The Battle for Cherkasskoye - Red Victory
The Battle for CherkasskoyeBy Ozgur Budak
17 - 1 - 5
5 JULY 1943, CHERKASSKOYE, 10 KM SOUTH OF BEREZOVKA: 48th Panzer Korps formed the left wing of the 4th Panzer Army's attack as the southern pincer aimed at the Kursk salient. Korps' objectives were to smash the Russian defenses near Berezovka and capture Oboyan located further north. The advance was also vital for the flank protection of the 2nd SS Panzer Korps deployed to attack towards Prokhorovka. The village of Cherkasskoye was the first obstacle for the 48th Panzer Korps. Cherkasskoye, a heavily fortified village defended by the 67th Guards Rifle Division formed the cornerstone of the Russian first defensive line. During the night of 4/5 July, German engineers prepared lanes of attack through the dense minefields. After an hour artillery preparation German assault teams launched their attack at 05:00. Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier Division which was the spearhead of Knoblesdorf's Korps hit the heavy defensive line in front of Cherkasskoye. Russian defense was well prepared and German casualties were high. However after one hour of heavy fighting Fusilier Regiment Grossdeutschland, supported by panzers including the Tigers, overwhelmed the first defense line. Elements of the depleted 199th Rifle Regiment started a fighting withdrawal to the village in order to gain time to prepare a new line of resistance. General Chistyakov, commander of the 6th Guards Army sent fresh reinforcements to bolster the defenses at Cherkasskoye. At 09:00 Grossdeutschland's grenadiers renewed their advance and reached the southern edge of the village. At the very moment, both sides collided in a violent battle for the possession of this vital position.