Confronting Case Blue: Briansk Front's Attempt To Derail The German Drive To The Caucasus, July 1942

Confronting Case Blue: Briansk Front's Attempt To Derail The German Drive To The Caucasus, July 1942


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The author, Igor’ Sdvizhkov, takes a close look at the attempt by the Briansk Front’s Operational Group Chibisov to collapse the northern shoulder of the German drive to the Caucasus - north-west of Voronezh - in July 1942. Using both previously classified Soviet documents and German documents, Sdvizhkov focuses in particular on General A.I. Liziukov’s role in the counteroffensive as commander of the 2nd Tank Corps after his 5th Tank Army was disbanded following failed counterattacks in early July. The Soviet attacks led to nine days of heavy see-saw fighting involving tens of thousands of men and hundreds of tanks and guns on both sides, and threatened to isolate the German forces holding Voronezh. Sdvizhkov also describes the German reaction to the initial penetration made by Operational Group Chibisov’s offensive: a counterattack primarily with the forces of the 9th Panzer Division, which at the time of the new Soviet offensive, was in a reserve position - serving as a fire brigade. The German riposte blunted the Soviet attacks and encircled elements of Operational Group Chibisov, and ultimately stabilized the tottering German front north-west of Voronezh for the time being. General Liziukov would go missing during the 2nd Tank Corps’ attack, and the author discusses why the Briansk Front and Operational Group Chibisov Command initially made little or no effort to find the General, Stalin’s suspicions surrounding General Liziukov’s disappearance and the results of the official wartime investigation of the matter. Sdvizhkov also addresses the numerous controversies that later ensued due to erroneous and/or misleading recollections, as well as the total inability to locate General Liziukov or his remains. Carefully examining the available evidence, Sdvizhkov offers a cogent and persuasive explanation of what happened.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781911096436
Publisher: Helion and Company
Publication date: 05/18/2017
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Igor’ Sdvizhkov was born in Lipetsk on 15 March 1964. He graduated from the Department of History of the Lipetsk Pedagogical Institute and subsequently taught both History and English at school level and at the institute. In his research work, Sdvizhkov focuses on the history of the combat operations of the summer of 1942 on the Briansk and Voronezh Fronts - using archival materials from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Archive, the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Russian History and the US National Archives. To date, he has published articles in the Russian-language Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv [Military-historical archive] and three books, including the present one.

Stuart Britton is a freelance translator who resides in Cedar Rapids, IA. He is responsible for a growing number of translated Russian military memoirs, battle histories and operational studies, which saw an explosion in Russia with the opening of secret military archives and the emergence of new Russian scholars who take a more objective look at the events and historical figures. Two works that received prizes or prominent acclaim were Valeriy Zamulin’s Demolishing a Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk 1943 and Lev Lopukhovsky’s The Viaz’ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army’s Disastrous Stand Against Operation Typhoon. Notable recent translations include Valeriy Zamulin’s The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects and Igor Sdvizhkov’s Confronting Case Blue:Briansk Front’s Attempt to Derail the German Drive to the Caucasus, July 1942. Future translated publications include Nikolai Ovcharenko’s analysis of the defense, occupation and liberation of Odessa, 1941-1944, and Zamulin’s detailed study of 7th Guards Army’s role and performance in the Battle of Kursk against Army Detachment Kempf.

Table of Contents

List of Photographs vi

List of Maps vii

Instead of a Prologue viii

1 And once again into battle … 9

2 The start of the operation: 21 July 1942 16

3 The enemy's situation: 21 July 1942 38

4 The night of 21-22 July 1942 45

5 22 July 1942 54

6 The 148th Tank Brigade in the enemy rear 63

7 The fighting on the evening of 22 July 1942 69

8 The 2nd Tank Corps, 23 July 1942 84

9 23 July 1942 on the front of Operational Group Chibisov 101

10 Operational Group Chibisov's reserve enters the fighting 117

11 At the command post of the 2nd Tank Corps on the night of 23/24 July 1942 135

12 A review of the enemy's actions on 22 and 23 July 1942 144

13 24 July 1942 155

14 25 July 1942 176

15 A review of the enemy's actions, 24-25 July 1942 198

16 26 July 1942 222

17 A review of the enemy's actions on 26 July 248

18 27 July 1942 253

19 The end of the operation 273

20 Liziukov's Fate 302

Conclusion 337

Afterword 353


I Documents relating to 24 July 1942 371

II Summary protocol of the interrogation of 11 prisoners of the 5th Company of the 9th Panzer Division's 10th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, captured on 25.7.42 377

III Lieutenant Shuklin's exploit: fact and fiction 379

IV A veteran tanker's recollections of the fighting on 25 July 1942 392

V Excerpts from documents 396

VI The recollections of local residents 398

VII Order of the USSR People's Commissar of Defense On measures to strengthen discipline and order in the Red Army and to forbid the voluntary retreat from combat positions 405

VIII The formations and units of Briansk Front's operational group under the command of Lieutenant General Chibisov that took part in the operation 409

IX German formations and units of the VII Army Corps that took part in the battles with units of Operation Group Chibisov 412

Bibliography 414

Index 415

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