with the operation "Mars", if not for the loss of 1500000, in letters of one and a half million!

          Googled on the Internet.
          The battles near Rzhev became one of the bloodiest episodes of World War II. According to official figures, the total losses of the Red Army alone exceeded one million people. According to the latest, unofficial estimates of military historians, the losses amounted to 800-900 thousand killed and about 1,5 million - wounded.
          1. novel66
            novel66 22 December 2017 12: 43
            +3
            also a kind of Stalingrad, only the other way
          2. Sergey Sadchikov
            Sergey Sadchikov 22 December 2017 13: 13
            +4
            Irrevocable General
            Rzhev-Vyazemsky operation January-April 42nd 152942 446248
            Surroundings of 39 A and 11 kk in July 42nd 51458 60722
            August-September 42nd 78919 299566
            Operation Mars, November-December 1942. 70373 215674
            Elimination of the Rzhev ledge, March 1943 38862 138577

            Total 392554 1160787
            As a result, we get a figure of irretrievable losses, more than 40 thousand people less than that mentioned in the film by A. Pivovarov. The total losses are significantly lower than those claimed in the dissertation and the book of S. Gerasimova 1325823 people in four battles for Rzhev. Moreover, our calculations significantly expand the data indicated in “Losses of the USSR and Russia in the wars of the XX century” by clarifying the losses near Rzhev in August and September 1942, as well as statistics introduced by S. Gerasimova on the July battles of 1942. A noticeable correction of these figures upward is hardly possible. During operational pauses, losses were significantly less than during major offensives.
            Just in case, I emphasize once again that the losses were calculated not in the battles for Rzhev as such, but on a wide arc 200–250 km long that went around the city. It should also be noted that not all those passing through the column “irretrievable losses” should be considered a priori dead. A lot of those who were reported missing and found in German captivity later returned to their homeland. One thing can be stated very definitely: there can be no question of any one million dead under Rzhev. As, however, about a half to two million total losses. And this, by the way, is the loss of almost 1,5 years of active hostilities. And already in the Mars operation you "laid" our soldiers one and a half million, you are more critical of the numbers you publish. And it turns out like in a historical joke: "-Your Excellency , how many losses of the enemy in the report to write? -Write more, what their basurman to regret !. " And these are our fallen warriors, not the Basurman.
            1. Train
              Train 23 December 2017 21: 58
              0
              As far as I know, the total losses went up to 900 thousand or more, but these are general losses and then I’m not a supporter of such figures myself, but the fact that the losses were in Rzhev Sychevka Vyazma Rzhev were huge, that's for sure, I read to veterans, everyone said that the losses were very bigYou killed a lot of soldiers, and they were cold and sick, there was a horror ..
        2. Sergey Sadchikov
          Sergey Sadchikov 22 December 2017 12: 38
          +5
          Why, let’s write at once 1500000000, one and a half billion letters, one blessed one (Brewers) blurted out, and everyone repeats like parrots.
          1. novel66
            novel66 22 December 2017 12: 41
            +4
            I'm not talking about the Internet. there is a three-volume "military history of the fatherland" if you squinted you the rest will not become dark
          2. antivirus
            antivirus 22 December 2017 22: 13
            0
            was it possible to wait for Hitler to withdraw his troops from Rzhev himself?
            1.5 digger remember? it's about those who shout "lost a half billion"
            antivirus 3 November 20, 2016 12:36
            antivirus Today, 11: 59 ↑
            Sergei Gavrilovich Semenov, 1931, d. Maksimovo, Staritsky district of the Kalinin region: “We were under the German for a month and a half, but nearby, under Rzhev 1,5 g, they didn’t count us as people. They could easily kill us” At 10, the child understood instinctively, everyday communication, glances and beat, drove out of the hut.
            + the elder brother died at the front, and 2 more were blown up on the remaining supplies in the ground (which ones? I dismantled out of curiosity, but I don’t know)
            Reply Quote Complaint More ...
            ++ even earlier, he said-- "the first doctor to go was a military doctor, oh gut ... gave a harmonica and a chocolate bar"
            NEXT WAS - SEE THE FIRST PART
          3. Train
            Train 23 December 2017 22: 00
            0
            What did you want when you started in December 41 and finished already in 43? You don’t know Efremov’s death, it’s just saying something, if such a grouping was surrounded and destroyed, and why do you think that Pivovarov blurted out? He didn’t take numbers from the ceiling, he probably worked on the film
            1. Sergey Sadchikov
              Sergey Sadchikov 24 December 2017 11: 08
              0
              And I’m not saying that the losses were small (read carefully), I gave statistics from which everything is visible, I’m just against when people, either in tribute to fashion, or out of ignorance, write about the fact that we threw the Germans with corpses thereby repeating the tales of the German memoirs generals about how, in one division, the whole fronts of brainless Russians, attacking only machine guns head-on, grinded to dust. This is really a unique case when reading their memoirs and our “historians” one wonders how it is great strategists and tactics were ra gromleny utterly .Ved Suvorov also beat the Turks, who had over him superiority in several times, but the Turks did not win in any war, and in fact in theory they threw it too troupes, and nothing Suvorov and Rumyantsev, this works fine. And if directly in Operation Mars the total losses amounted to 300 people, then there is no need to write about 000 million losses in 1,5 months.
              1. Train
                Train 24 December 2017 12: 17
                0
                Somewhere under the rustle, the German was telling, the infantry battalion was sent to attack the Russian position, when they were gritting they came closer and ... to our horror it turned out that they were Women-Women! -So says we fell into a stupor, did not know what to do! -but they were approaching and machine gunners on the flanks opened fire on them-put everyone-everyone was grit there at our positions went down. According to him, we did not talk to each other for several days ... The state was depressed
                1. Sergey Sadchikov
                  Sergey Sadchikov 24 December 2017 15: 08
                  +1
                  Here is another recollection of the brave "panzer grenadier"
                  “In the corner, two Russians were squatting side by side. And not far from them - carefully preserved remains of two human bodies lying on the boxes for cartridges. They canned them, obviously having smoked over the fire. In another corner, behind a bunch of excrement, lay their intestines, which had already begun to decompose, and nibbled bones. Shaking with disgust, one of the shooters, who knew how to speak Russian a little, asked the two survivors what had happened.
                  They replied that they, thirty-five fighters, had been left in this tunnel when the Russians were retreating, with strict instructions to stay in cover and hold their positions until the Red Army launched a counterattack. It went month after month, but the counterattack did not begin, and very soon all their food was over. The officer who stayed with them nonetheless insisted that they follow orders. And when many soldiers began to demand an immediate retreat, he shot two of the youngest (they were only sixteen years old) to keep the rest. He killed them in cold blood with shots to the neck, and then at gunpoint he ordered the others to disembowel them, dismember the bodies and smoke them over the fire. He made the soldiers split the liver of the corpses and eat it raw. For the next few weeks, they felt like people were transgressing human law. And they did not even think about resistance to the officer, because their sergeant and two junior sergeants were on his side and guarded all the boxes with weapons. Over time, the bodies were eaten, and the officer ruthlessly shot another youngest soldier ... "Oh! How!! Note also the fine spiritual organization of the Wehrmacht grenadiers is shocked to the ground. A red thread in all these "memories" is thought, the Germans supposedly protected the civilized world from Russian barbarians who did not cost anything to throw a battalion of women under machine guns, or gobble up their comrades (without having previously forgotten them soot, probably on juniper sawdust). Therefore, reading the memoirs, one also needs to critically evaluate them. Here they write this crap about women and cannibals to justify their atrocities on our land and production this impression is on young generations. For more telling stories are my grandfather, who started the war near Stalingrad and ended in Prague. He did not write any memoirs, he spoke reluctantly (he drank a lot of grief, was wounded three times), he treated the Germans as an equal the enemy didn’t make any kind of crap like these recollections, the granddaughter says in the war, I saw a lot, but saw the "death field" only 1 time when Shtemerman left Korsun-Shevchenkovsky, so many were killed in one place, he says. I saw once in my life, the corpses were literally stacks. Well, Manstein wrote about this boiler, what a brilliant operation he had carried out to withdraw troops with a minimum of losses. That's somehow ....
                  1. Train
                    Train 25 December 2017 17: 56
                    0
                    I don’t argue, everything can be, maybe the German veteran was lying, although it was painfully old, so that he could lie in the last few days ....
        3. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 22 December 2017 15: 51
          +2
          Quote: novel xnumx
          I would say what he did with the operation "Mars", if not for the loss of 1500000, in letters of one and a half million!

          Of the 700 people planned to participate in the operation, and approximately 000 people who took part in it. what
          And for an example - with what frames Zhukov had to work:
          The 20th Cavalry Division was the first to cross at Zevalovka. The crossing was occupied by the rear of the 6th Panzer Corps and the 247th Rifle Division. The chief of the operations department of the 20th Army refused to provide the cavalry crossing before crossing the rear. The cavalry division was forced to head to the crossing at the Ponds and in the second half of the night on November 27 crossed to the west bank of Vazuza.
          The responsible officers of the headquarters of the 20th Army, who led the crossings, understood the situation so little that they continued to cross the convoys and rear of units to the west bank of the river and at the same time leave combat units of the front-line success development line on the east bank. It should also be noted that the command of the cavalry corps did not show sufficient flexibility to prevent the accumulation of troops at the crossing in the area of ​​Prudy
          1. novel66
            novel66 22 December 2017 19: 44
            +3
            straight, Zhukova regretted, I'm sitting, crying
            1. Alexey RA
              Alexey RA 22 December 2017 20: 04
              +1
              Quote: novel xnumx
              straight, Zhukova regretted, I'm sitting, crying

              Try to advance with the infantry, which on the march throws out the base plates from mortars and spends 3-5 rounds per day for a rifle. On the offensive. This infantry is not following the tanks. The German positions occupied by the assault groups of their own battalion do not occupy, so the assault groups fight in one person and eventually roll back to the original, losing more than half l / s.
              Or with battalion commanders who either forget about battalion artillery and mortars altogether, or give them permanent targets - for example, the first enemy trench. on which mortars and nails, despite the fact that this trench is already occupied by its own.
              Or with the division commanders, who, under the threat of using weapons, force the attached tanks to stand in the open field in front of the positions, setting them the task of "guarding the infantry."
              1. Serg koma
                Serg koma 22 December 2017 22: 56
                0
                Quote: Alexey RA
                And for an example - with what frames Zhukov had to work

                Quote: Alexey RA
                Try to advance with the infantry, which on the march throws the base plates from mortars and spends 3-5 rounds per day for a rifle ......

                It was only Zhukov who was given such in 1942, the rest, clever, were sent to other parts until 1945, when Zhukov was given the "good" in the battles for Berlin ... You are talking nonsense - al "Nikolai Nikulin" Memories of the war ""
                1. Alexey RA
                  Alexey RA 25 December 2017 10: 03
                  +2
                  Quote: Serg Koma
                  It was only Zhukov who was given such in 1942, the rest, clever, were sent to other parts until 1945, when Zhukov was given the "good" in the battles for Berlin ...

                  Well, why only Zhukov. Comrade Rokossovsky, the pomnitsa, generally wanted the detachments followed the infantry units and forced the fighters to attack.
                  And about the delirium - all the questions to the ancestors. All cases described are reflected in orders and reports. Moreover, the inability of the battalion commanders to use their battalion artillery in 1943 even reached the order of the front-line level.
                  In general, you read the opponents of the "bloody Zhukov" - and it seems that there was a well-equipped Red Army with competent and trained personnel, who defeated the Germans from time to time - and then Zhukov fell on her head, who began to destroy her.
                  But in fact ... in fact we have an army in which, at the beginning of the war in the BTV KOVO, out of 78000 privates, 46000 have only primary education. And they are taught by 16000 junior command personnel, of which 6500 also have primary education. The infantry is even cooler:
                  To great shame, and chagrin, cadet regiment schools have lesser knowledge of small arms than the knowledge of the Red Army, and yet despite this they are issued by junior commanders.

                  And this is her peace time, without shortened courses.
                  1. Serg koma
                    Serg koma 26 December 2017 21: 44
                    0
                    Quote: Alexey RA
                    Well, why only Zhukov.

                    Does it mean that Rokossovsky was sent not very smart and skillful?
                    Quote: Alexey RA
                    And for an example - with what frames Zhukov had to work:
                    And I'm already a sinful thing, based on your example, I concluded that only Zhukov)))
                    Since June 1939, Zhukov was the commander of the 57th Special Army Corps of the Red Army on the territory of the Mongolian People's Republic.
                    On June 7, 1940 he was appointed commander of the troops of the Kiev Special Military District.
                    On January 14, 1941, by a resolution of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.), Army General Zhukov was appointed to the post of chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, which he held until July 1941.
                    During the Great Patriotic War, he successively held the positions of front commander, member of the General Headquarters of the Supreme High Command, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the USSR.
                    The question is - so who inspected, prepared, promoted / nominated personnel, etc. ??? Read the memoirs of commanders, at least Manstein, at least Zhukov, at least someone else, ALWAYS are to blame for the "third" forces - weather, "fools", supplies, command, etc.
                    we have an army in which at the beginning of the war in the BTV KOVO, out of 78000 privates, 46000 have only primary education. And they are taught by 16000 junior command personnel, of which 6500 also have primary education. The infantry is even cooler:
                    In 1945, in the infantry, at the level not lower than the squadron, a sergeant was appointed with higher education, and with incomplete secondary education they were not called up for military service))))) You’ll decide - WHERE send the human reserves to the Red Army throughout the entire period of the war, from USSR, or what other country?
                2. hohol95
                  hohol95 25 December 2017 13: 08
                  0
                  On December 17, 1939, the brigade was given the task of supporting the advance of the units of the 50th Rifle Corps (123rd and 138th Rifle Divisions) during an attack on the fortified Khotinen units and a height of 65,5. The chief of staff of the 138th Infantry Division reported to the headquarters of the corps that "there is no fortification area ahead, the enemy is running." Without checking this information, the command canceled the previously assigned five-hour artillery training and launched an attack on the infantry of the 123rd Infantry Division with the support of the 91st Tank Battalion. However, our troops ran into a powerful fortified enemy defense strip and were met with strong fire. The infantry of the 138th division, which had no experience in interacting with tanks, was cut off from them, suffered heavy losses and eventually partially lay down and partially retreated to their original positions.
                  The 91st tank battalion broke into the enemy’s defenses beyond the first and second line of fences, 450-500 m, came under heavy artillery fire, and not supported by infantry, retreated to the starting line, suffering heavy losses.

                  And you are all about Zhukov ...
  5. Conductor
    Conductor 22 December 2017 13: 15
    +3
    Thanks, zack great article. Here the Italians probably swore the Duce, well, what did he find in these snows))) After Naples or Rome and in the winter Volga steppe))))
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 22 December 2017 17: 56
      +3
      Quote: Conductor
      Here the Italians probably swore the Duce, well, what did he find in these snows))) After Naples or Rome and in the winter Volga steppe))))

      Well, they began to fight in those parts when the steppe was still dry, and the weather was hot. But something went wrong ... laughing
  6. NF68
    NF68 22 December 2017 18: 07
    +3
    Hence the conclusion, the Italians went “for wool”, but they turned out to be cut themselves — do not go where you are unwanted “guests”. Better live off the coast of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas.
  7. Mu Dialer
    Mu Dialer 23 December 2017 04: 44
    0
    In March 43, the Germans nevertheless left the Rzhevsky ledge, thereby signing that they were not going to attack Moscow anymore and did not hope to win the war anymore.