For almost two months, after taking Malgobek, the Wiking men fought a series of bloody skirmishes with Soviets troops around Grozny. Steiner and his men received the honour of their division being retitled as a panzergrenadier formation in November (it had a strength of 15,928 men in December 1942). Supplies, particularly fuel and ammunition, were very short because of the long lines of communication down to the Caucasus and the demands of the huge battles in Stalingrad. The Wiking’s panzer battalion had suffered almost 50 percent losses, having only 15 Panzer IIIs and 8 Panzer IV operational on 18 November.
When the Soviet counteroffensive struck the German Sixth Army in late November brought a halt to all further notions of advance in the Caucasus and Army Group A in the Caucasus looked vulnerable. By the beginning of 1943, the Wiking Division was ordered to pull out from the Grozny Front and move rapidly north towards Rostov.