Operation Mars was General Zhukovís attempt to destroy the German Ninth Armyís salient, which was less than two hundred kilometers west of Moscow. Well supplied and ably led defenders, in contrast to their comrades fighting for their lives in Stalingrad, rose to the occasion and halted or slowed the Soviet breakthroughs. Despite winter storms, Zhukov exhorted his commanders to press home their attacks, and press the attacks they did, remembering how their government punished those that failed at their tasks. One of these attacks targeted what was thought to be a weak point in the German lines near Shiliki, which was in the defensive sector of the 1st Panzer Division. At 1100 hours, the German crews saw T-34s and KV-1s with infantry riders plowing through the falling snow. Mars reigned supreme as the steel monsters exchanged shot and shell across the snowy wasteland. . .
Attacker: Russian (Elements of the 65th Tank Brigade)
Defender: German (Elements of Kompanie 2, Bataillon 1, Panzergrenadier Regiment 1 and Panzer Regiment 1, Panzer Division 1, plus Elements of Kompanie 1, Panzerjšger Abteilung 37)