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Death of the Leaping Horseman & Endgame in Stalingrad

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  • "non operational" does not mean destroyed. It can be damaged or broken down. Damaged is often mobility killed due to mines rather than enemy anti-tank or CAS. As long as the tank is recovered, it will eventually be returned to service.

    We see that in German unit histories all the time. There is no reason to believe it is any different for the Soviets.

    Comment


    • I'm starting V3: book 2 and am quite surprised to see that a book3 is being promised.

      This quite stunning given that the series, minus documents, is already 2,300 pages (text only) long and there is yet another one.

      (to simplify) This will cover, Dec 1942- end Jan 1943 and be about RKKA offensives all across the southern fronts that were not covered in book 2.

      -8.A (I)'s retreat
      -4.PzA, 4.A (R), 1.PzA's retreat
      -2.A (H)'s retreat
      -2.A (G)'s retreat
      -AA Fretter-Pico and AG Hollidt's defense
      -1.PzA and 17.A's retreat

      Glantz already has comparably less extensive materials on OP Gallop/Star in "From Don to the Dnepr". His "after-stalingrad" cover activities all across the 3 major sectors. It leads to wonder if he will go back to do a re-write of these offensives.
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

      Comment


      • In OP Uranus, 5,760 VVS sorties were 5 times that of German/Romanian sorties Nov 24-30.

        Entire VVS conducted 9,510 sorties with 60 % in the Stalingrad region.

        German reinforcements start coming in by the end of Nov:

        62.ID, 294.ID (Hollidt)

        336.ID, 6.Pz

        11.Pz, 17.Pz, 23.Pz

        7.LFD, 8.LFD, 15.LFD

        304.ID, 306.ID

        End Nov: AG Hollidt fielded 75,000 men (1/3 German, 2/3 Romanian) vs

        1.GA: 160,000

        AG Hollidt had 40,000 romanians and 19,000 Germans (336.ID, 7.LFD) on route

        RKKA reserves hoarded for OP Saturn at this time: 5 x Tank Corps, 3 x Mech. Corps, 2 x Guards Rifle Corps.

        Nov 19-30:

        German/Romanian casualties: modern Russian estimate 145,000 including 65,000 POW

        Axis sources: Romanian losses 90,000, German losses 48,000 by end of Nov.

        material losses: 700 mortars, 2,900 Guns, 300 tanks plus, 250 aircraft plus, 7,500 motor vehicles (including 1,500 motorcycles), supply dumps, 6,000 soviet pows, 700 captured soviet tanks.

        Soviet casualties: 3 fronts lost 79,400 casualties including 18,400 KIA, 359 tanks (including 145 write offs), 125 aircraft.

        -------------------------------

        Pre-uranus: 6.AOK had evacuated much of its horses to protect them from winter. : 94% of combat battalions and 69% of artillery battalions were more than 50% mobile.

        Post-uranus Dec 15: 6.AOK: 42 % combat battalions, 38% artillery battalions were more than 50% mobile.

        Caloric intake reduced to 1,500 calories per man on 26 Nov.

        Dec 8: reduction to 1,000 calories per man.
        Last edited by Cult Icon; 03 Jun 15, 22:37.
        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

        Comment


        • as of beginning Dec, 1942: strong new soviet forces enter the fray:

          1.GA/3.GA- 142,000 men w/ 1GMC, 5 MC

          2.GA- twice the size as most soviet armies.

          122,000 men, 2,325 guns, 469 tanks.

          2GMC, 7TC, 6MC

          5.Shock Army- 5 rifle divisions and corps armor formations: 4MC, 7TC, 23TC, 3GCC

          -------

          Roughly it can be said that the spearheading German panzer divisions in the Winter storm offensive were 1 full strength (6.Pz), 2 half strength (11.Pz, 17.Pz), and 1 one-thirds (23.Pz) strength.

          -------

          Chir river battle

          Dec 7, 1942:
          1TC (200 tanks, greater half KV/T-34, rest T-70)
          5MC (200 tanks, mostly british valentines/malitdas)
          8GTB (38 KV)

          German: 11.Pz (70 operational panzers)
          Last edited by Cult Icon; 04 Jun 15, 18:11.
          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

          Comment


          • Just the tanks only:

            7 Dec: 1TC penetrates towards state farm and set up a strongpoint. 11.Pz moves with 70 panzers and quickly envelops it with the help of 336.ID. In a few hours 1TC loses 'as many' as 60 tanks out of 150 in the area and retreats to escape the encirclement. 10 panzers destroyed and damaged.

            5.Shock-Army with its 3 veteran armored corps (4MC, 7TC, 23TC) reinforces 5.Tank Army in the region.

            7TC had an 'elite' commander: Rotmistrov.
            Last edited by Cult Icon; 05 Jun 15, 02:32.
            Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
            Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
            Barbarossa Derailed I & II
            Battle of Kalinin October 1941

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
              Chir river battle

              Dec 7, 1942:
              1TC (200 tanks, greater half KV/T-34, rest T-70)
              8GTB (38 KV)
              What?
              7 Dec: 1TC penetrates towards state farm and set up a strongpoint. 11.Pz moves with 70 panzers and quickly envelops it with the help of 336.ID. In a few hours 1TC loses 'as many' as 60 tanks out of 150 in the area and retreats to escape the encirclement
              What?
              Actually German attacked one tank brigade of the 1 TC at the farm, which lost something like a couple of T-60/70 light tanks. See for more info:
              http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...43351#p1043351
              http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...43403#p1043403
              Hordes of Red tanks destroyed are fairy-tales Mellenthin and Balck were telling naive Americans after the war.

              Comment


              • maybe you should take this up with RN- he had a hand in making this segment. I don't have a copy of the documents tome which covers this area.


                pg. 56 "Although no information is available about 1TC's losses.."

                pg. 60: "Faced with these failures, the General Staff avoided mentioning any of the embarrassing details...."
                Last edited by Cult Icon; 05 Jun 15, 11:03.
                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                  maybe you should take this up with RN
                  Who is RN?
                  The episode is just a pure example of an event blown out of proportion in German accounts. While depicted as an epic panzer battle it was in fact an indecisive engagement with a moderate losses on the Soviet side. It appears that the 1 TC which didn't really recover from "Uranus" had in fact less operational tanks than the German 11 PzD had.

                  Comment


                  • 10 Dec, 1942 (tanks only):

                    1 brigade from 1TC support 47GRD hit 336 ID, then withdrew after losing 6 tanks.

                    1TC reinforced with 2 tank corps from 4TC

                    Many tank fights ensue, 11.Pz's runners drop to 58 by Dec 10 and down to 31 by Dec 20.

                    13 Dec: 5 Shock Army and 5 Tank Army attack, the strong 7TC enters the battle and seizes the most important objective in a couple hours (the staging area needed to thrust towards Stalingrad) which essentially wins the battle.

                    1TC/8GTB drops down to 60-70 runners combined. 11.Pz drops down to 'more than' 30.

                    48 PzK, by Dec 15 (after 10 days since their arrival), its forces claimed that it destroyed or captured 134 tanks, 5 guns, 44 AT guns with 66 tanks credited to the 11.Pz.

                    The rest of the battle, (post Dec 15) continues 150 pages later in the book.


                    ----------------

                    57.PzK- 6.Pz ~150 tanks, 3.Pz ~30 operable tanks.

                    first major engagement: 4CC loses 3500-1900 cavalry men and half a tank brigade to 6.Pz in a debacle. 6.Pz's own losses were 12 tanks and 36 men. This causes 13TC and other units to be sent to reinforce 51.A.

                    "Manstein's decision to conduct the relief solely with LVII PzK was a difficult one that took more than a week to reach and was conditioned by a host of factors, many of which were beyond the field marshal's control."

                    With aircraft diverted towards to the pocket airlift, wear and tear, and winter weather, only 179 aircraft were initially allocated from LF-IV to support LVII PzK. This was considered inadequate.

                    Manstein, in a report on 9th Dec gave a negative appraisal of the operation's success potential given Axis weaknesses even before he was aware of the insertion of 5.Shock-Army and 2.Guards Army.
                    Last edited by Cult Icon; 06 Jun 15, 10:24.
                    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                      It appears that the 1 TC which didn't really recover from "Uranus" had in fact less operational tanks than the German 11 PzD had.
                      To quote concrete numbers by the morning of 6 December the 1 TC had operational according to the unit's sit.report:
                      89 Tank Brigade - 10 T-34, 7 T-70, 6 T-60, total 23
                      117 Tank Brigade - 19 T-34, 9 T-70, total 28
                      159 Tank Brigade - 11 T-34, 10 T-70, total 21
                      216 Tank Brigade - 7 KV, 2 T-34, 4 T-70, total 13
                      85 operational tanks in four brigades. 200+ tanks in the corps is a huge overestimation, as one can see. The numbers fluctuated but didn't change a lot apparently. 11 PzD had according to a report from 21.12.42 76 operational tanks on 8 December not counting Pz-II. In addition there were several operational tanks in the battle group Adam (11 reported on 4 December). So tank strength seem to be more or less even.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                        13 Dec: 5 Shock Army and 5 Tank Army attack, the strong 7TC enters the battle and seizes the most important objective in a couple hours (the staging area needed to thrust towards Stalingrad) which essentially wins the battle.
                        For illustration: German sit maps as of 14 and 15 December 1942 (appendices to the Heeresgruppe Don war diary):
                        http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phoc...umb_l_0347.jpg
                        http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phoc...umb_l_0348.jpg
                        Report on personnel and equipment losses of 384 Division defending the bridgehead:
                        http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phoc...umb_l_0338.jpg
                        http://www.maparchive.ru/images/phoc...umb_l_0341.jpg
                        They even had several tanks which was unusual for infantry unit.
                        Soviet map of operations on 12-15 December 1942 (5 Shock Army war diary):
                        http://tinyurl.com/pj5mfmz

                        Comment


                        • Beginning of Winter-storm:

                          LVII PzK (~ less than 30,000 engaged combatants):

                          initially supported by units from LF-IV with 179 aircraft. 500 sorties a day is cited on the 16th.

                          6.Pz: 141 operable panzers, 19 in various stages of repair, 40 SPGs of various types

                          23.Pz: 30 operable panzers

                          Romanian 4.A: 12,000 men out of an original strength of 39,000. Each division, which defended the flanks of the two panzer divisions had roughly 1-2 combat battalions. Their mobility was limited and would trail the flanks of the two panzer divisions.

                          -----------------

                          Soviet 51.A : 34,000 men, 77 tanks, 419 guns/mortars.

                          Reinforcements 14 Dec: 4MC: 107 tanks, 234TR: 39 tanks, 235TB (flamethrower KV)

                          ***

                          Initially LVII PzK outnumbered the Soviet defense more than 2:1 in armor. This would fall and reverse the ratio due to attrition and the reinforcement of 4MC and 7TC with 200+ more tanks. Later the strong 6MC and 2GMC with several hundred more tanks will join the fray against LVII PzK. The main German armor reinforcement later in the battle was the half-strength 17.Pz.

                          In terms of infantry forces, the insertion of 5.Shock-Army and 2.Guards Army would reverse the manpower ratio making the axis attackers outnumbered by several multiples- making prospects for winter-storm completely hopeless.

                          ****

                          What is obvious to me is the very weak infantry strength of the axis- this is a common issue that appears in 43' onward and what differentiates german operations of 41-42 vs 43-45. The offensive operation ends up like an big "middle finger" with armor forces on the fingertip and the weak and inadequately mobile infantry forces struggling much behind. Ultimately they do not protect the flanks of the spearhead and the operation fails as the spearhead gets under attack.


                          *****

                          6.Pz's thrust will get blocked with 4MC plus its supporting calvary/infantry units. On 6.Pz's right wing, 23.Pz would get blocked by 13TC/13MC plus supporting infantry units.

                          The five day tank battle would last until 18 Dec, when 17.Pz's arrival would finally propel LVII PzK north to the myshkova river, 55 KM from 6.AOK.

                          "Then, from 19-23 Dec, the decisive battle deciding 6.AOK's fate would occur."

                          On Dec 12/13, 51.A reinforced with strong 87.RD and 235. Flamethrower-tank brigade. 13TC/13MC (same unit) gets refitted back up to 60-70% personnel strength with march companies. However, only half of infantry is truck-mobile. Its tank strength is increased to 49 operable but on Dec 12 dropped to 28 operable due to a LW air strikes.

                          4MC has 107 tanks and the rest is of decent strength.
                          234 TR: 39 tanks.

                          ****

                          By Dec 16th,
                          4MC and its 234TR, 235TB are down to 8,000 men and 70 operable tanks.

                          On Dec 17: 85TB with 17 tanks reinforces 4MC. also included is the 20.TDB w/ 6-7 AT guns.

                          4MC is down to 60 tanks.

                          also, on this day the depleted 17.Pz (w/ 30 operable panzers) arrives to reinforce LVII PzK. It was missing its armored cars and more than 1/3rd of its trucks. ~1/4 of its infantry was on foot.

                          In total, LVII PzK now had 155 operable panzers ready for the next day's attack. 6.Pz/23.Pz have ~125 runners respectively, down from ~210 combined at the beginning of winter-storm.

                          Dec 18:

                          2.Guards-Army with its powerful forces is now firmly positioned with a formidable second echelon behind 51.A. It takes control of 13TC/13MC and 4MC from 51.A. 55TR loses all tanks.

                          2GMC from 2.GA assembles its 200 tanks.

                          6.Pz drops to 57 operable.
                          23.Pz drops to 13 operable.

                          4MC renamed 3GMC due to its outstanding performance by Stalin.

                          Vasilevsky states that 4MC still had ~135 tanks. 7TC had ~150 (probably including both operable and in those in various stages of repair)

                          Time is running out for LVII PzK and 6.AOK. 2 days left before the general offensives against LVII PzK/4.A(R) and over Chir.

                          19 Dec- LVII seizes their objective, defeats 4MC/3GMC and reaches the river like a middle finger...

                          Attack begins with a powerful LW saturation with heavy stuka strikes (perhaps the most powerful air attack yet of winter storm- 1,000 sorties) "in groups of 20-30 aircraft at low altitudes". The LW destroy most of 4MC/3GMC's tanks, artillery, and radios. This is supported by LVII artillery.

                          The 3 x PzD attack, The remains of 2 x tank regiments of 4MC/3GMC are knocked out of the fight in short order. A rife regiment from 87.Rifle division is destroyed with 212 survivors. Communications net of the mech. corps starts collapsing. 4MC/3GMC gets encircled and retreats.

                          4MC/3GMC reduced to 6,833 men- losing 72 tanks on the 19th and taking 1,200 casualties. 40 tanks operable. It had lost 5,500 men since 12 dec.

                          LVII PzK started the Dec 19 attack with 15,666 men (combat strength only). AAR: "Since 12 dec the PzK lost 94 officers and 1,519 NCOs/men, which amounted to 10% of its strength".

                          33 panzers written off- 25 in 6.Pz, 8 in 23.Pz, and 0 in 17.Pz

                          175 panzers combat ready and capable within 3 weeks.
                          92 Panzers currently operable (6.Pz:36, 17.Pz:36, 23.Pz: 20)
                          Last edited by Cult Icon; 07 Jun 15, 02:49.
                          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                            as of beginning Dec, 1942: strong new soviet forces enter the fray:

                            5.Shock Army- 5 rifle divisions and corps armor formations: 4MC, 7TC, 23TC, 3GCC
                            23 Tank Corps didn't appear before January. 7 Tank Corps was the only "new" unit and it was committed just for a couple of days (13-15 December) and then diverted against LVII PzK. In essence 5 Shock Army HQ just took over a sector of the front with several old and already weakened divisions from other armies, it didn't mean a real reinforcement. The Army's war diary described the units that came under its command on 12.12.42 in the following way:
                            3 Guards Cavalry Corps - 13 000 men remained out of original 23 800 (start of "Uranus"):
                            4 Guards Rifle Division - 4200 out of 10 500
                            258 Rifle Division - 4000 out of 13 600
                            315 Rifle Division - losses equal to 14%
                            7 Tank Corps: 3 Guards Tank Brigade - 18 KV, 16 T-70 battle-ready; 62 Tank Brigade - 20 T-34, 7 T-70; 87 Tank Brigade - 10 T-34, 9 T-70.
                            Since German relief offensive started from Kotelnikovo on the very same day 87 and 300 Rifle Division and 4 MechCorps were dispatched to counter it before making a single shot as a part of the army.
                            Beginning of Winter-storm:
                            ....
                            23.Pz: 30 operable panzers
                            Ha, legion of authors copy that from one book to another and nobody cared to check original documents. According to the 4 PzAOK report on 10 December 23 PzD had 98 tanks in operational conditions (13 II, 18 III k, 26 III l, 13 IV k, 26 IV l, 2 Bef). In addition it had 12 self-propelled armored AT guns. Total 110 armored vehicles, quite a strong unit. It took several days of actions before it was actually reduced to 30 serviceable tanks. The division lost 8 tanks as write-offs and 83 as damaged and repairable within 3 weeks by 21 December.
                            6.Pz: 141 operable panzers, 19 in various stages of repair, 40 SPGs of various types
                            The division had only one organic company of Marder SP guns in its AT battalion (about 10 guns IIRC). One battalion of StuG assault guns was attached to the division later but it arrived only circa 20 December.

                            Comment


                            • 6.AOK's situation:

                              German high command sees the situation in desperate straights with 2.GA firmly prepared. The victory on the 19th was pyrrhic in nature.

                              Manstein pleads Paulus to break out on his own. It's a no-go. 6.AOK's ready breakout force erodes to 8-10 battalions and 50 panzers at best. Prospects are seen as suicidal given the powerful forces between them.

                              The 6.AOK has poor and declining mobility- it had evacuated 65,000 out of 90,000 horses before Uranus.
                              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                              Comment


                              • German intelligence estimates:

                                27 Dec:

                                6.Pz: 31 tanks, 8 AG
                                11.Pz: 12 tanks and then 20 tanks on the 30 Dec.

                                5TA:

                                8CC and 5MC down to 1/3rd combat strength. 5MC received 18 new tanks and is now up to 100 tanks now.

                                346.R and 50.GRD down to 1/2 combat strength

                                1GMC, 25TC, 24TC down to "no more" than 10-15 tanks each.
                                Last edited by Cult Icon; 11 Jun 15, 14:47.
                                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                                Comment

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