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Cheating at Statistics 18: Volosovo Vanishing

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Following some very generous evaluations of their performance, the s.Pz.Abt. 502 continued backing up before the advance of the Red Army. Just a few days later, on January 28th, 1944, an epic battle erupted near the village of Volosovo:

"28 January 1944: Volosovo is reached. Tiger III (Feldwebel Hermann) is approached by 27 T-34s. With only 3 armor-piercing and 9 high-explosive rounds remaining, he destroys 7 T-34s. Several alerted Tigers knock out 8 more T-34s. Ammunition is running out. 9 more T-34s are knocked out at dawn."

A scenario fit for an action movie! It seems everything is lost. but victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat and 24 of the attacking 27 T-34s are knocked out! However, just to be safe, let's make sure that the battle actually happened.
Looking at the records of the 42nd Army, we see this:


"Armoured and Mechanized Units: did not fight that day, were occupied with towing and repairing their vehicles, except the 31st Guards Tank Regiment and 205th Tank Regiment, which fought with the 90th Rifle Division near Lisino."

Right off the bat, the majority of the 42nd Army's armour could not have participated in the fight, and the tanks that did come out that day fought in a different place. The 31st Guards Tank Regiment had an authorized strength of 21 KV tanks, so it's right out. We're left with up to 32 T-34 tanks in the 205th TR, but again, they were engaged against a different target. Although, Volosovo is somewhat near Lisino, and it's possible that the division sent half of its armour to flank around a particularly difficult line of defense. Anything can happen! Let's read the division's records.


"January 28th, 1944

The enemy did not offer any resistance."

Oh. So much for the epic action-packed battle the Germans described. Instead of an tank battle worthy of Hollywood, the Soviets scare off a few regiments of Germans, capturing 7 abandoned tanks (one of them a Tiger). The Tigers were here, but failed to deliver much of an impact, if they fought at all. The 205th Tank Regiment that allegedly just lost 75% of its authorized strength in one battle continues to follow the 90th Rifle Division until the end of the Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha Offensive Operation.

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