At 03:30 hours the breakout commenced. The 105th Regiment moved silently in the darkness until they reached the base of Hill 239. A reconnaissance patrol led by Lieutenant Bender moved ahead to scout out the area. It was hoped that he would make contact with units of the 1st Panzer Division. However Lieutenant Bender soon returned with grim news. ‘There are tanks ahead, but not ours. A half dozen T-34s are stationed on the road ahead and there are more further to the west.’ The way was not open after all and the lead units realised that they would have to fight through the Russian positions before reaching the safety of 1st Panzers positions.
Major Kaestner reorganized his force and readied them for a swift assault. Kaestner’s men moved silently towards the Russian position once again. Again they assaulted with bayonets, knives and entrenching tools. The Russian infantry fled firing wildly into the darkness. However this only alerted the tank commanders who quickly turned on their vehicle searchlights, illuminating the fleeing mass of German troops.
Now there was no orderly movement, it was every man for himself. All along the line the German units moved frantically ahead, suffering horrendous casualties. They had no choice but to move forward.
The units of the 1st Panzer Division and Bake’s Heavy Regiment, hearing the carnage moved forward to offer what help they could.
All that remained of the 105th Regiment, about 220 men from an original compliment of 1100, finally reached their rescuers at Lysianka. Loudly shouting the password, ‘Freedom, freedom!’ they were greeted by Lieutenant Freiherr von Dornberg, who welcomed Kaestner with an embrace.