"According to orders from the HQ of the 17th Corps, remaining 5 tanks and SPGs (3 KV-85 tanks and 2 SU-122 SPGs) set up for a defense of the Telman farm to deflect enemy attacks towards Rososhe, the Kommunar farm and Bolshevik farm at 7:00 on January 28th, 1944. 50 infantrymen and 2 AT guns filled the defensive perimeter. A concentration of enemy tanks was spotted south of Rososhe. At 11:30, 12 enemy T-6 tanks and 13 medium and small tanks attacked the Telman farm from the south, with infantry cover.
From effective positions, cover from buildings and haystacks, our tanks and SPGs let the enemy approach to straight shot range and opened fire, upsetting the enemy's formation and knocking out 6 tanks (3 of them Tigers), destroying up to a platoon of infantry. Senior Lieutenant Kuleshov's KV-85 was selected to destroy the German infantry that has broken though. With fire and tracks, he carried out his orders. At 13:00, German forces that did not wish to attack the Soviets head on flanked the Telman farm and encircled the Soviet group.
The battle of our tanks when surrounded by a numerically superior force shows exceptional skill and heroism of our tankers. The tank group (3 KV-85 and 2 SU-122), commanded by the company commander, Guards Senior Lieutenant Podust, defended the farm, while at the same time not letting the Germans move their forces elsewhere. Tanks frequently moved positions and fired on German tanks, SU-122s entered open terrain and shot up infantry on APCs heading for Ilyintsy, preventing the Germans from maneuvering freely and allowing elements of the 17th Infantry Corps to withdraw. Tanks continued fighting until 19:30, even though there was no longer any infantry at the farm.
Maneuvers and effective use of cover ensured heavy damage to enemy forces with very light casualties (2 wounded). On January 28th, 1944, 5 Tiger tanks were destroyed or knocked out, as well as 5 PzIVs, 3 PzIIIs, 7 APCs, 6 AT guns, 4 machinegun nests, 28 horsecarts, and up to 3 platoons of infantry.
At 20:00, the tank group attempted a breakthrough, and at 22:00, after battle, broke out to Soviet positions, having lost one SU-122."
Well, that was heroic and all, but I am a sceptic, and I must first at least establish that such a battle took place. Flipping through my good friend Tigers in Combat, we will find no mention of Telman farms or Rososhe, but there is only one mention of any SU-122s in January of 1944, in the journal of the Feldherrnhalle battalion, mentioning the name "Oratoff". Luckily for us, Oratoff still exists on the map, a city near Vinnitsa. A prior mention of "five enemy tank corps spotted 100 kilometers north of Winniza" tells us we're in the right place. Time to pull out a map!
"29 January 1944: Fighting at Oratoff. Abortive recovery attempt of disabled Tigers 112 and 132.
Total tanks: 66. Within five days, 267 tanks are knocked out with a loss of 3 Tigers and 4 Panthers."