Intending to enter Voronezh from the South, on July 4, 1942, the enemy partially infiltrated to the east bank of the Don river in Petino – Malyshevo area and had engaged combat over the Shilovo bridgehead. Bitter combat ensued immediately, as neither side wanted to lose the important in every respect bridgehead. The shortest road from the Don river crossing at Malyshevo to the southern outskirts of the right-bank Voronezh went through the bridgehead. The Shilovo forest presented good opportunities for concealed assembly of reserves, concealment of depots, disposition of logistic services and units. And Shilovo, located on a high ground, held a dominant position over the left bank. Soviet defensive positions at Maslovka, Tavrovo, Beryozovka were clearly visible, even without binoculars, from the village and especially from the church bell tower.
This is the bell tower today:
In-game engagements are modelled for the period from July 4 to July 6, 1942. Combat (on the map modeled in the game) is conducted by: German 24 TD (26 IR, 24 TR) with reinforcement assets, and Soviet 232 RD (498 RR, 425 AR), 110 TBde and a battalion of 180 TBde.
On the morning of July 4, the Germans crossed the Don river without heavy equipment and moved in the direction of Voronezh. Heavy equipment and artillery followed only on July 5. On the morning of July 5, the Germans were counter-attacked by tanks of 110 and 180 TBde (unsuccessfully), but dislodged 232 RD units from Shilovo and took control of it.
Germans noted heavy Soviet aviation activity (detailed reports on 24 TD over this period were destroyed by an exploding aircraft bomb, which also killed 2 translators).
Listed as combat ready in 24 TD:
- on July 3: 26хPz2; 49xPz3(lg); 47xPz3(kz); 10xPz4(lg); 18xPz4(kz).
- on July 5: 26хPz2; 41xPz3(lg); 43xPz3(kz); 17xPz4(lg); 17xPz4(kz).
- on July 7: 19хPz2; 26xPz3(lg); 28xPz3(kz); 5xPz4(lg); 13xPz4(kz).
26 IR would have had at least 2-3 batteries of 4x105mm howitzers and 1 battery of 4x150mm howitzers of the division's artillery regiment.
- 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 2nd Heavy Mortar Regiment, 6 mortars each.
- 2nd Battalion 72 AR (3 batteries of 4х10cm long-range guns).
- 733 Heavy Art. Battalion (3 batteries of 4х21cm howitzers).
232 RD, almost full strength, personnel shortage around 5%. Guns in 1/425 AR: 8x ZIS-3, 4x M-30.
110 TBde was armed with T-34 and T-60 tanks.
180 TBde operated with a battery of the 16th Destroyer Brigade and a platoon of T-60 tanks.
- 4 July: mixed sun and thunderstorms.
- 5 July: sunny, clear.
- 6 July: sunny, clear.
- 7 July: sunny; late afternoon - heavy rain.