March 21, 2015

Manstein’s Counter-offensive, Kharkov 1943

During the summer of 1942 Hitler pursuit two distant objectives in Southern Russia: the city of Stalingrad and the Caucasian oil fields. He failed to capture them and his armies were overextended to defend a vast area from Voronezh to Maykop.

Eastern Front November 18, 1942
1. The frontline on November 18, 1942.

On November 19, 1942 the Red Army launched operation “Uranus”. The German Sixth Army along with part of the Fourth Panzer Army were encircled and the Romanian Third Army was crushed. On November 20 Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein was appointed commander of the newly formed Army Group “Don”, which was composed of:
  • the encircled Sixth Army
  • the Fourth Panzer Army
  • and the remnants of the Third and Fourth Romanian Armies
Manstein was given the mission to halt any enemy attacks and recover the lost ground.