Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991 granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union; the declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin; that evening at 7:32 p.m. the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. From August to December all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.
The week before formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the USSR had ceased to exist. Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR marked the end of the Cold War. Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation. On the other hand, the Baltic states have joined the European Union. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73. Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo, his initial goal as general secretary was to revive the Soviet economy, he realized that doing so would require reforming underlying political and social structures.
The reforms began with personnel changes of senior Brezhnev-era officials who would impede political and economic change. On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members, he kept the "power" ministries happy by promoting KGB Head Viktor Chebrikov from candidate to full member and appointing Minister of Defence Marshal Sergei Sokolov as a Politburo candidate. This liberalization, fostered nationalist movements and ethnic disputes within the Soviet Union, it led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully, which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics. Under Gorbachev's leadership, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1989 introduced limited competitive elections to a new central legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies. In May 1985, Gorbachev delivered a speech in Leningrad advocating reforms and an anti-alcohol campaign to tackle widespread alcoholism.
Prices of vodka and beer were raised, intended to discourage drinking by increasing the cost of liquor. A rationing program was introduced, where citizens were assigned punch cards detailing how much liquor they could buy in a certain time frame. Unlike most forms of rationing, adopted as a strategy to conserve scarce goods, this was done to restrict sales with the overt goal of curtailing drunkenness. Gorbachev's plan included billboards promoting sobriety, increased penalties for public drunkenness, censorship of drinking scenes from old movies; this mirrored Tsar Nicholas II's program during the First World War, intended to eradicate drunkenness in order to bolster the war effort. However, that earlier effort was intended to preserve grain for only the most essential purposes, which did not appear to be a goal in Gorbachev's program. Gorbachev soon faced the same adverse economic reaction to his prohibition; the disincentivization of alcohol consumption was a serious blow to the state budget according to Alexander Yakovlev, who noted annual collections of alcohol taxes decreased by 100 billion rubles.
Alcohol sales migrated to the black market and moonshining became more prevalent as some made "bathtub vodka" with homegrown potatoes. Poorer, less educated Soviets resorted to drinking unhealthy substitutes such as nail-polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or men's cologne, resulting in an additional burden on Russia's healthcare sector due to the increased poisoning cases; the underlying purpose of these reforms was to prop up the existing command economy, in contrast to reforms, which tended toward market socialism. On July 1, 1985, Gorbachev promoted Eduard Shevardnadze, First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, to full member of the Politburo, the following day appointed him minister of foreign affairs, replacing longtime Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko; the latter, disparaged as "Mr Nyet" in the West, had served for 28 years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gromyko was relegated to the ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, as he was considered an "old thinker".
On July 1, Gorbachev sidelined his main rival by removing Grigory Romanov from the Politburo and he brought Boris Yeltsin and Lev Zaikov into the CPSU Central Committee Secretariat. In the fall of 1985, Gorbachev continued to bring more energetic men into government. On September 27, 55-year-ol
56th Guards Air Assault Brigade
The 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade is an airborne brigade of the Russian Airborne Troops. It is based in Kamyshin; the brigade was first formed in 1979 and fought in the Soviet–Afghan War, the First Chechen War and the Second Chechen War. The 56th Separate Guards Air Assault Brigade was formed on 1 October 1979 in Chirchiq from the disbanded 105th Guards Airborne Division's 351st Guards Airborne Regiment; the new brigade inherited battle honors from that unit. On 13 December, the brigade was transferred to Termez in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan. On 27 December, the brigade's 4th Airborne Battalion crossed the Afghan border and secured Salang Pass; the 3rd Air Assault battalion was airlifted by helicopter into Afghanistan and captured Rabat-Mirza-Kushka Pass on the next day. Between 13 and 14 January 1980, the brigade concentrated at Kunduz. At the same time, the 3rd Air Assault Battalion moved to Kandahar. In February, the 4th Airborne Battalion was transferred to Charikar but was moved back to Kunduz in the same year.
The 2nd Air Assault Battalion was attached to the 70th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade in March. In December 1982, the brigade was moved to Gardez; the brigade was reequipped with the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle in 1985. On 5 April, it was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 1st class, it fought in Operation Magistral from December 1987 to January 1988. In June 1988, the brigade crossed the border back into Turkmenistan during the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. After its return from Afghanistan, the brigade was based in Ýolöten; the brigade became the 56th Guards Airborne Brigade in 1989. In January and February 1990, the brigade was deployed to Baku to patrol the border as a result of the Baku pogrom. On 1 June, the brigade was transferred to the Soviet airborne and renamed the 40th Separate Airborne Brigade; the newly renamed brigade was transferred to Fergana a week to conduct security operations. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the brigade was moved to the North Caucasus in Karachay-Cherkessia.
The brigade was given the designation Don Cossack on 22 April 1994. Between December 1994 and October 1996, the brigade fought in the First Chechen War. In 1997, it was renamed the 56th Guards Airborne Regiment. In August 1999, a battalion sized task force of the regiment was deployed to fight in the Second Chechen War. After being withdrawn from Chechnya in November 2004, the regiment once again became the 56th Guards Airborne Brigade on 1 May 2009 and in July 2010 was designated as the 56th Guards Airborne Brigade. In 2013, it became part of the Russian Airborne Troops. In January 2016, VDV commander Vladimir Shamanov announced that a new range near Kamyshin would be built in the spring of that year due to the higher intensity of combat training. Alexander Petrovich Plokhikh Mikhail Karpushkin Viktor Arsentevich Sukhin Viktor Matveevich Chizhikov Vitaly Raevsky Valery Evnevich Alexander Sotnik Sergei Mishanin Rustam Aliev Stepanenko Pavel Kirsi Igor Timofeyev Alexander Vitalievich Lebedev Alexander Valitov
General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the military staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is the central organ of the Armed Forces Administration and oversees operational management of the armed forces under the Russian Ministry of Defence; as of 2017 the Chief of the General Staff is General of the Army Valery Gerasimov and the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff is Colonel General Nikolai Bogdanovsky. General Staff is located in Moscow on Znamenka Street in the Arbat District. Together with the Ministry of Defence building and several Staff directorate office buildings nearby, it forms the so-called "Arbat military district" as it is referred to among the military personnel to outline the highest supreme command of the Russian Armed Forces. In the Soviet Armed Forces, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR acted as the main commanding and supervising body of the military. A Red Army Staff first formed in 1921 but, historian John Erickson says, until 1924 developed into an unwieldy grouping dealing with combat training, routine Red Army affairs, defence policy, all without real definition.
Erickson dates the development of the Staff as the Soviet "military brain" from Mikhail Frunze's appointment to the post of Chief of Staff by Order No.78 of 1 April 1924.'From this date.. The history of the Soviet General Staff – as it was to become – begins'. On 22 September 1935, the authorities renamed the RKKA Staff as the General Staff, which reincarnated the General Staff of the Russian Empire. Many of the former RKKA Staff officers had served as General Staff officers in the Russian Empire and became General Staff officers in the USSR. General Staff officers had extensive combat experience and solid academic training. William Odom wrote:'during World War II became Stalin's main organ for operational direction of all military forces. After the war it became the most powerful centre for all aspects of military planning and determination of resource requirements; the minister of defence had only a limited staff for his own support, leaving him dependent on the General Staff. … Within the Ministry of Defence, all the resource allocation issues were resolved by the chief of the General Staff before going to the minister, after consultation with GOSPLAN, to the Politburo.'
During the Cold War, the Soviet General Staff maintained Soviet plans for the invasion of Western Europe, whose massive scale was made known secretly to the West by spies such as Ryszard Kukliński and published by German researchers working with the National People's Army files, the Parallel History Project and the associated Polish exercise documents, Seven Days to the River Rhine. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and since 2004 the General Staff and the Russian Ministry of Defence have attempted to divide direction of the armed forces between them in intense bouts of bureaucratic disagreement, it has been reported that the General Staff's main role now is that of the Russian Ministry of Defence's department of strategic planning, the Minister of Defence himself is now gaining executive authority over the troops. However some Russian commentators dispute this. Main Directorate of Communications Main Operational Directorate Main Intelligence Directorate Main Organizational Mobilization Directorate Directorate of the Chief of Radioelectronic Combat Troops Military Topographical Directorate Main Command – Ground Troops Main Command – Navy Main Command – Air Forces Aerospace Defense Command Strategic Missile Troops Command Airborne Troops Command Special Operations Forces Command Operational Training Directorate 8th Directorate 12th Main Directorate Troop service and safety of military service Directorate Directorate of the Chief of the Radiation and Biological Defense Troops Directorate of the Chief of Engineering Troops Main Directorate for Deep Sea Research Central Command Post Hydrometeorological Service Захаров М.В.
Генеральный штаб в предвоенные годы. — М.: Воениздат, 1989 Zakharov, M. V. General Staff in the pre-war years, Voenizdat. 1989 Dr S. J. Main, The "Brain" of the Russian Army: The Centre for Military-Strategic Research, General Staff, 1985–2000, Conflict Studies Research Centre, UK MOD
Szolnok is the county seat of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county in central Hungary. Its location on the banks of the Tisza river, at the heart of the Great Hungarian Plain, has made it an important cultural and economic crossroads for centuries. Szolnok was named for the first steward of Szaunik or Zounok; the town was first mentioned under the name Zounok in 1075. In the following centuries, it was recorded as Zounok, Saunic and Zawnuch; the variety of spellings comes from phonetic discrepancies occurring when Hungarian sounds - written in runic Old Hungarian script - were recorded using the Latin alphabet. Another possibility revolves around speculation that the name Szaunik was not a personal name after all, but rather a title relating to the significant salt trade in the area. In most other languages, the city's Hungarian name is used without derivation; the city has its own name in a few languages, deriving from these languages' historical relationship to the city. Szolnok is located in the heart of the Great Hungarian Plain, at the confluence of the Tisza and Zagyva rivers.
It lies about 100 kilometres east-southeast from Budapest. The climate of the area is continental, with hot summers following mild winters; the region is one of the sunniest in Europe. Szolnok has a humid continental climate; the area was first settled in the Paleolithic era. The first known inhabitants lived in temporary tent-like structures made from reeds, or in more permanent dwellings made of hides draped over wooden poles, they were hunters of mammoth, reindeer and boar. Archeologists have found stone tools from this era, some made of flint. Fishing equipment such as hooks and weights from nets, dating from the Neolithic era, shows the increasing importance of fishing in the peoples' lives; these were made from clay, as were ritual statues of gods and stylized women. In Szandaszőlős, a suburb of Szolnok, a permanent Neolithic era settlement was discovered. By the Mesolithic era, the inhabitants of the area had settled into permanent villages, where they practiced agriculture and animal husbandry.
Reconstructions of these settlements can be seen in Szolnok's Damjanich János Museum. The houses of this era were made of wood, they utilized carts for transporting large earthenware granaries for storing grain. In the Bronze Age, new people arrived in the Carpathian Basin. In Tószeg, a neighbor of Szolnok, a large settlement was established, with houses built with thick adobe walls; the villagers kept horses and sheep, as well as collecting clams from the river. Certain artifacts have been found, such as bronze tools and shells, which suggest long-distance trade; the Romans were not able to establish permanent settlements on the Alföld, so in the time before the arrival of the Hungarians in 896, the area was populated by Scythians and Sarmatians. A number of artifacts have been found from the Scythian era in Szolnok and in the area surrounding it. During the building of the Zagyva River dikes, remnants of a Scythian settlement were found, including iron pots and other pottery; the Celts followed the Scythians.
Artifacts from the Celtic era include weapons, including iron swords and shields, as well as saddlery and other iron components. Subsequently, the Sarmatians, who originated in Iran, settled in the surrounding area; the Sarmatian people were in contact with the Roman Empire, sometimes sometimes by trade. Roman money, weapons and pottery are found. After the Sarmatians, Germanic-speaking peoples took possession of the area. In Ó-Szanda, a district of Szolnok suburb Szandaszőlős, archeologists discovered a rich trove of artifacts left by the Gepids, who lived in the area in the 4th and 5th centuries; the Gepids were familiar with wore heavy beads made from colored glass. After the Gepids, the area was populated by Avars. Like the Hungarian tribes who came the Avars were buried with their horses; the remains discovered from the time of their rule indicates that the Avars first appeared in the middle of the 6th century. The burial grounds found at Rákóczifalva, some 1.5 kilometres from Szandaszőlős, show that a large permanent settlement once existed there.
Szolnok was first mentioned, under the name Zounok, in a letter from Géza I concerning the foundation of the monastery at Garamszentbenedek in 1075. It was named for the first steward of Szaunik or Zounok. In the following centuries it was recorded as Zounok, Saunic and Zawnuch; the variety of spellings comes from phonetic discrepancies occurring when Hungarian sounds - written in runic Old Hungarian script - were recorded using the Latin alphabet. Under the rule of the Árpád Dynasty, Szolnok was the center of Szolnok County; when King István ordered a church built in every tenth village, one was built in Szolnok. The 11th century saw great improvements in the city due to the Tisza river ferry, customs house, county business. There was great trade and commerce via both the Tisza and the overland roads that ran through Szolnok. Despite this, Szolnok remained a market town without expanding to a city; the Szolnok Castle was
The Vienna Offensive was launched by the Soviet 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts in order to capture Vienna, during World War II. The offensive lasted from 2 April to 13 April 1945; the Soviets placed the city under siege. After a few days’ street fighting, the defenders had destroyed all but two of the Danube bridges, the Panzers escaped encirclement; the incoming Soviets devastated the old city, there was much brutality against civilians. Stalin approved the restoration of Austria as a sovereign country. Joseph Stalin reached an agreement with the Western Allies prior to April 1945 concerning the relative postwar political influence of each party in much of Eastern and Central Europe; as a result, the victory of a Soviet offensive toward Austria and the liberation by the Red Army of a large part of this country would have been beneficial for subsequent postwar negotiations with the Western Allies. After the failure of Operation Spring Awakening, Sepp Dietrich's 6th SS Panzer Army retreated in stages to the Vienna area.
The Germans prepared defensive positions in an attempt to guard the city against the arriving Soviets. In Spring 1945, the advance of Soviet General Fyodor Tolbukhin's 3rd Ukrainian Front through western Hungary gathered momentum on both sides of the Danube.. After they took Sopron and Nagykanizsa crossed the border between Austria. On 25 March, the 2nd Ukrainian Front launched the Bratislava–Brno Offensive by crossing the Hron river. On 30 March the Front crossed the Nitra River and rushed across the Danubian Lowland towards Bratislava. Having secured his right wing by 2nd Ukrainian Front, Tolbukhin was now ready to advance into Austria and take Vienna. On 2 April, Vienna Radio denied. On the same day, Soviet troops approached Vienna from the south after they overran Wiener Neustadt, Eisenstadt and Gloggnitz. Baden and Bratislava were overrun on 4 April. After arriving in the Vienna area, the armies of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front surrounded and attacked the city. Involved in this action were the Soviet 4th Guards Army, the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army, the Soviet 9th Guards Army, the Soviet 46th Army.
The "O-5 Resistance Group," Austrians led by Carl Szokoll, wanting to spare Vienna destruction attempted to sabotage the German defenses and to aid the entry of the Red Army. The only major German force facing the Soviet attackers was the German II SS Panzer Corps of the 6th SS Panzer Army, along with ad hoc forces made up of garrison and anti-aircraft units. Declared a defensive region, Vienna's defense was commanded by General Rudolf von Bünau, with the II SS Panzer Corps units under the command of SS General Wilhelm Bittrich; the battle for the Austrian capital was characterized in some cases by fierce urban combat, but there were parts of the city the Soviets advanced into with little opposition. Defending in the Prater Park was the 6th Panzer Division, along the south side of the city were the 2nd and 3rd SS Panzer Divisions, in the north was the Führer-Grenadier Division; the Soviets assaulted Vienna's eastern and southern suburbs with the 4th Guards Army and part of the 9th Guards Army.
The German defenders kept the Soviets out of the city’s southern suburbs until 7 April. However, after achieving several footholds in the southern suburbs, the Soviets moved into the western suburbs of the city on 8 April with the 6th Guards Tank Army and the bulk of the 9th Guards Army; the western suburbs were important to the Soviets because they included Vienna's main railway station. The Soviet success in the western suburbs was followed by infiltration of the eastern and northern suburbs the same day. North of the Danube River, the 46th Army pushed westward through Vienna's northern suburbs. Central Vienna was now cut off from the rest of Austria. By the 9th of April, the Soviet troops began to infiltrate the center of the city, but the street fighting continued for several more days. On the night of 11 April, the 4th Guards Army stormed the Danube canals, with the 20th Guards Rifle Corps and 1st Mechanized Corps moving on the Reichsbrücke Bridge. In a coup de main on 13 April, the Danube Flotilla landed troops of the 80th Guards Rifle Division and 7th Guards Airborne Division on both sides of the bridge, cutting demolition cables and securing the bridge.
However, other important bridges were destroyed. Vienna fell when the last defenders in the city surrendered on the same day. Bittrich's II SS Panzer Corps, pulled out to the west on the evening of 13 April to avoid encirclement; the same day, the 46th Army took Essling and the Danube Flotilla landed naval infantry up the river by Klosterneuburg. While the street fighting was still intensifying in the southern and western suburbs of Vienna on 8 April, other troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front by-passed Vienna altogether and advanced on Linz and Graz. On the 10th, all but two of the bridges in the city had been destroyed; the Floridsdorf bridge had been left intact by a Fuehrer Order dictating that the bridge be held at all costs. The 2nd SS Panzer, "Das Reich" left a dozen artillery pieces including 37mm anti-aircraft guns to hold off enemy attacks; that night, the "Das Reich", including their last remaining three dozen armored vehicles, pulled out of the city for the last time. Vienna had fallen, the Germans now moved northwest to hold the next defensive line.
By 15 April, armies of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front pushed further into Austria. The ex
3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf
The 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" was one of 38 divisions of the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. Its name, Totenkopf, is German for "death's head", it is thus sometimes referred to as the Death's Head Division. Prior to achieving division status, the formation was known as Kampfgruppe "Eicke". Most of the division's initial personnel belonged to the SS-Totenkopfverbände, others were members of German militias that had committed war crimes in Poland; the SS Division Totenkopf was formed in October 1939. The Totenkopf Division had close ties to the camp service and its members; when first formed a total of 6,500 men from the SS-Totenkopfverbände were transferred into the Totenkopf Division. The Totenkopf was formed from concentration camp guards of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Standarten of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, men from the SS Heimwehr Danzig. Members of other SS militias were transferred into the division in early 1940; the division had officers from the SS-Verfügungstruppe, of whom many had seen action in Poland.
The division was commanded by SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke. At the time of the Battle of France, the division was equipped with ex-Czech weapons. Totenkopf was held in reserve during the Battle of France and invasion of the Low Countries in May 1940; the division was committed on 16 May to the front in Belgium. To the northeast of Cambrai the division took 16,000 French prisoners. Whilst subsequently trying to drive through to the coast, Totenkopf was involved in the Battle of Arras. On 21 May units of the 1st Army Tank Brigade, supported by the 50th Infantry Division, overran Totenkopf positions, their standard anti-tank gun, the 3.7 cm PaK 36, being no match for the British Matilda tank. On 27 May, the 4 Company of the Totenkopf under the command of Hauptsturmführer Fritz Knöchlein, committed the Le Paradis massacre, where 97 captured men of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment were machine-gunned after surrendering, with survivors killed with bayonets. Two men survived, it took place at a time when the British Expeditionary Force was attempting to retreat through the Pas-de-Calais region during the Battle of Dunkirk.
The division stayed in France for refitting until April 1941. Totenkopf had suffered heavy losses including over 300 officers. Replacement personnel came from Waffen-SS recruits from the camps. In April 1941, the division was ordered East to join Field Marshal Wilhelm von Leeb's Army Group North. Leeb's force was tasked with advancing on Leningrad and formed the northern wing of Operation Barbarossa. Totenkopf took part in the advance through Lithuania and Latvia, by July had breached the Stalin Line; the division advanced past Demyansk to Leningrad where it was involved in heavy fighting in August. During Soviet winter counter-offensive, the division was encircled for several months near Demyansk in what became known as the Demyansk Pocket. During the fighting in the pocket, it was re-designated Kampfgruppe Eicke due to its reduced size. In April 1942, the division broke out of the pocket. At Demyansk, about 80 % of its men were wounded or missing in action; the division was sent to France to be refitted in late October 1942.
While there, the Division took part in Case Anton, the takeover of Vichy France in November 1942. For this operation, the division was supplied with a tank battalion and redesignated 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Division Totenkopf; the division remained in France until February 1943, when its previous commander, Theodor Eicke, resumed control. In February 1943 the division was moved back to the Eastern Front as part of Erich von Manstein's Army Group South; the division, as a part of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser's II SS Panzer Corps, took part in the Third Battle of Kharkov, blunting the Soviet offensive. During this campaign, Theodor Eicke was killed. Hermann Priess succeeded Eicke as commander; the SS Panzer Corps, including the division, was shifted north to take part in Operation Citadel, the offensive aimed at reducing the Kursk salient. It was during February 1943 that the 3rd SS Panzer Regiment received a company of Tiger I heavy tanks; the attack was launched on 5 July 1943 with the II SS Panzer Corps attacking the southern flank of the salient as the spearhead for Generaloberst Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army.
The division covered the advance on the left flank of the II SS Panzer Corps, with the SS Division Leibstandarte forming the spearhead. With the advance slower than had been planned, Hausser ordered his II SS Panzer Corps to split in two, with the Totenkopf crossing the Psel River northwards and continuing on towards the town of Prokhorovka. In the early morning of 9 July, 6th SS Motorised Regiment Theodor Eicke attacked northwards, crossing the Psel and attempted to seize the strategic Hill 226.6, but failed to do so until the afternoon. This meant that the northern advance slowed and the majority of the division was still south of the Psel, where elements of 5th SS Motorised Regiment 5 Thule continued to advance towards Prokhorovka and cover the flank of the Leibstandarte. By 11 July, elements of the division crossed secured Kliuchi. In the afternoon of 12 July, near the village of Andreyevka on the south bank of the Psel, the Soviet forces launched a major counterattack against Regiment Thule and the division's battalion of assault guns during the Battle of Prokhorovka.
Elements of the division engaged lead units of the 5th Gu