233rd Rifle Division
233-я стрелковая дивизия
In the evening of 11 November 1944, 572nd Rifle Regiment together with Yugoslav 51st Vojvodina Division was first to be cross Danube river at Batina followed by 703rd Regiment. By 13/14 November exhausted 233rd Division was withdrawn from bridgehead and replaced with fresh 19th Rifle Division followed by 73rd Guard Division. During 10 days of fighting on Batina bridgehead division lost almost half of its strength. Out of 33 Gold Star Medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union awarded 11 went to soldiers of the 233rd, 4 posthumously.
703rd Rifle Regiment, supported by 23th Flamethrower Battalion, two battalions of 684th Artillery Regiment and AA machine gun platoon, was forced to retreat from Pitomaca on 26 December 1944 after attack of Croatian 21st Home Defense Regiment from 1st Croatian Assault Division broke through positions of Partisan Matija Gubec brigade and attacked Soviet regiment from the back. Suffering 205 killed and 145 prisoners during retreat and being attacked by Cossacks it managed to take push out Cossacks from Stari Grac and take over new line while rear guard actions was performed by two partisan battalions. Cossacks claimed to have captured 29 guns, 6 mortars, 42 machine guns, 149 flamethrowers, 13 AT-rifles, 72 submachine guns and several hundreds rifles.
During night of 30/31 December, German 1st Cossack Cavalry Division attacked Soviet positions at Stari Grac and Lozan forcing regiment to fall back to reserve line from Okrugljaca to Busetina and Korije.
New attack begun on 2 January 1945 but this time Soviet line held and stopped all Cossack attacks and even resulted in desertion of some Cossacks to Soviets forcing Germans to stop further attacks.
New crisis come on 10 January 1945 when 1st Cossack division supported by Croatian 21st Regiment pushed back Partisan 32nd Division which was out of ammunition forcing Soviets to fall back to second defense line before this line was breached counterattack of Partisans 32nd, 33rd and 40th divisions restored the line.
703rd Regiment and all supporting troops, most notably artillery which was entire time supporting both Soviet troops and Yugoslav partisans were withdrawn after arrival of three fresh Yugoslav divisions from Vojvodina.
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