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"Our tanks were met with artillery fire from ambush"
Material posted: Publication date: 28-06-2017

June 8, 1942, began the Voronezh-Voroshilovgrad operation. About how the German troops were moving to don and why the Soviet army was not able to give them a worthy rebuff, says, "Газета.Ru".

During the great Patriotic war in summer of 1942, German forces planned the operation "Blau". They were going to gradually occur first at Stalingrad, then in Rostov-on-don and further to the Caucasus. The total number of soldiers who were involved in the attack amounted to nearly a million people, there were thousands of planes and tanks.

28 Jun 1942, German troops attacked the armies of the Bryansk front. The main forces were sent to the area South of the railroad Kursk – Voronezh with the challenge to go to don. Sending against three Soviet rifle divisions, three tank, three infantry and one motorized division, the Germans easily broke through the defense and went to the river teme, to the South of the town of Livny.

Thus began the Voronezh-Voroshilovgrad operation.

For the liquidation of a grouping to the site of a breakthrough were transferred to the tank corps of the southwestern front, connected reserves — just over a thousand combat vehicles. Their proper use could dramatically change the situation, but this did not happen: due to dispersed buildings and inefficiency of the soldiers, the commanders failed to organize a timely and a massive blow to the flanks of the German forces. Instead, the corps went to fight in General, not engaged with artillery and aircraft, has not carried out exploration and in General more used as a "bung" in a broken enemy breach in defense and not for active actions to destroy the enemy.

Colonel-General Vasiliy Arkhipov said:

"Instead of trying to knock down the enemy with a springboard kick tank fist, we tried to push it with your finger. The first day threw against twenty German tanks and two battalions of machine gunners that have mastered the New Settlement, about the same number of shooters, but about half tanks. On the second day — our 20 tanks against 40-50 fascist and so on. The enemy, increasing their strength, ahead of us, and if the first day of the battle for the bridgehead we had total superiority in tanks, but have not used it in an attack, by the fourth day this superiority has passed to the enemy. That's what tanks with caution, with the crushing tank brigades and battalions for "closing the gaps".

"The true causes of failure, in my opinion, was different: the inability" — echoed General Mikhail Kazakov.

Less than a week it took the Germans to advance on Bryansk front to 60-80 km in the South-Western front at 80 km, a Significant part of the troops of the southern front was destroyed in may 1942 during the Kharkov operation. Soviet troops then tried to go on the offensive,

but because of strategic mistakes, over half a million soldiers died or were captured.

To the West of Stary Oskol, the Germans surrounded the part of the Soviet troops. The resistance was not too effective: the troops were not anti-aircraft artillery, reconnaissance units and evacuation and repair parts, which translates all damaged and broken tanks in the category of deadweight loss.

"By order of the command of the 28th army units of the 23rd tank corps 1.7.1942 years focused in the area of kozynka, Kaznacheivka, Konoplianivka with the task to destroy the enemy, advancing to the East in the direction of Volokonovka, and to allow the parts 28-th army to withdraw behind the Oskol river and take up defensive positions.

The first and main objective was not met.

July 1, 6-I and 114-I a tank brigade launched an attack, having no data about the enemy forces without coordination with infantry, artillery and aircraft.

As a result of this disorganization, the tanks were met by ambushes of active artillery fire of the enemy in cooperation with the aircraft that has violated the order of battle advancing our tanks.

Due to ill-conceived offensive part of the body lost only two days of the battle up to 30 tanks and with the fight moved to the East Bank of the river Oskol", — reported in a memo to the special Department of the NKVD "About the flaws in the fighting of the 23rd tank corps for the period from July 1 to July 10, 1942".

To hold the enemy failed. Already on 6 July, the Germans captured the main part of Voronezh. The next day, which was located South of the city the troops were withdrawn to new frontiers, not to get surrounded. The depth of the breakthrough of German troops was already 300 km Tanks advanced on the right Bank of the don, capturing village after village, to the rear South-Western and southern fronts.

Due to the lack of communication and poor management of tank corps entered the battle occurring at different times and often not in those areas which needed it. For example, the commander of the sixth armored brigade received orders to concentrate all the tanks in one place, although at that time the brigade had a combat machine.

The commanders of the Bryansk, South-Western and Southern fronts received orders to begin construction and restoration of defensive lines in the rear of his troops. Despite resistance, by the end of July the Germans had reached the big bend of the don, where he held the offensive, creating a direct threat to Stalingrad and the Caucasus. Despite the shortcomings, the Soviet troops managed to escape the destruction of the main forces.

Another failure of the demoralized fighters. After exactly a month, July 28, 1942, came the order №227 "About measures on strengthening of discipline and order in the red army and the prohibition of unauthorized withdrawal from military positions". The order prohibited the unauthorized withdrawal of troops, he introduced a penal battalion, which was accessed because of cowardice. In people, the document is called "not one step back!".


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