Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to your username, along with other benefits. Anti-spam check. Do not fill this in!===Advance towards Kharkov: 7–10 March=== While Rokossovsky's Central Front continued its offensive against the German Second Army, which had by now been substantially reinforced with fresh divisions, the renewed German offensive towards Kharkov took it by surprise.<ref>Glantz (1996), pp. 134–135</ref> On 7 March, Manstein made the decision to press on towards Kharkov, despite the coming of the spring thaw. Instead of attacking east of Kharkov, however, Manstein decided to orient the attack towards the west of Kharkov and then encircle it from the north.<ref name="Karel20">Margry (2001), p. 20</ref> The ''Grossdeutschland'' Panzergrenadier Division had also returned to the front, and threw its weight into the attack, threatening to split the 69th Army and the remnants of the 3rd Tank Army.<ref>Glantz (1991), p. 195</ref> Between 8–9 March, the SS Panzer Corps completed its drive north, splitting the 69th and 40th Soviet Armies, and on 9 March it turned east to complete its encirclement. Despite attempts by the ''Stavka'' to curtail the German advance by throwing in the freshly released 19th Rifle Division and 186th Tank Brigade, the German drive continued.<ref>Glantz (1991), p. 197</ref> On 9 March, the Soviet 40th Army counterattacked against the ''Grossdeutschland'' Division in a final attempt to restore communications with the 3rd Tank Army. This counterattack, however, was caught by the expansion of the German offensive towards Kharkov on 10 March.<ref>Glantz (1991), p. 199</ref> That same day, the 4th Panzer Army issued orders to the SS Panzer Corps to take Kharkov as soon as possible, prompting Hausser to order an immediate attack on the city by the three SS Panzer divisions. The ''Das Reich'' would come from the West, the ''LSSAH'' would attack from north, and the ''Totenkopf'' would provide a protective screen along the north and northwestern flanks. Despite attempts by General Hoth to order Hausser to stick to the original plan, the SS Panzer Corps' commander decided to continue with his own plan of attack on the city, although Soviet defenses forced him to postpone the attack until the next day. Manstein issued an order to continue outflanking the city, although leaving room for a potential attack on Kharkov if there was little Soviet resistance, but Hausser decided to disregard the order and continue with his own assault.<ref name="Karel20" /> According to von Manstein, the Army Group headquarters was forced to intervene on a number of occasions to bring the SS Panzer Corps to swing eastwards to encircle the city, instead of launching a frontal attack on Kharkov.<ref name="Manstein436">von Manstein (1982), p. 436</ref> Summary: Please note that all contributions to the Military Wiki are considered to be released under the CC-BY-SA Cancel Editing help (opens in new window) Retrieved from "https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Kharkov"