Continuing from this blog entry, it is now mid afternoon and now is the number is up for our northern flank position, which is occupied by the 6th Company, 2nd Motorized Battalion.
In anticipation of this attack, I sent artillery spotters to this company. More because it was the only thing I had available than anything else. I was elated to see that they arrived safely that they were ready for battle.
Overall, the situation was precarious. The 1st Battery of self propelled guns -under OPCOM of our regiment but actually a divisional asset- was sent to link with the retreating, heavily battered 8th Company. You can see them south-west of the battle area.
The enemy showed on foot, their heavy winter coats barely adorned with any gear but a shovel and a few bandoliers in some cases. It was difficult to figure out the magnitude of the attack. Some of the German soldiers barely have seen a Soviet during the entire battle. It was supposed to be this way, the trenches of each squad have been dug overlooking only certain corridors of the open terrain ahead. One has to make sure that the fire sector matches the amount of muzzles tending it.
What machine guns and rifles don’t took, the organic mortars of the company blew up. The forward observers directed artillery fires at their leisure, sometimes under my direction and towards those dead giveaways of smoke curtains. Geisers of dirt, shrapnel and rocks gave no respite for the weary Soviet infantry.
And then in the rear of our position, a Soviet sniper shows up. Wounded and all, he raises to his feet near one of our back trenches and proceeds to wrestle with some of the bullets fired by shocked German soldiers.
What a mess. Was he alone? How many like him made it to our rear? Are we encircled?
The lack of coordination is the Soviet attack’s biggest liability. A few AT guns start to arrive into hasty firing positions.
The 6th Company held its ground at a total cost of 3 casualties. The Soviets, lost around 70 men and surprisingly enough could pull out all their guns without a single scratch. This is one of my biggest regrets from this battle, I should have moved my light AT guns out of their dug-ins and confront their Soviet counterparts.