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Soviet formations breaking into Rzhew 27 September 1942

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  • Soviet formations breaking into Rzhew 27 September 1942

    On 27 September 1942 Russian forces broke through the 6th Infantry Division's lines just north of Rzhew, and threatened to enter Rzhew itself. The 473rd Infantry Regiment and elements of the Grossdeutschland MC battalion supported by tanks and assault gun counter-attacked. At the same time (I believe), elements of 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment (6th Infantry Division) also counter-attacked. This counter-attack too was supported by StuGs (in this case, only two StuGs participated). All this happened near what my source calls Zielpunkt 553. The aim of the 18th Infantry's counter-attack was to recapture part of the "old" main line of resistance.

    My question is: does anyone know which Soviet units were involved in this attack?

    It is unclear (to me), if the 18th Infantry Regiment's counter-attack coincided with the main German counter-attack, or if they were independent efforts against different foes.

  • #2
    Any guesses? I this point, I haven't even been able to figure out which Soviet Army was involved.


    • #3
      From data provided it's quite hard to say what was happening there. Please, mark positions on the map, maybe it's possible to find some Russian sources on that place.
      However Rzhev is one of the most dark places
      If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....


      • #4
        You can find I./Infanterie-Regiment 18 (as "I./18") on this map in two places. It's the southern-most (closest to the city) that is relevant for this discussion.

        The map depicts the front line after the Soviet offensive in late August. I don't believe the front line as such move much until 27 September, but the German units might well have been shuffled around. My account refers to battles being fought in the northern suburbs, so the unit is still in roughly the same place.
        The above source page says that a member of Infanterie-Regiment 18 earned a Knight's Cross on 29 September 1941. I suspect they got the year wrong. It mentions the Seidenfabrik (Silk Factory), which is also on the map. You can find it just under "I./37" (northern suburbs, just southwest of the text "RSHEW").

        As you can see, things are somewhat fuzzy on the German side too.
        Last edited by Ronnblom; 10 Sep 09, 16:19.


        • #5
          Huh, I recall when I read about Rzhev that discrepancy drew my attention. Soviets sources show 21 September as the day of most progress in Rzhev. Then they say Germans reinforcements came and Soviets were gradually pressed from the city. Nothing about 27 September when as Germans wrote Soviets took all Rzhev for a while. It remained sort of mystery for me, sorry


          • #6
            Helmuth Spaeter's Grossdeutschland history indicates that it was the Soviet 30th Army which attacked Rzhew in late August 1942. I guess it might have been the same army conducting the September attacks?


            • #7
              I believe the Soviet formations involved with breaking into Rzhev in late September were the 215th, 369th, 375th Rifle and 2nd Guards Divisions.

              EDIT: This website may be helpful
              Last edited by Skoblin; 14 Sep 09, 15:56.


              • #8
                I've actually tried to read most of that website (using Google's translator service) already, but as far as I could understand it didn't have the information I was looking for. Looks like I'm wrong - but which part (page) should I read? Thanks.


                • #9
                  Not always the best resource...but this is from Wiki.


                  26 августа командующий Калининским фронтом И. С. Конев был назначен командующим Западным фронтом вместо генерала армии Г. К. Жукова, который был сделан заместителем Верховного Главнокомандующего и 1-м заместителем наркома обороны СССР. Командующим Калининским фронтом был назначен генерал-лейтенант М. А. Пуркаев. С целью сохранения за И. С. Коневым руководства над Ржевской операцией 30 августа 30-я и 29-я армии были переданы в состав Западного фронта.

                  24 августа после очередной перегруппировки 30-я армия возобновила наступление севернее и восточнее Ржева. 25-26 августа части 30-й армии вышли к Волге в 5-6 км западнее Ржева, 29 августа форсировали Волгу и создали плацдарм на её правом берегу. Все эти дни артиллерия обстреливала, а авиация бомбила Ржев.

                  21 сентября штурмовые группы 215-й, 369-й и 375-й стрелковых дивизий, преодолев проволочное заграждение и две линии окопов, ворвались в северную часть города. В сражение была введена 2-я гвардейская дивизия. Целый день шёл ожесточённый бой в северо-восточных кварталах Ржева. 24-25 сентября немецкие войска попытались контратаками выбить советские дивизии из городских кварталов. Участники боев с обеих сторон вспоминали ожесточённость и накал боев этих дней.

                  Взятие Ржева ожидалось со дня на день. В 30-ю армию разрешили выехать личному представителю президента США, одному из руководителей Республиканской партии У. Уилки (англ. Wendell Wilkie). 23 сентября он встречался со Сталиным, а 24 сентября был в районе Ржева, где беседовал с командующим 30-й армией генерал-лейтенантом Д. Д. Лелюшенко.

                  В результате упорных боев к 27 сентября войскам 30-й армии удалось занять Ржев, однако подошедшие немецкие резервы восстановили положение. Город остался за противником.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the pointer!


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