Monday 20 April 2015

Tigers at Teploye

You can find all manner of claims that Soviet 76 mm guns were ineffective against German Tigers, but here's a case where they proved more than enough.

"Award Order
Name: Abdulin, Mansour Idetovich
Rank: Guards Senior Sergeant
Position, unit: gun commander, 6th Battery, 167th Guards Light Artillery Regiment, 3rd Guards Light Artillery Brigade, 1st Guards Artillery Division of the Supreme Command Reserve

is nominated for the state award: title of Hero of the Soviet Union with award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
  1. Year of birth: 1919
  2. Nationality: Tatar
  3. In the Red Army since: September 1938
  4. Party affiliation: VLKSM member
  5. Participation in battle (where, when): South-West, Stalingrad, and Don Fronts since 1941
  6. Previous awards: none
  7. Wounds and concussions: two wounds
  8. Recruited by: Lenin recruitment officer, Fergana region
Brief and specific description of heroism: battery commander Guards Senior Sergeant comrade M.I. Abdulin displayed exceptional bravery, courage, and heroism in battle with German invaders on July 10th, 1943, near the Molotychi settlement. 

6th Battery was subjected to three fierce attacks from enemy infantry supported by 60 tanks. As many as 150 bombs fell on the battery, and several hundred shells and mortar rounds. Despite the difficulty of this battle, comrade Abdulin's crew fought without reservation, dedicated to their motherland and the cause of the great party of Lenin and Stalin. Comrade Abdulin bravely deflected one German attack after another. With direct fire from his weapon, he knocked out 8 enemy tanks, 3 of them Tigers, and destroyed up to a battalion of enemy infantry.

Comrade Abdulin and his gunner comrade Rybyakin fired at enemy tanks and infantry until a direct hit from an enemy shell destroyed their gun and wounded them. Comrade Abdulin is worthy of the highest state award: the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal."

CAMD RF 33-793756-1

Tigers, eh? Well, you know what we do when there are Tigers, let's see what Schneider has to say about this.

"10 July 1943: 26 Tigers, 5 Panzer IIIs (short barrel), 5 Panzer IIIs (long barrel) and 3 bridge-layer versions of the Panzer III operational. After attachment to the 4. Panzer-Division, the battalion moves into an assembly area south of Soborowka together with the I./Panzer-Regiment 35. This force is ordered to follow the attack on Teploje into the area between Teploje and Hill 240.0. From there, the attack on Hill 260 fails.
11 July 1943: 5 Tigers secure the hills south and southeast of Teploje (on 12 July as well). 11 Tigers operational; same number the next day."

Here's a map of the area.

The Germans assembled a fearsome force (36 tanks from s.Pz.Abt 505 alone), so the 60 tanks that were coming at Abdulin's battery were definitely possible. As for the Tiger losses, the Germans come in with 26 functional Tigers and come out with 11, having lost a whopping 15 Tigers. The claim of 3 Tigers and 5 other tanks is certainly feasible.


  1. At least entire battalion of this invincible machines with infantry supported from the air was not able to destroy some ZIS 3 guns. What did fail? Uncorrect chosen formation, bad comunication between advancing parts?
    And where does tiger phobia disappeared?

    1. There is no such thing as an invincible machine. It was probably same thing as in any disastrous tank attack: poor reconnaissance, machineguns cut off infantry from tanks, tanks didn't see the AT guns.