The Germanís plan to break into the Crimea by surprise and take Sevastopol by coup had failed. Instead, the German 11th Army was now in danger of being cut off from the Crimea in the Nogy Steppe and being encircled and possibly destroyed in the narrow strip of land between the Dneiper and the Black Sea. The tow Soviet armies, 9th and 18th which were putting the pressure on Mansteinís divisions had neglected their flanks and rear cover. In a daring maneuver, von Kleistís First Panzer Army, from a bridgehead established at Dnepropetrovsk by the III Panzer Corps, broke through the Soviet defense on the Dneiper and turned south and struck at the rear of the two Soviet armies. Before the Soviet High Command even realized what was happening, its armies were themselves in a trap. Kleistís forces smashed between Mariupol and Berdyansk, leading the assault was the newly arrived SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. The Soviets lashed back and inflicted local panic amongst the men of LSSAH as the first T34s were encountered with surprising effect. The Grenadiers quickly called up the StuGs of the 1st Company SS-StuG Abteilung to deal with the armored menace.
Attacker: German (SS) (SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, I/SS-Sturmgeschutz Abteilung)