November 15, 1942: Major Linden decided to undertake one last desperate attack against the 138th Rifle Division in the south of the “Red Barrikady”. He shifted his remaining forces again, drawing them partially from other divisions, like Pionier Bataillon 305, and set them up in front of the 138th Rifle Division. The combined attacks of Pioner Bataillon 50, 294, 305 and 336 fell upon the 768th and 650th Rifle Regiments. The Soviets fought for every inch, every trench and rubble pile, like they had done the previous days and weeks in their besieged city. The attack gained minimum ground and proved too weak. Both sides were worn out. The final attack against the southern bridgehead of “Krasnaya Barrikady” was aborted, the German casualties were running too high. Major Linden considered aborting the operation in the northern sector altogether.
However, the position of Tschuikov’s 62nd Army was precarious:
The 62nd army was surrounded at three parts. Their resistance lines were thinning, the still heavy ice flow on the Volga prevented supply shipments on a large scale, and the air lifts can only provide scant food and ammunition supply for the brave and fearless soldiers.
124th Rifle Brigade (Polkovnik S.F. Korochow) held a small bridgehead in the north, two bridgeheads around Barrikady were held by 138th Rifle Division. The size of the largest was only 250m by 100m deep. The largest, but thinnest, was held by 14th Guards Rifle Division under General Rodimzev.
The broadest part was around Mamayev Kurgan, where 2000m of depth was held, but otherwise only a few hundred metres could be occupied.
Only the steep Volga bank was saving the Soviets. When the Germans broke through the Soviets retreated behind these banks, reformed and counterattacked. Even the German artillery was not able to hit these positions as their shells could not target accurately the thin beach strips. Into the bank itself, the Soviets drove deep tunnels where they could store supplies, let their men recuperate and assemble some reserves from stragglers and mauled units. They were able to form and reform shattered units for counterattacks and keep up a kind of cohesiveness for their hard hit Army.