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79 years ago, the offensive of the Wehrmacht in the Caucasus was stopped

79 years ago, on November 11, 1942, the defeat of the enemy grouping near the village of Gizel stopped the German offensive on the capital of North Ossetia, eliminated the danger of the enemy reaching the Georgian Military Highway and the Beslan-Grozny-Baku branch line, which would soon lead to the victory of the Red Army in battle for the Caucasus.
On November 2, having broken through the outer rim of the Ordzhonikidze fortified area, the tanks of the German 13th division entered the village of Gizel. Along with the tankers, saboteurs from the Brandenburg-800 regiment took part in the offensive, preparing to seize the capital of the republic, which was no more than 5-6 kilometers away. On account of the Brandenburg special forces were the capture of the Veselovsky reservoir dam, the bridge at Maikop, which led to the fall of the city, and the railway bridge on the Belaya River, through which the 13th Panzer Division went to break through. On the morning of November 2, the commander of Army Group A, von Kleist, signed an order requiring the troops to take the capital of the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the city of Ordzhonikidze (Vladikavkaz), with a lightning rush.
However, the capture of Gisel, as it turned out, was the highest success of the Wehrmacht in the battle for the Caucasus. In total, from October 26 to November 11, the 13th division will lose 45 tanks and 592 vehicles, and on the night of a breakthrough from the encirclement from November 11 to 12, another 18 tanks and 496 vehicles. If on November 1 the division had 119 serviceable tanks, then on November 4 - only 70, and on November 17 - only 32!
On November 5, the fighting in the Caucasus will attract the attention of British Prime Minister Churchill, who will ask Stalin what the situation is there. “It has slightly deteriorated in comparison with the situation in October. The Germans managed to capture Nalchik and approach Vladikavkaz, where big battles are now going on, ”Stalin would answer.
On the same day, General Ivan Rosly's 11th Rifle Corps, which in March 1940 was the first to break through the Finnish Mannerheim Line, together with Colonel Sevostyanov's 10th Rifle Corps, launched an offensive on Gizel. “The fire from our side was so strong and dense that the German troops, suffering heavy losses, only occasionally fired back from guns and mortars,” eyewitnesses said. On November 7, the German units in Gisel were surrounded. Enemy aircraft bombed the Beslan station, as a result of which 30 tons of corn, an annual oil supply and 2 wagons with ammunition were burned at the drying plant, but this was the last success of the Germans.
On November 9, a native of the Novosibirsk region, junior sergeant Pyotr Barbashov near the village of Gizel closed the embrasure of the enemy bunker with his body, anticipating the feat of Alexander Matrosov for six months. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of December 13, 1942, Petr Parfenovich Barbashov was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
By the morning of November 11, the remnants of the defeated 13th Panzer Division were driven out of Gisel. Three days later, the commander of the Northern Group of Forces, General Maslennikov, and the commander of the Transcaucasian Front, General Tyulenev, were summoned to the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command. “We in Moscow were a little nervous about your front,” Stalin admitted. - But the Caucasians are great, they did not let us
down. There will soon be relief for the Transcaucasian front. We intend to defeat the enemy on the Volga. "
The newspaper Pravda wrote in those days: “It is quite possible that outside the town of Ordzhonikidze, to the south of the ridge, many Germans already dreamed of the promised India. The successful performance of our troops in the Stalingrad area, as well as the operations carried out in the Vladikavkaz area, shows that from day to day the Red Army is growing mature, tempered, strengthening its might. It is ready to fulfill with honor the tasks entrusted to it to defeat the hated enemy - the German fascist invaders and their bloody accomplices. "
The American newspaper Daily Star summed up the events at Giseli: "With the advance of the Russians, a turn in the course of the war began."