Battle of Kharkov 5–23 March 1943


Map Code: Ax00340

After the success of Operation Star, Soviet forces now occupying Kharkov were significantly depleted and were suffering resupply issues due to their quick advance. Intelligence allowed Field Marshal von Manstein to deploy his forces in positions of numerical superiority during the offensive, even though Soviet troops outnumbered the Germans significantly. Critically, the Germans had more tanks available in the form of their elite panzer divisions, some of which were coming fresh into the battle from rest behind the front line. The panzer divisions were used to quickly rush the Soviet troops defending Kharkov, covering ground quickly from the south and west. The battle-hardened Liebstandarte, Groβdeutschland and Totenkopf divisions were instrumental in recapturing Kharkov from the north, clearing out resistance as they moved through the city. After retaking the city and territory to the north, the German advance petered out towards the end of March as supplies dwindled.

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