Orel-Bryansk defence operation 1941, 30.9-23.10,
September 30, 1941 German 2nd Panzer Group and 2nd Army begun offensive on Orel and Bryansk. 15 divisions, from which ten was panzer and motorized. This troops was supported by all forces of 2nd Air Fleet, add to Group of Armies "Centre". Soviet defense on this direction after the intense fights and defeat of Southwest Front were weak, there were no operative reserves.
All day Soviet formations of 13th Army were conducted with persistent fights with tanks and motor-infantry of the opponent on boundary Hilchichi, Shatrische. Thus 155th Rifle Division and 6th Rifle Division continued to defend on old boundaries. 132th Rifle Division conducted fights in a wood to the north-west of Hilchichi. 307th and 143th Rifle Division conducted fight on northern bank of the Bychiha river. At the front of 13th Army, Germans were taken Seredina-Buda. About 30 German tanks have broken in Komaritchi. On a site of Group of general Ermakova, German Regiment of infantry with 150 tanks at 13.00 have occupied Sevsk. Thus Germans have deeply cut front of 13th Army and Group of Ermakova on their joint, and break of tanks in area Komarichi left on rears and communications of 13th Army. Threat of scope of all left flank of Bryansk Front was created by the large motor-mechanized German formations.
The exclusively intense situation was created on Bryansk Front line. Working here 13th Army of Bryansk Front and group of the general A. N. Ermakov
On a southern wing of Bryansk Front on the first days of October the operative front's group of the general A.N.Ermakov put impact on the broken German tanks. This group consist of two rifle divisions (169th and 2nd Guard) and two tank brigades (121th and 150th). Forces of this group be unable to stop offensive the German Panzer Corps. Actually it only covered a withdrawal of 13th Soviet army.
battled heroically, but Germans, using vast overweight of forces,were broken through defense, left to Soviet rear and offensive on Sevsk - Orel direction.
October 1, Soviet front line of 50th Army was broken.On right flank of Bryansk Front, Germans 2.10 have taken to the offensive eight infantry divisions maintained by 191th Motorized Division and tanks. On a right wing of front the opponent rendered the main impact on Soviet 217th, 279th and 260th Rifle Divisions, having for an object to bypass highway of Roslavl-Bryansk and to seize area of Bryansk. The opponent 5.10 has occupied Zhizdra and has threatened rears of the right flank 50th Army. During two days of offensive Germans have punched a 60-kilometer gap and have broken almost on 100 kilometers in depth. After that 24th Motorized Corps has grasped Orel and 47th was move further, to Tula, and, bypassing with rear 3rd and 13th Soviet Armies, tried to seize Karachev and Bryansk. For defense Karachev area the Group of armies of general Rejtera in structure of 108th Tank Division (20 tanks), 194th Rifle Division and two Regiments was created. Coming from Orel the German Panzer Group, has not achived success on Karachev direction, then it has turned on the south and was move by wood roads to Bryansk. 6.10 Karachev was occupied by German tank units and infantry. Simultaneously 2nd German Field Army has broken through defense of 50th Soviet Army and has turned towards to Guderian's forces to incorporate their in area of Bryansk.
Soviet forces could not detain Germans on both sites of break front. The opponent has occupied Sevsk, having cut off operative front's group of 13th Soviet Army. For two days of offensive Germans have punched on 60-kilometer gap and have broken almost on 100 kilometers in depth. After that 24th Motorized Corps has grasped in Orel, 47th Corps bypassing rear of 3rd and 13th Soviet Army, has taken possession of Karachev and Bryansk. Simultaneously German 2nd Field Army has broken through a defense of 50th Soviet Army and has turned towards to Guderian's forces to incorporate with them in area of Bryansk. The management of Soviet forces was lost. In this situation Soviet High Command subordinated these Armies directly to itself. The further events developed so promptly, as attempt to help front have not brought success.
October 3, Germans motorize divisions have rushed in Orel and were move along a highway Orel-Tula. The city was not prepared for a defense. Simultaneously units of 2nd Panzer Group, advancing on rears of Bryansk Front from the south and southeast. October 6, Karachev and Bryansk have grasped. The forces of Bryansk Front was broken on parts, and way of their withdrawal - intercepted. Simultaneously Germans tank and field divisions have begun to bypass the main forces of Bryansk Front from the southeast and the east. The Soviet High Command began focus in area Mtsensk reserve formations of 4th and 11th Tank Brigades, 36th Motorcycle Regiment, 201th Air Brigade, 6th Guards Rifle Division, group of the cadets of the Tula artillery school and other formations. Moscow airgroup of the special Civil Air Fleet and distant bomber aircrafts actively participated in transfer this reserves. For three days they have delivered to a line of front almost 5500 soldiers with arms and 13 tons of ammunition. From these forces 1st Guards Rifle Corps of general D.D.Lelushenko was generated. On the river Zusha, Soviet 26th Army, base on 1st Guards Rifle Corp, was developed for covering a withdrawal of Bryansk Front. On approaches to Mtsensk Germans was stopped by fire from ambushes Soviet 4th and 11th Tank Brigades. Wehrmacht tanks have tried to bypass them from flanks, however shock group of 4th Tank Brigade of the colonel M. E. Katukov broken this attempt by vigorous counter-offensive. In result the enemy was detained on the river Zusha for the whole week. For strong resistance and unprecedented actions 4th Tank Brigade of the colonel M.E.Katukov was transformed into the 1st Guard Tank Trigade.
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