Operation Uranus was in full swing. Russian mechanized formations had smashed through and effectively destroyed the poorly equipped armies of the German allies protecting the flanks of the 6. Armee at Stalingrad. One exception was the Rumanian Major Rasconescu's battalion, which retreated in good order with all its equipment. At the airfield at Obliviskaya, the home of the Fliegerkorps VIII headquarters, Rasconescu's unit was dragooned into Gruppe Stahel. On 26 November the Russian 8th Cavalry Corps hit the airfield.