The German is in trouble. July 1941

The German is in trouble. July 1941

Original taken from

From the diaries of Lieutenant Hans Scheuflera.

July 10th. 5:00

Artillery fired from all barrels. A deafening crash resounded in the woods behind us. We are all pressed to the ground. A few minutes later I heard a howl — first intensifying and then fading — overlapping all other sounds of war.
Bundles of flame and thick puffs of smoke shot up into the sky across the river. For the first time we have witnessed the use of new weapons, Nebelwerfer heavy 6-barrel jet mortars. Mines with a dull crash exploded on the opposite bank in the midst of enemy positions. Black mushroom blasts heaved towards the sky.

We have equipped the position of the radio station right by the river. From there, Colonel von Zauken led the attack on the line of Stalin and the crossing. Gradually, he was becoming more and more impatient, because contact with the advanced units that fought in the forest on the opposite bank was almost lost.
Machine-gun fire was fired at us at an angle from the tops of the trees in the forest. The situation was unclear.Our brigade commander wanted to know what to do next. He jumped onto a small ferry along with his operational headquarters and crossed the river.

Unfortunately, we could not take the radio station with us. We made our way through the open marshy area and went to the forest, after which we suddenly found ourselves in the thick of Russian troops.
Chief Lieutenant Libe and I opened fire with pistols, but the machine-gun fire was so strong that we had no choice but to escape, crawling back along a small slope to the sandbank, and then retreat along a narrow forest path.
The commander stood motionless in the shade of a tree. Instead of catching up, an eloquent look was thrown at us that everything was expressed in it. - You should not shoot when faced with an enemy, so far superior to you numerically! At least I read that in that view.

Then the commander ordered us to try to get through the forest occupied by the enemy back to the crossing, report on our observations and bring a portable radio. I made my way back from tree to tree. The voices of Russians were heard everywhere.
Suddenly, they shot me from under trees.I lay down and lay behind a thin oak tree on a small slope until I could determine my location. Then I jumped into a freshly dug trench. But the Russians were already in it.
No luck so no luck! Like a rabbit from hunters, I jumped off to run among shrubby shrubs. The bullets whistled around me from all sides. Machine gun fires rushed over my head, dull glaring at tree trunks. With lungs bursting from fast running, I rolled down a small slope along the path to catch my breath.
However, the Russians soon discovered me there. In front of me across the path lay as far as fallen trees. It seemed to me that I could hide there. Quickly taking refuge in the foliage, I crawled into it. Sweat rolled down my body.

Then I noticed right in front of my nose a thin shiny wire. Involuntarily, I almost took it away with my hands. But still looked where she was going. And he saw that it leads to some kind of black box. I immediately had blood in my veins. Mines!
For a moment I lay still and imagined a picture of the terrible situation I was in. Mortar mines began to burst near me. And damn close.If one of these things pleases beside this damned roadblock - in the middle of which I was lying - then I would never have to suffer from a toothache in my life.
I tried to crawl back quietly. I could not move forward; there was a wire there. But who knew what was behind me? My nerves were on edge. I began to move back, centimeter by centimeter. It seemed like an eternity before I got out of the branches — or was it the only way I imagined it?
For a moment, the shooting subsided. "Stuck" (U-87) appeared in the air and began to search for a target. I decided to take advantage of the situation, started running away through the swamp and jumped into the reeds. After a moment, shooting from the forest resumed.

Then the three "Pieces" turned around and headed towards the edge of the forest. I let out a sigh of relief. I realized too late that I was only a few hundred meters from the edge of the forest. When the giant “suitcase” fell in a swamp not far from me and literally showered me with mud, but did not explode, I realized that I was lucky again.
While the Russians were busy with our “Stuff”, I reached the nearest meadow. Then my comrades in the air came to the rescue, dropping bombs on the forest.
Completely exhausted, I got to the machine-gun position of the German line of defense.The guys gave me a drink. I dictated my report to one of them, and they helped me get to the crossing, since I could not take a single step. In addition to everything on my right thigh, I had a wound from a bulging tangential bullet.

On July 13, starting at 8:30, the Russians continuously attacked the 1st Battalion in Ryzhkovka. The enemy broke into the village. In the end, he managed to knock him out. The battalion captured 28 cannons, 26 anti-tank guns, 3 armored cars, 10 armored tractors and 30 trucks. At least the fact that in the evening in the battalion there are only 24 combat-capable tanks testifies to the fierceness of the battle.
The tank of the commander of the 2nd company, Ober-Lieutenant Rahfalle, hit a mine in the midst of the enemy. Oberfunmeister (Oberfeldwebel radio operator) Kraut was seriously injured. Rahfall ordered the rest of the crew to return. He stayed close to the seriously wounded Kraut. As a result, both of them were killed by Russian soldiers.

The enemy began shelling the orchard, where our radio communications center was located. Shells lay just 30-50 meters from us. Bad news came from all divisions. We fought with superior enemy forces that fought desperately.
Suddenly there was a dull rumble, and an artillery observer threw so that he described a wide arc over the roof of the barn. A black pillar of smoke from a bursting long-range projectile rose up 50 meters from us. Colonel von Zauken called his commanders. He continuously continued to give orders.
There was a short, quiet whistle, perceived by the whole body rather than the hearing, and I rushed to the ground. However, I could not jump away. I was very shaken up. From the terrible rumble nearly burst eardrums.
I was thrown back with the driver for the Kübel. I felt a sharp pain over the eye and in the chin. Reflexively, I ran a hand over my face. Everything seems to be whole, but the hand was in the blood.

- Doctor! shouted a few voices beside me. The cry was so piercing that it seemed to be given in the spinal cord. My driver, Henry, was seriously wounded. His hand hung unnaturally and was visible through the torn sleeve of his uniform. This is the first thing I noticed. I grabbed Henry and dragged him to the medical center, which was only a hundred meters away.
Behind me, I again heard a piercing cry: “Doctor! Doctor! Turning around, I saw a large pile of human bodies randomly piled on top of each other. I immediately returned with two doctors.It was a direct hit by a large-caliber artillery shell that exploded in the midst of the brigade headquarters in the thick of the commanders gathered there.
Chief-Corporal Lissitzky, Chief-corporal Hendel and senior private Reichel were killed. The brigade adjutant, Lieutenant Liebe, was seriously wounded. The leg was torn off; a large shard stuck in the back. The brigade commander, Chief Lieutenant Balti, received a deep wound in the upper thigh. He pinned his artery to avoid blood loss.

Colonel von Zauken sat on the ground. A splinter hit his knee. With no visible emotion on his face, he cut off his boots and tied up a badly bleeding wound. Without looking up from this occupation, he continued to give orders in a calm voice and dictate a report to the division headquarters.
Von Zauken said goodbye to the brigadier adjutant as if he were his son. We all understood that Libe would not survive after such a severe injury. Chief Lieutenant Liebe asked von Zauken to pass on his last wish to his parents; it was already difficult for him to speak. He gave us a strange look and fell into unconsciousness.

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  • The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941

    The German is in trouble. July 1941