10 January, 1943
The Don Front began its offensive to destroy the German forces encircled at Stalingrad.
7 armies, 39 infantry divisions, 10 infantry and 4 tank brigades, 12 tank regiments, 89 artillery regiments, 24 mortar regiments and 5 Guards heavy mortar brigades, 250 tanks, 2,500 guns, 6,000 mortars, and 400 aircraft: these were the forces that began storming 6th Army’s defenses in the frozen Don steppes.
The artillery preparation began at 0800 hours. Thousands of guns and mortars fired for 55 minutes, bombers of 16th Air Army blasted away what was not yet reduced to smithereens. The infantry and tanks went into attack. 65th and 21st Armies delivered the main blow, breaking through the Marinovka salient.
Army Group Don report to Hitler: “6th Army’s command reports major breakthroughs by Russian forces in the north, west and south, aimed at Karpovka and Pitomnik. 44th and 76th Infantry Division suffered heavy losses, 29th Motorized Division has only a few units left. There is no hope to restore the situation. Dmitrievka, Tsybenko and Rakotino were lost.” [Stalingrad Battle Data]