WIKING RUF Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS
What did happen in 1942?
I./Westland relieves II./Germania at Berestowo.
Two batallions of Westland were always in the Mius positions present, while the third was withdrawn into the Amwrosijewka area for some rest and re-fitting.
1./AR 5 under command of 1.Gebirgsdivision until 19.4.42.
The new Freiwilligen Legion 'WALLONIEN' under command of SS-Stubaf. Lucien Lippert, together with a Kampfgruppe under SS-Stubaf. August Dieckmann crashes into a Russian counter-attack near Grischino and halts the offensive.
At the beginning of February Wiking receives winter clothing for the first time. Temperatures drop to -40° C.
A new Finnish battalion, completely motorized, arrives in the Mius positions. It was taken into the ranks of the 'Nordland' regiment under SS-Oberführer Fritz von Scholz.
Activation of Panzer Abteilung “Reich” at WILDFLECKEN Training Area as the first Panzer Abteilung in the Waffen SS. It’s new commander is SS-Sturmbannführer Johannes Mühlenkamp.
The bulk of officers and NCOs consists of volunteers from Division “Reich”, with recruits from Ersatzbataillone Deutschland (in PRAGUE), Germania (in HAMBURG-LANGENHORN) and from another SS Ersatz unit in APELDOORN, The Netherlands.
At Wildflecken training-area, Germany; 3 staff-units from 3 new Panzer Abteilungen are assembled together with the three commanders.
SS-Stubaf. Mühlenkamp - Pz.Abt.2 for division 'Reich', Stubaf. Albin von Reitzenstein - Pz.Abt. 5 'Wiking' and Stubaf. Georg Schönberger for the LAH. Although designated for 'Das Reich' it will change into 'Wiking'. Redesignated SS-Pz. Abt. 5 “Wiking” since Division “Reich” was being pulled out of the line in Russia and ordered back to France.
Since the Abteilung was needed for upcoming 1942 summer offensive, the SS-Führungshauptamt decided to transfer it to Wiking instead.
Rgt.Kdr. 'Westland', SS-Oberführer Arthur Phleps leaves the regiment to take over 7.SS-Gebirg Div. 'Prinz Eugen'. He is succeeded by at first SS-Ostubaf. Berthold Maack and later on by
SS-Ostubaf. Paul Geiβler.
Legion 'Wallonien' is withdrawn for R&R and recieved new personnel after harsh battles at the Mius.
Renamed in SS-Pz.Abt. 5 "Wiking" after Division 'Das Reich' leaves the eastern front for rest and refitting in France. As the new Abteilung is needed for the comming summeroffensive in 1942, the SS-Führungshauptamt decides to place it under command of 'Wiking'.
The first tanks for the Panzerabteilung and Sturmgeschütz (StuG)-Batterie arrive .
I./Pz.Abt. 5 receives its first Panzer III's. Unit was organized into 3 tank companies, with a Stabskompanie and lasted until 27th March, as follows:
1. Kompanie: Pz III; commander: SS-Ostuf. Günther Schnabel
2. Kompanie: Pz III; commander: SS-Ostuf. Theodor von Staden
3. Kompanie: Pz IV; commander: SS-Hstuf. Fritz Darges
Stabskompanie: SS-Ostuf. Gaipel
Aufklärungszug: SS-Ustuf. Josef 'Sepp' Martin (equipped with Pz II)
Kradschützenzug: SS-Ustuf. Willi Hein
Pionierzug: SS-Ustuf. Fritz Schraps
Nachrichtenzug: SS-Ustuf. Hans Köntopp
Abteilung has full complement of tanks, except 3. Kompanie did not receive full complement of Pz IVF2 with L/48 long gun until later. Each company consisted of 17 tanks, with 5 per platoon and 2 in company headquarters section.
The Panzerabteilung 'Reich' is transferred to Wiking for the upcoming summer offensives.
Stabs-Aufklärungszug - (Sd.Kfz.121) Panzer II
1.Kompanie - (Sd.Kfz.141) Panzer III Ausf. J - Equipped with the longer and more powerful 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 gun. 1,067 produced in late 1941 to mid 1942.
2.Kompanie - (Sd.Kfz.141) Panzer III Ausf. J
3.Kompanie - (Sd.Kfz.161) Panzer IV 7.5cm short barrel
SS-Pz. Abt. 5 “Wiking”, formally incorporated into Division Wiking, then fighting on the Eastern Front.
However, since it was not yet ready for combat, it continued its training in Germany.
Training complete, except for gunnery and Abteilung-level maneuvers. I./SS-Pz.Abt. 5 moved to STAUMÜHLENLAGER Training Area near PADERBORN.
First large scale training exercise with entire I./SS-Pz.Abt. 5.
Departure to Russia. At first the Stabskompanie and 1. and 2./SS-Pz.Abt. 5 depart, followed by the Panzer IV's (7.5cm KwK 42) of the 3./SS-Pz.Abt. 5 and a light platoon (Pz.Kfw.II).
The Abteilung arrives at Amwrosiewka, 70km norht-west of Taganrog. Main body gathers here, without 2./SS-Pz.Abt. 5, which moves to Wassiljewka.
SS-Pz.Abt. 5 closes at assembly area near the Mius River and links up with Division Wiking for the first time.
First commanders-meeting in the Divisions Gefechtsstand (Div.HQ) in Uspenskaja. Next days are for additional training together with the rest of the division.
Great loss for the 2./SS-Pz.Abt. 5 when its commanding officer, SS-Ostuf. Theodor von Staden dies during one of the exercises.
Division commander, SS-Gruf. Felix Steiner, inspects I./SS-Pz.Abt. 5
Wiking advances to Rostow, Inf.Rgt. Westland and III./Nordland had to give up all of their vehicles to Inf.Rgt. Germania and I./ and II./Nordland to form again several Kampfgruppen.
Inf.Rgt. Westland remains around Mokri-Jelantschik.
Russian lines were broken around Tanganrog, Wiking advances to Rostow.
Wiking formed 3 battle groups, under command of Weitzdorfer, Dieckmann and Stoffers. All three Kampfgruppen (KGr.) will follow the Wehrmacht's 13th Pz.Div. and placed under command of LVII. Pz.Korps, west of Sambek as part of the 17.Armee for the assault on Rostov.
Rostov, with 525.000 inhabitants (at that time) was an important city on the Don river. There crossed the river the only rail road leading toward the Caucasus with its large quantity of oil. Another rail road runs toward Stalingrad, 400 kilometers far to east.
Besides, Rostov was a vital railroad hub; from the west, the line Dniepropetrovsk-Taganrog; from the north the line Voronezh-Vorosilograd, which in the Lichaja region turned east leading towards Stalingrad; from the south came in the lines from Novorossijsk, Armavir and Tuapse; to the southeast, in the Salsk region, came in the line from Stalingrad.
Having started the advance with its northern wing, the 17 German AOK jumped off with its southern wing on the 20 July in order to attack Rostov from the west and northwest and conquest the city in conjunction with the 1.Pz.Armee.
SS-Div Wiking is renamed into 'Gefechtsgruppe Steiner', which consisted out of the Kampfgruppen I./Germania (Dieckmann), II./Nordland (Stoffers) and I./Nordland (Weitzdörfer).
Wiking division could not advance as a whole due to the shortage of vehicles, only one motorized detachment could be organized as follows:
Sturmbannführer Dieckman (Kdr. I./SS-Rgt. Germania)
I./SS Pz Abt 5
III./SS-AR 5 (2 batteries of 105 mm and 1 battery of 155 mm)
10./SS AR 5 (105 mm cannon battery)
1 company of engineers
1 AA platoon (4/6 20 mm guns)
Wiking's main body waits for its vehicles in the Uspenskaja area.
Together with elements of 13.Pz.Div., WIKING crosses the river near Sambek.
At 8 am, SS-Div Wiking captures its first goal, hill 116.9.
K.Gr. “Dieckman” was ordered to advance along the north wing of the Mountain Army Corps, moving as far as possible toward the east in order to facilitate the movement of it.
The column moved on and having advanced 12 kilometers changed the direction heading northeast and passing through the locality of Vodianoie with the following disposition:
Advance guard: Kdr SS-Pz Abteilung 5 with one Pz company and half rifle company
Distance: two kilometers.
Main body: Stubaf Dieckman with the bulk of the troops. One tank platoon with one rifle squad (mounted) in each flank.
Distance: one kilometer.
Rearguard: one tank platoon with one rifle squad (mounted).
Roughly 10 kilometers after passing Vodianoie the vanguard exchanged fire with Russian positions located further to the east. The commander then ordered to pass around it. When the night fell the combat group took up an all-round position at the cross-road located 3 kilometers west of Stojakov. The position was organized in three rings, in the inner ring was placed the artillery, in the midst ring the tanks and the heavy weapons and in the outer ring was deployed the infantry. The perimeter included also a source of fresh water.
This morning I./Pz.Rgt.5 targets hill 101.8 and 96.3 and diverts along the road Krim-Ssultan-Ssaly and have contact with the 3rd defensive line before Rostow. Leniawan.
In the morning, the combat group proceeded its advance. The vanguard just had left the last houses of Stojakov when was fired on by the russian from some hills located to the south. The formation continued its advance up to one kilometer before the position, where the riflemen dismounted in order to attack on foot; but the sight of the tanks roaring forward caused the withdrawal of the Russian troops.
The vanguard proceeded then in deployed formation and shortly after that was fired upon again from enemy positions located two kilometers to the north of Sultan Saly. The infantry attack went over supported by the tanks, which moved ahead by bounds. But this time having reached a point 800 / 1000 meters before the positions, some Russian antitank cannons opened fire striking two tanks (one disabled by hit on one of its track and the other set on fire, nevertheless both crews were rescued). The tanks moved back up to 1.500 meters from the positions in order to avoid the antitank fire. The commander of the combat group, on the spot, stopped the main body in a valley, 4 kilometers to the north of the enemy position and ordered the artillery commander to be ready to support the attack. Dieckman (situated on the top of one tank’s turret could observe the trench’s lines running along the outskirts of the town and scarcely manned so decided attack at once. Taking advantage of the presence of one air liaison officer, Stubaf Dieckman requested air support, which was granted.
About 17:00 hours, 36 Stuka's appeared roaring and dropped its bombs over the enemy trenches and the neighborhood of Sultan Saly, simultaneously the artillery and the infantry heavy weapons shelled and fired on the Russian positions. Making use of the fire suport furnished by the Stuka's, the artillery and the heavy weapons, the tanks with mounted riflemen reached the trenches at great speed and then the infantry dismounted and cleared it. The mopping up operations lasted up to the 22:00 hours and when finished the combat group rested in an all-round position to the south of the town. Div.Kdr. Steiner meets with regimental commanders to order the attack of the following day. HQ set-up north of Sapadnyi. Kampfgruppe Dieckmann advances during the night.
The combat group rested between the 23:00 hours and the 03:00 hours and then proceeded. About 04:00 hours and having reached the vanguard the point 93 (3 kilometers to the south of Sultan Saly) the situation had developed as follows:
West of the line Krim-tschaltir, roughly 10.000 / 15.000 men were holding its defensive positions against the assault of the German infantry.
The combat group, in front of point 93 would be engaged by enemy troops in company strength (200 - 300 men). These troops were in position about 8 kilometers off the Rostov outskirts. An antitank ditch runs in front of it.
At the Trud factory (4 kilometers to the southeast of point 93) the Russian had organized one strong point.
There were movements of Russian troops toward the east, the German security troops there, could not get in contact with the 13 Pz.Division.
When the vanguard reached the point 93 was engaged in a firefight with the Russian troops. The riflemen dismounted and pushed forward; having advanced up to 800 meters of the enemy position, the lead elements checked the presence of one antitank ditch.
At sunrise, the Panzerabteilung with attack the Russian positions. Spearheaded by SS-Hstuf. Schnabels 1./SS-Pz.Abt.5, followed by 2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 (Flügel) and parts of 3./SS-Pz.Abt.5.
The Panzerabteilung secures their positions near Leniawan, 2 company's of I./Germania are halted near Krasnyj Krym.
The tank platoons seeked for a ford but without success. The infantry men supported by the fire of the tanks, 4 heavy machine guns and 2 mortars (81 mm) pressed on and conquisted the point 80, the Russian fled. Later the engineers blew up the walls of the antitank ditch allowing the armor to pass. About 07:00 hours the vanguard surpassed the point 80 and advanced up to leninawa, where was fired on by rifles, heavy weapons, antitank cannons and artillery. The Russian position was heavily defended and the ground up to the enemy line (800 meters) was coverless. When the commander arrived at point 80, he ordered that the artillery be placed in order to fire on the enemy.
III./SS-Art.Rgt.5 positions around Nishne-Gnilowskaja and supports operations with suppressive fires.
Air support requested was denied. Then taking advantage of one recce plane that was overflying that area, the German commander requested the pilot the following:
-Frontage of the position.
-Whether it was totally manned or not.
-passages through the antitank ditch.
About 11:00 AM the the pilot answered that:
-From Leninawa toward the northeast the position was manned.
-Roughly 2 kilometers toward south of the point 80, there is a bridge without security detachment, no troops can be seen nearby.
The commander in taking a daring resolution ordered a raid against the bridge; two rifle companies mounted over the tanks located in the same hollow. The artillery continued firing on the enemy, one of the batteries should follows the riders as soon as possible.
The vanguard continued the exchange of fire with the foe in order to cover the action and avoid any countermeasure.
SS-Stubaf Dieckman climbed up onto the tank battalion commander’s vehicle and pointing toward south ordered via radio: to reach the Tschaltir-Rostov road, from there to the east in order to seize the bridge located 5 kilometers west of Rostov.
The column advanced at great speed along the hollow, past the antitank ditch, reached the road and got through the bridge ( 9 kilometers from the starting point ) in less than 20 minutes. One engineers’ squad was left on the bridge dismounting the explosive charges. Having reached the objective, one rifle company reinforced with tanks attacked along the Russian position from southwest toward northeast cleaning it and allowing the vanguard, deployed near of Leninawa, to join with the bulk of the combat group.
The combat group then took up an all-round position where the road cross the rail road and patrols were detached to reconnoiter the surroundings.
About 14:00 the commander knew the following:
-The main Russian position (defeated shortly before) was cleaned of enemy troops.
-Toward the southeast, along the rail road and the edge of Rostov, the situation was unknown. Russian soldiers with heavy machine guns and infantry cannons had been detected.
-Toward the south, in the Sapadni area, own patrols met several Russian soldiers, who surrendered at once. In the same direction and along the edge of the city, an antitank ditch could be observed (5 meters deep and 6 to 8 meters width) also 40 to 60 riflemen with machine guns could be seen in the area, deployed in the houses.
The commander decided then engaged his troops in the Sapadni direction and organized the combat group as follows:
-Assault group: commanded by the Tank battalion commanding officer (Muhlenkamp), with one tank squadron, one rifle company and 2/3 of the engineers company (with explosive charges). Its mission was to attack in the Rostov’s direction, directly to the southeast of Sapadni. At one occasion SS-Hstuf. Schnabelt, Kompanie Chef 1./SS-Pz.Abt.5 is wounded.
-Support group: composed of the heavy weapon company of the 3rd battalion SS Rgt “Germania” and the artillery group (III / SS AR 5). Its task was to furnish fire support to the assault group. The heavy weapons (machine guns, infantry cannons, antitank guns and mortars) were placed on the eastern edge of Sapadni; the two 105 mm batteries occupied fire positions to the south of the locality, with the mission of furnish direct fire against the houses in the edge of Rostov, located 1.500 meters ahead. The heavy battery (155 mm) and the cannons of 105 mm occupied fire positions to the west of Sapadni in order to furnish indirect fire support on Rostov and, if necessary on the river Don’s bridges.
-Reserve group: composed by one rifle company, one engineers platoon and one tank platoon located west of Sapadni with two tasks, one to reinforced and exploit the attack in the Rostov direction and another, to protect the artillery positions against attacks from the north and the west.
-Security group: composed by one rifle squad and one tank platoon in order to protect the bridge conquest on the road Tschaltir-Rostov and to block the roads leading to Krim and Tschaltir.
When the order was given, the assault group pressed forward up to 100 meters before the antitank ditch where they were fired upon with rifles and machine guns from the houses; the machine guns were shooting especially from the windows. Since there was not antitank fire, the tanks approached up to 50 meters before the edge of the city and shot against the windows; protected by this fire, the riflemen past through the ditch and occupied the first houses. While the engineers were trying to build a passage through the antitank ditch, the reserve company was engaged and break into the city carrying on with they the artillery’s forward observers. This attack reached a hill (point 80) located 2 kilometers to the southwest of the railway station and roughly 1.500 meters before the river Don.
On the spot an all-round position was organized and simultaneously arrived there, the artillery group and the heavy batteries (155 mm howitzers and 105 mm cannons) commanding officers. From this position, toward the south, could be observed the great swampy area and the towns of Koisug and Bataisk.
Towards the east and on a big island formed by the river Don, two bridges where located (one road bridge and one rail road bridge). A big number of Russian troops trying to cross toward the south bank could be seen. To the southwest another men were building wooden rafts, surely there were the troops defeated at Krim-Tschaltir. The heavy batteries took the bridges under fire in order to break off the traffic, which they did. The light batteries were fired upon the Russian troops located toward the southwest.
Meanwhile the engineers allowed the tanks to pass through the antitank ditch and the tank battalion commanding officer with one tank squadron, one rifle company, some heavy weapons and two engineers platoons raced across the city towards the bridges in order to block and break off all the traffic through them. After nightfall this group got in contact with formations of the 13 Pz division, which had break into Rostov from the northeast. Between 16:00 and 18:00 hours, the following dispositive was adopted:
- An all-round position between the rail road bridge and the railway station under orders of the tank battalion commander. Links with the 13 Pz division’s troops (on the road bridge) should be maintained.
- An all-round position at a point located 2 kilometers to the south of point 80’s hill, in order to check the road along the south Don river bank.
- An all-round position at point 80’s hill with the artillery and the bulk of the combat group.
Defensive positions at Trud and Leniawan are occupied, 2 battalions of Nordland occupy Leniawan.
At 15.00 hrs the first tanks of the Pz.Abt. have reached the western outskirts of Rostow as I./Germania attacks the city suburbs. Around 15.15 a Russian column advances to the city. III./SS-Art.Rgt.5 fires upon them. SS-Stubaf. Mühlenkamp was given the Ritterkreuz on the 3rd Sep. 1942 for the part of his Panzer Abteilung during this attack.
After four days of fighting, Rostow is occupied. Next target: the Krapotin Kuban-bridge!
The Pz.Abt. has 6 Pz.II, 12 Pz.III(k), 22 Pz.III(l), 4 Pz.IV(k) and 6 sSfl (PaK).
The enemy positions at Bataisk were shelled by at least 40 batteries (light and heavy ones), also aerial attacks were carried out with 36 Stukas.
19.00 hrs formations established in three groups:
1.Gruppe: I./SS-Pz.Abt.5, Pz.Jgr. Kompanie, I./Germania, SS-Flak Abt.5, Pi.Kompanie, leichte Art.Abt.
2.Gruppe: I./Nordland and mix of Art.Rgt.5
3.Gruppe: II./Nordland and 10./SS-Art.Rgt.5
I. and II./Nordland near the city of Rostow and the airfield. Advance is postponed...
04.00 hrs all units are ready, but not earlier then 15.30 hrs(!), tanks and heavy vehicles could go across the river and the last resistance at Rostov itself was wiped out.
The SS "Wiking" march to the Caucasus. While resting at Rostov, the division was reinforced and re-organized as follow:
Commander: Staf Gille (SS AR 5).
SS Nordland Regiment (minus one battalion)
I./SS Germania Regiment.
I./SS-Pz Abt 5.
1 Engineer company.
SS-AR 5 ( with 3 groups, two of them with 2 batteries of 105 mm and 1 battery of 155 mm; the third with 1 battery of howitzers 105 mm and 1 battery of cannons 105 mm).
FlaK Abt 5 ( with two batteries of 88 mm and one with cannons of 20 mm and 37 mm).
1 Reconnaissance company.
SS-Pz Jager Abt 5.
Support units (communications, maintenance and supply).
The Kampfgruppe was, as well, split in three groups as follow:
1 Infantry battalion.
1 Artillery group.
Antitank ( half to one company).
1 AA Platoon.
The bulk of the tanks, antitank and AA guns should march with the Advance Guard; the engineers should march either with the Vanguard or the others groups as ruled the situation. Each group could be employed with independence if necessary.
The Reconnaissance company was, in turn, split in two half companies ( one armored car platoon and one motorized platoon each) and should be detached towards both flank to reconnoiter and maintain contact with the neighbor units, the 13 Pz Div to the east and the infantry divisions to the west.
The source is the book "from Caucasus to Leningrad". Tomo I. By Lt Col Marini. Circulo Militar. Buenos Aires.
Wiking is now self-supporting on it's own. Luftwaffe groups are placed under direct command of Wiking, their CO is Oberstleutnant Steinert.
At dawn the hedgehog was surprised by the fire of heavy Russian weapon, the enemy rear guards approached up to 1 kilometer south of the advanced positions and the german soldiers were awoke suddenly with machine guns, mortars and cannons fire. After a few minutes the infantrymen answered the fire, the tanks crew were inside of his vehicles with the engines roaring and the commanders could regain the control.
The hedgehog was dissolved and the infantry companies, together with the tanks and supported by the artillery, were charging against the enemy . The Russian rear guard withdrew step by step towards the main positions (the hill located 8 kilometers to the south) where the resistance stiffened up and the assault stalled.
Standartenfuhrer Gille alarmed the others march groups putting them in motion in order to combine efforts with the advance group; in that way, nine batteries supported the attack carried out by the SS Pz Abt. 5 and the
I./Nordland which moved onwards in broad front trying to find either the enemy flanks or weak points on the defensive position.
Under this new thread, the Russian units withdrew around 08:30 hours establishing new defensive positions roughly 22 kilometers to the south at the north edge of Metchetinskaia, as was known later.
The vanguard pushed southwards without changing its deployment, together with two tanks squadron which advanced forwards with mounted riflemen. Behind, 1 or 2 kilometers, followed a third tank squadron, the bulk of the infantry battalion and the artillery group.
At noon, before reaching the village of Rakitni, the vanguard was fired upon with light weapon and artillery so the morning scheme was adopted again. Immediately one infantry battalion was deployed which was followed by tanks, the artillery took up fire positions and the others battalions were in readiness for joining the assault. One hour later the enemy left the town, but seemingly a few hostile riflemen remained there and opened fire when the first German soldiers arrived.
Standartenfuhrer Gille ordered then that the advance guard surpassed the village and established a hedgehog 3 kilometers to the south close to Mechetinskaia. The others two groups should carry out mopping up operations in the town (Rakitni) and then should proceed towards Mechetinskaia where all-round positions should be established. On this day the Kampfgruppe advanced only 35 kilometers in straight line. The half Reconnaissance company detached to the east got in contact with units of the 1st Panzer Army which was crossing the river Manytsch in its southward movement.
The advance march group was relieved by another group and the Kampfgruppe proceeded its march at 05:00 hours. This time the nature and fuel shortage delayed the movements; to the west was advancing slowly the 198 ID and to the east the 1st Panzer Army with its yield diminished due to fuel shortage.
This day hostile cavalry cut short the supply line, so on Standarten Fuhrer Gille’s orders the rear group moved back to Jegorlikskaia, in order to reject the Russian toward west and re-open the way to Rostov. During 30 and 31 Jul the Kampfgruppe should stop due to lack of fuel. The vanguard south of Jegorlik, the second march group northwest of that town and the rear group warding the road to Rostov west of Jegorlikskaia.
On August 01, after refueling, the Kampfgruppe advanced forward again. The rear group was attacked suddenly with light weapons, the riflemen dismounted and deployed and after a short fire fight captured more than 100 Russian soldiers, losing one dead and 3 wounded, the Artillery Abteilung commanding officer among them.
At noon, Standartenfuhrer Gille was informed (by recce plane) that Bielaia Glina was occupied by the enemy, seemingly the same russian group that delayed him before so he decided annihilate them this time. The attack on Bielaia Glina (White Mud).
At 13:00 hours, Gille issued the following order:
The vanguard group, should attack Bielaia Glina from the north supported by one tank squadron, its own artillery abteilung plus the second group’s heavy battery, in order to engage the Russian forces avoiding its withdrawal. Also the enemy should be deceived about the main effort.
The second group with the bulk of the SS-Pz.Abt. 5 and two artillery batteries should carry out a flanking movement and hit the Russian from the flank and rear (south and southwest).
The rear group should reinforce the attack from the north.
The two half recon companies should reconnoiter both flanks of the defensive position at Bielaia Glina toward east - southeast and west - southwest in order to avoid any surprise.
The reconnaissance confirmed that the defense was confined in the town. When the attack coming from the north reached up to 1000 meters from the enemy positions. The second group started its movement. At this very moment arrived the third group so Standartenfuhrer Gille told the commanding officer that should advance immediately toward Bielaia Glina with the infantry battalion as if they were reinforced the frontal attack.
However the enemy could see the flanking movement due to the clouds of dust raised by the tanks moving at great speed and some units began to withdraw. Two tank platoons with some heavy weapons, were detached to protect the group’s rear and were deployed on the roads leading to Novopokrovskaia and Novopavlovskaia. The artillery batteries took up fire position at 1000 meters to the southwest of Bielaia Glina and fired some shells against the houses on the town’s edge, also some vehicles fleing to the south were destroyed. 100 meters before the town’s edge the riflemen dismounted and launched the assault entering the village almost without resistance. Around the half of the infantry (400 to 500 men) and all the artillery were captured. Among the vehicles there were great number of American trucks, some landser wanted to send one telegram of gratitude to Mr Roosevelt; Gille refused the idea because the notice could cut short the Uncle Sam’s trucks to the Wiking through his Russian ally.
The fight lasted almost three hours and around 17:00 hours Bielaia Glina was cleared of Russian troops. The inhabitants offered salt and bread to the commander and his officers, also a group of old Cossacks paid a visit to Standartenfuhrer Gille with uniforms and medals earned in the Tsar period.
During the advance, SS-Stubaf. Karl Schlamelcher, Kdr. III./SS-Art.Rgt. 5 is severely wounded.
Frontal attack on Bjelaja Glina by I./Nordland. At this time, SS-Div Wiking has only 3 infantry elements; Inf.Rgt. Westland, a battalion of Germania and Nordland are left by the Mius river, waiting for their new vehicles. Around 17.00 hrs Bjelaja Glina is in German hands. 4.Zug from 3./Nordland recovers 3 US made Ford trucks! SS-Hstuf. Hans Bühler takes command over III./SS-Art.Rgt.5.
The Germans units were roughly 75 / 100 kilometers away to the north of the river trying to speed the advance towards the south.
At 2nd August a Kampfgruppe occupies Nowo Pokrowskoje, 15km south of Bjelaja Glina.
The Kampfgruppe reinforced with the SS Germania Regiment’s Staff, the II./Germania and the bulk of the Engineers, Flak, Antitank and Communications battalions remained at Bielaia Glina due to fuel shortage. The night before one supply column (five trucks) was suddenly attacked in the middle of the dark by soviet raiders south of Jegorlik; when the first vehicle stopped in front of one road obstruction, the crews were fired upon and killed with rifles and submachine guns, then the trucks were stormed and destroyed.
The divisional Commander analyzed two course of action, one sudden attack against Kropotkin including one coup de main in order to seize the rail and road bridges located there. The second, to ford the river somewhere between Kropotkin and Grigoripolnsskaia.
After a detailed study of some aerial photos, the staff could ascertain that in the Grigoripolnsskaia sector the river basin widened and wooded land covered both river banks. Also the bank’s slopes had only a few meters of height. Therefore this sector was chosen for fording the river.
At 3rd August, Wiking with I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 and I./ and II./SS-Art.Rgt.5 turn south and meets several disbanded an fleeing Russian units.
The Division commander arrived and took over the command again; The SS Wiking was re-organized in two Kampfgruppen, one around the Germania and the other around the Nordland. After replenishing (night of 02 / 03 Aug), the Wiking could proceed at dawn. The advance guard, established around the Germania (reinforced), reached Grigoripolnsskaia at 13:00 hours sending out recce patrols to the south and east.
Meanwhile, the Nordland (reinforced) march group reached Dimitrijewskaia at 12:30 hours and halted there in order to take some rest up to 16:00 hours, but around 14:30 hours was attacked by roughly 20 russian planes which straffed and bombed the town knocking only a few vehicles and destroying two Fiessler-Storch planes landed nearby.
Late that very afternoon, the Germania (reinforced) after reaching the western edge of the town (Grigoripolnsskaia) launched one sudden attack trying to ford the river, but the surprise had been lost and the assault was rejected.
That night the divisional commander had on hand three courses of action:
- To resume the attack at Grigoripolnsskaia, strengthening it with the Nordland.
- To ford the river at Worowska.
- To launch the coup the main against the Kropotkin’s bridges.
The last solution was the chosen one. The divisional commander ordered that the SS Germania (reinforced) should held the ground gained deceiving the enemy meanwhile the SS Nordland (reinforced) should attack Kropotkin at dawn, conquest it and then seize both bridges as soon as possible to avoid its destruction.
Point: one Recce Platoon.
Vanguard: one tank squadron with one rifle company mounted on it.
Bulk (5 / 6 kilometers behind): SS Pz Abt. (less one squadron), Command staff, I./Nordland (less one company), antitank company, anti aircraft Platoon, artillery group (Abt).
Rear guard (5 kilometers behind): II./Nordland, one anti aircraft Platoon, trains.
Temisbekskaia was surpassed without incidents but at Kavkasskaia the vanguard was engaged by two hostile rifle companies which started its withdrawal towards Kropotkin; the surprise had been lost. After surveying the russian positions, the ground and the built up areas from the southwest corner of Kavkasskaia Standartenfuhrer Fritz Scholz, taking in account the coverless terrain up to the eastern edge of Kropotkin, assessed the situation and issued the following order:
II./Nordland was to attack, supported by 2./Pz Abt., the southeast edge of Kropotkin from Kavkasskaia.
I./Nordland was to attack, supported by 1./Pz Abt., along the rail road leading to Kropotkin, in order to knock the town from the north or northeast.
The artillery abteilung, placed on the west edge of Kavkasskaia, was to furnish fire support mainly to II./ SS Nordland and eventually to I./SS Nordland.
The Recce Platoon was to secure the northern flank of the I./Nordland.
The anti aircraft Platoons were to protect the force against hostile planes from the west of Kavkasskaia and eventually cover the northern flank of the II./Nordland.
The anti tank company was split and attached to both battalions (I. and II./Nordland).
The 3./Pz Abt. 5 was to act as reserve at Kavkasskaia.
The attack was lauched around 08:30 hours and the II./Nordland pressed forward reaching at 10:00 hours up to roughly 500 meters of Kropotkin. Meanwhile the I./Nordland attacking astride the rail road reached some ground located one kilometer due north of Kropotkin. At this very moment, the Recce Platoon informed that one hostile column, around 1000 men, was marching towards the town (Kropotkin) from the northwest.
This was a serious threat on the I./Nordland’s back, therefore Staf. von Scholz ordered that the tank commander with the reserve (3./SS Pz Abt 5) should attack going round the right wing of the II./ SS Nordland (taking with them all the riflemen that could climb onto the tanks) and penetrated up to the train station then immediately towards the rail bridge. Then the regimental commander took his liaison vehicle, drove cross country up to the 2./SS Pz Abt and took the squadron’s command. When all the riflemen nearby were onto the tanks he raced towards the bridge at great speed and at 11:00 hours reached the train station; around 11:15 the 2./SS Pz Abt arrived at the north embankment when an awful blast sounded and the bridge was blown, immediately another explosion followed to the west and the road bridge also was destroyed. With both bridges destroyed the struggle diminished. The I./ SS Nordland pressed the enemy column towards the west and the II./Nordland carried out mopping out operations in the town.
The artillery looking for targets could observe 30 trains trying to escape to the south; the three batteries took part in a contest trying to burn the trains down. After half an hour around 300 wagons loaded with guns, ammunition, fuel and equipment were burning.
The tanks targeted some trains loaded with fuel located close to the river south of the embankment. The Kampfgruppe Nordland took up an all-round position east of Kropotkin that night. At dawn the Kampfgruppe marched towards Grigoripolnsskaia in order to join with the bulk of the division.
The river crossing at Grigoripolnsskaia. This very day, the Germania could establish a tiny bridgehead (400 meters x 400 meters) at Grigoripolnsskaia in the difficult lowlands located on the river bank.
When the SS Wiking’s Commander knew about the failed operation at Kropotkin, ordered to enlarge the bridgehead gained at Grigoripolnsskaia and reinforced the assault troops located there with the SS AR 5 (6 batteries of howitzers 105 mm, 2 batteries of howitzers 155 mm and 1 battery of cannons 105 mm) and Corps’s artillery (3 batteries of cannons 105 mm, 3 batteries of howitzers 210 mm and 1 group of rockets launcher with 2 batteries x 8 guns x 6 tubes of 150 mm each and 1 battery x 8 guns x 5 tubes of 280 mm each)
With this support the I./Germania could press forward slowly during the afternoon and night and by Aug 06 at dawn enlarged the bridgehead along the river (1 kilometer x 1,5 kilometers) denying the enemy observed fire over the river bank. After that one Corps’s Engineer battalion started to built up one bridge (24 tons) of about 75 meters over pontoons ; its access were reinforced with planks, logs and stones.
Meanwhile the I./Germania was fighting in the bridgehead and the Engineer battalion was building the pontoon bridge, the balance of the division dug in and then remained in its well concealed positions and fox holes. However, suddenly they were fired upon by Russian guns of 120 mm. It was a surprise since no hostile recce plane was overflying them and the enemy could not observe the crossing point, moreover one artillery group that changed its position twice was shelled every time it was deployed.
Then the Officers surveyed the field carefully in order to detect the enemy OP location. After several patrols were sent, it was finally found in the tower of one old church that become a barn under soviet rule. The russian Forward Observers had destroyed the stairs and had blocked the door with logs and stone. Surrender was out of question so the patrol tossed one hand grenade in the tower, when the spot was reached two braves Russian Officers were found dead so the patrol saluted those valiant's that carried out his tasks to the end.
The 2./Pi.Btl. 5 have managed to built a 24-tons bridge across the Kuban river.
During the night of 6/7 Aug 1942, the II./Germania got across the river and reached the bridgehead established by the I./Germania. On 07 Aug at 04:00 hours one Stuka group appeared and dropped its bombs upon the target and hostile positions in front of the II./Germania; simultaneously the artillery and rockets launchers laid a violent barrage on the Russian defensive position and after that at 04:10 hours, the II./Germania attacked towards south and west and compelled the enemy to withdraw after a short fight. Some of the 120 mm guns previously mentioned were captured by this troop.
At 04:30 hours the balance of the SS Wiking crossed in the following order: as vanguard the SS Pz Abt. 5 with the 5./Nordland mounted on the tanks; then the A.A. 5; followed by Nordland with the AR 5 and at last the Germania. At first their goal is the Armawir-Krapotkin railway. The division advanced towards Kropotkin.
Kampfgruppen 'Nordland' and 'Germania', supported with the 2./ and 3./Pz.Abt. 5 reached crossingpoints Temirgojewskaja and Petropawlowskaja with their Laba bridges!
Weather is sunny with 42 degrees in the shades!
I./Nordland attacks Temirgojewskaja, its Laba bridge the prize for SS- Bluhm's 3./Nordland. After heavy causalities a small bridgehead is open.
Petropawlowskaja is under attack from Gefechts Gruppe Germania, the SS-Pz.Abt. builts a small bridgehead near Tenginskaja. Nordland attaches its infantry...
Advance by Gefechts Gruppe Nordland and I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 towards Bjeloretschenskaja, large junction of roads, railway lines and the oil pipeline to Tuapse at the Black Sea. Panzers in front, followed by 3./Nordland and the rest of I./Nordland. Around 13.00 hrs the Pz.Abt. reaches the Bjelaba river, south of Welikoje.
Wiking's main body advancing from Petropawlowskaja through the Laba delta towards Petropawlowskaja, meanwhile the I./SS-Pz.Abt. turns to the south of Welikoje.
Welikoje is occupied by the Aufkl.Abt.5, which secures the northern flank. During the night, parts of the Pz.Abt. and I./Nordland assemble in the Giaginskaja area.
The Aufkl.Abt.5 is not at full strength, together with Inf.Rgt. Westland and a battalion of Nordland and Germania are waiting for resupply and refitting.
The Divisional Commander in order to assure the operation success had ordered that the SS “Germania” launched an attack at the village of Tenginskaia, located 25 kilometers to the west, and crossed the Laba at this point.
The regiment’s assault suffered the same fate of that of the SS “Nordland”, a bridgehead was established but the bridge itself was blasted. However, the river’s wide was only 50 meters there so the divisional Engineers Battalion could work covered by the bridgehead troops and after nearly 30 hours built up a new one with pontoons finishing on the night of 09/10 Aug.
On Aug 09, a Sunday; both regiments held its positions driving back several counter attacks against the bridgeheads. As the villages inhabitants were Cossacks the German soldiers received a warm welcome, also those people gave them milk and eggs as presents. Part of the provisions received were conveyed to the frontline troops and in the afternoon was served a lunch for the officers not needed at the front. After 15 days the troops could take a bath by groups in the stream that ran on the western edge of the village. However the day ended in a bad way for one battery allowed its gunners to take a bath and they swan towards the south bank where one hostile machine gun spotted them and opened fire, killing 6 and wounded 8 men in the water.
As was told before this night, the bridge over the Laba river at Tenginskaia was finished and the SS “Nordland” withdrew its troops from the bridgehead at Temirgojewskaia and moved on Aug 10 at dawn towards the crossing point.
This very day the SS Wiking moved southwards around 35 kilometers reaching the area located north of the village of Beloretchenskaia in the middle of a valley in the foothill of the Caucasus Range.
Due to the 13 Pz Div actions great number of enemy troops were pushed towards Bieloretchenskaia, so all day long, 11 Aug 1942, the Germania reinforced, tried to seize it coming from the north but without success. Meanwhile the Nordland had taken an all-round position 5 kilometers due north of the town; at midnight one soviet truck’s column entered the hedgehog and reached up to 300 meters of the artillery positions, the howitzers opened fire in the dark almost at point blank sweeping out vehicles and men.
Gruppenführer Steiner ordered that the Nordland should go round the town by the west and ford the Bielaia river blocking the valley from the southwest. The movement should be start that very night, so on Aug 12, at 19:00 hours the Regiment began its cross country march. After a while the vehicles were unable to advance across that terrain in the dark, therefore the II./ SS Nordland proceeded its march on foot. The artillery group took fire positions to support the crossing and the I./Nordland covered the column’s rear and flank (artillery, vehicles and supply trains).
The Bielaia river was a Kuban’s tributary, that ran from the ridges located south of Maikop and at that time had scarcely 50 meters wide and 1 meter of depth and roughly 5 kilometers to the northwest of the village it received the Pschecha river as affluent.
The II./Nordland forded the river successfully and one bridgehead was established by 00:30 hours, on 13 Aug; at 01:30 one enemy counter attack was rejected. At 04:00 hours as the sun rose, hostile cavalry was discovered (roughly 500 riders) approaching from the east, (probably from Zerkownyj area). The column was engaged with machine guns and anti tank cannons and nearly wiped out, the remnants fled towards the southeast into the wooded foothill.
Meanwhile, one Sturmbannführer standing near one of the batteries, when turning to give an order could see an infantry column of enemy soldiers marching past as far as 600 meters. The fight in the Bielaia river area attracted the russian attention so they could not detect the german positions located on the first bank. The I./Nordland was alarmed and the guns turned back, then the column was shelled and fired, shortly after that the remnants fled leaving one Lt Col, four captains and 400 men as POWs.
At 06:00 hours the German column (I./Nordland, artillery and vehicles) proceeded to the bridgehead and then advanced towards the southwest.
Wiking takes Kubanskaja and advances with I./Germania to Apscherowskaja, meanwhile II./Germania deflects to Twerskaja where it crushes heavy resistance. At night they are near Twerskaja, Inf.Rgt. Nordland relieves II./Germania, which follows I./Germania to Apscherowskaja.
Finally Inf.Rgt. Westland and III./Nordland join the division. Westland consists of 2 batallions with 5 company's each. Only III./Germania is not present at this moment.
With two attack axes, one in the Pschecha valley, the other in the Pschisch valley concentrating on Chadyschenskaja and Apscherowskaja, Wiking reached the Maikop’s oil fields located between 35 and 60 kilometers far away from that city.
"07.00 at Komsemolzkaja, heavy artillery and mortar fire. Kp.Chefs Hstuf. Schnabelt (11.) and Ostuf. Hilker (10.)killed in action...
16.20 Battalion advances to Twerskaja and secures the town with I./Nordland. 46 POW's..."
Inf.Rgt. Nordland advances as western K.Gr. towards Kabardinskaja, point in front of Muk.
I./Germania reaches the area north of Apscherowskaja. II./Germania secures the ridgeline between both K.Gr Wiking. SS-Div Wiking stands on both roads from Maikop to Tuapse.
Now Wiking has to wait for the XXXXIV.Jgr.Korps, which both divisions - 101. and 97.Jg.Div. - are 2 day marches behind.
Parts of II./Nordland are engaging enemy forces around Guriskaja.
Renaming III./Nordland in Finnischen Freiwilligen Bataillon.
Defensive positions with in the Asfaltowaja area Inf.Rgt. Nordland, south of Apscherowskaja Inf.Rgt. Germania and around Ssamurskaja-Dachowskaja Inf.Rgt. Westland.
SS-Div Wiking relieved and assigned to the LII.Armeekorps.
SS-Div Wiking assigned to 1.Pz.Armee.
III./Nordland relieved by Bau Btl.503 and a Kosakken squadron.
I. and II./Nordland relieved in place.
SS-Pz.Gren.Div Wiking motorized march Maikop, Labinskaja, Armawir, Min Wody in the Pawlodolkskij area at the northern bank of the Terek river.
Nordland is placed under command of the 111.Inf.Div near Mosdok (Caucasus)
III./Nordland relieves Gren.Rgt.666 (370.Inf.Div) northeast of Nish. Kurp
II./ and III./SS-Art.Rgt.5 in firing positions, east of Nish. Kurp with the Pz.Abt. in its assembly area..
Last commanders huddle; I./Nordland follows the southern ridgeline towards Malgobek, to the left III./Nordland higher up the ridgeline in order to eliminate enemy fire on I./Nordland. Same orders for II./Nordland which takes the northern ridgeline into Kesskem.
In the evening all units are in their designated areas for their final preparations for the upcoming attack...
As it appears later, Russian forces intended to strike in the morning with 4 battalions. The German positioning of Nordland was unnoticed, German hour of attack was planned at 05.00 hrs, the Russian at 05.30 hrs...
After a short artillery barrage, Nordland advances at 05.00 hrs in the direction of Ssagopschin. Later we will find out that I./Nordland operates in the hotspot, while it runs into the four Russian battalions, which should attack Nish. Kurp. Hstuf. Friedrich Bluhm, Kp.Chef 3./Nordland is killed instantly... and with him within minutes 2 platoon leaders in 3./Nordland!
Within 30 minutes, 3./Nordland has a loss ratio of 40%
Same with 1./Nordland where Kp.Chef Ostuf. Tunner is killed in action immediately. III./Nordland is supported by all its heavy weapons, but at 08.30 hrs the battalion has 9 KIA and 30 WIA.
I./Nordland is stuck with heavy losses, III./Nordland is stuck too. Only II./Nordland, taking the northern route still advances.
Ostuf. Körner of the regiment takes over 3./Nordland, but is wounded on his way to the unit. Ustuf.. Spörle takes over 1./Nordland and finally 3./Nordland is commanded by Ostuf. Thöny, the acting battalion adjutant, which launches a new attack. Finally I./Nordland starts again, which encourages III./Nordland for its next attempt. At 11.30 hrs, 11./Nordland is reinforced by leichtes IG, PaK, sMG and mortars. Around 17.00 hrs III./Nordland lies 20 meters (!) before its objective, unable to carry on. At 17.45 hrs, Btl.Kdr. III./Nordland - Stubaf. Hans Collani - orders its retreat. III./Nordland lost 25 KIA and 54 WIA, most of them from 11./Nordland. II./Nordland makes better progress at the southern route.
Since 07.00 hrs, II./Westland follows I./SS-Pz.Abt.5. Reinforced by 3./SS-Pz.Jgr.Abt.5 and escorted by 3./SS-Pi.Btl.5 the move up to the east of Nish. Kurp.
While Hstuf. Schnabelt (1./SS-Pz.Abt.5) has his birthday, his company has point... At 10.00 hrs, Ustuf. Kollotzschy's tank was hit and blocks the road. After 4 hrs the engineers have found a new route, 2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 recieved artillery fire during this period.
At 16.00 hrs, 1./SS-Pz.Abt.5 with 5 tanks, are half way to Ssagopschin. Ustuf. Max Perthes was killed, Ostuf. Wörmer wounded.
Panzer Abteilungs strength on this day:
5 PzKfw. II
11 PzKfw. III 'Kurz'
23 PzKfw. III 'Lang'
3 PzKfw. IV 'Kurz'
6 PzKfw. IV 'Lang'
A total of 48 tanks... By the evening of 27th September, some 20 Panzers were lost.
Pz.Gren.Rgt.10 Westland arrives at Min Wody. Wiking receives artillery and mortar fire during the whole day from the Ssagopschin/Malgobek area.
K.Gr. Westland, reinforced with the Panzer Abteilung was to launch a break-through through the Knip-valley to Ssagopschin. SS-Stubaf. Harry Polewacz takes over Inf.Rgt. Westland.
SS-Pz.Gren.Div Wiking keeps its position in a large cornfield for most of the day. New attack plans are made, 1./SS-Pz.Abt.5 with main body Inf.Rgt. Westland frontal attack on Ssagopschin; 2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 road Ssagopschin-Nish.Atschaluki, in blocking position and on-call attack on Ssagopschin from behind.
Movement at dawn, Pz.Abt.5 in front, leading a company (Hstuf. Harry Willer) of Westland. On the left II./Westland, on the right I./Westland. When the fog disperses, the attack lies under heavy fire. Stubaf. Mühlenkamp - SS-Pz.Abt.5 - finds his entire unit in the middle of Russian positions between Malgobek I and Ssachopschin. More then 80 T-34's and Mk.III tanks advancing towards Wiking's 40 tanks. A fierce tank battle starts in which Ustuf. Köntopp (Nachrichten Offizier SS-Pz.Abt.5) is killed, Mühlenkamp rode in 3 different tanks that day and was shot three times!
New attack by I./Nordland and II./Westland towards Kesskem starts at 14.30 hrs. II./Westland has many casualties, Btl.Kdr. Stubaf. Steinert is wounded and replaced by Hstuf. Bäuerle. Around 17.00 hrs the Russian defenses have been defeated.
New attacks on the targets from yesterday, with no results at all. Oberführer von Scholz and Gille complain with division about insufficient means for the attack. Division Kdr. Gruf. Felix Steiner agrees and goes to the Korps; without result. III./Nordland replaces II./Westland and a new attack is planned for 1st October.
After heavy and fierce resistance SS-Div Wiking and parts of Gren.Rgt. 70 (Oberst Tronnier) took the strongholds of Ssachopschin/Malgobek. Inf.Rgt. Germania lost on that final day 33 dead and almost 200 wounded!
Division mentioned in Wehrmacht Bulletin of the Day for helping to take important Soviet oil production city of MALGOBEK.
At 02.30 hrs III./Nordland is relieved from their positions around Kesskem by I./Nordland. At 13.00 hrs is III./Nordland ready for a new push to east Malgobek.
As a result of continues work of the Pz.Werkstatt und Ustuf. Erich Weisse, the 1./SS-Pz.Abt.5 can use 10 tanks.
Severe defensive battles, the initiative lays with the Russians! Grenadier Kompanien strenght in average about 30-40 men. Finally III./Germania (Hstuf. Franz Hack) arrives in the West Caucasus.
Hill 701 falls in the hands of III./Nordland. For four consecutive days Russian forces trying to recapture hill 701 without results.
Wiking leaves the Ssagopschin/Malgobek area and takes positions around the Werch. Kurp area.
Inf.Rgt. Westland under command of Stubaf. Polewacz, his I./Nordland gets Stubaf. Lohmann. Oberführer Fritz von Scholz leaves the division and takes command over the Latvian Brigade. New Rgt.Kdr. Nordland becomes Ostubaf. Joerchel and finally, Hstuf. May leads II./Germania.
Renamed to 5.SS-Panzer Grenadier Div. WIKING.
From 1.11.1941 till 2.6.1943 a Finnish battalion of volunteers was attached to the division. It served in the WESTLAND regiment as III./NARWA.
First snow is falling as start of the second winter in Russia...
II./Nordland travels as first unit from the Malgobek area of operations to the 23.Pz.Div where it relieves elements of the well-known 13.Pz.Div.
At 11th November I./ and II./Germania arrive and at 20.00 hrs they are replacing units of the 13.Pz.Div defending around Nish. Ssaniba.
At 15.00 hrs, at the start of darkness a breakthrough towards the surrounded 13.Pz.Div, lead by 7./Nordland and I./Pz.Rgt.4. Mostly wounded and finally the Division Staff escapes the pocket.
At 11 November the 13.Pz.Div breaks out of its pocket and fights it way back to the west. An Luftwaffe Flak.Abt. with 8.8cm is positioned by Stubaf. Mühlenkamp just before Russian tanks appear. These 88's destroy the Russian tanks, 13.Pz.Div retreats via positions of I./ and II./Germania, II./Nordland, Pz.Abt. and parts of Pz.Jgr.Abt. back to the German lines.
The new Haupt Kampf Linie (HKL) runs from bridgehead Dsuarikau-Rasswet-Fiagdon river-east of Ardon and connects with LII.Armeekorps at Elchotowo.
Russian forces penetrated German lines in the vicinity of Rassnet. After a day of artillery duels and scrimmages, the gap is closed.
SS-Pz.Gren.Div Wiking under command of III.Pz.Korps
II./Westland, SS-Pz.Abt.5 and StuG.Brig. 203 reinforce the 13.Pz.Div near Kodgoron and Ardon.
In 14 days of bitter fighting, Russian forces attacked 4 times in Regimental strength, 58 times in Battalion strength, rest with a minimum of two company's!
III./Nordland transfers to Chasnidon/Toldsgun.
Re-deployement in order to relieve the 6th Army trapped in the
The 'Ossetische Strasse' was given up, I./Nordland leaves the III.PzKorps at first and diverts to their new destination: Stalingrad....
At their arrival in Remontaja, south of Stalingrad, it was already clear that a new relief-attack on the city was too late.
During the day of 24th December Wiking hold the 'Cesar' line, followed together with the 13.Pz.Div in the 'Vierow' line, Wiking forms an protective screen for the withdrawl.
First units arrive with General Kirchners LVII.Pz.Korps. I./Nordland attacks from Remontnaja to the souteast in order to help 23.Pz.Div.
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