Ideas for Wargaming scenarios are highlighted.
22 Jun 1941
At 0315 hours the Germans launched Operation ‘Barbarosa’ – the attack on the Soviet Union (Erickson, 1993).
Campaign Idea: Stalingrad Day
I like the idea the Too Fat Lardies came up with, i.e. fight out the major events of the battle on one table on one gaming day (see their Too Fat Lardies: Stalingrad Day). They used an E shaped table where the upright is the Volga bank and the branches of the E are the German approach routes. I’m inclined to do something similar, for example, from north to south the key features are:
- Dzerzhinsky Tractor Factory
- Barrikady Factory
- Red October (Krasny Okyabr) Factory
- Mamayev Kurgan
- Stalingrad-1 railway station
- Grain Elevator
Or with less branches:
- Factory Area
- Mamayev Kurgan
- Stalingrad-1 railway station
- Grain Elevator
Early Mar 1942
General Vasili Ivanovich Chuikov arrives back in Moscow from his assignment in China (Chuikov, 1963).
Anti-aircraft batteries raised in Stalingrad area from young women, mainly Komsomol members (Beevor, 1999).
Chuikov was appointed as acting commander of a reserve army in the Tula region (Chuikov, 1963).
Early Jul 1942
Chuikov was in a car accident, suffered a back injury, and went to hospital (Chuikov, 1963).
10 Jul 1942
The Volga River Flotilla (Rear-Admiral Rogachev) became operational (Erickson, 1993). It comprised two brigades and included gun boats (including some AA gun boats), minesweepers, ferries, small cutters and barges. Some sailors were later landed as infantry.
12 Jul 1942
The Stavka created a Stalingrad Front under Marshal Timoshenko (Clark, 1965; Erickson, 1993). Timoshenko was assigned three reserve armies from the Tula area near Moscow: 62nd (Kolpakchi), 63rd (Kuznetsov), and 64th Army (Chuikov). These armies started to head for the Don but with insufficient transport they were spread out and the infantry had to make long forced marches by foot. 64th Army initially had four incomplete rifle divisions, two motorised brigades, and two armoured brigades (Beevor, 1999). The three reserve armies had only four anti-aircraft guns between them so the Stalingrad anti-aircraft guns were moved to cover the Don crossings and the bridge over the Chir at Oblivskaya. Over the coming days the disintegrating South-Western Front contributed the remnants of 22 divisions from 21st (6), 28th (6) and 38th (10) Armies. 21st Army joined Stalingrad Front. The intention was for 63rd Army was assigned to hold the northern part of the line on the east (left) bank of the Don from Pavlovsk to Serafinovich. The regrouped 21st Army took up position in the 40 km gap between 62nd and 63rd Armies on the northern bank of the Don from Serafinovich to Kletskaya. The 62nd and 64th Armies was ordered to hold the Germans west of the Don on the Chir and Tsimla rivers between Kletskay and Verkhne-Kurmoyarskaya. As it happens 64th Army only started to take the line on 21 Jul. 22nd and 23rd Tank Corps, and 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps, were deployed in the 63rd Army sector. 13th Tank Corps reformed north-east of Surovikono in the zone of 62nd Army.
16 Jul 1942
Chuikov arrived at Stalingrad Front HQ to check out the situation (Beevor, 1999). The 62nd Army was spread over the upper part of the Don’s eastern loop north of the river Chir. Their front ran from Kletskaya, Yevstratovski, Hill 181.4, Krasny Rodnichok, Starikovski, Surovikino, Hill 117.4, State Farm No. 79, to Verkhne-Solonovksi (Chuikov, 1963). Forward elements – infantry tanks and artillery – were on the Rivers Tsutskan and Chir and at Tormosin Farm. The front line divisions each had a tank battalion and an anti-tank regiment, and were, from right to left:
- 33rd Guards Division: Kalmykov to Verkhnyay Gusynka
- 147th Rifle Division: Verkhnyay Gusynka to Hill 117.4
- 196th Rifle Division: State Farm No. 79 to Nizhne-Solonovski Farm.
The second line of 62nd Army had the 192nd and 184th Rifle Divisions, three tank battalions, ten artillery regiments, one Katyusha regiment, and four regiments of students from military institutions (Chuikov, 1963). Army HQ was at Kamyshi Farm.
64th Army was to cover the lower portion of the Don loop south of the Chir, but the men were only just beginning to detrain (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). 112th Division at Kothluban, Kachalino and Filonovo Stations; 214th Division at Donskaya, Muzga and Rychkov; 29th Division at Zhutovo; the rest on the bank of the Volga. 229th Rifle Division and Army HQ were particularly delayed, the last men detraining on 23 Jul.
Just above the river Chir the 44th (Austrian) Infantry Division was engaged in brutal, no quarter, fighting with three divisions of 62nd Army (Beevor, 1999).
19 Jul 1942
Stalingrad was put on an immediate war footing (Erickson, 1993).
The units of 64th Army were still marching west from the train depots, but Chuikov intended they deploy as follows:
- Front line from Surovikino to the village of Suvorovskaya: 229th and 214th Rifle Divisions, 154th Naval Infantry Brigade, one armoured brigade
- Front from Potemkinskaya to Verkhne-Kurmoyarskaya: 29th Rifle Division
- Second line on the River Chir: 112th Rifle Division.
- Army HQ: Llmen-Chirski Farm.
In the evening Lieutenant-General Gordov (of 21st Army) replaced Chuikov in command of 64th Army (Chuikov, 1963). Chuikov became his deputy. Gordov ordered 112nd Division to the outskirts of Stalingrad, the several units to the army’s left flank on the River Aksay (66th Naval Infantry Brigade, 137th Armoured Brigade, four regiments of military students). This effectively moved the second line reserves from the west bank of the Don to the east bank.
20 Jul 1942
The three reserve armies of Stalingrad Front had a nominal strength of 38 divisions but 20 of these had less than 2,500 men and 14 had between 300-1,000 men (Erickson, 1993). 62nd and 63rd combined had 160,000 men, up to 400 tanks and 2,200 guns and mortars. 8th Air Army contributed 454 planes to the Stalingrad Front.
The defences were organised into lines: Line O, Line K, Line S, and Line G in the city itself (Erickson, 1993). 180,000 civilians set to work building barricades, trenches, fire-points and tank traps both in the city and on the steppe nearby. The Stalingrad militia was activated and provided 11,000 men in 80 ‘annihilation battalions’ to counter possible German parachute drops.
22 Jul 1942
Having been summoned to Moscow the day before General Gordov returned to Stalingrad to replace Timoshenko as commander of Stalingrad Front (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965). Chuikov again took command of 64th Army.
23 – 24 Jul 1942: Fall of Rostov
The Germans captured Rostov in bitter fighting (Erickson, 1993).
23 Jul 1942
The Germans smashed into 62nd Army (Kolpakchi) with four infantry, two armoured, and two motorised divisions (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). They broke into of 192nd Rifle Division in the Kletskaya-Kalmykov region on the right flank of 62nd Army. Outlflanking the 62nd from the north the Germans headed for the Don at Tsymlovski. In response Kolpakchi moved the 196th Rifle Division from the quiet left flank to the endangered right flank.
64th Army began to take the line to the left (south) of 62nd Army (Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965, says 21 Jul). 214th Rifle Division deployed at State Farm No. 79 to Kruchinovski Farm. To the left 154th Naval Infantry Brigade deployed along the River Solok to the junction with the Don. At 1000 hours 66th Naval Infantry Brigade and the elements of 137th Armoured Brigade (a motorised infantry battalion and 15 T-60 tanks; the medium and heavy tanks could not cross the bridge over the Don) set off for the village of Suvorovski with a view to attacking toward the German flank at the village of Tsimlyanski on the west bank of the Don. Chuikov failed to persuade Front HQ to recall them.
24 Jul 1942
On or before this date, the old 38th Army of South-Western Front was redesignated 1st Tank Army (under Moskalenko) with 13th and 28th Tank Corps, 158th Tank Brigade, and 131st Rifle Division (Erickson, 1993). Similarly 28th Army was redesignated 4th Tank Army (under Kryuchenkin) with 22nd and 23rd Tank Corps, 18th Rifle Division, 133rd Tank Brigade and artillery regiments. All formations were undermanned. Between them the two tank armies had 550 tanks, of which more than half were KVs and T-34s.
In the centre the German 44th Division faced three inactive Soviet Divisions of 62nd Army (Chuikov, 1963). Elsewhere the Germans broke through the army and advanced on Manoylin.
64th Army (Chuikov) was still disorganised (Chuikov, 1963). Only the 214th Rifle Division (Biryukov) and the 154th Naval Infantry Brigade (Smirnov) were up to strength. At 1200 hours five battalions and two artillery batteries of 229th Rifle Division began to relieve elements of 62nd Army on the boundary of the two formations. Forward elements of 229th and 214th Rifle Divisions and 154th Naval Infantry Brigade reached the River Tsimla. 112th crossed the Don and dug in on the lower reaches of the Chir.
The Germans attacked 66th Naval Infantry Brigade and 137th Armoured Brigade in the flank (Chuikov, 1963). Chuikov, however, managed to persuade Front HQ to recall them and by 1700 hours they were back at Nizhne-Chirskaya on the Don. 137th Armoured Brigade deployed with 229th Rifle Division on the right flank of the army. [Chuikov seems to have the 137th in two places, so possibly the brigade had elements on both sides of the Don].
25 Jul 1942
Sixth Army made an attempt to rush Stalingrad through the depleted 62nd Army and still deploying 64th Army (Beevor, 1999; Clark, 1965; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). For two days the Germans attacked during the day with air cover, and the Soviets counter-attacked at night. Dust storms complicated the operations.
The Germans encircled the 192nd and 184th Rifle Divisions and the 40th Armoured Brigade from 62nd Army (Chuikov, 1963). [Actually I thought the 40th was part of 64th. I also suspect this is Zhuravlev’s Operational Group.]
In the early morning two German infantry divisions and one Panzer division attacked the right flank of 64th Army (Chuikov, 1963). The 64th had 229th Rifle Division (only 5 of 9 battalions in the line) and 137th Armoured Brigade (5 heavy tanks, 10 T-34s, 20 T-60s) covering 14.5 km of front. One German infantry division, with tanks, led the attack and hit the 783rd Infantry Regiment in the centre. The Soviets threw them back, claiming 600 enemy dead, and one battalion alone knocked out 10 tanks. The Germans renewed their attack and drove a wedge into the Soviet positions in the afternoon. They seized State Farm No. 79 and the Soviet divisional command post on Point 155.0, sending the divisional commander packing. He lost contact with his forward units (783rd Infantry Regiment and 2/804th Infantry Battalion).
26 Jul 1942
Early on 26 Jul, the Soviet 1st Tank Army (Moskalenko) counter-attacked with its 13th and 28th Tank Corps north-west toward Colonel Zhuravlev’s encircled ‘operational group’ west of Verkhne-Buzinovka (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The attacking formations were hammered by the Luftwaffe, the Soviets claiming the Germans conducted 1,000 sorties against 1st Tank Army alone. German Panzers forced frightened T-60 tanks crews to hide their vehicles in gullies (balkas), but could not affect the heavy KV tanks. As 13th Tank Corps clawed its way towards him, Zhuravlev began to fighting his way towards the tank.
At 0500 hours the Germans attacked 64th Army again (Chuikov, 1963). Artillery, aircraft, infantry and tanks (Chuikov counted 80) attacked elements of 783rd Infantry Regiment in a dairy farm. Soviet KVs successfully engaged the Panzers, but the light T-60s avoided conflict by lurking in gullies. Under heavy pressure and with the commander killed and commissar wounded, the 783rd Regiment began to retreat. Two newly arrived battalions of 804th Infantry Regiment (presumably 1 and 3) counter-attacked but were suppressed by tank fire. At 1300 hours the German infantry and tanks attacked these battalions, drove them off Hill 161 and 156, and forced them back to the village of Savinski. The mortars and artillery of 214th area joined in and caused German casualties but did not stop the advance. About 40 Panzers pursued the retreating Soviet battalions to the River Myshkova, and another group of Panzers advanced towards Nizhne-Chirskaya. By mid afternoon the Germans had broken through between 62nd and 64th Armies and were heading for the River Chir. The 112th Rifle Division, the 66th Naval Infantry Brigade, and a battery of artillery crossed the Don railway bridge, where they dug in along the lower reaches of the Chir. 10 KV tanks of 137th Armoured Brigade were meant to be with this group, but ran out of fuel before reaching Nizhne-Chirskaya. The 66th Naval Infantry Brigade took the line between the 214th and 229th Rifle Divisions. German aircraft attacked the Naval, who then also saw off attacks by tanks and infantry. Panic set in amongst the rear units, and they rushed the Don bridge, suffering casualties from German bombers. The panic then spread to the front line units. Towards evening the bombers also managed to take out the bridge thus cutting off the elements on the west bank of the Don – 112th, 229th, 214th Rifle Divisions, 66th and 154th Naval Infantry Brigades, and 137th Armoured Brigade. An army staff officer then ordered the 214th and 137th back across the Don, despite the fact there was no bridge. Chuikov subsequently countermanded this order, but the units were already on the march.
At 0600 hours 196th Rifle Division of 62nd Army counter-attacked (Chuikov, 1963).
Towards evening the Germans in the sector of 62nd Army reached the Don between Golubinski and Mostovski Farms (Chuikov, 1963)
26 Jul – 11 Aug 1942: 33rd Guards Rifle Division
The German advance trapped the 33rd Guards Rifle Division, 62nd Army, on the west bank of the Don (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov has the action starting on 21 Jul). Colonel Urvenko’s dug in deep and repelled attacks by two German divisions. By 11 Aug they were down to 3,000 men, and short of food and ammunition. Urvenko ordered a break out to the east in small groups. 2,000 made it to friendly lines, including Urvenko, who being severely wounded was carried through a marsh and dragged across the Don to safety.
27 Jul 1942
At 0300 hours 21st Army (Danilov) attacked between Serafimovhc and Kletskaya (Erickson, 1993). ?? must check if this happened or was just a plan ??
By 1600 hours the Soviet 4th Tank Army (Kryuchenkin) only had 17 tanks of 22nd Tank Corps across the Don (Erickson, 1993).
At some point 23rd Tank Corps and two rifle divisions from Stavka reserve were sent to the aid of 64th Army south of Kalach (Erickson, 1993). 57th Army (Tolkukhin) was also sent to this wing.
During the afternoon 112th and 229th Rifle Divisions of 64th Army, in bitter fighting, pinched off the German salient to the Don (Chuikov, 1963). German infantry fled from Novomaksimovksi Farm, without contesting it with a regiment from 112th Rifle Division.
28 Jul 1942: Order No 227 ‘Not a Step Back’
Stalin issued the “Not a Step Back” order (Erickson, 1993). Red Army soldiers were now expected to fight in place until the bitter end.
For some days from 28 Jul the German 51st Army Corps tried to break through 64th Army (Chuikov, 1963). German infantry and tanks attacked elements of 112th Rifle Division at Novomaksimovksi Farm, which had been abandoned the day before. Chuikov counted 100 Panzers in some attacks, but the Soviets had only 10 tanks in this sector. The 229th and 112th Rifle Divisions repulsed these attacks and counter-attacked.
About this time Lopatin replaced Kolpakchi in command of 62nd Army (Chuikov, 1963).
29 Jul 1942
When they had 100 tanks over the river 4th Tank Army attacked 14th Panzer Corps, but like their comrades to the south (left) they suffered under the Luftwaffe (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
30 Jul 1942
At first light a group of T-34s surprised the HQ of 16th Panzer Division (Beevor, 1999). As German officers struggled into their cloths and tried to escape, the Soviet tanks shot up the HQ and rear echelon vehicles. A company from 2nd Panzer Regiment came to the rescue and quickly destroyed six Soviet tanks, and a seventh that made a suicidal attack across open marsh ground toward the HQ vehicles.
Scenario Idea: Tank Raid
Not a good Crossfire scenario but seems a good candidate for some other rules with a tank focus. The Soviets would attack against weak opposition (possibly a HQ guard company), trying to shoot up as many vehicles as possible (thus gaining victory points). At some point the Panzers would arrive to rescue the situation.
196th Rifle Division of 62nd Army went onto the defensive (Chuikov, 1963).
In the evening Shumilov took over 64th Army from Chuikov who was unemployed in Stalingrad for a few days (Chuikov, 1963).
31 Jul 1942
In the morning 229th and 112th Rifle Divisions of 64th Army, supported by 10 tanks and aircraft, pushed the Germans back across the River Chir (Chuikov, 1963).
Fourth Panzer Army hit 51st Army (Kolomiits) and pushed on toward Kotelnikovo (Erickson, 1993). The Soviets reorganised in response with 51st Army joining the Stalingrad Front.
2 Aug 1942
In 64th Army the 214th Rifle Division (Biryukov) was dug in along the Don from Nizhne-Chirskayato to the village of Gorodskoy with no sight of the enemy (Chuikov, 1963). 29th Rifle Division was dug in along the River Aksay from Gorodskoy to Novoaksayski. There were no adjacent units to the south so Chuikov was ordered to form a Southern Group to protect this flank. He set out with a handful of men and three trucks.
3 Aug 1942
Despite protest from his advisors, at 0300 hours Stalin split the existing Stalingrad Front into two commands (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). The Tsaritsa gully in Stalingrad was the dividing line. Gordov retained command of the northern portion which retained the name Stalingrad Front. Colonel-General Andrey Yeremenko was given command of the new South-Eastern Front (51st, 57th, and 64th Armies).
Around this time Sixth Army broke through the right wing of 62nd Army and captured a 14 km stretch of the Don in the Malogolubaya area (Erickson, 1993). The Soviets forces to the west of the Don were split in two. Lopatin sought permission to withdraw 62nd Army to the Don but Gordov refused and counter-attacked the German corridor with 21st Army, and 1st and 4th Tank Armies. Unfortunately the lofty title of “Tank Army” doesn’t reflect the fact that the attacking tank corps contained only 15 tanks a piece. The counter-attack quickly fell apart.
Chuikov incorporated the depleted 138th (Lyudnikov) and 157th (Kuropatenko) Rifle Divisions and two Katyusha regiments, which he encountered retreating northward near the village of Verkhne-Yablochny, into his Southern Group (Chuikov, 1963). The divisions withdrew behind the River Aksay and began to dig in. The 154th Naval Infantry Brigade (Smirnov) deployed in gullies behind these divisions, along with the Katyusha regiments. .
The fresh 208th (Siberian) Rifle Division (Voskoboynikov) detrained at Chilekov and Kotelnikovo Stations (Chuikov, 1963). German aircraft and tanks attacked and destroyed four troop trains at Kotelnikovo. The survivors retreated along the railway line.
4 Aug 1942
Yeremenko arrived at Stalingrad (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). He brought the command group of 1st Tank Army back from Kalach to form the command group of the new South-Eastern Front. Around this time 62nd Army absorbed the divisions of 1st Tank Army (Chuikov, 1963).
Chuikov began to round up 208th Rifle Division at Chilekov station and nearby (Chuikov, 1963). He ordered them back over the River Aksay that night, to dig in and send out patrols. He then encountered a cavalry regiment and got them patrolling the area. Meanwhile 48th Panzer Corps crossed the Don at Verkhne-Kurnoyarksaya was outflanking them via Plodovitoye and Tinguta. Soviet Front HQ ordered the 29th Rifle Division eastward along the north bank of the Aksay. At this time a German observer described the Aksay as muddy, almost stationary, and dried up in places.
5 Aug 1942
German planes hammered the unprotected 29th Rifle Division while it was on the march, inflicting heavy casualties (Chuikov, 1963). Chuikov ordered his cavalry regiment to occupy the zone abandoned by the 29th. Small axis units – mainly Rumanian – attacked the cavalry positions. During the evening the axis forces attacked the junction of 138th and 157th Rifle Divisions on an 8 km frontage. German and Rumanian infantry forced there way across the Aksay, but for lack of ferries the tanks had to stay to the south. This was lucky for the Soviets as they entirely lacked anti-tank weapons including anti-tank grenades.
6 Aug 1942
Chuikov pre-empted the German assault on his forces along the Aksay with an early dawn attack of his own (Chuikov, 1963). Overnight the two Katyusha regiments moved into suitable firing positions. As soon as day broke the rockets, artillery and mortars of the Southern Group opened up on the German concentration areas on the north of the Aksay and drove many back across the river. The Soviet infantry then attacked the partially dug in enemy infantry and by evening had also pushed them back across the river.
Meanwhile 64th Army had moved to teh area of Abganerovo and Tinguta where the blocked the German advance (Chuikov, 1963).
7 Aug 1942
Sixth Army launched a pincer attack, led by 16th and 24th Panzer Divisions, against 62nd Army (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993).
The German and Rumanian forces on the Aksay attacked again and carved a 4-6 km hole in the front of the Southern Group (Chuikov, 1963). Two hours before sunset the Southern Group counter-attacked. The counter-attack was timed so the German aircraft had limited day light remaining. 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) struck from the north-west and 157th Rifle Division (Kuropatenko) from the north-east, with the divisions converging on a single point. The axis troops were once again pushed back over the river. This pattern continued for about a week with the axis forces attacking between 1000 and 1200 hours, driving a wedge into the Soviet defences after some hours of fighting, and then being pushed out by a counter-attack during the night or at dawn.
The German 267th Regiment 94th Infantry Division reached the Aksay after light fighting (Chuikov, 1963).
9 Aug 1942
On the second day 16th and 24th Panzer Divisions linked up and by sunset they had reached the Don and could see the buildings of Kalach across the river (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). They had surrounded eight rifle divisions and all five artillery regiments west of the Don. After dark thousands of Soviet stragglers attacked the Panzer hedgehogs.
Elements of Army Group A reached the destroyed oil wells of Mailkop (Fowler, 2005).
Stalin subordinated the Stalingrad to the South-Eastern Front, essentially creating a single Stalingrad Front under Yeremenko (Erickson, 1993; Beevor, 1999, says 7 Aug). Golikov of 1st Guards Army became Yeremenko’s deputy. Moskalenko (of 1st Tank Army) replaced Golikov in 1st Guards Army. Sarayev was given command of 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) and the Stalingrad garrison.
10-11 Aug 1942
On 10 Aug the Germans began to systematically clear the woods of Soviet stragglers west of the Don (Beevor, 1999). The pattern repeated itself the next night (Soviet attack) and day (German clearing), but this time the Germans set fire to brush to drive the Soviets into the open. Few of the surrounded Soviets escaped across the Don. Of the 13,000 men in the 181st Rifle Division of 62nd Army, only 105 reached friendly lines.
11 Aug 1942
Soviet Katyusha and tanks halted the advance of the German 267th Regiment 94th Infantry Division (Chuikov, 1963).
12 Aug 1942
64th Army and a Mechanised Corps (Tanastishin) were fighting it out with 4th Panzer Army in the area of Plodovioye and Abganerovo (Chuikov, 1963). The Southern Group took over the 66th Naval Infantry Brigade
15 Aug 1942
Sixth Army attacked and smashed 4th Tank Army in the small loop of the Don (Erickson, 1993). The three rifle divisions of 4th Tank Army had less then 800 men, 22nd Motorised Rifle Brigade only 200 men, and 22nd Tank Corps had only a few tanks. Gordov took personal command.
16 Aug 1942
On the night of 16-17 Aug the 4th Tank army withdrew to the east bank of the Don (Chuikov, 1963).
17 Aug 1942
On the night of 17-18 Aug the Southern Group withdrew to new positions on the River Myshkova (Chuikov, 1963). It took until the evening of the next day for the Germans to find them again.
The German 267th Regiment 94th Infantry Division reached Tinguta after days of heavy fighting (Chuikov, 1963).
18 Aug 1942
Sixth Army was within 56 km of Stalingrad (Fowler, 2005).
19 Aug 1942
For the first time the Sixth Army attacked the outer defences of Stalingrad (Clark, 1965; Fowler, 2005). The front started at Kachalinskaya, travelled along the east bank of the Don, the branched east along the Mishkova River towards the Volga; about 120 km long but only 80 km as the crow flies. The Soviets had 11 rifle divisions (many under strength), plus remnants of other units including some mechanised brigades. The Germans had two Panzer and two motorised divisions in the north, nine infantry divisions in the centre, and another three Panzer and two motorised divisions in the south.
In the south 4th Panzer Army struggled to penetrate the 64th Army between Abganerovo and Sarpa Lakes (Clark, 1965). The Southern Group was incorporated into the 64th Army and moved to join the army’s main defensive line (Chuikov, 1963). The Soviets found the performance of individual Germans units unimpressive compared to the previous year. Both infantry and tanks were extremely slow, cautious, and indecisive.
21 Aug 1942
At dawn Infantry from LI Corps crossed the Don in assault boats near the villages of Luchinsky and Vertyachi (Beevor, 1999). A whole battalion crossed at Vertyachi in only 70 minutes. Pioneers then set to work on a pontoon bridge.
22 Aug 1942
At 1200 the German pontoon bridge was ready and 16th Panzer Division rumbled across (Beevor, 1999).
23 Aug 1942
Despite Soviet bombing raids and Katyusha strikes overnight, at 0415 or 0430 hours 16th Panzer Division headed east (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). The first real resistance was at Gumrak with anti-aircraft (AA) guns firing at the Panzers from the north-west corner of Stalingrad. German tanks attacked the AA batteries, which were largely crewed by partially trained young women. In an unequal battle the young women fired their 37mm guns directly at the advancing Germans. Eventually the Panzers, with Stuka help, knocked out the batteries. At 1600 hours 16th Panzer Division, reached Rynok and the Volga north of Stalingrad. German tanks and artillery began to fire on river traffic, although they also had to continue to suppress newly discovered AA positions. The German division reported destroying 37 separate AA posts during the day. LI Corps followed the Panzers into the breach.
Scenario Idea: Girl Gunners
There is something compelling about this incident. Soviet 37mm anti-aircraft guns levelled over open sights, brave women gunners, prowling Panzers.
At 1800 hours the Luftwaffe commenced its bombing campaign of Stalingrad (Fowler, 2005). This was the heaviest raid the Luftwaffe had conducted since 22 Jun 1941, and included the all 1,200 available planes (Beevor, 1999; Clark, 1965). Over 40,000 people were killed in the first week of bombing. Most of the wooden buildings on the outskirts of Stalingrad burned during the night. Subsequent fighting in those areas took place in the charred remains of the bungalows and workers settlements, where there was little cover except for the forest of brick chimneys that remained.
The motorcycle battalion of 16th Panzer Division probed the northern suburbs and captured a train of weapons and supply vehicles (Beevor, 1999).
At 2310 hours 79th Panzer Grenadier Regiment was in Spartanovka, the northern most suburb of Stalingrad on the banks of the Volga.
Those workers not directly involved in weapons production were drafted into ‘Special Brigades’ (Beevor, 1999). Most, but not all, were issued weapons and ammunition, before being sent to the front. Some of these untrained and badly equipped battalions were mauled when sent against the 16th Panzer Division in the northern suburb of Spartakovka.
Meanwhile tank manufacture continued, and unpainted T-34s rolled off the production line directly into battle (Beevor, 1999)
24 Aug 1942
Panzers from Sixth Army attacked the city from north and as Fourth Panzer Army attacked from the south (Fowler, 1965). At 0800 Soviet observers spotted two German columns were heading for the city. Each comprised 100 tanks and motorised infantry. Although the German tanks had difficulty manoeuvring through rubble-filled streets, around the bomb craters and ruined buildings, they still easily pushed through the hastily formed defences. The defenders were 62nd Army and 4th Tank Army (with no tanks). Yeremenko alerted his reserve, the10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev). Soviet AA guns continued to be used in the direct fire role.
There was heavy fighting at Malaya Rossoshka; Sixth Army annihilated a regiment of the 87th Rifle Division north of the village (Fowler, 2005).
In the south Fourth Panzer Army had surrounded 38th Rifle Division by capturing Tinguta station (1200 hours) and the siding at the 74 km marker (Fowler, 2005). Attacks in other sectors were held. Yeremenko ordered the 56th Tank Brigade to counter-attack.
Meanwhile the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) and the remnants of two tank corps (50 T-70 light tanks) dug in around the Tractor Factory (Fowler, 2005). Unpainted T-34 tanks joined them straight from the production line. The defenders could see 2,000 German infantry and 30 tanks approaching. Yeremenko sent a tank brigade and an infantry brigade as reinforcements. Heavy anti-tank fire halted the Germans at the Sukhaya Mechetka gully, 800m north of the Tractor Factory. Heavy fighting ensued but by 1800 hours the Germans had withdrawn.
Scenario Idea: Sukhaya Mechetka balka
NKVD infantry, dug in T-70 light tanks and unpainted T-34medium tanks manned by factory workers. Sounds like something here.
Just before midnight Lopatin requested permission to withdraw 62nd Army to the middle defensive line (presumably Line K or S) (Erickson, 1993). This was denied.
25-26 Aug 1942
1,000 workers were given rifles and sent to army units as reinforcements (Erickson, 1993).
XIV Panzer Corps held off uncoordinated attacks by by Soviets on both sides of their corridor to the Volga (Beevor, 1999). This includes an ineffectual counter-attack by 62nd Army (Erickson, 1993).
25 tanks and an infantry division from Sixth Army advanced on central Stalingrad (Fowler, 2005). They hit a tank brigade and the 87th Rifle Division and partially encircled the latter. For two days 33 Siberians of the 87th Rifle Division were surrounded by a large force of Panzers (Fowler says 70, but that is more than he says were in the attack), and destroyed 27 of them with Molotov cocktails. The Soviets counter-attacked to relieve the pressure, but the infantry and artillery were not co-ordinated and the ground attacked suffered under the Luftwaffe.
Scenario Idea: Tank Hunting Siberians
27 Aug 1942
The first rain fell after five weeks of sun (Beevor, 1999).
Zhukov was appointed Deputy Supreme Commander and given the task to organise a counter-attack on the Stalingrad front (Fowler, 2005). Yeremenko was to continue to hold the city itself. 1st Guards Army (Moskalenko), and 24th (Kozlov) and 66th (Malinovskii) Armies were ordered to the area north of Stalingrad to launch an attack on 2 Sep (which was subsequently delayed).
Fourth Panzer Army attacked 64th Army in the south but Sixth Army was paralysed by Soviet artillery fire from across the river and blocked by first resistance near lake Sarpa and near Tundutovo in the hills south of the Volga bend (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005). Notably the penal company of 91st Rifle Division repulsed several attacks by superior German forces; despite their good service most died before being rehabilitated to their regiments.
Scenario Idea: Penal Company
28 Aug 1942
Soviet night time bombing raids forced Hube (commander of 16th Panzer Division) to relocate his HQ to a ravine (Beevor, 1999). Coincidentally the Soviets began day time raids as well.
Sat 29 Aug 1942
The weather changed suddenly and rain fell for most of the day and night (Beevor, 1999).
Zhukov arrived in Stalingrad (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993).
In the north the Soviets continued arrangements for a counter-attack by 1st Guards Army, 24th Army and 66th Army (Beevor, 1999). There was considerable disorganisation and at least one division (221st Rifle Division) did not know which army it belonged to, nor where the enemy were. Although 1st Guards Army was formed from Moscow district paratroops (Erickson, 1993), Zhukov found the other two armies ill-armed, manned by older reservists. All were short on ammunition and artillery. Zhukov persuaded Stalin to delay the attack.
4th Panzer Army made better progress when XLVIII Panzer Corps (14th and 24th Panzer Divisions and 29th Infantry Division) transferred to the left flank in the Kalmyk Steppe (Beevor, 1999). To counter this the 62nd and 64th Armies were ordered back to the line Rynok, Orlovka, Novaya Nadezhda State Farm, Bolshaya Rossoshka and Malyaya Rossoshka, the east bank of the River Rossoshka, the east bank of the River Cervlenaya, Novy Rogchik and Ivanovka.
30 Aug 1942
Both 62nd and 64th armies withdrew toward the Volga (Fowler, 2005). 64th Army was still some 30-50 km to the west when elements of 62nd Army were already at Novy Rogchick. Chuikov was given a reserve regiment of anti-tank artillery to cover the crossing of the River Chervlenaya.
31 Aug 1942
The point units of XLVIII Panzer Corps reached the Stalingrad-Morozovsk railway line (Beevor, 1999). Sixth Army did not release XIV Panzer Corps to close the gap thus allowing the Soviet 62nd and 64th Armies to escape east. Some Soviet units panicked (e.g. 748 Anti-Aircraft Battery) but the armies managed to reach and deploy the line of the Chervlenaya. The boundary was at Novy Rogachik. 57th Army (Tolbukhin) was to the south of 64th Army.
End of Aug 1942
Rear-Admiral Rogachev (of the Volga River Flotilla) took control of the Volga fishing fleet (Erickson, 1993). During the fighting the “ferries” were manned by civilian fishermen and river-men.
Despite the terrible pressure on the 62nd Army during September, and the fact that 27 rifle divisions and 19 armoured brigades were formed during that month, Zhukov sent only five rifle divisions across the Volga – just enough to replace casualties (Clark, 1965).
2 Sep 1942
German artillery are bombers pounded the Soviet rear echelon (Chuikov, 1963). The Germans pushed forward supported by direct fire from self-propelled guns (Fowler, 2005).
3 Sep 1942
At 0500 hours 1st Guards Army (Moskalenko) attacked from the Loznoe area in the north (Erickson, 1993). It advanced a few km towards Stalingrad.
The Germans also attacked along the entire front (Chuikov, 1963). Around 1200 hours they crossed the Chervlenaya on the left flank of 64th Army and broke through in the vicinity of Tsybenko and the village of Nariman. The Germans also broke through the 62nd Army on the River Rossoshka and reached Basargino. Fourth Panzer Army linked up with Sixth Army near the airfield at Pitomnik (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005, actually says 2 Sep). The Germans were within 1 km of Stalingrad (Erickson, 1993)
German forces attempted to break into Stalingrad from the west, but local counter-attacks halted their advance 3.2 km from the river (Fowler, 2005 ?? check).
On the night of 3-4 Sep the Luftwaffe renewed their attacks on Stalingrad (Fowler, 2005).
4 Sep 1942
4th Panzer army split the 64th Army and reached the Volga at Krasnoarmeisk (Clark, 1965; Fowler, 2005).
5 Sep 1942
Hitler declared that the entire male population of Stalingrad could be eliminated (Fowler, 2005).
Sixth Army captured Voroponovo Station at the junction of 62nd and 64th Armies (Chuikov, 1963). From there about 25 Panzers and supporting infantry then attacked the Verklinyaya Yelshaka cattle-yards. As it happened the village was defended by camouflaged Soviets tanks under Colonel Lebedev. When the Russians opened up they knocked out seven Panzers and saw off the rest. The Germans fed in fresh troops and 267th Regiment 94th Division attacked Sadovaya station just outside Stalingrad (Fowler, 2005).
German forces reached the Volga at Kuporosnoye at the southern end of Stalingrad, thus isolating 62nd Army from 64th Army (Beevor, 1999; Clark, 1965). Clark says this was the 14th Panzer Division and Beevor says 29th Motorised Division. .
Under pressure from Stalin, Zhukov launched the 1st Guards Army again, along with 24th and 66th Armies in a counter-attack in the north (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). 1st Guards gained 3,500 m but the others gained little or no ground . They did, however, take the pressure off 62nd and 64th Armies as German units were diverted to the north-west. The beleaguered armies used the time to dig in. Later Zhukov was to blame the lack of artillery and tanks for the failure, along with the fact the Rifle Divisions went into the attack straight from a 50 km march. In the lull, however, the defenders in Stalingrad lay barbed wire and mines, dug trenches, and received reinforcements.
This may well be the incident where 16th Panzer Division fought a tank battle against T-34s and American Lend-Lease tanks (must check who mentioned this … Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). The Soviets attacked in waves over a hill, where the Germans knocked them out on the sky line. In two days of fighting the Soviets lost over 100 tanks.
The Soviet units were severely under-strength:
|87th Rifle Division *||180||–|
|112th Rifle Division||150||150||–|
|390th Division||under 300|
|99th Tank Brigade||180||120||–|
* I’m guessing this is a typo in Fowler, and the 187th is intended.
10 Sep 1942
62nd Army retreated back into Stalingrad city (Beevor, 1999). (According to Erickson (1993) Yeremenko’s Front took up positions on the urban defence line on 12 Sep.) Lopatin, the commander of 62nd Army, declared that his men could not hold (Fowler 2005).
Yeremenko ordered 1st Guards Rifle Division to hand over its rifle divisions to 24th and 66th Armies and change sectors (Erickson, 1993). Moskalendo was then to bring his army up to strength with five rifle divisions, three tank corps, plus artillery and engineer units from Stavka reverse, and train them for an attack on 17 Sep (delayed to 18 Sep).
11 Sep 1942
The Germans took Yeremenko’s HQ in the Tsaritsa gully under heavy fire and the HQ evacuated to the east bank overnight (Beevor, 1999).
Chuikov was summoned to Front HQ (Chuikov, 1963).
Sun 12 Sep 1942
German artillery and aircraft intensely attacked Soviet positions (Beevor, 1999).
A senior sergeant in 6th Guards Tank Brigade killed his company commander, forced the other crew out of his tank at gun point, and drove the vehicle to the German 76th Infantry Division (Beevor, 1999)
Yeremenko sacked the commander of the 62nd Army (Lopatin) and replaced him with Chuikov of the 64th Army (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993, mistakenly says Chuikov was appointed on 10 Sep). That night Chuikov headed across the river into the city to find his HQ on Mamayev Kurgan, otherwise known as Hill 102 (apparently it feature some water tanks). Incidentally Chuikov crossed at the same time as T-34s were being ferried across.
Chuikov (1963) wrote of the city
‘The streets of the city are dead. There is not a single green twig left on the streets; everything has perished in the flames. All that is left of the wooden houses is a pile of ashes and a stove chimney sticking up out of them. The many stone houses are burnt out, their windows and doors missing and roofs caved in.’ (p. 78-79)
Only the concrete and iron structures of factories and stone buildings in the city’s centre remained standing above the ground – roofless, interior walls crushed away (Fowler, 2005).
Chuikov was in command of all troops in and around the city but his perimeter was down to 48 km (Fowler, 2005). He had 20,000 men including three rifle divisions, parts of four others, and two tank brigades (Clark, 1965). This force included only 40 tanks left in action, many of which were operating as immobile pill-boxes. He also had a reserve of 19 KV heavy tanks. Chuikov did, however, have over 700 mortars and guns. Sixth Army had eight infantry divisions, three Panzer divisions, 4th Air Force with over 1,000 aircraft, plus four or five additional divisions in reserve (Chuikov, 1963). The German front line divisions were, from north to south:
- 16th Panzer Division – from Latishanka to Point 135.4
- 60th Motorised Infantry Divisioin – from Point 135.4 to Point 147.6.
- 389th Infantry Division – from Point 147.6 through Point 108.8 to Hill 129.1.
- 100th Jaeger Infantry Division – from Hill 129.1 to Gorodishche.
- Central shock group of three infantry divisions (295th, 76th, and 71st) – including Gorodishche, Aleksandrovka and the hospital.
- Southern shock group of four divisions (24th Panzer, 94th Infantry, 14th Panzer, 29th Motorised Infantry) – from Point 147.5 through Minin to Kuporosnoye.
In comparison, for 13 Sep Erickson (1993) gives 62nd and 64th Armies 90,000 men, 2,000 guns and mortars, and 120 tanks in 16 rifle divisions, eight rifle brigades, two tank corps, and one fortified district. Of these 62nd Army had 54,000 men, 900 guns and mortars, and 110 tank.
13 Sep 1942
At 0445 hours German time (0645 Soviet) massed Stuka squadrons, artillery and mortars bombarded the south central sector of the Stalingrad defence (Erickson, 1993). At 0800 LI Army Corps of Sixth Army launched a major attack with two “shock forces” from the area of Gumrak railway station (Beevor, 1999; Clark, 1965). The 71st Infantry Division attacked Mamayev Kurgan. South of them 76th and 295th Infantry Divisions attacked toward the Stalingrad-1 railway station and the central landing stage. (Clark says the main hospital was an objective; Beevor says the hospital was near where the Tsaritsa gully opens into the Volga, so presumably this was the same objective as the Central Landing stage). Chuikov (1963) gives the Germans only one division and 40-50 tanks in this attack, which is probably a considerable underestimate. He does, however, say the Germans brought up reserves during the day and also launched pinning attacks in the north and south. In the north a battalion attacked the Soviet brigade blocking the way to Orlovka; the attackers were wiped out. In the south individual battalions attacked the composite regiment holding the Russian line; the defenders abandoned the machine and tractor station east of Sadovaya Station. In the centre the Germans took Hill 126.3, Aviagorodok and the hospital. The central defenders were pushed back to the western edge of a wood to the west of the Barrikady and Red October settlements. German artillery shot up Chuikov’s HQ on top of Mamayev Kurgan. By the end of the day the Germans had taken the Sadovaya station, entered the outskirts of Minin (a suburb), and forced a Soviet tank brigade back to the factory zone. The Germans had, however, lost 16 tanks.
In the south 4th Panzer Army struck northeast from the Yelshanka mining suburb (Clark, 1965). The 94th Infantry Division and 29th Motorised Division led the way, supported by 14th and 24th Panzer Divisions.
The composition of the German shock forces is a bit confusing as Clark (1965) and Erickson (1993) seem to disagree. I find Clark slightly more plausible as his groupings are based on the Armies organisations and match those in Chuikov (1963).
|Shock Force||Erickson (1993)||Clark (1965) and Chuikov (1963)|
71st Infantry Division
94th Infantry Division
295th Infantry Division
24th Panzer Division.
Elements of 6th Army:
71st Infantry Division
29th Motorised Division
14th Panzer Division
Elements of 4th Panzer Army:
94th Infantry Division
Campaign Idea: Mamayev Kurgan
A series of linked scenarios:
- 295th Infantry Division (13 Sep 1942)
- 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) (14 Sep 1942)
- 22nd Panzer Division (15 Sep 1942)
- 42nd Rifle Regiment (16 Sep 1942)
- Anti-tank guns (19 Sep 1942)
- 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) and 284th Rifle Division (27 Sep 1942)
- Counter-attack (28 Sep 1942)
Scenario Idea: 295th Infantry Division on Mamayev Kurgan
14 Sep 1942
By morning of 14 Sep one Soviet armoured brigade (Khopko) had only one tank (Chuikov, 1963). Two other armoured brigade already had none. They were subsequently transferred to the east bank to reform.
As the German artillery had pounded Chuikov’s HQ at Mamayev Kurgan the previous day, just before dawn on 14 Sep he moved it to the Tsaritsyn bunker in the Tsaritsa gully at the Pushkin Street bridge (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965; Fowler, 2005).
At 0300 (Soviet time) hours the Soviet artillery opened up and at 0330 hours ground forces of 62nd and 64th Armies counter-attacked (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). 38th Motorised Brigade, reinforced by a motorised infantry company and an artillery battery, attacked southeast of Razgulyayevka. One regiment from the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) (Sarayev) attacked towards Hill 126.3 and Hill 144.3. The composite regiment – presumably that in the south – and an armoured brigade attacked toward Aviagorodok and Hill 153.7. The 92nd Infantry Brigade attacked towards the hospital and Hill 153.7. Three anti-tank artillery regiments, three artillery regiments, and three Katyusha regiments were in support. At day break their efforts were smashed under the German Stuka’s and guns.
At 1200 hours the Germans ground forces then attacked again (Chuikov, 1963). The German 295th Infantry Division captured Mamayev Kurgan but suffered heavy casualties fighting through the mines, wire and trenches (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005).
Soviet and German infantry (71st Infantry Division) fought it out in Stalingrad-1 railway station (Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). The station changed hands 13 times during the day – according to the Germans: 0830 Soviet; 0840 German; 0940 Soviet; 1320 German; etc (the diary of the 62nd Army varies considerably from this). It ended in the hands of a NKVD rifle battalion.
In the afternoon the 76th Infantry Division broke through the Soviet front behind the hospital and advanced into the rear areas (Clark, 1965; Fowler, 2005). German infantry (probably 71st Infantry Division) brought Chuikov’s HQ, under fire. Germans got to within 100 m of the river bank, occupied the engineers’ house (Erickson, 1993), and the machine-guns raked the central landing stage.
Chuikov brought up the 19 heavy tanks of his reserve brigade from the southern sector (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965; Erickson, 1993) – presumably the KVs mentioned earlier. Two groups of infantry were formed from Army HQ personnel – staff officers, political officers, and the guard company. One infantry group with six tanks were deployed to block the streets from the railway station to the landing stage. The second infantry group with three tanks were sent to wipe out the German machine gunners in the engineers’ house. Chuikov also scraped together 1,500 men to guard the major buildings in the city, and to hold them to the last (Fowler, 2005). This group included armed police, fire fighters, factory workers and NKVD troops; 50-100 were allocated to each strong point. An NKVD rifle battalion was sent up Mamayev Kurgan (presumably joining the 15 tanks that Fowler, 2005, says were the only defenders) and managed to retain a small part of the hill until reinforced.
The sole remaining tank in Khopoko’s armoured brigade was immobilised but was still capable of firing (Chuikov, 1963). Khopoko gathered his dismount tank crews – about 100 men with sub-machine guns and pistols – around the tank and fought on.
Southwest of the station the defenders were the remnants of the armoured brigade, the composite regiment and the 42nd Special Brigade (Batrakov).
Elements of Soviet 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) (Major-General Alexander Ilyich Rodimtsev) were ferried across at dusk (about 2100 hours Soviet time) (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005), specifically the 34th and 39th Guards Regiments and the first battalion of the 42nd Guards Regiment (Chuikov, 1963). The 10,000 guardsmen of the division were inexperienced, tired after a long march, ill-equipped (little ammunition and 1,000 had no rifles), and had no maps. They also left their heavy equipment on the east bank; Chuikov let them bring personal weapons, machine-guns and anti-tank rifles and guns, mortars, and grenades. The intension was that one regiment would recapture Mamayev Kurgan, two would block the route the to the river, and a battalion would be retained as Army reserve. 1st Battalion (Lt Chervyakov ) 42nd Regiment, and supporting machine gunners and anti-tank riflemen, were the first across and formed a bridgehead. As each battalion disembarked on the west bank it went straight into the attack (Clark, 1965). In some places the Germans were little more than 100 m from the river bank, but luckily for the Guardsmen had not had time to dig in. 1st battalion (Chervyakov) 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment joined the NKVD battalion at the Stalingrad-1 station on the left and pushed back the men of the 71st Infantry Division. Further north the 39th Guards Rifle Regiment cleared a large, red-brick mill in close-combat (this mill is retained in its bullet-ridden state as a memorial). When the second wave of Guardsmen arrived the regiment pushed forward to the railway line at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan. 30% of the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) were killed in the first 24 hours, and all 15 tanks were knocked out, but aided by Chuikov’s HQ company and staff officers they checked the German advance. Fighting continued over night.
Scenario Idea: One-man fortresses in Stalingrad-1
“One-man fortresses” (p. 107) is the term Chuikov (1963) uses to describe the defensive strategy of the men of 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) in Stalingrad-1 railway station. If nothing else the terrain they fought through would be novel: multi-level buildings, railway lines and platforms, and destroyed carriages would all feature. Generally it was 1/42nd Guards Battalion fending off 71st Infantry Division supported by tanks from 24th Panzer Division.
?? Not sure of original defenders. A battalion from 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) counter-attacked later.
Reinforced by 1st battalion (Chervyakov) 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment 13th Guards Rifle
|71st Infantry Division||Soviet win|
|16 Sep||1/42nd Guards Battalion||20 tanks of 24th Panzer Division||Soviet win|
|20 Sep||1/42nd Guards Battalion||German win|
At this stage of the battle German tactics involved assigning 3-4 tanks to each infantry company (Clark, 1965). If the panzers advanced alone, the Soviets would let them enter the firing zone of the entrenched anti-tank guns and emplaced tanks, so the Germans sent in both together. The tanks could not fire at the top floors of the buildings.
By evening the Russian infantry divisions were sorely depleted (Chuikov, 1963). The composite regiment in one division (Glazkov) had only 100 men. The neighbouring division had only 1,500 men including only a battalions worth of infantry. 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski) had only 250 infantrymen. The 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) was, however, largely intact.
Scenario Idea: ‘There is no land for us behind the Volga’
‘There is no land for us behind the Volga’ was the catch phrase of Rodimtsev’s 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev). Their intervention on the night of 14 Sep was pivotal in the defence of the city.
15 Sep 1942
In the morning the Germans attacked again (Chuikov, 1963). The day started with a massive German air raid. The 295th, 76th and 71st Infantry Divisions, plus tanks, attacked the Stalingrad-1 railway station and Mamayev Kurgan. The station changed hands four times during the day, but at nightfall was still in Soviet hands. The German defenders of the Engineers houses fended off 34th Guards Rifle Regiment and their supporting heavy tanks. Fowler (2005) says the 22nd Panzer Division wrested Mamayev Kurgan from Rodimtsev’s Guardsmen – who were the 22nd?
South of the Tsaritsa the 24th and 14th Panzer Divisions and the 94th Infantry Division attacked in the suburbs of Minina and Kuporosnoye (Chuikov, 1963). The 42nd Special Brigade (Batrakov) and elements of the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) suffered heavy casualties and were pushed back to the forestry station. The 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski) and other units were driven back to the western outskirts of the city.
German sub-machine gunners infiltrated down the Tsaritsa gully and brought the Army HQ under fire (Chuikov, 1963). The army’s guard battalion – presumably the one from 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) – took them on.
During the day the Germans lost 2,000 killed, and 8-10,000 over the two days of fighting, plus 54 tanks (Chuikov, 1963).
In the evening Chuikov personally sent 1st Company (Lt Anton Kuzmich Dragan) 1st Battalion (Chervyakov) 42nd Guards Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) to retake Statlingrad-1 (Chuikov, 1963). Supported by a single tank the Guards retook the station from the Germans. Surrounded on three sides they fended off several German counter-attacks before dawn.
16 Sep 1942
Overnight the remainder of the 42nd Guards Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) were ferried across (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
From 16 Sep 1942 the Soviets continued to evacuate wounded from the Central landing stage but no longer used it to land supplies (Erickson, 1993).
Just before dawn the Soviet 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) (presumably only two battalions) and 416th Rifle Regiment 112th Rifle Division reinforced the NKVD troops and artillery on Mamayev Kurgan (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). Preceded by a 10 minute barrage they attacked up hill through heavy mortar fire. Shell craters, which covered the hill by that time, became instant trenches. A Guards battalion (Captain Kirin) captured the Germans positions on the northern slope. 416th Regiment fought its way up the north-eastern slope to the summit. A platoon of 30 men under Lt Vdovichenko recaptured the summit in hand-to-hand combat, but were reduced to six in the process. German bombs and a counter-attack by tanks and infantry could not dislodge the Soviets. The defenders knocked out two Panzers.
From day-break the Germans bombed and shelled Stalingrad-1 railway station (Chuikov, 1963). 20 tanks of 24th Panzer Division forced the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) out but Rodimtsev’s men counter-attacked and retook the station, only to lose it, then retake it a second time before dusk (Fowler, 2005). 1st Company (Lt Dragen) 1st Battalion 42nd Guards Regiment were amongst the defenders.
A battalion of 267th Regiment 94th (Saxon) Division with tanks in support attacked the defenders in the Grain Elevator in the south of the city (Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). The grain was already burning. The battalion suffered heavy losses and by the end of the day there were at most 60 men in each company. Fighting continued in and around the elevator until 22 Sep. The defenders were a “battalion” from 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski), although on the evening of 17 Sep there were only 30-35 left alive.
The 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade – subsequently described as “Sea Devils” by their enemy – and 137th Tank Brigade (2nd Tank Corps) were ferried over during the night (Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965; Erickson, 1993, says the night of 17 Sep, but according to Clark the 92nd were already fighting on that day). The 92nd was basically up to strength. 137th Tank Brigade had light tanks with 45mm guns. Beevor (1999) implies the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) crossed at about the same time (must check in Erickson) . The 92nd took up position along the railway line to the south of 13th Guards and some men were sent to reinforce the 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski) south of the Tsaritsa gully. The 137th was deployed 600 m to the east of Mamayev Kurgan.
17 Sep 1942
Frosts were already sharp but on 17 Sep the temperature dropped drastically (Beevor, 1999).
Fighting continued at Stalingrad-1 station although the focus shifted the square outside and and the ‘Nail Factory’ on the corner (Chuikov, 1963). Fighting occurred near the fountain in the square and along the railway line. The Germans attempted to surround the occupants of the station and occupied the Nail Factory. 1st Company, supported by the mortar company (Lt Zavodun), counter-attacked and retook one of the workshops but fighting continued inside. Lt Chervyakov was wounded and evacuated, and Lt Fedoseyev took command of 1st Battalion 42nd Guards Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev). .The 1st Company in the nail factory was surrounded on three sides and under increasing pressure so Fedoseyev sent 3rd Company (2nd Lt Koleganov) to reinforce them, although when they arrived 3rd Company was down to 20 men.
The 295th Infantry Division counter-attacked on Mamayev Kurgan (Beevor, 1999). Fighting continue for the next couple of days until the 295th was fought to a standstill.
The 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade was involved in fierce fighting (Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965; Erickson, 1993, claimed they landed on the night of 17 Sep). During the night of 17-18 Sep a machine gun platoon of 18 men was sent to join the Guardsmen in the Grain Elevator (Fowler, 2005). By that time there were only 30-35 Guardsmen still alive. The navy men brought two Maxim machine-guns and two anti-tank rifles.
The commander of the German 29th Motorised Division reported to 6th Army that his regiments were almost completely wiped out (Chuikov, 1963). In fact he had 42 tanks left from his full complement of 220. [220 seems high for a motorised division.]
During the night Chuikov moved his HQ from the Tsaritsa gully to a position on the Volga river bank, 800 m north of the Red October Factory (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). This was an unprotect site just under some giant oil-storage tanks. The latter were assumed to be empty but subsequently this was found to be incorrect.
18 Sep 1942
The ammunition for 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) blew up on the bank of the Volga (Erickson, 1993). As a result 62nd Army adopted the practice of burying all ammunition or concealing it in trenches. On 25 Sep this became the rule for all ammunition, food and fuel, all of which had to be cached at least 500 m from the river bank.
At 0530 hours the Soviets launched 1st Guards (now reformed), 66th and 24th Armies at the left (northern) flank of the Sixth Army on the open steppe north-west of the city (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). Two rifle divisions and a two tank brigades led 1st Guards. The Soviets made about 3 km, reaching the crest line held by the Germans. Airstrikes and counter-attacks by XIV Panzer Corps halted the attackers. Two Soviet tank corps were then committed but with only light T-60 and T-70 tanks these made little impact and most were destroyed.
At dawn the Germans demanded the surrender of the Grain Elevator, but the defenders declined and promptly disabled the tank carrying the German envoys with their anti-tank rifles (Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965). That day the defenders saw off 10 attacks by tanks and infantry from the south and west.
Scenario Idea: Grain Elevator
- 16 Sep: 267th Regiment versus 35th Guards
- 18 Sep: 92nd Naval Infantry join the 35th Guards
- 20 Sep: Fighting in the Elevator
I’d give the Soviets a company of Veterans. Although from 18-20 Sep they had only a platoon in numbers they fought like devils, so I’d ignore that, essentially treating each half-squad as a full squad, and the platoon as a company. Of course they have at least one HMG stand and anti-tank rifles.
The Grain Elevator should give protective cover like a bunker.
The Germans didn’t seem too enthusiastic so I’d make them Green. On the other hand they have tanks and direct fire guns.
This attack by the 66th and 24th Armies to the north meant the defenders in Stalingrad had relief from the Stukas from 0800 hours to 1400 hours (Chuikov, 1963).
On the right flank the 124th Special Brigade (Gorokhov) attacked 16th Panzer Division in the northern suburb of Rynok in the morning (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). A blocking detachment of Komosomol and Party members with heavy machine-guns and sub-machine-guns encouraged the 124th in their efforts. The militia took some high ground but suffered heavy casualties with one company reduced to 55 men. The brigade was not subsequently given serious tasks. Nearby a regiment of the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) took a hill. 38th Motorised Infantry Brigade (Burmakov) took the orchards south-west of the Red October workers settlement.
42nd Guards Regiment (Yelin) 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) and the remains of 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) gained 100-150m and consolidated on the top of Mamayev Kurgan (Chuikov, 1963).
Bitter fighting continued at Stalingrad-1 railway station as the men of 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) held on (Erickson 1993; Chuikov, 1963). In five days it had changed hands 15 times. Small groups of Guardsmen continued to fight even when overrun, grimly holding to positions in pill-boxes, basements, behind station platforms, and under railway carriages. By evening of 18 Sep, however, the station was in German control. That night 20 Soviet volunteers (Lt Dragan) armed with sub-machine guns and with five days food and ammunition rations infiltrated the German rear and started attacking vehicles and machine gun nests.
During the night two battalions from 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) was ferried over (Chuikov, 1963). In the south the composite regiment was incorporated into the 42nd Special Brigade. All other units in the south, aside from the 92nd Naval Brigade, were incorporated into the 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski). Surplus HQ elements were sent across the river to regroup.
19 Sep 1942
The Soviet 1st Guards, 24th and 66th Armies in the north tried again at 1200 hours, but failed (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). Once again they distracted the German bombers who were absent from Stalingrad skies from 1200 to 1700 hours.
Under Front orders Chuikov also launched 62nd army into an attack at 1200 hours (Chuikov, 1963). 124th Special Brigade (Gorokhov) attacked in Rynok. The 23rd Tank Corps attacked to their south; this included 38th Motorised Infantry Brigade (Burmakov) and an armoured brigade. [Chuikov refers to an “armoured formation” but assume this is the 23rd Tank Corps which Erickson (1993) mentions in the same context in Oct.] In reality the 23rd Tank Corps had only 35 tanks, most of which were immobile and used as stationary firing points. The 38th Brigade took Hill 126.8. The armoured brigade attacked from the south-western outskirts of the Red October settlement towards the wagon-sheds and the western slopes of Mamayev Kurgan (Fowler, 2005, says the attack on Mamayev Kurgan was halted by German anti-tank guns.) A regiment from 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) (Sarayev) reached a line on the northern edge of Dolgi gully. The two battalions from 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) attacked over the crest Mamayev Kurgan, smack into attacking German tanks and infantry. 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) protected the western and southern flanks of Mamayev Kurgan. They fought off several German attacks from mid morning and by evening had occupied the railway line from Mamayev Kurgan to a fork in the Dolgi gully, the road bridge over Krutoy gully and Artemovskaya Street. 42nd Guards Regiment (Yelin) 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) was also in this area, but presumably didn’t participate in the attack. On Mamayev Kurgan the Soviets had parity of numbers, but south the Germans had numerical superiority. The much depleted 39th Guards Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) attack along the railway line toward Stalingrad-1 station; they made little progress against superior numbers but prevented the Germans breaking through in the centre. South of the Tsaritsa and the Volga bank the Soviets had the 42nd Special Brigade, 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade, remnants of the 35th Guards Rifle Division (Dubyanski), and an armoured brigade.
Overnight the elements of 42nd Guards Regiment (Yelin) on Mamayev Kurgan were returned to the weakened 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) in the centre (Chuikov, 1963).
Presumably subsequently to this redeployment a storm group from 42nd Guards Regiment (Yelin) took the Railwaymen’s House (Chuikov, 1963). Yelin organised the attack himself. The Germans had two companies of infantry and a company of heavy artillery defending the building. Yelin trained his men in the shelter of the Volga bank. There were three assault groups of 6-8 men supported by 82 others. The attack commenced at 1000 hours, although I’m not sure if this was the start of the artillery barrage, when the infantry attacked, or when they were expected to break into the building. Both artillery and machine guns were used in the initial barrage. Once the barrage stopped the assault groups had 3 minutes to reach the building; this was the expected recovery time of the defenders. Yelin feigned an attack from the south. A 13 minute long smoke screen shield a number of advancing groups from three German blockhouses on the flanks. Having neutralised the enemy fire, Yelin made his main attack from the east. It took only 30 minutes for the house to be cleared.
Similarly Lt Sedelnikov led the attack on the L-Shaped House (Chuikov, 1963). This was a well fortified six-storey building covering two entire blocks, which provided good firing zones over an important sector of the Volga. The Soviet positions were 180 m from the building, but the storm group crawled to within 25 m in the darkness before dawn. There was no preliminary barrage. At day break the assault groups rushed the building in an area where the enemy had dead spaces in his fire plan. They threw grenades through the windows then followed them through before the Germans had a chance to fire a shot. They cleared one third of the building within 20 minutes. After 26 hours the surviving Germans had withdrawn to the basement. They rejected an ultimatum to surrender, so the Soviet reinforcement group blew up the whole of the left wing of the building and buried the defenders in the ruins.
20 Sep 1942
The remnants of 1st Battalion 42nd Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) were now in and around the Nail Factory (Chuikov, 1963). Koganov (3rd Company) was wounded and evacuated. The mortar company (Lt Zavodun) had run out of bombs so joined the ranks of the infantry.
To the east German sub-machine gunners had penetrated the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) about 1200 hours and fired on the divisional HQ
Fresh German troops attacked the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) on Mamayev Kurgan and made 100m (Chuikov, 1963).
At 1200 hours 12 German tanks and supporting infantry attacked the Grain Elevator (Chuikov, 1963; Clark, 1965). The defenders had already run out of anti-tank rifle ammunition and grenades allowing the German tanks to approach to within point-blank range. A shell destroyed the last two Maxim machine guns, reducing the defenders complement of automatic weapons to a single light machine gun. 150-200 German sub-machine gunners attacked cautiously from behind the tanks, throwing grenades as they advanced. The defenders caught and throw back some of the grenades, but the enemy managed to enter the building from the west. The fight continued in the interior.
Paulus halted major German attacks and requested reinforcements (Fowler, 2005).
Overnight one regiment of the largely Siberian 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) crossed the river and formed up near Mamyev Kurgan (Chuikov, 1963) Batyak’s 284th division was to inspire particular fear in the Germans due to their special reputation as natural hunters. Zaitsev, the most famous Soviet sniper, was in this division. This is possibly the regiment that after landing had to fight its way up the river bank and then broke up a German attack (presumably the attack northward from the Central landing stage), before heading for the Metiz factory and the south-eastern slopes of Mamayev Kurgan where it joined the struggling 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) (Erickson, 1993).
21 Sep 1942
Throughout the day massed German tanks and infantry attacked 1st Battalion 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) around the Nail Factory (Chuikov, 1963). In the evening the attackers managed to cut the battalion in two (Erickson, 1993). One part, including the battalion HQ, was in the Univermag department store on Red Square which they fought hard to keep it out of enemy hands (Beevor, 1999). Four times other groups tried to reinforce them but were knocked back by enemy fire. Fedoseyev and his staff were killed. Lt Dragen took control of the remainder of the battalion in the area of the Nail Factory. The Germans attacked again that night and 1st Battalion began to retreat slowly toward the Volga, building by building. They ended up in a three-storey building on the corner of Krasnopiterskaya and Komsomolskay streets with only 40 men (Clark, 1965). There they barricaded the doors and windows. They held out against repeated German attacks for five days and nights, by which time they had 28 seriously wounded in the basement and only 12 still fighting. Two of them deserted and fled over the Volga but the others held on. After their heavy machine gun cut down an unawares German column, the enemy brought up tanks and demolished the building. Only 6 guards men escaped.
95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) reached the northern end of Dolgi gully (Chuikov, 1963).
The Germans had cleared The Tsaritsa river bed and a section of the built up area between the Tsaritsa and Krutoy gullies and behind Stalingrad-1 railway station (Clark, 1965). The Germans moved guns up to cover the central landing site, rendering it unusable.
The Germans also controlled most of the south of the city. (Chuikov, 1963) The German advance had cut off the 272nd Regiment 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev), the 42nd Special Brigade and 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade (Erickson, 1993). The 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade was the only major Soviet formation still fighting south of the Tsaritsa gully (Clark, 1965). In the evening the massed German tanks and infantry attacked from the Dar Hills on the left bank of the Tsaritsa gully. Soviet artillery concentrates stopped some units and the Soviet infantry stopped the rest. Chuikov says it was Batrakov’s brigade that stopped this attack; he was commander of the 42nd but Chuikov also says that most of the men were naval personnel, hence probably from the 92nd, so presumably by this stage Batrakov led a very mixed unit.
The rest of 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) was ferried across and was sent to Dolgi Gully (Chuikov, 1963).
22 Sep 1942
All during 22 Sep German aircraft, tanks and infantry attacked in the centre, trying to cut off 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) from the main body of 62nd Army (Chuikov, 1963). The division beat off 12 attacks during the day. Finally, towards evening, they pushed the Guardsmen back to a position slightly north of the central landing. Germans reached Moskovskaya Street near the Volga and a German regiment reached the Engineer’s Houses.
The Germans repeatedly attacked 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny), drove them back from Dolgi gully to the south-western slopes of Mamayev Kurgan (Chuikov, 1963). The remnants of 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) were dug in along Sovnarkomovskaya and Vilenskaya Streets between Dolgi and Krutoy gullies between the 95th and 284th Rifle Divisions, so the withdrawal of the 95th made the 112th the front line.
The battle in the Grain Elevator raged overnight, but with little ammunition remaining the handful of surviving defenders decided to break out (Clark, 1965). They chose to head south toward Beketovka, thus avoiding the German tanks to the north and east. They passed through a gully, crossed a railway embankment, then stumbled into and destroyed a German mortar battery. After that we know one of them was seriously wounded and captured, but the rest were killed in the retreat. When the Germans finally occupied the Grain Elevator they found about 40 Soviet dead. This brought the south of the city under their control. The Soviets were restricted to the northern landing stages, and then only at night.
The first regiment of the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) crossed the river that night (Erickson, 1993). 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) also received 2,000 replacements overnight.
23 Sep 1942
In the early hours of 23 Sep the remainder of the 284th Rifle Division (Batyak) crossed the river and formed up near Mamyev Kurgan (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). At 1000 hours Batyak’s Siberians and 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) attacked the Germans in the area of the Central landing stage (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). They made some progress toward the railway line and Stalingrad-1 but were checked and didn’t dislodge the Germans from the Volga bank. Sixth Army had finally secured the corridor to the Volga, thus permanently severing links from the northern to southern Soviet pockets. The Germans then continued their attempts to crush resistance in the southern pocket.
The Germans bombed the HQ of the 42nd Special Brigade and as a result command was passed to the the 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade (Erickson, 1993). The staff of the 92nd panicked, left their men, settled on Golodny island in the middle of the Volga, and began issuing false messages about the progress of the battle.
Casualties had reduced the companies in both the 295th and 71st Infantry Divisions to 10-15 men (Fowler, 2005). Replacements were insufficient and lacked experience, training, and attitude. The men only attacked if led by an officer and supported by an assault gun. There were no reserves.
24 Sep 1942
The fighting in the centre of Stalingrad slackened off and 62nd Army used the time to prepare for the next German thrusts (Erickson, 1993). Russian reconnaissance on 23 Sep reported German build up at Gorodishche and Aleksandrovka (Chuikov, 1963) so army engineers created an anti-tank line with anti-tank minefields and barriers. This line ran from the mouth of the river Mechetka, along its southern back to the beginning of the Vishnevaya gully, past a wood and along the northern rise of the Dolgi gully to the Volga. Divisions were also instructed to lay down anti-tank lines. Each division and brigade took control of the anti-tank line in its sector, assigned special units to defended it, and positioned sapper units behind whose job was to block all roads and parks in the event of a breakthrough.
25 Sep 1942
The Soviet 51st and 57th Armies pushed back the Romanian divisions south of Stalingrad along the line of salt lakes (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). This was part of the preparations for the coming Soviet offensive and their limited attacks continued until 4 Oct. The Rumanian 1st and 4th Divisions sustained heavy casualties and lost of their artillery during these attacks.
Three infantry divisions and two panzer divisions of Sixth Army attacked again (Fowler, 2005).
A blocking detachment behind the 124th Special Brigade in Rynok prevented their retreat, but could not prevent ten deserters passing over to 16th Panzer Division (Beevor, 1999).
After two days of fighting the Germans in south of the Tsaritsa gully achieved a breakthrough (Beevor, 1999).
The surviving women from the now defunct anti-aircraft defences at the power station were evacuated across the Volga and assigned to other units (Beevor, 1999).
Suspicious of the reports issuing from the HQ of 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade, Chuikov sent staff officers to investigate (Chuikov, 1963). They were killed before they could report anything.
The Soviet Eighth Air Army began to make its presence felt (Fowler, 2005). They had 1,400 aircraft including the new Yak-9 and La-5 fighters.
58 days from End of Sep 1942: Pavlov’s House
A platoon of the 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment occupied a four storey building overlooking a square and about 300 m from the river bank (Beevor, 1999). Their commander was soon disabled and Sergeant Jakob Pavlov took over. They smashed communication holes in the walls of the cellar and top floor. When Panzer approached they retreated to the cellar or top floor where the enemy main guns could not reach. For 58 days they held of repeated attacks by German infantry and tanks.
26 Sep 1942
From north to south the Germans had (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993):
- 16th Panzer Division and 501st Infantry Regiment from Latashanka to Hill 145.0.
- 100th Jaeger Division from Point 145.1 to Point 129.1. This unit was at 50% strength.
- 389th Infantry Division in Gorodishche-Razgulyayeva area. At strength as (from reserve.
- 295th Infantry Division, with armour and artillery support, near Mamayev Kurgan. Companies had 20-30 men, down from 180.
- 71st and 76th Infantry Division in Stalingrad-1 railway station and the Central landing stage. Despite large reinforcements these divisions were at 2/3 strength.
- 14th and 24th Panzer Divisions, 29th Motorised Division, and 94th Infantry Divisions in the southern suburbs of Sadovaya and Minina. All were worn out.
Also present but I’m not sure where (Erickson, 1993):
- 60th Motorised Divisions
According to Soviet reconnaissance the Germans had only 150 of their 500 tanks left (Chuikov, 1963). On the other hand the Germans were bringing in more men and supplies from the west.
The Germans controlled the southern and western slopes of Mamayev Kurgan and the Soviets retained only 100 m the the north-eastern slopes (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
62nd Army began to strengthen the troops on the Mechetka river and on Mamayev Kurgan (Erickson, 1993) By 0400 hours they were in position (Chuikov, 1963):
- Gorokhov group of three brigades (probably 115th, 124th and 143rd Special Brigades)
- 23rd Tank Corps with 36 medium and 20 light tanks was deployed from the River Mechetka to the northern spur of the Dolgi gully.
- 112th Rifle Division (Sologub), supported by two mortar companies and 186th Anti-tank Artillery Regiment, had formed a second line along Vishnevaya gully near the worker’s settlements (Chuikov, 1963). Three platoons of sub-machine gunners were held in reserve to counter any German thrust into the workers settlements. One platoon garrisoned School No. 32 and the stone building on Zherdevskaya Street. Another was in the nursery buildings and shop on Kolakovskaya Street in the Barrikady settlement. The third was in School No. 20 and the bathhouse on the corner of Kazachya and Dublinskaya Streets.
- 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk), supported by the 2nd Battery 257th Artillery Regiment, extended its front north; two battalions from took over the positions of the 112th north of the Dolgi gully.
- An armoured unit with seven T-34 and six T-60 tanks was deployed in the second line, on the western border of the wood, near point 112.0. Most of these tanks were being used as stationary firing points.
- 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny), supported by 651st Anti-tank Artillery Regiment and the 101st Mortar Regiment, was along Kolodeznaya Street south of the wood. They also had a battalion defending Mamayev Kurgan.
- A regiment of the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) (Sarayev), with very few men left, was surrounded in the park near Stalingrad-1 railway station. This is probably 272nd NKVD Regiment who formed the southern flank with the two brigades further south were evacuated on 27 Sep (Erickson, 1993).
- 42nd Special Brigade and 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade south of the Tsaritsa.
In the morning the 94th Infantry and 29th Motorised Infantry Divisions attacked the two brigades south of the Tsaritsa (Chuikov, 1963). Already under pressure from the Germans the men of the 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade then discovered their leaders had abandoned them (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). The men rushed to cross the river, many were killed by the Germans and many drowned. The commander of the machine-gun battalion, Major Yakovlev, rallied those who remained on the west bank and saw off several German attacks by the 94th and 24th Panzer Divisions over the next 24 hours. 267th Regiment, 94th Division, was involved in this fighting (Fowler, 2005).
With the Soviet left flank crumbling the Germans redeployed 71st Infantry Division to attack the Red October Factory and 100th Jaeger Division to attack Mamayev Kurgan (Erickson, 1993).
That night the six survivors from 1st Battalion 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) crawled out the rubble they had been defending on the corner of Krasnopiterskaya and Komsomolskay streets and slipped through the enemy lines to the Volga (Chuikov, 1963)
Sun 27 Sep 1942
On 27 Sep 1942 the Soviets finally stopped using the the Central landing stage entirely (Erickson, 1993).
At 0500 hours the artillery of 62nd Army opened up (Chuikov, 1963). The Soviet ground forces attacked at 0600 hours to pre-empt the expected German offensive, but at 0800 hours they had ground to a halt under massed Stuka attacks (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005). 2.5 hours of German bombs and shells almost obliterated the strongpoints of the Soviet 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) on Mamayev Kurgan.
At 1030 hours the Germans launched their own ground attack against the workers’ settlements and Mamayev Kurgan (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). They had to cross thick Russian minefields in front of the factory area. On the German left (north) 389th Infantry Division, brought up to full strength through replacements, attacked toward the burning Barrikady workers’ settlement. On the right (south) the 100th (Austrian) Jaeger Division (fresh) attacked the Red October workers’ settlement. The 24th Panzer Division attacked from the small airfield. 150 German tanks were involved, up to 80 of which headed for the factory area (Erickson, 1993). The 23rd Tank Corps and the left flank of the 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) faced the main German effort. By 1400 hours German troops had reached the south-western corner of Barrikady and Banny Gully on the western edge of the Red October Factory. On the extreme right flank German units drove the decimated Soviet 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) off the Mamayev Kurgan, however, the 284th Rifle Division desperately held on and the hill changed hands several times. Soviet artillery bombarded the summit to prevent the Germans digging in. By the end of the day the Germans had advanced 2-3 km in the north but had lost 2,000 men and 50 tanks.
The Sixth Army took the Communist Party HQ (Fowler, 2005).
The remains of 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade and 42nd Special Brigade were evacuated to the east bank to regroup (Erickson, 1993). This left the 272nd Regiment of the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) as the left flank of 62nd army. The Germans occupied a 8 km stretch of the Volga around Kuporosnoe. Attacks by 64th Army failed to evict them.
That night the Soviets ferried two more Soviet infantry regiments of the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) and these deployed in the western outskirts of the Red October workers’ settlement (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). German Stuka’s gave them a ‘house-warming’ the next day.
Mon 28 Sep 1942
During the night the Soviets reoccupied much of the territory they’d lost the day before (Erickson, 1993). By 0400 hours the two regiments of 193rd Rifle Division were ashore and headed for the Red October Factory. They took position in the big cook-houses near the bath-houses and School No. 5 occupied by the Germans.
At dawn the Luftwaffe commenced a massive bombardment – they dropped everything they had including, when the supply of bombs grew short, scrap metal (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005). They also managed to sink five of the six larger steamers servicing the northern landing stage (Erickson, 1993). This was in some ways a last gasp, as by this stage of the battle the Soviets were starting to achieve air superiority.
In the north the 14th Panzer Division and 94th Infantry Division advanced along the gullies running toward the Volga and into the cemetery of the Red October Factory (Fowler, 2005). The Soviet did not contest this advance and the Landsers dug in amongst the headstones. They also advanced towards the south-eastern edge of the Silicate Factory (Erickson, 1993).
One regiment of 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) and two battalions from 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) – with air support – counter-attacked on Mamayev Kurgan, but could not take the summit (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). They similarly made it untenable for the Germans and the hill became a no-mans land plastered by the artillery of both sides. The 284th lost 200-300 men during the day and after days of hard fighting the 95th had lost most of its men.
The German 267th Regiment and the 94th Division as a whole were celebrating as they’d reached the Volga (Fowler, 2005). In three weeks of heavy fighting the division had taken 14 km2 of territory.
The Stavka rearranged the Fronts around Stalingrad (Erickson, 1993). The Stalingrad Front to the north of the city was redesignated the Don Front and Lieutenant-General Rokossovskii replaced Gordov. Yeremenko’s South-Eastern Front was redesignated the Stalingrad Front A new fledgling South-Western Front was created under under Lieutenant-General Vatutin. Golikov, Yeremenko’s deputy, replaced Vatutin in command of Voronezh Front. Vatutin got the staff of 1st Guards Army for his Front HQ and Moskalenko of 1st Guards Army took command of 40th Army. After this reshuffle Don and Stalingrad Fronts had 771,000 men. Stalingrad Front had five armies – 62nd, 64th, 57th, 51st and 28th – and the Don Front had six – 1st Guards, 63rd (Kuznetsov), 21st (Chisyakov), 4th Tank (Kryuchenkin), 24th (Galanin), and 66th (Malinovskii).
|Type of Unit||Don Front||Stalingrad Front||Total|
|Independent Tank Brigades||9||9||18|
|Motorised Rifle Brigades||2||??||??|
The new South-Western Front was created in secret and over time took units from the Don Front (63rd and 21st Army) and Stavka Reserve (a tank army) (Erickson, 1993).
Tue 29 Sep 1942
The Germans attacked the Orlovka salient projecting west from the northern suburb of Rynok – 8 km long and 3 km wide with a frontage of 19 km (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005). The defenders were the 115th Special Brigade (Andryusenko) and a composite battalion of 250 men from 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The 60th Motorized Division attacked from the north-east with the 389th Infantry Division coming from the south. The 100th (Austrian) Jaeger Division and 16th Panzer Division were also involved. Chuikov provides more details about the attack
- Southward across Hill 135.4 – about one infantry battalion and 18 tanks.
- South-eastward across Hill 147.6 – about one infantry battalion and 15 tanks.
- Eastward from Uvarovka – nearly two infantry battalions and 16 tanks
- Other units attacked the 112th Rifle Division.
At 1500 hours German sub-machine gunners with about 50 tanks attacked from Gorodishche and overran the 2nd Battalion of 115th Special Brigade on Hills 1092.4 and 108.9 (Chuikov, 1963). Meanwhile a German attack from the north smashed 1st Battalion of 115th Special Brigade, which then retreated to the northern outskirts of Orlovka. The corridor was reduced by half.
The Germans also attacked in other sectors (Chuikov, 1963). That portion of the 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) outside the Orlovka salient withdrew to the Silicate Factory. The regiments of this division were down to 40-60 men each. The Germans drove a wedge through the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) into the Red October settlement; the division lost three regimental commanders and three battalion commanders killed. The Soviet 23rd Tank Corps was down to 17 immobile tanks and 150 men.
In an attempt to divert the Germans 51st and 57th Armies attacked in the south and 1st Guards and 66th Armies in the north (Erickson, 1993). The northern attack made no progress despite a tongue lashing of the army commanders by Gordov did not improve the situation. Zhukov gave permission to call of the northern operations. 1st Guards Army was subsequently pulled into reserve.
More than 100 German planes bombed the Tractor Factory during the afternoon (Erickson, 1993).
Wed 30 Sep 1942
The Soviet armies in the north attacked XIV Panzer Corps again (Beevor, 1999). They fieled two rifle divisions and three tank brigades but the 60th Motorized Division and 16th Panzer Division saw them off claiming 72 destroyed enemy tanks.
Just after 1200 hours massive German artillery and air strikes pounded the two battalions (1st and 2nd) of the 115th Special Brigade (Andryusenko) in the north and south of the Orlovka (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The ground forces went in at 1300 hours. The Soviet units took a beating but held. The Germans, however, had almost closed the salient to the east and now had access to the Orlovka gully.
Meanwhile the 24th Panzer Division, most of the 389th Infantry Division and the 100th (Austrian) Jaeger Division attacked the Red October and Barrikady factories (Beevor, 1999).
Sixth Army also brought the 14th Panzer and 94th Infantry Division up to strength with replacements and redeployed them in the north of the city near the Red October factory (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
1 Oct 1942
Overnight the 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev) were ferried over (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The division was under strength; the infantry companies could only field 40-50 men each and in total the division could only field 4,000 men. They took up position as a second line behind 193rd Rifle Division just west of the Red October Factory from Kazacya Street to Banny Gully. Having reformed the 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade and 42nd Special Brigade also returned from the eastern bank. The 92nd took over the positions of the 23rd Tank Corps which, when replaced, was down to 17 tanks and just over 100 men; the tanks and men were parcelled out to the infantry units, and only the HQ was evacuated to the left bank for regrouping.
The Germans attacked with three infantry divisions (94th, 60th Motorized, 100th Jaeger) and two Panzer divisions (14th, 16th) on a 4,600 m frontage (Erickson, 1993). The German pincers closed on the Orlovka salient and trapped the 3rd battalion of the 115th Special Brigade (Andryusenko) along with an artillery battery and one 82mm mortar (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). The 500 Soviets dug in and were subject to constant Stuka, artillery and ground attacks. They made their limited food and ammunition – supplemented by occasional air drops – last until 7 Oct. To the east the 115th was reinforced by an anti-tank regiment and two companies from 124th Special Brigade (Gorokhov). German guns halted the attempt by the other two battalions (1st and 2nd) of the 115th to rescue their surrounded comrades. Chuikov probably correctly viewed the German attempt to seal the salient as a diversion to distraction his attention from the real danger – the attack on the factory zone. The efforts of 115th tied up a considerable number of Germans – 60th Motorised Division, about 100 tanks of 16th Panzer Division, and regiments of both 389th and 100th Infantry Divisions.
The Germans attacked the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) near the Red October Factory, the 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) and the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) (Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). 193rd was badly mauled and pushed back. The 39th Guards Rifle Division behind them were ordered to fortify the workshops of the Red October Factory. The 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) ambushed a German advance along the Krutoy and Dolgi gullies with sub-machine-guns and grenades and killed about 500.
Some Soviet divisions were down to 2,000 men (Fowler, 2005).
2 Oct 1942
Overnight the Soviets received several reinforcements (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). Two regiments of the 308th (Siberian) Rifle Division (Gurtiev) were ferried across and ordered to the Barrikady Factory. The third, when it arrived, dug in on the flank including the ‘Gully of Death’;
One battalion in 267th Regiment 94th Infantry Division was down to 80-90 men before they attacked on 2 Oct (Chuikov, 1963).
Overnight a German assault force of 300 men from 295th Infantry Division infiltrated the Krutoy gully, reached the Volga, then turned south, where they dug in behind the 34th Guards Regiment of 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) (Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). Just before dawn the 295th Infantry Division attacked the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) from the front and rear. 3rd Battalion of 39th Guards Regiment bore the brunt of the frontal attack. At 0600 (dawn) the Guardsmen counter-attacked. In 30 minutes of fighting hard they managed to eliminate the force that had infiltrated their rear and beat off the frontal attack. [Chuikov, 1963, says the Germans were disguised in Russian uniform, the gully was the boundary between the 13th and 284th Divisions, and that it was reserve companies of the 284th Division that eliminated the Germans.]
Scenario Idea: 1/42nd Guards Regiment
Looking at the map it seems that 1st Battalion,42nd Guards Regiment 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev), would have take some of the frontal attack and would also have been in the vicinity of the Germans who infiltrated over night. This suggests a scenario where the Germans attack, then the Germans get reinforcements from the Russian rear edge, then the Russians get reinforcements from the same edge. The question is will 1/42nd have sufficiently good all round defence to hold off 295th Infantry Division?
1st and 2nd Battalions of the 115th Special Brigade continued to attack the ring around 3rd Battalion in the Orlovka pocket (Chuikov, 1963).
Two brigades of Colonel Gorokhov’s group and a regiment of 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) held the northern and north-western approaches of the factory zone (Erickson, 1993). The 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) held the western approaches and suffered heavy losses during the day (Fowler, 2005).
The 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) defended the western part of the Red October Factory – the kitchens, bath house and workers’ flats – and counter-attacked Hill 107.5 (Chuikov, 1963; Fowler, 2005). The regiments, down to 200 men, were unequal to the task and were pushed back by German tanks and infantry. The Germans reached Tsekhovaya and Bibleyskaya Streets.
The 39th Guards Rifle Division held the factory Red October Factory (??).
German artillery or bombers hit the oil storage tanks near Chuikov’s HQ and set the oil alight (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005).
At 1200 hours the 308th (Siberian) Rifle Division (Gurtiev) and opposing Germans attacked each other in the Barrikady Factory (Chuikov, 1963). By nightfall the Soviets had cleared part of the Silicate Factory and occupied the north-western outskirts of the Barrikady workers settlement.
During the night Soviet 64th Army in the south tried to link up with the 62nd Army (Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). Four rifle divisions (422nd Guards, 36th Guards, 157th, and 138th) pushed for Peschanka, a small village south-west of Yelshanka. The Germans repulsed them after a hard days fighting.
62nd Army redeployed overnight (Chuikov, 1963).
- 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) moved to the left flank of the Gorokhov Group. They occupied a line from the the railway bridge, across the stream about 750 m south of Hill 75.9, to point 97.7, then along the gully to the south-east tot he River Mechetka.
- 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) took the line from the orchards north of the Barrikady settlement to the Silicate factory, Makeyevskaya Street and as far as the gully. The 308th also replaced 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) in certain sectors, allowing the latter unit to consolidate.
Sixth Army also redeployed. 267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division marched north overnight to a shrub covered gully to the west of the Factory Zone (Chuikov, 1963).
1st week of Oct 1942
At some point in the 1st week of Oct 1942 German tanks attacked naval infantry attached to 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) who were defending a ruined school in the south of the factory zone (Beevor, 1999). Lacking anti-tank grenades they used petrol bombs against the panzers.
Similarly about this time five combat engineer battalions (50th, 162nd, 294th, 366th, 672nd) were flown in to bolster the German attack (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). One of these battalions suffered 40% casualties in a single attack.
3 Oct 1942
In the Orlovka salient the 115th Special Brigade struggled to fend off the XIV Panzer Corps and intended to break out to the factory area (Fowler, 2005).
At dawn a German infantry regiment with 20 tanks in support attacked 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) (Chuikov, 1963). The Soviets were pushed back ot the clearing about 800m east of point 97.7. That night the division pulled back across the River Mechetka.
At 1200 hours the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) counterattacked and drove the Germans north-western sector of the factory buildings, back to the Silicate Factory, and cleared part of the latter (Erickson, 1993; Fowler, 2005). Chuikov (1963) says the division held off German attacks until 1800 hours then withdrew, but he doesn’t mention the earlier attack.
The regiments of 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) were reduced to 100-150 men, but they still managed to fight off German attacks on the kitchens, bath house and workers’ flats of the Red October Factory (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The buildings changed hands several times.
The 95th (Gorishny), 284th (Batyuk), 13th Guards (Rodimtsev) Rifle Divisions all beat off German attacks (Chuikov, 1963).
4 Oct 1942
The 37th Guards Rifle Division (Zholudev) arrived in the early hours of 4 Oct (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). Lack of ferries meant they left their anti-tank guns and divisional staff on the eastern shore. Army staff officers took control of the division and it deployed between 112th and 308th Rifle Divisions to defend the approach from the Barrikady workers settlement to the Tractor Factory.
267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division attacked the Barrikady settlement (Chuikov, 1963). The German noticed an increase in the number of Soviet sub-machine gunners. Given the deployment on 2 Oct their opponents were probably the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev).
That night the light tanks (20 T-70s) of the 84th Armoured Brigades were ferried across (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). Initially their heavies (5 KVs, 24 T-34s) had to stay on the east bank being too big for the barges, although Erickson mentions their T-34s on 16 Oct.
5 Oct 1942
The independent detachments of armed workers were formally put under Red Army control (Erickson, 1993). As a result the remaining workers in the Tractor Factor and Barrikady Factory were drafted into front line units or evacuated depending on whether they were specialists or not (Beevor, 1999). Although production had already halted these workers had been repairing tanks and anti-tank guns. Those fated to stay behind joined the divisions defending the Factory zone still wearing their overalls and flat caps.
German dive-bombers made 2,000 raids over the factory area including more than 700 on the Tractor Factor alone (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
300 Soviet guns and mortars on the eastern bank fired off a massive counter-preparation bombardment at German concentrations in front of the Factory zone (Erickson, 1993).
At daybreak the Germans attacked from the Barrikady settlement towards the Tractor settlement and ran straight into the 37th Guards Rifle Division (Zholudev), supported by the 499th Anti-tank Artillery and 11th Artillery Regiments, and a battery of the 85th Guards Howitzer Regiment (Zholudev) (Chuikov, 1963). Fierce fighting ensued. One battalion in 267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division attacked four times but was stopped each time. The Guardsmen generally held their ground and 1st Guards Regiment even managed to make ground.
Despite the fact that Chuikov (1963) says the German onslaught was held, according to Erickson (1993) the Germans occupied the Silicate Factory and cut off the 42nd Special Brigade, 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade, and 6th Guards Tank Brigade.
That night the light tanks (20 T-70s) of the 84th Armoured Brigades reached the 37th and 308th Rifle Divisions (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). They were used as pillboxes in the rubble.
6 Oct 1942
The punishment of the previous day meant the Germans conserved their energies on 6 Oct (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993).
There was also an incident where a Soviet craft landed its passengers in a minefield and 34 people were killed prompted the authorities to subsequently encircle their minefields with barbed wire (Beevor, 1999).
A German bombed wiped out the HQ of the Soviet 339th Rifle Regiment (Chuikov, 1963).
Sarayev and the majority of the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) were sent to the eastern bank to reform (Erickson, 1993). Only the 282nd Regiment stayed on the western bank.
7 Oct 1942
120 survivors from the cut off 3rd battalion of the 115th Special Brigade (Andryusenko) broke out of the Orlovka gully and joined the 112th Division on the western face of the Tractor Factory (Erickson, 1993).
At 1120 the Germans launched two divisions at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The 60th Motorised Division attacked from the west and the 14th Panzer Division from the south-west with possibly 500 tanks in total. By nightfall, after heavy fighting, they had pushed back 37th Rifle Division. Germans occupied an entire block fo the workers settlement and advanced towards the sports stadium. The 193rd Rifle Division put up a fierce defence of the bath house of the Red October Factory, and after a see-saw battle it became a no-mans land. At 1800 hours a reinforced battalion from the 60th began its attack west of the railway bridge over the River Mechetka but was then destroyed by long range Katyusha fire. The Germans lost approximately four battalions and 16 tanks. Paulus asked for reinforcements comprising three divisions but was sent sapper battalions instead.
In Spartakovka parts of 16th Panzer Division pushed back 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) and 124th Special Brigade (Beevor, 1999).
Chuikov moved his HQ to Sarayev’s now vacated dug-out on the Volga bank (Erickson, 1993).
8 – 13 Oct 1942
Hitler ordered another attack for sometime before 14 Oct and a lull ensued as the Germans prepared (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). Sixth Army was not in good shape. 94th Infantry Division was down to 535 front-line troops and 76th Infantry Division was fought out. Companies had at most 60 men in the line. The relatively fresh 305th Infantry Division was brought in to bolster the German efforts. The Germans made no secret of their impending attack and ‘tongues’ captured by Russian reconnaissance units suggested the main thrust would be against the Tractor Factory. Chuikov took the risky decision to bring divisions from Mamayev Kurgan north to the factory zone. The 3,075 men of 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) moved off Mamayev Kurgan and took the line on the outskirts of the Red October Factory between 37th Guards Division and 308th Rifle Division. 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) assumed control of the 937 men remaining in 42nd Special Brigade – this might be when the 95th gained sailors from the Far East that Chuikov (1963) mentions fighting on 11-12 Nov. The 2,300 men of 112th Rifle Division, including he 524th Regiment on the eastern bank, were moved to the north-western sector of the Tractor Factory’s workers settlement.
9 Oct 1942
The Supreme Soviet removed the command function from Political Commissars thus retuning sole command to the officers (Beevor, 1999; Fowler, 2005, says 10 Oct).
The Soviet northern group – the 124th, 143rd and remains of the 115th Special Brigades – held the line trhough Rynok, Spartanovka, the wood west of Spartanovka, and the Tractor Factor worker’s settlement along the River Mechetka (Chuikov, 1963). The regiment from the 10th NKVD Rifle Division (Sarayev) was held in reserve. [I do wonder if “held in reserve” means stationed behind militia units of dubious quality to encourage them.]
11 Oct 1942
T-34s of 84th Tank Brigade with tank riders from 37th Guard Rifle Division (Zholudev) counter-attacked 14th Panzer Division on the south side of the Stalingrad Tractor Factory (Beevor, 1999).
12 Oct 1942
The 524th Regiment of 112th Rifle Division (Sologub), so far kept in reserve on the eastern bank, was ferried over (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). It was deployed as a second line near the stadium in the north
37th Guards Rifle Division (Zholudev) and a regiment from 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) launched a spoiling attack against the western outskirts of the Tractor settlement (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). They made 200-300 m before being halted by the massed German main body.
13 Oct 1942
The Soviets continued their counterattack (Chuikov, 1963).
Mon 14 Oct 1942
At 0600 hours German time Sixth Army attacked on a 4 km front from the south-west toward the Tractor Factory (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993, says 0800 hours but that might be Russian time). Stuka’s, artillery and mortars pounded the Soviet positions. German aircraft were constantly over the city but the Soviet 8th Air Army was down to only 200 aircraft and couldn’t compete. The Germans attacked with three infantry divisions (three of 94th, 100th Jaeger, 389th or fresh 305th; Erickson says 94th, 100th, 389th, Beevor says 94th, 100th, and 305th; Chuikov says 305th and 389th) and two Panzer divisions (14th, 24th) including 300 tanks. The main German thrust was from 14th Panzer Division and the three infantry divisions. The 37th Guards (Zholudev) and 95th (Gorishny) Rifle Divisions contested each building fiercely. At 1130 180- 200 Panzers and supporting sub-machine gunners broke through 37th Guards Rifle Division and 112th Rifle Division (Sologub) and into the huge sheds of the Tractor Factory and toward the River Mechetka. At 1200 hours XIV Panzer Corps started its push from the north. By 1600 hours the 37th Guards Rifle Division and 112th Rifle Division were surrounded, and the right flank of the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) had been mauled. By midnight the Germans were on three sides of the Tractor Factory, but the Soviet defenders struggled on. That night 103rd Panzer Grenadier Regiment of 14th Panzer Division fought their way to the Volga near the oil tanks below the Tractor Factory, thus cutting off the 112th Rifle Division and the militia brigades to the north and west. They eventually cleared about 2 km of the bank, thus splitting 62nd Army in two. The smaller right hand group included the 112th Rifle Division (Sologub), 2nd Motorised Rifle Brigade, and three special brigades (115th, 124th and 149th) (Chuikov doesn’t mention the 2nd). Colonel Gorokhov of the 124th Special Brigade took command of this group and fought on. That night 3,500 Soviet wounded were evacuated to the eastern bank – the largest number during the entire battle. Chuikov committed his main armoured reserve, the 84th Tank Brigade. The Germans lost nearly 3,000 killed and 40 tanks destroyed.
At sometime Chuikov moved his HQ again (Beevor, 1999).
The Germans brought the Stalingrad Power Station under artillery fire, although it continued to produce power (Erickson, 1993).
The Stalingrad and Don Fronts were ordered to remove all civilians from the front line (up to 24 km) (Erickson, 1993; Beevor, 1999, says 17 Oct for Don Front). They had to evacuate by 29 Oct.
Tue 15 Oct 1942
German guns and aircraft paralysed the Soviet river traffic (Erickson, 1993).
The Germans had captured the majority of the Tractor Factory although pockets of resistance (37th Guards and 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny)s, 84th Tank Brigade) remained behind their front line (Beevor, 1999; Erickson, 1993). The fresh 305th Infantry Division forced the Soviets back across the railway line at the brickworks. Some German battalions were down to 50 men as a result of the fighting. The Soviet 84th Tank Brigade claimed more than 30 German tanks for the loss of 18. But 37th Guards (Zholudev) and 95th (Gorishny) Rifle Divisions were down to 25% of their original numbers.
Gorokhov group faced attacks from the north and west but lost only a small amount of land (Erickson, 1993).
During the night one regiment of 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) was ferried across and took up position north of the Barrikady Factory (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The Germans brought up the 389th Infantry and the 16th Panzer Divisions to renew the attack.
Wed 16 Oct 1942
The new day brought fresh German attacks by three infantry divisions (305th, 100th, and 94th) and two panzer divisions (16th and 24th) (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). Massed Germans tanks and infantry pushed along the road from the Tractor Factory south towards the Barrikady Factory (Beevor, 1999). The dug in T-34s of 84th Tank Brigade (Vainrub) were waiting in ambush on Tramvaynaya street. The T-34s and anti-tank guns opened fire at 100 m and knocked out 10-12 Panzers, thus halting the attack. The stalled German formations were then pounded by artillery and Katyusha salvoes. The Germans brought up reinforcements but the same pattern recurred.
37th Guards Rifle Division (Zholudev) was still holding on in the Tractor Factory with about 200 men (Erickson, 1993). 114th Guards Regiment had 84 men; 117th had 30 men. They had lost all of their artillery, anti-tank weapons and mortars.
During the night the remaining regiments of 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) were ferried across (Erickson, 1993). They deployed south of the Red October Factory where the 84th had blocked the German advance to the Barrikady Factory, with 650th Rifle Regiment inside the Barrikady Factory itself. The divisional HQ in the Barrikady bunker with the Army HQ
17 Oct 1942
The defenders of the Red October Factory beat off the German attack, but German assault parties pushed along the railway line between the 138th and 308th Rifle Divisions and reached the north-west corner of the Barrikady Factory (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). Armed detachments of factory workers went into action. The men of the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) were consolidated into the 161st Rifle Regiment which was fighting in the area of Sormovskaya Street; the divisional HQ and the two other regimental HQs were sent to the east bank to regroup. . In the stadium area the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) beat of German infantry and tanks attacks on both its flanks. 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) continued fighting near Kazachya Street. In the evening a German battalion penetrated to Severnaya Street. The Germans now controlled Height 107.5, Mamayev Kurgan, the outlets to the Volga in the Tractor Factory and near the Tsaritsa river.
Gorokhov group fought a force of German sub-machine gunners with 20 tanks in the south of Spartanovka (Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). The HQs of both112th Rifle Division and 115th Special Brigade falsely claimed their units had been wiped out and repeatedly asked for permission to withdraw across the Volga (Beevor, 1999). Several days latter, during a lull in the fighting, a staff officer found they had 598 and 890 men respectively. The senior officers were court-martialled.
Overnight, with the Germans approaching the Barrikady Factory, Chuikov moved his HQ yet again (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963; Erickson, 1993). They first tried the Banny gully but ended up on the river bank level with the Mamayev Kurgan.
18 Oct 1942
The Gorokhov group wiped out the force of German sub-machine gunners in Spartanovka and generally held their ground (Erickson, 1993).
The Germans attacked the Barrikady Factory and south towards the Red October factory (Chuikov, 1963). The 95th (Gorishny), 138th (Lyudnikov), 37th Guards (Zholudev) Rifle Divisions beat of several assaults in the Barrikady Factory and the Sculpturny Park. At 1500 hours the Germans broke through south of Derevenskaya Street and reached the Volga, but the 650th Infantry Regiment counterattacked and restored the situation. During the evening heavy fighting flared at the western edge of the Barrikady Factory (Erickson, 1993). German infantry breached the Tramvaynaya street line and pushed along the railway line. The Barrikady militia detachment fought in the front line, and after five days only five men were still alive.
German infantry and tanks attacked the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) from the west (Chuikov, 1963). At 1130 the Germans overran the right flank of the division. Chuikov, for the first time, ordered a withdrawal and the Soviet line straightened 200-300 m to the east.
A strong German force broke through near Mamayev Kurgan and Chuikov’s HQ but were forced back in a counter-attack (Beevor, 1999).
The Germans lost nearly three battalions of infantry and 18 tanks during the day (Chuikov, 1963).
19 Oct 1942
Don Front to the north-west and 64th Army to the south conducted diversionary attacks (Beevor, 1999). This gave 62nd Army a few days breathing space and shattered regiments were pulled back across the river to be reformed. This probably includes 196th Rifle Division (comprised mostly of Kazakh, Uzbek and Tartar men) which was virtually wiped out and which Beevor explicit says were withdrawn for reorganisation.
On 19-20 Oct 62nd Army beat off attacks on Sparanovka, and the Barrikady and Red October factories (Chuikov, 1963). In an effort to find replacements the staff officers stripped the rear echelon and sent the men to the front.
21 Oct 1942
Fresh German units appeared on 21-22 Oct and attacked 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) and 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev) along Communalnaya and Tsentralnaya Streets (Chuikov, 1963). The attackers lost 15 tanks and over 1,000 infantry. The Luftwaffe were flying 2,000 sorties a day.
22 Oct 1942
The reinforced German 79th Infantry Division together with heavy tanks and aircraft attacked along Tsentralnaya and Karuselnaya Streets towards the Red October factory (Chuikov, 1963). In the evening they broke through to Stalnaya Street and advanced along the factory’s railway. Nearly a company of German sub-machine gunners reached the north-west of the Red October Factory. At dusk Soviet artillery pounded the approaches to the factory.
24 Oct 1942
The Soviets beat back the first German attacks of the day (Chuikov, 1963). The German second line and reserves then attacked, breaking through at 1630. The attackers overran the central and south-western parts of the Barrikady factory. By 1800 hours they had reached the command post of the 895th Infantry Regiment (Ustinov). Major Ustinov called in a Katyusha strike on his own location and survived.
About two German infantry battalions with 17 tanks advanced along Krasnopresnenskaya Street and attacked the 117th Guards Regiment 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev) (Chuikov, 1963). Small groups of German sub-machine gunners managed to breakthrough. The command post of the 1045th Regiment was destroyed by a direct hit from a bomb.
The 37th, 308th and 193rd Divisions had only a few hundred infantrymen between them (Chuikov, 1963). The Germans abandoned night attacked, but the Soviet assault groups kept up their nocturnal activity.
25 Oct 1942
On 25 Oct the Germans attacked all along the line (Chuikov, 1963). By this time order was restored amongst the cut off units in Rynok and Spartakovka, although desertions still occurred amongst the militia (Beevor, 1999). A German infantry division with tanks drove back the 149th Brigade and occupied the centre of Spartanovka Settlement. The ships of the Volga fleet shelled the attackers.
Fighting also continued in the Barrikady Factory (Chuikov, 1963). Fresh German units faced the battle hardened survivors of the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) and 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov).
Meanwhile the German 79th Infantry Division attacked the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) and 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev) in the Red October Factory (Chuikov, 1963). German sub-machine gunners pushed through the depleted Soviet ranks and attacked Guriev’s HQ. The army’s guard company counterattacked and drove the Germans back to the factory. The guard company were subsequently incorporated into the 39th and stayed on in the Red October Factory. At 1500 hours the Germans occupied Mashinaya Street.
26 Oct 1942
Overnight the first two battalions from the 45th (Shchors) Rifle Division (Sokolov) were ferried across (Chuikov, 1963). These battalions joined the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) and deployed between the Barrikady and Red October factories. The entire day was spent is a series of German attacks on the new comers: dive bombers, infantry, tanks. The Germans had 35 tanks in the first attack. By nightfall the two Soviet battalions had taken 50% losses, and the Soviet line was only 300 m from the Volga.
27 Oct 1942
Fighting continued in Spartanovka and the Germans were evicted on 27 Oct (Chuikov, 1963).
The Germans overran the left flank of the 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) and a regiment of the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) in the Barrikady Factory and capture the whole complex (Chuikov, 1963). 267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division was down to the size of a single company. German sub-machine gunners opened fire on the last landing stage.
28 Oct 1942
Chuikov scraped together a scratch platoon of 50 infantry from staff personnel and men discharged by the medical service (Chuikov, 1963). He combined these with three repaired tanks – two light and one with a flame-thrower. Before dawn they attacked, with the support of artillery and a Katyusha regiment, along Smarkandskaya Street between the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) and 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev). The flame-thrower tanks knocked out three panzers, and the light tanks overran two German trenches, which the Soviet infantry then occupied. This kept the Germans in that sector quiet for the rest of the day.
Scenario Idea: Surprise, Surprise
A couple of choices here:
- The strike force (flame thrower thank, 2 x T-60, infantry platoon) backed up by a company from either of the neighbouring divisions, plus some pre-planned bombardment with modest terrain objectives.
- A randomly generated attacking force for variable objectives. .
138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) and a regiment of the 308th Rifle Division (Gurtiev) in the Barrikady Factory beat of seven German attacks on 27-28 Oct (Chuikov, 1963). On 28 German sub-machine gunners again broke through, reached Volga, but were eliminated.
284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) and 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) also beat off attacks on and to the south of Mamayev Kurgan (Chuikov, 1963). The Soviets employed flame throwers.
29 Oct 1942
578th Infantry Regiment 305th Infantry Division (Steinmetz) attack “the factory” (Chuikov, 1963). During the previous night they had been harassed by Soviet artillery, followed by Soviet planes just before dawn.
30 Oct 1942
The exhausted 267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division were given a few rear echelon men and was sent to the northern outskirts of Stalingrad (Chuikov, 1963).
31 Oct 1942
By 31 Oct all of 45th Rifle Division (Sokolov) was across the Volga (Chuikov, 1963). Preceded by a 30 minute barrage the division attacked between the Barrikady and Red October factories. They advanced about 100 m, occupied the left side of Novoselskaya Street, the western fringe of the park, and the open-hearth, calibration and profiling shops and finished products warehouse in the Red October factory.
62nd Army had managed to build up some reserves on the eastern bank of the Volga (Chuikov, 1963). Two infantry regiments and the divisional HQ of the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny), brought up the strength through replacements, and the 92nd Naval Infantry Brigade, filled out with seamen from the Far East. The repair workshops also managed to put two companies of tanks back into action.
1 Nov 1942
Exhaustion and a lack of ammunition brought the German offensive to a close (Beevor, 1999). Soviet heavy artillery fire crushed the last German attack – that of the 79th Infantry Division against the Red October factory and 94th Infantry Division against the northern pocket at Spartakovka.
Some German units received new winter outfits; reversible field-grey and white (Beevor, 1999).
3 Nov 1942
267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division was still attacking Spartakovka (Chuikov, 1963).
4 Nov 1942
The Germans switched from massed attacks to small fierce affairs (Beevor, 1999). Often these were a reconnaissance in force to probe for weak points, sometimes a combined infantry and tank attack
5 Nov 1942
A bomb destroyed the HQ of the 895th Rifle Regiment, killing the commander Ustinov (Chuikov, 1963).
6 Nov 1942
A company of the 347th Rifle Regiment dug in only 200 m from the river was overrun (Beevor, 1999). The nine survivors counter-attacked with sub-machine-guns as another force cut off the German retreat. They saved the northern crossing point.
7 Nov 1942
Stalin issued an Order of the Day including the words of a popular saying “There will be a holiday in our street too” – a fore warning of the coming offensive (Chuikov, 1963).
9 Nov 1942
Real winter weather arrived as the temperature dropped to -18º C and the Volga became unnavigable (Beevor, 1999).
11 Nov 1942
With the ice flows on the Volga the Germans saw their chance to clear the 62nd Army from the western bank (Chuikov, 1963). At 0630 hours, just before dawn, the Germans launched their final assault against the remaining Soviet bridgeheads (Beevor, 1999). For this effort they brought together an impressive force comprising battle groups from the depleted infantry divisions (71st, 79th, 100th, 295th, 305th and 389th) along with four fresh pioneer battalions flown in for the event. As usual Stukas led the way. [Chuikov says the 44th (fresh), 79th, 100th, 305th, and 389th Infantry Divisions, 14th and 24th Panzer Divisions, and units flown in from the 161st and 294th Infantry Divisions.] They attacked on a 4-5 km frontage from Volkhovstroyevskaya Street to Banny Gully, essentially the area covered by 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov), 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny), 45th Rifle Division (Sokolov), 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev), and 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk).
In the north the Gorokhov Group counter-attacked from the railway bridge at the mouth of the Mechetka, southward towards the Tractor Factory (Chuikov, 1963).
The 305th Infantry Division and most of the pioneer battalions comprised the main thrust was at the junction of 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) and 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) toward the Lazur chemical factory and the ‘tennis racket’ (a loop of railway track) (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). The Germans captured key buildings but then lost them again as the Soviets counter-attacked.
At 1130 hours the German reserves attacked (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963). Infantry and tanks overran the right flank of 241st Rifle Regiment 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) and reached the Volga on a front 300-600 m wide. The 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) was cut off behind the Barrikady Factory and low on ammunition and food but managed to hold on; some supplies were air dropped to them, but much ammunition was rendered unusable by the drop.
The 118th Guards Rifle Regiment 39th Guards Rifle Division (Guriev) was reduced to six men from the 250 at the start of the day (Chuikov, 1963).
In the south the 284th Rifle Division (Batyuk) fought desperately to retain their positions on Mamayev Kurgan (Beevor, 1999).
That night the Soviets counter-attacked, including the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) south-east of the Barrikady Factory (Beevor, 1999). German shelling, however, forced the attackers to take cover.
12 Nov 1942
From 0500 to 0630 the German artillery blasted the Soviet positions (Beevor, 1999). When a strong infantry force managed to wedge itself between two Soviet regiments, the Germans sent more troops to reinforce their success (0950). One of the Soviet regiments managed to hold the main attack as other groups eliminated the German sub-machine gunners who had broken through toward the oil tanks on the Volga. Three German tanks were also destroyed in the fighting. The first battalion of the regiment was reduced to 15 men, but was still holding out 70 m from the river bank when reinforced by a second battalion. The naval infantry comprising the guard of the regiment HQ were reduced to a single sailor. [Chuikov, 1963, mentions sailors in the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny), so perhaps it was a regiment from that division.]
The Germans launched another major attack at 1200 hours (Chuikov, 1963). Naval infantry who had reinforced the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) fought over the petrol tanks on Tauvinskaya Street, eventually beat off the German attackers, then counter-attacked.
Fighting also occurred in the Red October and Barrikady factoriees and on Mamayev Kurgan (Chuikov, 1963).
The attack by the 305th Infantry Division and pioneer battalions petered out and by nightfall the fighting had died down all along the front (Beevor, 1999; Chuikov, 1963).
Sixth Army now considered 42% of the battalions in LI Army Corps to be ‘fought out’ (Beevor, 1999). Most infantry companies were under 50 men.
13-20 Nov 1942
All survivors of the 193rd Rifle Division (Smekhotvorov) were consolidated into the 685th Rifle Regiment – the grand total was 250 men (Chuikov, 1963). This regiment and the right flank of the 95th Rifle Division (Gorishny) repeatedly attacked northward in an attempt to link up with the trapped 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov).
15 Nov 1942
The surrounded 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) received four bales of air dropped food and four of ammunition (Chuikov, 1963).
17 Nov 1942
267th Regiment 94th ( Saxon) Division attacked with tanks, presumably in the Spartakovka area, but without success (Chuikov, 1963).
18 Nov 1942
Chuikov was informed of the impending Soviet offensive (Beevor, 1999).
19 Nov 1942 – 2 Feb 1943: The Pocket Battle
19 – 24 Nov 1942: Operation ‘Saturn’
19 Nov 1942
The armies of the South-Western and Don fronts attacked (Chuikov, 1963).
Four armoured boats loaded with supplies reached the surrounded 138th Rifle Division (Lyudnikov) (Chuikov, 1963).
20 Nov 1942
The Stalingrad Front attacked (Chuikov, 1963).
24 Nov 1942
The Gorokhov Group linked up with the 99th Rifle Division of the Don Front (Chuikov, 1963).
25 Nov – 12 Dec 1942: Fortress Stalingrad
12 – 23 Dec 1942: Operation ‘Winter Storm’
16 Dec 1942
The Volga finally iced over allowing supplies, reinforcements, and wounded to travel to and fro (Chuikov, 1963).
24 Dec 1942 – 9 Jan 1943:
10 Jan – 2 Feb 1943: Operation ‘Ring’
26 Jan 1943
At 0920 hours on 26 Jan 1943, near the Red October settlement, guardsmen of the 13th Guards Rifle Division (Rodimtsev) met Soviet soldiers advancing from the west (Chuikov, 1963). This split the Germans into a northern and southern group.
31 Jan 1943
The German southern group collapsed (Chuikov, 1963). Soldiers of the 64th Army captured Field-Marshal von Paulus, the commander of the Sixth Army. Later the same day the 62nd Army captured the HQ and commanders of the 295th Infantry Division, the IV Army Corps, and 51st Army Corps.
2 Feb 1943
The Soviets crushed the German northern group in the Tractor and Barrikady factories and their settlements (Chuikov, 1963).
Beevor, A. (1999). Stalingrad. Penguin.
Chuikov, V. I. (1963). The Beginning of the Road: The story for the Battle for Stalingrad. Macgibbon and Kee.
Clark, A. (1965). Barbarossa. Cassell.
Doerr, H. (1955). Der Feldzug nach Stalingrad. Darmstadt.
Erickson, J. (1993). The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin’s war with Germany: Volume One. London: Weidenfeld.
Fowler, W. (2005). Stalingrad: The Vital 7 Days. Spellmount.