By Robert Forczyk

К декабрю 1942 Красная армия взяла 6-ю немецкую армию в кольцо под Сталинградом, отсекая все линии снабжения, кроме как через воздух. Стремясь уничтожить воздушный коридор, Советское командование решило начать рейд 24-го танкового корпуса по захвату аэродрома Тацинская, основной операционной базы снабжения.

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Extra resources for Red Christmas: The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942

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Panzer-Division arrives to form blocking positions on the west side of the town, while German air and artillery attacks on 24th Tank Corps intensify. Badanov’s position is becoming desperate. 10 28 December 1942: Badanov conducts a breakout operation through a gap in the German perimeter and succeeds in reaching Mikhaylov and eventually reaching approaching 3rd Guards Army units north of the Bystraya. XXXX N 3GA Il’inka 0 0 XX 266 By str ay 2 4 1 6 8 2 10 6 12 14 8 16km 10 miles a Kalmykov XXX KG Mathieson 25 7 Uryupin 6 Skosyrskaya X 10 24 4 KG Heinemann Oblivsky II 209 II Krad 61 XX 11 B y s tr a Valkovo Station Lugovoy Komintern 1 XX Mikhaylov XX 9 Kovylkin Station 11 6 Hill 175 2 X Tatsinskaya X D’yakanov 5 4GD Eisenbahn (RR) troops 8 130 X 54 Airfield 3 Soviet troop movements Axis troop movements III 579 58 (+) 306 KG Philipp Isolation and Infiltration Morozovsk KG Tschöckell ya Kryukov Su kn ay a The Raid operation was conceived as a raid, Stalin no longer wanted to give up the airfield since he recognized that holding it had great propaganda value.

The Red Army conceived of the T-70 as a scout tank, ranging ahead of the T-34 and complementing it with quantity, if not quality. The use of the T-70 proved to be a liability in the Tatsinskaya raid since it lacked the mobility, endurance, firepower and durability of the T-34s. The handful of armoured cars in the tank corps had better mobility for reconnaissance and only the T-34 had the armament necessary to engage German Panzer units with any degree of success. In combat, the under-powered T-70s were likely to get stuck and the commander was overwhelmed with multiple tasks in his one-man turret.

Panzer-Division lines near Komintern. The captured aircraft and pilot revealed that Badanov was isolated and had only irregular contact with his higher headquarters. German radio intercepts also revealed that Badanov was perilously low on fuel and ammunition and that he was grimly hanging on for rescue. G 2 based at Morozovskaya had a field day against Pavlov’s exposed 25th Tank Corps. Badanov’s corps also lost a number of vehicles to air attack, and the failure of the VVS to provide any kind of air cover to the raiding force was a bitter blow to the Soviet force.

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Red Christmas: The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942 by Robert Forczyk

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