Klin-Solnechnogorsk defence operation 1941,

From Zhukov's order on November 1: " a defense carry out as active, connected with counter-attack. Not wait, when the opponent will strike itself.  Pass in counter-attack.... So learns us our Stalin . "

Cause of a withdrawal of 133rd Soviet Rifle Division from Ruza area and capture city, Germans tried to break on a joint of 16th and 5th Soviet  Armies, bypass 16th Army from the south and go to it in rear in Istra area. 78th Rifle Division, forces by 258th Regiment since November 4, conducted fights in area of the occupied villages Mihaylovskoe, Fedchino, take under control highway road Ruza-Novopetrovskoe. For liquidation threat of an encirclement of 16th Army from the south and the east, were involved 50th Cavalry Division of I.A.Pliev, 18th Rifle Division and 1st Guard Tank Brigade of Katukov. In a result of fierce fights from November 11-14, area Skirmanovo was cleared from Germans.

From Stalin's conversation with Zhukov on November, 10: " we with Shaposhnikov count, that it is necessary to break preparing impact of the opponent by the anticipatory counterattacks. One counterattack needs to be put around of Volokolamsk from the north... In area of Volokolamsk use right-flank formations of 16th Army of Rokosovsky, a tank division and cavalry which is in area of Klin. "

                                                                                                              Map make by Hannes Gruber

The fighting formation of operative groups at counterattack consist of two echelons, artillery groups and a reserve. In the first echelon were tanks, in the second - cavalry operated. Under adverse conditions of district they were interchanged the position. Because preparation of counterattacks passed in the limited terms, time for the organization of interaction between units inside group did not suffice, artillery and aviation preparation was not carried out. 

Before the beginning of German offensive, Rokosovsky received order from Front Commander Zhukov to strike from area to the north of Volokolamsk on enemy forces. November 15, Soviet 58th Tank Division which has arrived from the Far East and not had time to lead investigation of district and an arrangement of the opponent, coming on bogs, have lost 157 tanks from 198 and 1/3 personall. Then attacks of Soviet 17th and 44th Cavalry Divisions on defensed German infantry and tanks of 4th Panzer Group. 44th C.D. was lost almost completely personall, and 17th have lost 3/4 men. From the south to Volokolamsk 316th Rifle Division was going to offensive.

The former commander of 1075th Rifle Regiment of 316th Rifle Division colonel I.V.Karpov: " By November, 16 the division prepared for offensive fight, but Germans have outstripped us. "

Rokosovsky has described of this combat: "Firstly to our units using unexpectedness, it was possible to promote up to three kilometers in depth of defensive of the opponent, but then was possible exempted from it wedge. Take in this offensive the Cavalry Group of Dovlator reflected Germa impacts from different directions. Using mobility and sharpness, it nevertheless has escape and avoid a full encirclement. Almost simultaneously with this our so-called offensive, German begane offensive on all site. "

From Zhukov's memoirs: " the German impacts of the aircraft and counterattack of the tanks has put losses of ours counterattack group and, encirclemented it, has struck in joint of Kalinin and Western Fronts. "

November 15, 3rd Panzer Group of the general Got from line between the Moscow sea and Klin began offensive. 4th Panzer Group of the general Hepner attacked Soviet formations from the south position. The impacts came on 30th Soviet Army of the general Lelushenko and on 16th Army of the general Rokosovsky. German Panzer Groups had a task to separate both Soviet Armies, push aside 30th Army formations to the Moscow sea and Volga, force the channel, having captured 16th Army northern flank to reject it from Leningrad and Volokolamsk highways.

Despite of persistent resistance, Soviet 30th Army could not reflect impact of superior Germans forces. Its front was broken through, and one part of army conducted heavy fights to the south of the Moscow sea and was pushed aside to Volga. Another has departed from the Leningrad highway to the channel. Northern flank of 16th Army has appeared naked. Expecting Germans attack, the Soviet High Command has ordered to the general Rokosovsky to forestall enemy and to attack by his  left flank in Volokolamsk direction. 16th Army have put impact, but at the same time the German 4th Panzer Group began offensive. The counter fights were developed, in which, the Germans armies attacked left flank of Rokosovsky, and last-the right flank of enemy Panzer Army.

Map of defense of Soviet forces from November 16 - November 27 (360 KB)

Per the first days of German offensive there was a fight at Dubosekovo village, later including in a history as a feat of " 28 panfilovtsy". 1075th Regiment was on the left flank of 316th Rifle Division (8th Guard Rifle Division) and covered exits from Volokolamsk on Moscow and railway. Two Battalions occupied a defense: the settlement Novo-Nikolskoe, settlement Peteleno and Dubosekovo village. In battalion was three company: 4th, 5th and 6th. By fourth company commanded the captain Gundilovitch and commissar Klochkov. It occupied a defense near Dubosekovo. In company were 120-140 soldiers. In all 2nd Battalion were 4 antitank-gun. The first German attack on battalion by forces of 10-12 tanks was repel. Regiment has destroyed 5-6 German tanks. The second German attack by forces of 50 tanks route 2nd Battalion. In 4th Company servive 20-25 men. For two days of combat Soviet 1075 Regiment has lost 400 killed, 100 wounded and 600 missing in action. The commander and commissar 1075th Regiment were removed from the command. Quantity of German tanks destroyed by all Regiment  from 15 up to 18 and completely have related on the account of " 28 panfilovtsy ".

Tank ambushes on Volokolamsk highway

November 18, when on the Soviet left flank of 16th Army there was a threat of deep break, commander Rokosovskiy has ordered 78th Rifle Division counterattack Germans torn to the highway Volokolamsk-Moscow on Istra direction. 78th has put impact in flank to coming formations of the opponent and he was rejected. Three day forces of 78th Rifle Division kept all key items on the Ozerne river and bridgehead behind this river. November 19, SS Regiment with 15 tanks has broken through the right front of Soviet 78th on a site Mara-Sloboda, bypassing 78th Division from the north, cut way of a withdrawal to Volokolamsk highway. Since November 20, formations of 78th fights in half encirclement, covering from the west and southeast approaches to Istra and two highways - Volokolamsk and Rzhev. On the right from them was18th Rifle Division of the colonel Chernyshov. At the left from depth was put forward 108th Rifle Division (joint of 5th Army).

The German impact to the northwest of Moscow was supported by offensive to the south of Volokolamsk highway begun November 19 and not stopping for one day. Here 9th and 7th Army Corps attacked forces of Soviet 5th Army of the general Govorov. Germans has approached to Zvenigorod, has broken in area Pavlovskaya Sloboda. German command intended by capture Kashira cut ways from Moscow on the southeast, capture Dmitrov and Zagorsk -on the northeast and east, and then, having connected the tank groups at Noginsk surround all Moscow area. From Guderian, Hitler required grasp by Tank formations bridges on the Oka river and rush into Moscow from the south. 4th Field Army of the general - marshal Kluge in November was limited to approach on Zvenigorod and to the north of it, and also holding down actions at the centre of Western Front.

In night of November 23, Soviet tanks have occupied a defense on a new boundary with a task of covering a withdrawal  18th and 8th Guard Soviet Rifle Divisions on the east bank the Istra river. Having subordinated the remnants of 23th and 33rd Tank Brigades, general M.E.Katukov has created a strong reserve and has prepared this forces to counter-attack on several directions. Rifle forces under covering of this group send from fight and have occupied a defense on east coast Istra and Istra reservoir. Commander has decided to remove armies for a water barrier to allocate additional forces for occupation defense  positions at Solnechnogorsk. The withdrawal was forbidden by Zhukov. Soviet formations, defensed Solnechnogorsk has ordered to take on the next counter-attack. November 23, Cavalry Group of the general Dovator, strengthened by 44th Cavalry Division, already November 24, should put impact in rear of Germans forces near Solnechnogorsk. The hasty prepared counter-attack has not brought advantage. Forces of Rokosovsky were rejected in an initial position. Meantime Germans, on shoulders, receding forced Istra reservoir, and rush in Solnechnogorsk.

Fight for Solnechnogorsk

November 27, German tanks grasped the bridge in area Yjchroma and has broken for the channel Volga-Moscow. Here Germans were stopped by advanced formations of 1st Shock Army, which commander was V.I.Kuznetsov, and after the intense fight were rejected behind the channel.

Map of defense of Soviet forces from November 27- Desember 5 (280 KB)

Famous formations of 16th Soviet Army defended on Volokolamsk. By the heroic struggle they have slowed down attacks of 4th German Panzer Group. Only by huge losses enemy managed to take possession Istra, break to Krukov, approach to Moscow from the north on distance of 25 kms. The enemy intended to begin bombardment city from big guns. But it was stopped by advanced parts of 1st Shock Army by commander Kuznetsov. Soviet 29th and 50th Rifle Brigade have begun operation on destruction of the opponent and after the intense fight have rejected it behind the channel. To the west of channel, in a strip of 1st Shock Army, the group of the general Zaharov in structure of weakened divisions (133th, 126th Rifle and 17th Cavalry) conducted heavy fights in encirclement. To help it and leave from an encirclement was decided to put impact in a direction of village Olgovo. This task have assigned on 44th and 71st Rifle Brigade. December 5, group of general Zaharov unite with main Soviet forces.

December 1, Germans have broken on a joint of 18th and 9th Guards Rifle Division and grasped Krukovo. In the same time on northern suburb of Moscow, in area Lobniya, Shodny, Himki, the formations of 20th Army concentrated. By first have entered in combat formations of 331st Rifle Division. Not expecting a concentration of all division forces, its commander the general Korol'  has ordered to 1106th Regiment and occupy a defense on the northern and western suburb of a settlement Lobniya. December 2, concentrated in area of fights the advanced parts of 20th Army have put counterattack. The German formations which have broken to Lobniya, were rout and are rejected on 1.5-2 kms. 20th Army under command of the general A.A.Vlasov have left on a boundary Gorki-Katushki.


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