From: NYer living in Boise, ID
In front of 4th PzGrp, the Soviets appeared to be attempting to pull back after Veliki Luki fell. This was perfect timing as fresh German infanty in the form of 9th Army began arriving in force, and 4th PzGrp was not overly fatigued - low of fuel, yes, but strength and fatigue weren't too bad. The arriving infantry bulled open a penetration anchored in swamps, and the panzers poured through. LVI Pzkps was first through the breach, scattering retreating units and finding little evidence of a fallback line. XIV Pzkps exploited the penetration, attempting to link up with 3rd PzGrp pushing north. And that was the problem, while 4th PzGrp was fairly fresh, 3rd PzGrp was very exhausted. 9th Army infantry replaced 3rd PzGrp formations as well as attacked into the "pocket" to widen the "corridor". This freed up about 2 worn out Pz Divs and 2 Mot Divs which managed to stumble forward perhaps 20 miles - fortunately, the Soviet defensive belt expected 3rd PzGrp to continue to drive east, not north. With a bit of luck, the "pocket" can be contained and then reduced. Regardless, 4th PzGrp will attempt to continue to drive NE, east of the Valday Hills in order to isolate Leningrad. 3rd PzGrp is going to have to halt and rest - at least for a week, maybe more. With time running out, I just find it extremely hard to "halt" panzers, regardless of how much they need it.