The capture of Malgobek – Reference point 701

Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS
The Soviets were continuously being reinforced. An enemy column consisting of approximately 1,000 men and numerous motorized vehicles was identified 5 kilometres east of the forward lines around noon on October 6 1942. The SS-Division Wiking finally captured Malgobek the very same day, however the objective of seizing the capital and opening a road to the Caspian Sea was not achieved. The closest point to Grozny, Reference Point 701, was captured at 1730 hours by the Finnish volunteers Battalion (Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS) of SS-Infanterie-Regiment Nordland after two hours of hard fighting. In vain, the Soviets ran up against the newly
SS-Panzer-Abteilung 5 Wiking
won positions of the third battalion of Nordland for three days without breaking into the main line of resistance. All attacks were turned back by the tanks of SS-Panzer-Abteilung 5 Wiking. On October 12 1942, 18 Soviet bombers, escorted by fighters, conducted four bombing runs on the positions on high ground. According to various sources the SS-Division Wiking lost over 1,500 men during the fighting for Sagopshin and Malgobek. Several combat units were reduced to only dozens of men, and as a Waffen-SS veteran later wrote: Casualties weren't counted any more, just men left alive. Note: It should be pointed out that Reference Point 701 was not Hill 701, which is indicated in some writings. It was a target reference point for artillery purposes. There was no high ground of 701 meters between Malgobek and Wosnessenskaja. Credit: Viking Panzers. Top image: Volunteers from Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS. Public domain. Bottom image: SS-Panzer-Abteilung 5 Wiking in the North Caucasus. Photo: SS-Kriegsberichter Willy Altstadt. US National Archives and Records Administration. Fair use.

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