During a lull in assaults during the second week in October 1942, the Germans massed for a major push toward the Volga River in Stalingradís industrial center. The new offensive kicked off on 14 October, aimed at both the Tractor Works and the Barrikady Factory to the south. Large numbers of German troops and tanks were supported by extensive artillery fire and Stuka attacks. Russian soldiers fought with grim determination in and around the major factories, but were inexorably pushed back by the sheer power of the German assault. The decision was made to split the Russian forces in the two key factory areas in half, thus making reinforcements much more difficult between them. Standing in the way of this task was the Brickworks Factory. The only fresh German formation available, the 305th Infantry Division, was committed to the attack to split the two factory areas. Recognizing the threat to their west bank defenses, the Soviet High Command released the 138th Rifle Division and its lead elements began crossing the Volga during the night of 15 October.