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> 40. Romanian Tankmen in Action
dragos
Posted: April 03, 2004 10:12 pm
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by Dumitru Dobre

In the great battle of the Don River's Bend, the Romanian 1st Armoured Division was ordered (by the German XLVIII Armoured Corps, to which it was subordinated) to launch the attack on the morning of November 20 and to take hold of the heights south of Teich thus making the junction with the 22nd German Armoured Division at Petsani.

The 1st Armoured Division was made up of "Colonel Pastia" Group, "Colonel Nistor" Group and "Otto Benedict" Reconnaissance Group. After grim fighting against the enemy's infantry and armoured vehicles, the Division reached the Teich area, and shortly afterwards repulsed several counterattacks. In spite of this, however, the junction with the 22nd German Armoured Division could not be effected.

Under enemy's pressure, on November 21, 1942, the XLVIII German Armoured Corps ordered the Romanian divisions to deliver attacks towards Perelasovski and to cover the left flank of the 5th' Infantry Division on the heights west of the Zariza Valley.

Although the storm was ragging, the "Colonel Pastia" Group reached till 4.00 p.m. the heights of 199.6 and of 160.9. On November 22, at dawn, the rest of the Division reached those heights, advancing towards Bol. Donstchinska to make the junetion with the 22nd German Armoured Division, which, according to certain information, was deployed in that area.

Till the morning of November 23, the division reshuffled its forces in the area Oserski, Osinovski, Riabuhin.

On November 24, 1942 the enemy initiated an attack with definitely superior forces against the Mechanized Group located north of Riabuhin and the 3rd Mechanized Mountain Regiment, stationed at Oserski. After a fierce resistance, these units, with their forces greatly reduced, withdrew to Osinovski. In spite of this, that same evening the 1st Armoured Division was forced to further withdraw and crossed the Cir river over the bridge at Gussinka, to reshuffle its forces, till the morning of November 25, in the Solotovski, Mikhailska area. Then, in keeping with the orders issued by the 3rd Romanian Army, it headed for the direction Orlov, Kutejnikov, Tchernjsherskaja, where, at 2.00 p.m., made the junction with the 22nd German Armoured Division.

On November 27, 1942 the Division advanced northwards, pursuing to occupy the defensive sector along the Cir river. Because of the reduced effectives, the units of the division were reorganized into the "Colonel Nistor" Detachment, which was entrusted with the defence of the sector between Tchernijsherskaja and 165 height along the Cir. "Colonel Nistor" Detachment held fast till the evening of December 23, 1942, when at the order of the II Army Corps withdrew, with the entire Division to the Solotovski, Mihailovka area, where it was ordered to organize the defence on the heights north of Glinaja.

During the night of December 25-26, 1942 an enemy's regiment from the 22nd Siberian Mechanized Division approached Solotovski village and delivered an attack in the sector of the 3rd Mechanized Mountain Regiment and of the Mechanized Group. The powerful counterattack launched by a company of the 3rd Mechanized Mountain Regiment repulsed the enemy forces with heavy losses. Fighting inside the village lasted till 5.20 p.m. when the withdrawal towards Solotovski, Sherebez, Gurin-Bistrij (some 15 km east of Moroszovskaja) was ordered.

For the exemplary way in which it fought on the Cir river, the 1st Armoured Division was mentioned in the Daily Order No.14 of October 12, 1943, which read: "The localities Oserski, Osinovski, Solotovski and Tchernijshevskaja are the main points in which the 1st Armoured Division shed blood and took their share in the most impressive page of history that the Romanian armies wrote in the steppes of the Don".

The strong resistance against the Soviet troops that were superior in numbers had as a result great human and material losses: 2,757 military were dead, wounded and missing, 29 machineguns, 45 minethrowers, 63 antitank cannons, 10 cannon and howitzers, together with 90 combat vehicles were destroyed.
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Dan Po
Posted: April 26, 2004 09:45 am
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What was the effectives of the Romanian 1st Armoured Division at the Don River's Bend battle ? (number of fighting vehicles, artilery etc)

Can we find and meet to take an interview of any surviver of this battle wich was tankmen in this division ?
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Victor
Posted: April 26, 2004 10:06 am
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[quote]What was the effectives of the Romanian 1st Armoured Division at the Don River's Bend battle ? (number of fighting vehicles, artilery etc)[/quote]

Look into the Organization section of the website.
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Dan Po
Posted: April 26, 2004 11:08 am
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[quote]
Look into the Organization section of the website.[/quote]

javohl, herr Verwalter ! :idea:
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