17th. December - 7:30 PM EST
The outskirts of Sporonyy on the Manych River, 15 January, 1943: One of Stalin's attempts to cut off Army Group A involved a massive drive by the 2nd Guard Army between the Don and Manych Rivers. The Russian attack reached its peak as General Rotmistrov's troops pushed into the outskirts of Bataysk, a suburb of Rostov. Under General Manstein's direction, Count Schwerin disengaged the "Greyhound" Division from the fighting south of Stalingrad to redirect a spearhead into the deep right flank of Ro tmistrov's penetration.
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AFTERMATH: Captain Tebbe, commanding the new Tigers, drove his panzer troops straight through the Russian lines to the high ground near Sporonyy. He then turned and assaulted the village. After a sharp fight, in which the Russians lost several T-34s and anti-tank guns, the village and the nearby bridge on the Manych were secured for further operations against the Russian flank. The German successes at Sporonyy and later at Samodurovka seriously hampered the Russian attack on Rostov and led to the successful withdrawal of Army Group A from a rapidly closing encirclement.
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