The Caucasus 1942-43: Kleist's Race for Oil

By Robert Forczyk

A lot has been written of the colossal clashes among the Wehrmacht and the purple military at Stalingrad, yet this quantity tells the opposite, both very important 1/2 the tale of Fall Blau (Case Blue). studying from their studies in the course of the sweeping advances of Operation Barbarossa a yr ahead of, Wehrmacht commanders knew that Nazi Germany's loss of oil used to be a big strategic challenge. Seizure of the Caucasus oilfields, which have been liable for eighty two% of the Soviet Union's crude oil, could concurrently alleviate the German army's oil shortages while denying very important gas assets to the crimson military. whereas military team B complex alongside the Volga in the direction of Stalingrad, military workforce A, spearheaded by means of Ewald von Kleist's elite Panzerarmee 1 was once to increase into the Caucasus to grab the oilfields of Maikop, Grozny and Baku. that includes full-color art, archival pictures and unique research, this publication follows the vicious, severe struggling with that characterised some of the most very important campaigns of global battle II.

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Pogrebov had moved into the city of Martynovka at the Sal with over 5,000 troops and the one hundred and fifty fifth Tank Brigade. He deployed cavalry regiments to reveal his left flank, supported through tanks from the one hundred and thirty fifth Tank Brigade, which was once nonetheless relocating from Kuberle. Burmeister’s panzers eradicated one cavalry regiment and scattered the one hundred and thirty fifth Tank Brigade, then bought round Pogrebov’s open flanks and by surprise struck his massed troops from in the back of. occupied with the unforeseen chance, basic Pogrebov moved together with his employees to revive order on his shattered left flank yet used to be killed via German tanks. Kampfgruppe Burmeister then fought its approach into the city and methodically shot up the packed Soviet armour, claiming seventy seven Soviet tanks eradicated for the lack of basically three German tanks. approximately 1,000 cornered Soviet troops in Martynovka surrendered. Kolomiets’ 51st military used to be left with out cellular reserves and will no longer cease the XXXX Panzerkorps increase around the Sal. At sunrise on 29 July, Kirchner’s LVII Panzerkorps exploded out of the Bataysk bridgehead, with the SS-Division ‘Wiking’ cutting throughout the remnants of 2 Soviet rifle divisions and heading due south for Belaya Glina whereas Herr’s thirteen. Panzer-Division marched south-east in the direction of Salsk. General-mayor Petr M. Kozlov’s thirty seventh military by no means had an opportunity to carry off this onslaught and used to be fast confronted with the specter of encirclement as Kirchner’s panzers overwhelmed his left flank and von Schweppenburg’s XXXX Panzerkorps enveloped his correct flank. Breith’s three. Panzer-Division devoted Kampfgruppe Westhoven and Kampfgruppe von Liebenstein – a trifling 3 battalions – opposed to town of Proletarskaya, which stuck the Soviets thoroughly abruptly. After a short struggle, approximately 500 Soviet troops surrendered and town was once captured through 1500 hours, which completed the target of interdicting the Tikhoretsk–Stalingrad rail line – the one final rail hyperlink among the Caucasus and the remainder of the Soviet Union. For your time, the Soviets remained blind to the lack of Proletarskaya, which supplied Breith’s panzers the chance to shoot up a few Soviet trains trying to go through. The Soviet eight ODBP (armoured educate department) tried to intrude yet one armoured educate used to be broken through the Luftwaffe and retreated whereas the opposite came upon its break out bring to an end by way of the German increase, so the group blew up their very own teach. although, the Soviets did be capable to blow up the line bridge over the Cheprak River, a subsidiary of the Manych. Von Schweppenburg eventually controlled to refuel 23. Panzer-Division and get so much of it around the Sal, whereas sixteen. Infanterie-Division (mot. ) crossed the Manych River and complicated to hide the gap among XXXX and LVII Panzerkorps. 5 German mechanised divisions have been barrelling down upon the town of Salsk and the Soviets tried to gradual their boost via establishing a dam at the Manych River, however the flooding had purely neighborhood effect. Breith’s three. Panzer-Division was once capable of identify a crossing over the Manych and obtained a Panzergrenadier battalion throughout, however the full-strength eleventh NKVD Rifle department fiercely adverse the trouble and inflicted painful losses.

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