The attack of Regiment “Eicke” encountered difficulty on the slopes of Hill 213.9 due to dogged resistance by the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps. The failure of Operation Citadel, several weeks earlier, had left the II SS Panzer-Korps decimated, with losses among the front-line leaders acute. The Russians, however, seemed to experience no end to the fresh troops available. In order to flank the hill, the grenadiers of “Das Reich” would have to take the fortified town of Stepanovka. Backed by light vehicles of the recon battalion, the weary and depleted companies of the “Deutschland” Regiment stepped off at 0800 on 30 July. Upon gaining a toehold on the northwest section of Stepanovka, the landsers of the “Deutschland” Regiment found themselves in a viscious stalemate, embattled in street fighting the likes of which they hadn’t seen since Kharkov.
Attacker: German (SS) (Elements 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Regt Deutschland, 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Division Das Reich)