The Red Army made good progress initially, sending the first infantry company over the bridge, followed by the T34's. The Command and Heavy Company (not trusting the bridge at first) went for the ford crossing. Disaster struck early on for the Red Army as a Panther hiding in some woods managed to destroy one of the heavy SU 152's right in the crossing point blocking it for anything else. The Soviet tanks gave a good fight and the Panther sustained some damage but had a number of lucky escapes from the Soviets who were clearly phased by trying to ford a river and fire at the same time. Infantry continued to cross the bridge unchallenged. The German Tigers began to roll out of their nests in the town and took up a defence at the end of the road along with a HMG unit. The other two Waffen SS companies held defensive positions in a wood and a farm at each side of the road into the town. During the mid part of the opperation there was only gradual movement as the remaining Soviet Heavy company and T34's began their crossing of the bridge.