Manstein strikes back

32
Manstein strikes back
Tanks and equipment of the division "Grossdeutschland" during the attack on Kharkov


General situation. Dizzy with success


The successful winter offensive of the troops of the Voronezh, Southwestern and Southern fronts (Operation Star and "Jump") had its downsides. There were few tanks left in mobile formations. Only during the Voronezh-Kharkov strategic operation, more than 1 vehicles were lost. Rear left behind. There was a critical shortage of ammunition and fuel. Troops practically lost air support: aviation remained at the base airfields, the new ones have not yet been mastered, not repaired. Units and formations suffered heavy losses in manpower.



As a result, by mid-February 1943, the offensive capabilities of the Soviet fronts were exhausted.

However, the Soviet command was dizzy from success. It seemed that the enemy had already been defeated. The strategic initiative is firmly captured. And now only forward, to the west! The commander of the Voronezh Front (VF) Golikov daily sent victorious reports to Moscow and reported that the enemy was retreating to the west. The departure of the SS Panzer Corps from Kharkov was perceived as a defeat and weakness of the enemy, and not a maneuver and regrouping for a subsequent counterattack. Similar messages came from the headquarters of the South-Western Front (SWF). The commander Vatutin believed that the enemy was retreating beyond the Dnieper.

Intelligence did not reveal that the enemy went on the defensive, the movement of enemy troops during regroupings was assessed as a retreat, the desire to leave the Dnieper as soon as possible, to the Right-Bank Ukraine. It was wiser to temporarily go on the defensive, pull up the rear and aviation, replenish the formations with people and equipment, and replenish supplies.


Red Army soldiers transport a 76,2-mm ZIS-3 divisional gun on a "ski chassis" through the village of Soldatskoye, Kursk Region, by horses

However, the command of the fronts and the Headquarters, which received reports from the headquarters of the front, had no doubt that the enemy had been defeated and was leaving for the Dnieper. Therefore, despite the difficult state of the armies, it was decided to continue the offensive. The VF was supposed, having the main forces on the left wing, to develop the offensive and liberate Rylsk, Sumy, Lebedin, Akhtyrka and Poltava. Soviet troops received the task of pushing the enemy as far as possible from Kharkov in order to ensure the work of the government of the Ukrainian SSR.

In the future, the troops of the VF had to go to Kyiv and reach it before the ice drift on the Dnieper. The troops of the South-Western Front and the Southern Front were to complete the defeat of the Donbass grouping of the enemy, reach the Dnieper in the strip from Kremenchug to Dnepropetrovsk. The replenishment of the formation was supposed to be carried out independently due to local mobilizations in the liberated regions of the Ukrainian SSR. The High Command set the task of driving the remnants of the enemy grouping into the Crimea, preventing the enemy from withdrawing troops to Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, where the Germans could create a strong defense on the Dnieper.


Enemy plans


Meanwhile, the Germans had their own plans. On February 17, 1943, in Zaporozhye, Hitler flew to the headquarters of the Army Group South, created instead of the Don group. Manstein outlined the general situation to him and proposed a counteroffensive plan: to concentrate the SS Panzer Corps in the Krasnograd region, turn it to the southeast and, together with the 4th Panzer Army, delivering a counterattack from Krasnoarmeyskoye, defeat the troops of the right wing of the SWF that had penetrated deep into the German defenses. Throw the enemy behind the Seversky Donets. Then, weather permitting, to carry out an offensive operation in the Kharkov area.

There were some controversies. The Fuhrer, first of all, until the mud started, offered to recapture Kharkov, everything else later. Manstein believed that if the Wehrmacht lost the Dnieper crossings, then it would not be up to Kharkov. As a result, they decided to send the tanks of the Hausser corps to Krasnograd, and from there they could advance either to the northeast, to Kharkov, or to the south. By this time, the 3rd SS Panzer Division "Dead Head" had arrived in full.

The divisions of the 38th and 40th armies of the VF, pushing the enemy, advanced to the Psyol River. The neighboring 69th Army also successfully advanced. Rybalko's 3rd Panzer Army was regrouping to liberate Poltava. Enemy resistance was minimal. The SS Panzer Corps, which offered stiff resistance and counterattacked, disappeared somewhere.

In the sector of the South-Western Front, Vatutin sent Kharitonov's 6th Army and his last reserve, the 25th and 1st Guards Tank Corps, to the crossings across the Dnieper. On February 19, 1943, the Soviet advanced units broke through from Pavlograd to Novomoskovsk, where there were only German headquarters units and vacationers, and Sinelnikovo. Our troops intercepted one of the two main supply lines of the "South" group. Soviet troops were 60 km from Zaporozhye, to Dnepropetrovsk there were even fewer. There were no strong enemy formations that would cover these key points ahead. But our tankers simply ran out of fuel.

At this time, echelons with units of the 15th Infantry Division began to arrive in Dnepropetrovsk from France, which were immediately advanced to Sinelnikovo.

Hitler, seeing the danger of the situation on the southern wing of the Russian front, allowed Manstein to use the SS Panzer Corps at his discretion. He also promised additional troops from the Kuban (17th Army). The headquarters of the Army Group "South" gives the order for a counteroffensive.


Hitler and the commander of Army Group "South" E. von Manstein in Zaporozhye

German forces


In total, the "South" group on a 700-kilometer front had 30 divisions, including 11 tank and motorized. The offensive involved 7 tank, one motorized and 3 infantry divisions, about 800 tanks and self-propelled guns. The ground forces were provided with strong air force support.

Three shock groups are formed. The SS Panzer Corps was supposed to hit the right wing of the 6th Soviet Army with two divisions. The 48th tank corps of the 4th tank army (6th and 17th tank divisions, 336th infantry division) was to launch an offensive in a few days and advance on Pavlograd, towards the SS corps. The 1st Panzer Army, with the forces of the 40th Panzer Corps (7th and 11th Panzer, the Viking motorized division and the 333rd Infantry Division) advanced from the Krasnoarmeyskoye area to Barvenkovo ​​to defeat the South-Western Front mobile group.


Tankers of the 1st Panzergrenadier Regiment of the SS Panzergrenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" on the armor of a wrecked tank "Tiger" Pz. Kpfw. VI, near Kharkov. During the battle, a gunner was killed by a projectile hitting the gun mask (practically into the sight hole). The second shell, which hit the starboard side above the caterpillar, killed the radio operator. The covered corpses of the dead lie on the armor, in front of the tank. February 1943

Counteroffensive of the group "South"


The commander-in-chief of the "South" group launched an offensive until the regrouping and concentration of troops was completed. On February 19, 1943, from Krasnograd to the south, with the strong support of the Luftwaffe, the SS Panzer Division "Reich" launched a surprise attack. Behind her, the SS Panzer Division "Dead Head" went into the breakthrough. The very next day, the SS Regiment "Fuhrer", having passed 90 kilometers, went to Novomoskovsk, cutting off the advanced Soviet units from the rear.

On the night of February 21, German attack aircraft captured the bridges on the Samara River, and the tanks rushed to the southeast - to Pavlograd. By evening, the Nazis captured the city, where they were not expected. In the Sinelnikovo area, the Germania regiment established contact with units of the 15th Infantry Division. At the same time, the "Dead Head" division attacked from west to east, north of the Samara River.

On the morning of February 20, the Red Army troops of the 40th Panzer Corps of General Henrici went on the offensive in the area. The Nazis began to cover Popov's mobile group from the east and west.

Actually, the German shock groups did not even have to break the enemy's defenses. Manstein caught the Russians when they were on the offensive and believed that the enemy was already defeated and almost running, that there were no serious enemy forces ahead. While the Soviet advanced units were still advancing, the Germans went in from the flanks. Strong mobile formations of the Germans immediately broke into the operational space and quickly moved forward.

General Popov, correctly assessing the situation as dangerous, suggested that the front command withdraw the group 40–50 km north of Krasnoarmeyskoye. However, the headquarters of the South-Western Front believed that the enemy was simply creating an armored barrier, as before at Rostov, in order to ensure the withdrawal of the main forces beyond the Dnieper. Therefore, the tasks of the 6th Army and the mobile group did not change. Kharitonov's army was supposed to cross the Dnieper and take Dnepropetrovsk and Dneprodzerzhinsk on the move. And Popov's mobile formations were to liberate the cities of Stalino (now Donetsk), Zaporozhye and Melitopol.

“It still remains a mystery,” General Shtemenko noted, “how it is Vatutin, a man who is certainly prudent and always paid due attention to reconnaissance of the enemy, this time for so long he could not assess the extent of the danger that arose before the front. This can only be explained by the extreme conviction that the enemy is no longer able to muster forces for decisive action. In fact, this was still far away. Hitler's generals were not going to concede victories to us."

Not only Vatutin was deceived. Komfront Golikov, who before the start of the war for two years was the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Red Army. That is, the former chief intelligence officer of the country. Together with them, Marshal Vasilevsky, the head of the General Staff, who personally coordinated the actions of the Voronezh Front.

Manstein could be pleased. The Russians did not take retaliatory measures, they allowed them to seize the initiative. On the southern flank, the situation stabilized at this time. The Miussky Front held out. The blow of the Soviet 4th Guards Mechanized Corps was repelled. In the Debaltseve area, the rout of the blockaded 7th Guards Cavalry Corps of General Borisov was completed. His commander was also captured.


Tank Pz. Kpfw. VI "Tiger" of the SS Panzergrenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" on the march near Kharkov. February 1943

The Germans are developing an offensive


On February 22, 1943, General von Knobelsdorff's 48th Panzer Corps launched an offensive. The Nazis went to Pavlograd, towards the SS tank corps. The troops of Kharitonov's army found themselves in a difficult situation. The right flank of the 6th Army, repelling strong enemy attacks, was forced to retreat to the east. Some connections got into the environment. The 25th Panzer Corps, which was rushing towards Zaporizhia and broke away from the main forces by almost 100 km, lost contact with the rear and supplies. From February 22 to March 8, 1943, the corps fought in encirclement.

By the end of February 23, units of the 48th Panzer Corps and the SS Panzer Corps united in the Pavlograd area, intercepting the escape route to the east. At the same time, the advanced units of the divisions "Reich" and "Dead Head" met in Verbki and went to Lozovaya. The 40th Panzer Corps, having broken the resistance in the Krasnoarmeisky area, bypassing Barvenkovo ​​on both sides, rushed to Izyum. The 48th Corps went to Taranovka. Thus, the German shock groups connected the front and quickly advanced to the north and northeast.

The command of the South-Western Front reported to Headquarters that the enemy, using large forces, had made a hole in the zone of the 6th Army and the mobile group. However, there was no decision to withdraw the troops. A difficult situation turns into a disaster.

The troops of the 40th Army of the VF are still advancing. On February 23, Lebedin and Akhtyrka were liberated by Moskalenko's troops. Kravchenko's 5th Guards Tank Corps was near the village of Opishnia. Golikov's headquarters had already reported on the liberation of the city of Sumy, where units of Chibisov's 38th army were approaching. Troops of the 69th Army developed an offensive against Poltava.


German soldiers occupy a village near Pavlograd. A burning GAZ-AA car and a T-34-76 tank are visible in the background of the photo. February 1943

To be continued ...
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  1. -11
    March 2 2023
    There is a feeling that this year, in the same places, everything will be repeated. Attacks and counterattacks in large groups. Advances and boilers. The only question is how it will end...
  2. +10
    March 2 2023
    For all the ambiguity of Manstein's image, it is nevertheless worth recognizing that he knew how to deliver such "biting" and very painful blows, after which the troops of his opponents recovered for a long time
    1. +5
      March 2 2023
      But Raus (also not an ordinary general) quietly criticized Manstein for, say, PR and neglecting the lives of soldiers, which was not comme il faut in the Wehrmacht.
      1. +7
        March 2 2023
        Quote: saigon
        But Raus (also not an ordinary general) quietly criticized Manstein for, say, PR and neglecting the lives of soldiers, which was not comme il faut in the Wehrmacht.

        I repeat once again - Manstein's reputation was very ambiguous, he liked to "show" himself how smart he was.
        He would now be a great blogger, no Girkin would compare with him ...
    2. -5
      March 2 2023
      You are probably aware that this "strategist" was thrown out of service on April 1, 1944 as an unnecessary rag.
      Perhaps for "the ability to deliver such biting and very painful blows" to opponents, but most likely for inability. For inability somehow more logically turns out to be thrown out, no?
      1. +8
        March 2 2023
        Quote: Sergey Mikhailov_4
        You are probably aware that this "strategist" was thrown out of service on April 1, 1944 as an unnecessary rag.

        The personnel policy of the Wehrmacht of that time was generally very peculiar, as easily they "thrown out", just as easily and "picked up" back. The history of the appointments of the same Guderian is a vivid example
        1. -7
          March 2 2023
          Manstein was not picked up for a whole year. Ignorant unnecessarily.
          But Guderian was not thrown out for the first time, but pushed into a small staff position - there is a break in his career for 2 weeks in total. And the second time already thrown out completely. Guderian, by the way, is an even more striking example of an inflated commander than Manstein. He is also the author of the fashion for separating tanks from infantry, from which lousy Germans suffered throughout the war, littering the battlefields with the corpses of their infantry. It was necessary to think of such insanity and instill this systemic error in the entire Wehrmacht as modern super-tactics ... Guderian did it, for which many thanks to this stupid creature.
  3. +4
    March 2 2023
    However, the headquarters of the South-Western Front believed that the enemy was simply creating an armored barrier, as before at Rostov, in order to ensure the withdrawal of the main forces beyond the Dnieper.
    Rather, the situation with the attack on Kharkov in 1942 was repeated, but only then the consequences of this unsuccessful offensive were different. hi
  4. -5
    March 2 2023
    I wonder when this pack of mongrels from the high command of the Nazi European Union for the most part realized that their defeat was inevitable, that they could do nothing to prevent it?
    After Stalingrad? After the Kursk Bulge, "the swan song of the German armored forces," as Comrade Konev said?
    Later, in 1944, after the “ten Stalin strikes”?

    Objectively, nothing depended on the Germans after Stalingrad, everything depended solely on the Red Army. The crisis was over, the industry gained momentum, military products went in a wide stream and nothing could hold the armored skating rink of the Soviet tank armies.
  5. +2
    March 2 2023
    in the last photo, the tank looks more like a KV-1
    1. +4
      March 2 2023
      Quote: alekc75
      in the last photo, the tank looks more like a KV-1

      The photo is not very clear and I still, like the author of the article, think that this is a T-34/76, but I’ll clarify with a turret with a nut without a commander’s turret and with a handrail at the stern of the turret, which the KV did not have. Most likely the 112th plant


      And I don’t think that by 1943 KV-1 tanks remained in the advanced units
      1. +3
        March 2 2023
        Quote: svp67
        And I don’t think that by 1943 KV-1 tanks remained in the advanced units

        At a cursory glance, especially in terms of the silhouette of the turret, it looks like a KV-1, the smoke and blurry contour do not immediately allow you to install a tank, but I agree with you, most likely it is a thirty-four. There is a photo from the stern of the T-34-76 in the offensive of the units of the 5th guards. at this time, it seems.
        KV-1 and KV-1S at the end of 1942 and even in the second half of 1943 were present in the tank units of the Red Army.
        From school I remember about the personalized tank from S. Marshak, S. Mikhalkov, artists and a writer, together with the Stalin Prize they transferred money to the Defense Fund, in May 1942, the KV-1 was given to the 6 guards brigade with a personal name assigned " Merciless". The tank fought in the unit until the end of the summer of 1943.
        KV-1S "Chapaev", "Suvorov", "Strong", if I'm not mistaken, as part of a separate breakthrough tank regiment in the amount of 21 tanks (KV-1S) fought from December 1942, throughout 1943 ...
        KV-1S "Nikolai Ostrovsky" was transferred from the factory in the summer of 1943.
        1. +1
          March 2 2023
          Quote: Lynx2000
          KV-1 and KV-1S at the end of 1942 and even in the second half of 1943 were present in the tank units of the Red Army.

          KV-1S, and there were many more, but they have a different turret shape. But the KV-1 ... it had a painfully unsuccessful transmission, they could not withstand long-term operation
          1. +2
            March 2 2023
            For the KV-1S, I know why I wrote it as it was, including the KV-1, there were still and beat the Fritz ...
            1. +2
              March 2 2023
              Quote: Lynx2000
              including KV-1

              However, he is not in the photo. The thin line on the left side of the tower is a handrail, which the KV did not have
          2. +1
            March 3 2023
            Quote: svp67
            But the KV-1 ... it had a painfully unsuccessful transmission, they could not withstand long-term operation


            The point was not in the metal, but in the people - in the mass of production workers who had to be taught, but there was no time to teach and they did the most elementary (for their understanding and their manufacture), but because of the highly loaded parts - for example, gears - to teach to repair by replacing the gear was where easier than teaching how to make a complex part in any former bed factory. Although the use of only one correction would immediately increase the characteristics of the gearbox by an order of magnitude - but the manufacturers would not have taken out the additional complication of the part.
            By the way - that's why the historical lag in communications - in order to have it modern - you need to invest in people for decades. Radio equipment - it has always been and is in the field of high-tech - both then and now.

            The story of one gearing .... Or how it was without
            correction. Valery Golovanev December 2014.
            Correction of involute gears. L. N. Reshetov Leningrad 1935.
            1. +1
              March 3 2023
              Quote: ycuce234-san
              It was not about the metal, but about the people

              Yeah ... in the people who designed the HF. smile
              The main problem of the entire line of serial KVs was laid down at the design stage - the suspension and transmission were originally designed for a tank weighing 40 tons. In Pasholok's book on self-propelled guns based on the KV, there was a quote from a letter from the GABTU to design bureau developers of self-propelled guns with the requirement not to increase the mass due to the design limitation of the self-propelled gun base of 40 tons.
              And problems with "balding" gears of the gearbox, twisting of the shafts, breakage of the torsion bars have already become a consequence.
              1. 0
                March 3 2023
                Quote: Alexey RA
                And problems with "balding" gears of the gearbox, twisting of the shafts, breakage of the torsion bars have already become a consequence.


                It was easy to design the necessary details - there were individual high-class specialists-designers, there was no mass highly qualified metalworker who would have fulfilled the ideas of the designers with high quality and in large quantities.
                Therefore, they did not touch the transmission, remaking it closer to a more complex and reliable German one - instead, they began to manipulate the mass of the tank, although it was possible to deal with overweight by strengthening weak parts and assemblies; and did not begin to make more advanced tank radio stations - they understood that this path would not be extended. Torsion bars, as far as I know, at that time did not yet have reliable flaw detection methods that made it possible to deal with defects in the development of their mass production.
                1. +2
                  March 6 2023
                  Quote: ycuce234-san
                  It was easy to design the necessary details - there were individual high-class specialists-designers

                  The very ones who borrowed the drive design of the 7-ton KV turret from the 3-ton T-28 turret (and even made the turret unbalanced)? By the way, the same drive was taken for the 12-ton KV-2 turret.
                  In the list constructive changes in HF for 1940 were 60 points. In a well-known letter from the military representative of Kalyvoda for the KV, the main ones are named:
                  Test materials show that even with an existing engine with a power of 600 hp. With. (which could not be completely removed due to a poor cooling system), the transmission and chassis work at the upper limit and do not allow any options for increasing the mass and engine power, while the first is inevitable, and the second is necessary.

                  The same checklist indicated that the engine air filter did not have sufficient dust absorption capacity. Instead of urgent alteration of it, the plant has held out on this issue to this day. And now it has been solved by adding a second filter of the same type to each car as a spare one.
                  Due to the insufficient efficiency of the cooling system (oil and water), the motor operates in an increased thermal mode, as a result of which the required power cannot be removed from it. Until now, the plant has not done anything on this issue, while due to the last two defects, 8 motors have been disabled.

                  And improvements in the production nature of the problem did not solve the problem - it was precisely in the design.
                  The plant does not take the required radical measures to eliminate defects, but easily feasible half measures, or does nothing at all. For example, instead of hard work on improving the components in the gearbox (it has weak gears, some bearings are unreliable, the pump does not work well), the plant improved the heat treatment of several gears. Test results showed the absurdity of this event.

                  Quote: ycuce234-san
                  Therefore, they did not touch the transmission, remaking it closer to a more complex and reliable German one - instead, they began to manipulate the mass of the tank

                  The matter was quite different. Before the war, LKZ (and partly KhPZ too) simply scored serial tanks on UKN, excused by the fact that KV and T-34 are passing models that will soon be discontinued. And all the identified defects will be taken into account and corrected in the design of new tanks. And in the war ... in the war, in fact, the same thing happened - they made a “kvass” through the passage for the duration of the development of a new type of heavy tank.
                  The only difference is that during the war, the Design Bureau managed to limit the flight of thought a little to reality ... otherwise the KV-3 or, not by nightfall, the KV-5 will be remembered - these were dreams of the mind worthy of Porsche and Henschel. smile
      2. +6
        March 2 2023
        that this is a T-34/76, but I’ll clarify with a turret with a nut without a commander’s turret and with a handrail at the stern of the turret, which the KV did not have. Most likely the 112th plant

        In the photo T-34-76 with F-34 gun

    2. 0
      8 May 2023
      Nonsense. Look at the thin muzzle. What HF ​​?!
  6. Eug
    0
    March 2 2023
    And again, in the article at least twice "Russians" ... and once it seems like you can agree, because Manstein's opinion is conveyed, but still ... not only Russians fought - during the German counteroffensive on Kharkov in the area of ​​\uXNUMXb\uXNUMXbthe village of Sokolovo, the Czechs fought heroically under command of L. Svoboda and Lieutenant Otkar Yarosh, who became a Hero of the Soviet Union, who clearly proved to the whole world that the Czechs are not a "gang of cowards and simulators" (this is not me, but one of the negative characters of Yaroslav Hasek) and may well fight heroically with clarity of purpose and hatred of the enemy ... and multinational - but SOVIET - Shironin guards, so called by the name of their commander - Lieutenant Pyotr Shironin, who actually repeated (?, In any case, no one disputes their feat and heroism) the feat of the Panfilovites at the crossing near the village of Taranovka ... I hope this will be discussed in more detail in the second or other parts .. near Kharkov, Manstein actually took revenge for Stalingrad, which was largely facilitated by euphoria at headquarters ah the Voronezh and South-Western fronts .. and the reserves were used in previous very effective operations ... the truth was again confirmed - the pace of the offensive determines the transport capabilities of the troops .... well, the "qualification" of the command, of course ...
    1. -3
      March 3 2023
      Yes, enough of these tales to tell about the "Soviet". This is 1943, there are no longer any “Soviet” ones, in 1942 the Soviet ones were completely blown away:
      GHQ DIRECTIVE No 170578 TO THE COMMANDER OF THE TROOPS OF THE TRANSCAUCASUS FRONT O
      MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN DEFENSE IN THE PROKHLADNENSKY DIRECTION
      August 20, 1942 02 h 30 min
      The Headquarters of the Supreme High Command ordered:
      1. To strengthen the defense of the troops of the Northern Group on the Cooldnensky
      board to send from the Leninakan region to the 9th Army the 61st division.
      the division.
      2. Before sending the 61st division, remove from it the private and junior command staff of Azerbaijani, Armenian nationality and nationalities
      Dagestan, having completed it by 22.08 with a Russian squad.
      3. Deploy in the Leninakan area, instead of the decreasing 61 rifle divisions, one rifle division from among the newly formed divisions.
      4. Take all measures for the fastest transfer from Astrakhan of the rifle brigades arriving for the Transfrontal Front, using all floating facilities for this,
      including warships of the Caspian military flotilla.
      On behalf of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General BODIN
      TsAMO. F. 48a. Op. 3408. D. 72. L. 224

      And so along the entire front, 43 nationalities were "withdrawn" in 1942. And they were no longer mobilized.
      1. 0
        March 3 2023
        It was the state that was Soviet, and therefore the army was Soviet and the oath too. But when it was the Russians who betrayed the Soviet oath in 1991, the era of the disappearance of the Russians began
        For non-Russians, this is a fact of history, for Russians, a medical conclusion about death.
        1. +2
          March 3 2023
          No, the army was "red" then. So it was called - "Red Army".
      2. 0
        March 3 2023
        Quote: Sergey Mikhailov_4
        43 nationalities were "withdrawn" in 1942. And they were no longer mobilized.
        Then Dzhugashvili "seized", and now the Lord God himself "seizes" the Russians.
  7. 0
    March 3 2023
    Quote: svp67
    Quote: Lynx2000
    including KV-1

    However, he is not in the photo. The thin line on the left side of the tower is a handrail, which the KV did not have

    what Well, I agree with you:
    Quote: Lynx2000
    but I agree with you, most likely it is a thirty-four. There is a photo from the stern of the T-34-76 in the offensive of the units of the 5th guards. at this time, it seems.
  8. 0
    March 3 2023
    The High Command set the task of driving the remnants of the enemy grouping into the Crimea, preventing the enemy from withdrawing troops to Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye


    Strongly! It's not bad when you have access to the documents of the high command.

    The commander of the Voronezh Front (VF) Golikov daily sent victorious reports to Moscow and reported that the enemy was retreating to the west. The departure of the SS Panzer Corps from Kharkov was perceived as a defeat and weakness of the enemy, and not a maneuver and regrouping for a subsequent counterattack.


    Adequate perception, the corps suffered losses and could not provide defense, so it retreated - is this not defeat and weakness?
    Having reduced the LBS, forces were released - part of the Das Reich division was withdrawn and regrouped towards Krasnograd. Manstein later convinced A.G. counterattack on the right flank of the corps, and here tactical success loomed.

    By this time, the 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf


    She became a tanker in October 1943, along with Das Reich, Adolf Hitler and Viking, the advance of the spacecraft violated the integrity of the transport network near Poltava and Kharkov. Tk in the greater mass had unloading stations far from the front, near Kyiv, and under its own power got to the collection point. Suitable parts from the move advanced into the gap after, in front of the current one, Das Reich.

    Total group "South" on 700-kilometer front had 30 divisions, including 11 tank and motorized. The offensive involved 7 tank, one motorized and 3 infantry divisions, about 800 tanks and self-propelled guns.


    To the unenlightened reader, this means nothing. Let's try this - according to German regulations, the defense section of an infantry division is 15 km, let's calculate how many divisions are needed to defend a 700 km front?
    700: 15 =
    Tanks and self-propelled guns will have to be looked for in German documents, they are not at hand.

    Three shock groups are formed. The SS Panzer Corps was supposed to hit the right wing of the 6th Soviet Army with two divisions. The 48th tank corps of the 4th tank army (6th and 17th tank divisions, 336th infantry division) was to launch an offensive in a few days and advance on Pavlograd, towards the SS corps. The 1st Panzer Army, with the forces of the 40th Panzer Corps (7th and 11th Panzer, the Viking motorized division and the 333rd Infantry Division) advanced from the Krasnoarmeyskoye area to Barvenkovo ​​to defeat the South-Western Front mobile group.


    The question arises: I would like to know in more detail what the 1st and 4th tank armies are, their condition, etc.

    Tankers of the 1st Panzergrenadier Regiment of the SS Panzergrenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" on the armor of a wrecked tank "Tiger" Pz. Kpfw. VI, near Kharkov. During the battle, a gunner was killed by a projectile hitting the gun mask (practically into the sight hole). The second shell, which hit the starboard side above the caterpillar, killed the radio operator. The covered corpses of the dead lie on the armor, in front of the tank. February 1943


    This photo was taken in March 1943 during the German assault on Kharkov. KV 86th brigade on the northern outskirts of Kharkov was lucky enough to "shoot through" the forehead of the Tiger tower through the aiming hole. At the same time, the gunner died and the commander was wounded, about the radio operator and the "hidden corpses of the dead" this is another tale.

    I have been reading topvar materials for a long time, the quality of the material is rather weak - although there are works by A. Isaev and Bernage in Russian, the most detailed works by Knipe and Troytsy are presented in English literature.
    1. 0
      March 4 2023
      according to German regulations, the defense section of an infantry division is 15 km

      Seriously? Did the Germans have such nonsense in their charters?
      1. +1
        March 5 2023
        Quite. Full strength division, not "tired"
        Depth of the battalion defense unit: 1,5 km, company unit: 750 m. Platoon defense site: 300 - 350 m, company: 800 - 1000 m, battalion: 2 - 2,5 km, regiment: 4 -5 km .
        1. 0
          March 5 2023
          Really curious. Where is the information from?
          The “Concise Guide to the German Armed Forces of 1941” provides data on 8-10 kilometers of the defense front of the German division.
          1. 0
            March 6 2023
            I have two types of information: 1st for myself - a verified source, sometimes I don’t leave links from where, 2nd for "general" with a link to the source. According to the site for the German front. this is from the first category, I can only say taken from German documents. "I dug up years" 10 years ago.
            I met confirmations in the KTB of the German units.

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