The Soviet Moscow counteroffensive aimed to encircle Army Group Center’s 4. Armee and 4. Panzerarmee by cutting through their rear area and supply lines in the Vyazma and Iukhnov regions. To achieve this, General Zhukov employed deep cavalry, airborne, and partisan operation. Hitler countermanded his generals’ plan to fall back from Moscow with his own “Stand fast as all costs” order. As a result, every German-occupied hamlet was turned into a strongpoint. One such location, 50 kilometers southwest of Vyzama, was the Ugra railroad station, held by four companies of Major Alfred Haase’s kampfgruppe. The station was adjacent to the strategically important Ugra River bridge – right in the heart of the Soviet 4th Airborne Corps’ drop zone.
Attacker: Russian (Elements of 4th Battalion, 9th Air Assault Brigade, 4th Airborne Corps and Group Kirillov, 1st Partisan Regiment)
Defender: German (Elements of Kampfgruppe Haase, 4th Army)