History 04/02/20 “Lisowska battle”: as “Tigers” and “Panther” tried to stop Red Army

the Battle of Lisova occurred during the Sandomierz-Silesian offensive operation in January 1945.

the aim of the operation was to break the German defense, access to the Oder river and the capture of bridgeheads for further advance to Berlin. The operation was conducted by forces of the 1st Ukrainian front under Marshal I. S. Konev.

For the operation was concentrated enormous power. According to Vladimir Dinesa (“Soviet tank armies in battle”), composed of eight arms, two armored, one air army and separate corps was 1.2 million, 3660 tanks, over 17 thousand guns and mortars, 2580 aircraft. On the Soviet data, the opposing forces of army group “A” had about 257 thousand people, 540 tanks, assault guns and different self-propelled units, 2,700 artillery pieces and mortars.

the Attack, originally scheduled for 20 January, at the request of the allies began earlier, 12 January. The main blow inflicted 3rd guards army of the General P. S. Rybalko, which was available to the early onset of the 661 tank 22 tank-trawler, 238 ACS.

Trying to counter the Soviet offensive, the German command introduced his only mobile reserve in this area: the so-called “group of Neringa” (Gruppe Nehring), formed from the remnants of the 24th Panzer and 32nd army corps. Strike group Neringa fell on the 4th tank army of General Lelyushenko with the result that ensued a counter tank battle, which is already the 15th of January, the German troops suffered defeat. The main striking force of Neringa was two armored (16th and 17th) and 20th motorized division. However, they were divisions in name only, actually they were all pretty shabby and consolidated into regimental battle groups, where the shelves turned into combined battalions and the battalions and divisions in the company. The only decent part was a separate 424-th tank battalion, which was 52 of tank: 29 “Tiger” (Pz.Kfwg. VI Ausf. H) and 23 “Royal tiger” (Pz.Kpfw VI Ausf.B). Just a group of Neringa was around 180 armored vehicles (tanks, assault guns, various self-propelled), and many of the latest models. In addition to fifty “Tigers” were at least 40-50 Panthers (Pz.Kpfw.V). In the army Lelyushenko had about 750 tanks and self-propelled guns. Despite the apparent paucity of “Tigers” and “Panthers” it was a very large gathering in a relatively small sector of the front.

In this battle the Germans are chronically unlucky. 12 January the vanguard of their 17th Panzer division was ambushed Soviet 63rd guards tank brigade, 10th guards tank corps. The Germans lost six cars out of the fifteen Soviet losses amounted to ten “thirty.”

the next day, the 13th of January, 61st guards brigade of the same corps broke into Lisov, dispersed were there German troops from the 168th infantry division. On this day the battle joined “Tigers” 424 battalion.

the Course of this battle is described differently in different sources. In the books of the memoirs of the Soviet time, such as “Volunteers of the Urals: essays and memoirs” or “Guards tank” Zaitsev V. I., traditionally for the age describes the attack of dozens of German tanks with their huge losses. Modern historians, such as Alexander Tomson in his work “Tiger Armageddon at Lisova”, give more reliable data.

the First attack, which involved up to two dozen “Tigers” came under sudden fire of the Soviet tanks from a distance of fifteen hundred meters. Lined not less than four “Tigers” in addition, several cars trying to get around the village, stuck in the mud, under one failed bridge.

Following the attack, the Soviet tankers also managed to recapture. The problem of the Germans was that they could not use their hisleno advantage. The fact that Lisov took the entire 61 brigade, and only two battalions (44 tanks T-34-85), a motorized infantry battalion and anti-tank battery, that is, formally, the Soviet tankers were in the minority. However, the Tigers could only move on the road, when you try to go with her they just got stuck in the mud. As a result, Soviet tanks shot them in turn, having the opportunity to concentrate the fire of several tanks on advanced machines. In the second half of the day the village is attacked and the rescue part of the 16th Panzer division – 13 “Panther”, but this attack was not successful.

during the battle of the 13th of January killed both the commander: the commander of the 61st tank brigade, Colonel N. Zhukov and the commander of 424 battalion, major A. Semish.

the next day, 14 January the battle joined rest of brigade 10th tank corps. Just near the village of Lisow on the battlefield were seven Tigers, five of the “Royal tigers” and five “Panther”. A certain number of tanks were evacuated. But it no longer mattered. In the course of this battle, called Kielce-Melnikovskom, forces of the 4th Panzer army, supported by 3rd guards tank army, the whole group Neringa was defeated. By the 15th January at 424 th battalion, there is not one serviceable tank, two armored divisions also lost all armor. Only the 25th of January the remnants of the parts were surrounded group Neringa went to the Oder in the area of Glogau.

It was a complete rout, and the words “slaughter” and “Armageddon”, there will not be an exaggeration.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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