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Liveblogging World War II: November 13, 1942

Operation Hubertus:

November 13, 1942: The assault groups attacked again and broadened their hold on the Volga banks. Here the Germans supported the attack with assault guns from Sturmgeschützabteilung 244. Although most of the vehicles were knocked out, they reached their objectives…. Thereby elements of 308th, 344th and 45th Rifle Division were isolated….

The Germans were now not more than 100 meters away from the Volga!… These successful attacks finally cut off any chance of the defenders receiving any supplies at all. Success was now dependent on holding the Volga bank strips, but the Soviets were far from surrendering. Where even small groups were still alive, they fought on, especially one group of Russians, 3 men under their commander Rolik, who drove the Germans crazy. They were not simply holding a position, but roamed their whole sector.

They undertook small guerrilla style actions, firing upon unwary Germans, cutting telephone wires and even cut off hand grenades on wire, which the Germans intend to direct into the command post of Tschuikov himself. Their example was spreading to the other defenders and evolved into an indicator for the whole battle itself. The Soviets believed as long as Rolik fights they can fight.

The Soviet commander, Polkovnik Ljudinkov, demanded heavy artillery support so his soldiers could re-establish a line of supply. The artillery answered his request, they laid a devastating, very precise barrage on the Germans….

At the end of the day Tschuikov's troops were divided into several distinct pockets and islands. 138th Rifle Division was totally isolated from its neighbouring units. They still defend parts of Barrikady and one 350m by 200m bridgehead in the north. Polkovnik Ljudnikov conferred with Tschuikov and desperately demanded reinforcements. The later promised to do so, but it was only lip service, since the ice flow on the Volga still prohibited all major traffic.

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