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The Yelets offensive operation is a front-line offensive operation of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War, undertaken from December 6 to 16, 1941, by the troops of the right wing of the Southwestern Front during a counteroffensive near Moscow. The purpose of the operation is to encircle and destroy the enemy grouping in the area of the city of Yelets, and then strike into the rear of the troops of the 2nd German Tank Army. As a result of the Yelets operation, the troops of the right wing of the Southwestern Front, advancing 80-100 km, liquidated the Yelets salient, surrounded and destroyed more than 2 divisions, and inflicted a serious defeat on the 2nd German army. They diverted part of the forces of the 2nd TA, providing this substantial assistance to the troops of the left wing of the Western Front, who were performing the main task. A characteristic feature of the Yelets operation is its preparation within a limited time frame. It was carried out at a relatively high rate in difficult winter conditions.|
The enemy continued to press on the 13th Army and General Ya.G. Kreizer, who was defending north of the 3rd Army. Further south, in the direction of Kastornoye, the 9th Panzer and 16th Motorized Divisions of the enemy failed to advance. The Military Council of the Southwestern Front decided to defeat the German Yelets grouping, which would improve the situation on the neighboring Western Front. In the rear of the 13th Army in the Terbuny area, a mechanized cavalry group was urgently created from the front reserves under the command of Lieutenant General F. Ya. Kostenko: the 5th Cavalry Corps, the 1st Guards Rifle Division, the 129th Panzer Division and I am a motorized rifle brigade.
The counter-offensive against the 2nd field army of the Germans began on the northern flank of the 13th army with the actions of the mobile group of forces of General K. S. Moskalenko, which pulled off part of the forces of the enemy group. From the line of the city of Efremov, the enemy was attacked by the formations of the 3rd Army of General Ya. G. Kreizer. The main blow was struck by the troops of F. Ya. Kostenko. For the German command, the appearance of this group of forces on December 7 was a complete surprise. The 5th Cavalry Corps and the 1st Guards Rifle Division broke through to the flank and rear of the enemy grouping in the general direction of Yelets and to the west. The 34th motorized rifle brigade was sent to Livny for deep coverage of the enemy. At the same time, the 13th Army was advancing to the southwest. All this threatened the complete encirclement of the German group. In the battles in the area of the city of Yelets, two enemy infantry divisions were completely defeated. The enemy lost 12 thousand killed and wounded on the battlefield. On December 12, General Kryuchenkin's cavalry defeated the corps headquarters (the corps commander managed to leave the headquarters by plane). The encircled enemy forces tried to force their way to the west, violently attacking the 3rd and 32nd cavalry divisions. On December 15, the commander of the 134th German Infantry Division, General Cohenhausen, personally led the surrounded Germans to a breakthrough. The cavalrymen held out, General Cohenhausen was killed in this attack, the remaining Germans surrendered or fled through the forests.
Yelets (formed in 1146) is a city in Russia, the administrative center of the Yelets district of the Lipetsk region. Forms an independent administrative unit within the region - the urban district "city of Yelets". Located 78 km west of Lipetsk. It is located on the banks of the Bystraya Sosna River at the confluence of the Elchik River. Population - 106,978 people. On October 8, 2007 Yelets was awarded the title "City of Military Glory".