The German 2nd Panzer Group had created the Mogilev “kessel” on 13 July 1941 as its lead elements raced towards Smolensk. As German infantry units arrived they replaced the panzer formations containing the Soviet forces and on 15 July they began to squeeze the pocket. The Russians at Mogilev received supply drops from the Red Air Force, which allowed a number of limited counterattacks attempting to both slow the Germans and to break out of the kessel. On July 20 the German forces penetrated the Russian defenses and within two days any possibility of escape by the encircled units had evaporated. The German 23rd Infantry Division, attacking from the southeast, blasted a path into the town and on 21 July attempted to capture a bridge across the Dnepr and break into the final defensive line.
Attacker: German (Elements of 9th Infantry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Division)
Defender: Russian (Elements of the 172nd Rifle Division, 61st Rifle Corps., Soviet 13th Army)