May 16 1942/Turn 3 Germans:
In the salient of Balakleja, the Panzers are getting impatient.
What is surprising is that despite their proximity to the Russians, these last one don't seem to have perceived the danger and they haven't made any significant movement
in order to strengthen the 38th Soviet Army. Only 2 divisions (in fact, 2 regiments of the 300th and 304th in full) hold eastern Balakleja.
The order to attack finally comes, the Panzers are going down to the southeast.
In a few hours, with the help of a artillery shelling and air raids, the Soviet front is broken through, the Russians leaving more than 3000 men on the field.
On the evening of May 17, Paulus is satisfied, he just received a message:
the second and last bridge which allow the Russian supplies moving to the western Donets has been taken by the Germans.
All Soviet troops which are west of the Donets are going to have serious supply troubles in the coming days, which is a great news,
especially for the VIII Corps troops defending Krasnograd and facing real Soviet hordes.
The attack south-east of Balakleja makes sense only if , in the same time, the southern route is securely locked by the Germans.
This is the task of the 17th german army.
German reinforcements are arriving by the road of Izium which must be hold.
An attack is attempted in order to block final passage on the Donets and to capture several Soviet units.
The 14th Panzer attacks from the north-west, the 101th division from the south.
A Russian regiment is destroyed in the battle but an enemy artillery regiment in the hills manages to hold in extremis.
What a pity!.
Feeling the danger of a possible re-open of the road by the Soviets present in large quantity at Izium, the Germans attack towards west to widen their corridor.
In two days, 4,000 Russians are knocked out, four regiments are destroyed and only the 2nd regiment of the 351st Soviet infantry division survives and temporarily stops the Germans.
In the same time, the 298th German division leaves his defensive position in the south and takes position on the west flank of the 17th army.
Further south, because of the threat of Soviet cavalry, Romanians retreat to Pavlograd.
Between the 3rd PzD and 14th PzD, the bottleneck is no longer than 20 km wide but the terrain is very favorable to the defense, especially in the south.
Finally, in the north, the Germans don't launch any attack and simply shorten their lines by leaving a little ground, especially in the woods of the small loop of the Donets.
In this sector, we need to save time and to slow the enemy advance if possible.
Maximun is also made to surround the Soviet 22nd Tank Corps.
Fortunately, the 389th German infantry division coming from the north-east of Kharkov arrives in the area of Chugulev.
In the south of Belgorod, the situation has worsened for the Germans who have been forced to send multiple units in the south, in order to close the breach on the Donetz made by the 22nd Russian Tank Corps.
No doubt the next clash against the 79th Division will be the good one for the russians.
The Russians have suffered 8,000 casualties in addition.
And the 6th and 57th Soviet armies may have supply problems in the coming days.
< Message edited by rominet -- 8/31/2012 5:52:59 PM >