Crimean strategic offensive operation. The Crimean operation (1944): the strength and composition of the parties
The peninsula of Crimea at all times, first forRussian Empire, and later for the USSR was a strategic center in the Black Sea. Operation Crimean was very important for the advancing Red Army, and at the same time Hitler understood: if he gave the peninsula, the entire Black Sea would lose. Fierce fighting lasted more than a month and led to the defeat of defending fascists.
On the eve of the operation
From late 1942 - early 1943 during the Second World Warthere was a radical change: if before that time the Red Army was retreating, now it went on the offensive. The Battle of Stalingrad was a tragedy for the entire Wehrmacht. In the summer of 1943, a battle took place on the Kursk Bulge, which was named the largest tank battle in history, in which the Soviet forces strategically outplayed the Nazis by taking them in pincers, after which the Third Reich was already doomed. The generals reported to Hitler that the continued continuation of hostilities becomes meaningless. However, he ordered to stand and hold the position to the last.
Operation Crimean became a continuation of the gloriousthe accomplishments of the Red Army. After the Nizhnedneprov offensive operation, the 17th German army was blocked on the Crimean peninsula without the possibility of replenishment and reinforcement. In addition, the Soviet troops managed to seize a convenient bridgehead in the Kerch area. The higher German command again recalled the hopelessness of the situation at the front. As for the Crimea itself, the generals specifically said that without a possible overland reinforcement they remain there for sure death with further resistance. Hitler did not think so - he gave the order to keep the defense of this important strategic point. He motivated it by the fact that in the event of the surrender of the Crimea, Romania and Bulgaria will stop allied with Germany. The order was given, but what was the ratio of ordinary soldiers to this instruction and in general to the war, when the Crimean defensive operation began for them?
The theorists of war often speak only ofthe correlation between the forces of the opposing sides and their strategies, supposing that the outcome of the battle as a whole is already at the beginning of the battle, simply by calculating the number of combat equipment and the number of fighters.
Meanwhile, practitioners believe that if not decisive, then a huge role is played by morale. And what was with him on both sides?
The Red Army's Red Army
If at the beginning of the war the morale of the Soviet soldierswas quite low, then in the course of her actions, and especially after Stalingrad, he unbelievably increased. Now the Red Army was going to battle only after the victory. In addition, our troops, unlike the first months of the war, were tempered in battle, and the command gained the necessary experience. All this together gave us full advantage over the invaders.
The fighting spirit of the German-Romanian army
At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the German military machine did not knowdefeats. In less than two years, Germany managed to capture almost all of Europe, coming to the borders of the USSR. The fighting spirit of the Wehrmacht soldiers was on top. They considered themselves invincible. And going to the next battle, already knew in advance that it would be victorious.
However, at the end of 1941 the Nazismet with serious resistance in the battle for Moscow. During the operation, the Red Army drove them away from the city for a distance of more than 200 km. It was a blow to their pride and, most importantly, according to their morale.
Then came the Battle of Stalingrad, Kurskthe battle, the breakthrough of the blockade of Leningrad, the Crimean strategic offensive operation began. The Third Reich retreated on all fronts. In addition to the fact that the German soldiers were defeated one by one, they were simply tired of the war. No matter how we treat them, they are also people, they had families that they loved and wanted to return home as soon as possible. They did not need this war anymore. The fighting spirit was at zero.
Forces of the parties. the USSR
Operation Crimean became one of the most ambitious during the Second World War. The Red Army was represented:
- The 4th Ukrainian Front, commanded by F.I.Tolbukhin. It consisted of the 51st Army under the command of J.G. Kreiser; 2 nd Guards Army under the leadership of GF Zakharov; The 8th Air Army under the command of TT Khryukin, as well as the 19th Panzer Corps, initially under the command of ID Vasiliev, who was later replaced by IA Potseluev.
- Separate Primorsky Army, under the command of General AI Eremenko, but on 15.04.1944 she was commanded by KS Melnik, who was the lieutenant-general of the army.
- The Black Sea Fleet, commanded by Admiral Oktyabrsky F.
- 361st Sevastopol separate radio distribution.
- Azov military flotilla, led by Rear Admiral Gorshkov SG
Forces of the parties. Germany, Romania
The defense of the captured peninsula was performed by the 17tharmy of the Wehrmacht. Since May 1, 1944, she was commanded by the infantry general K. Almendinger. The army consisted of 7 Romanian and 5 German divisions. The main headquarters is located in the city of Simferopol.
The Crimean operation by the Wehrmacht in the spring of 1944 was defensive in nature. Territorial defensive strategy of the Wehrmacht can be divided into 4 parts:
1. North. Commanding these forces was located in Dzhankoy, there were also concentrated reserves. Two formations were concentrated here:
- 49th Mountain Corps: 50, 111, 336th Infantry Divisions, 279th Brigade of Assault Guns;
- The 3rd Romanian Cavalry Corps, consisting of the 9th Cavalry, 10th and 19th Infantry Divisions.
2. The West. The entire coast from Sevastopol to Perekop was guarded by two regiments of the 9th Romanian Cavalry Division.
3. East. Events unfolded on the Kerch Peninsula. Here they defended themselves:
- The 5th Army Corps (73rd and 98th Infantry Divisions, 191st Brigade of Assault Guns);
- 6th Cavalry and 3rd Mountain Rifle Divisions.
4. South. All the southern coast from Sevastopol to Feodosia patrolled and defended the 1 st Romanian Mountain Corps.
As a result, the forces were concentrated as follows: the northern direction - 5 divisions, Kerch - 4 divisions, the southern and western coast of the Crimea - 3 divisions.
The Crimean operation was started precisely with such arrangement of combat formations.
The correlation of forces of the warring parties
Weapons and mortars
Tanks and automatic control systems
In addition, the Red Army had 322 unitstechniques of the navy. These figures indicate a significant numerical superiority of the Soviet Army. This command of the Wehrmacht reported to Hitler in order to obtain permission to withdraw the forces remaining in the blockade.
Plans of the parties
The Soviet side saw in the Crimea, and mainly inSevastopol, the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. With the receipt of this facility for its use, the Soviet Navy could more conveniently and successfully carry out operations at sea, which was necessary for the further advance of the troops.
Germany, too, was well aware of the significance of the Crimeafor the general alignment of forces. Hitler understood that the Crimean offensive strategic operation could lead to the loss of this important springboard. Moreover, Adolf was often informed of the impossibility of deterring the Red Army in this direction. Most likely, he already understood the hopelessness of the situation, but he no longer had other considerations. Hitler gave the order to defend the peninsula to the last soldier, in no case to surrender it to the USSR. He regarded the Crimea as a force that holds back such allies as Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey near Germany, and the loss of this point will automatically lead to a loss of support for the allies.
Thus, Crimea was very important for the Soviet Army. For Germany, it was vital.
The beginning of the Crimean offensive operation
The strategy of the Red Army wasa simultaneous massive strike from the north (from Sivash and Perekop) and the east (from Kerch) with the subsequent advance to the strategic centers - Simferopol and Sevastopol. After that, the enemy had to be dismembered into separate groups and destroyed, without giving the possibility of evacuation to Romania.
On April 3, the Soviet Army, using its heavyartillery, destroyed the defensive works of the enemy. April 7, in the evening, reconnaissance was conducted, confirming the location of enemy forces. On April 8, the Crimean operation began. Two days the Soviet soldiers were in the conditions of fierce battles. As a result, the enemy's defense was broken. On April 11, the 19th Panzer Corps succeeded in capturing Dzhankoy, one of the staffs of the enemy forces, on the first attempt. German and Romanian formations, fearing encirclement, began to retreat from the north and east (from Kerch) to Simferopol and Sevastopol.
On the same day the Soviet army captured Kerch,after which in all directions, the pursuit of the retreating enemy with the use of aviation began. Wehrmacht began evacuation of soldiers by sea, but the forces of the Black Sea Fleet struck at evacuated vessels, as a result of which the fascist allied forces lost 8,100 people.
On April 13, the cities of Simferopol,Feodosia, Saki, Evpatoria. The next day - Sudak, another day - Alushta. The Crimean operation in the Second World War was coming to an end. It only remained for Sevastopol.
Contribution of the partisans
A separate topic of discussion is the partisan andclandestine activity of Crimeans. The Crimean operation, in short, became the unity of the army and partisans in achieving a common goal. According to estimates, there were about 4000 people. Their tasks were to destroy the rear of the enemy, subversive activities, the breakage of communications and railways, on the mountain roads were made rubble. Partisans violated the work of the port in Yalta, which greatly complicated the evacuation of German and Romanian soldiers. In addition to undermining the purpose of the partisans was to prevent the destruction of industrial transport enterprises and cities.
Here is one example of an active partisanactivities. On April 11, during the retreat of the 17th Wehrmacht army to Sevastopol, the guerrillas seized the city of Stary Krym, and as a result they cut the road to the retreating.
Kurt Tippelskirch - the general of the Wehrmacht - described the last days of the battles in the following way: during the whole operation the guerrillas actively cooperated with the Soviet troops and assisted them.
Storming of Sevastopol
By April 15, 1944, Soviet troops approached thethe main base - Sevastopol. Preparations for the assault began. By that time, the Odessa operation was completed, which took place within the framework of the Dnieper-Carpathian. Odessa (and the Crimean) operation, during which the northern and north-western coast of the Black Sea was liberated, made a significant contribution to the cause of the Victory.
The first two attempts to seize the city on the 19th and 23rd were unsuccessful. The regrouping of troops began, as well as the supply of provisions, fuel and ammunition.
May 7, at 10:30, with the massive support of aviation, the storming of the fortified district of Sevastopol began. On May 9, the Red Army entered the city from the east, north and southeast. Sevastopol was released! The remaining Wehrmacht troops began to retreat, but at Cape Khersonnes were overtaken by the 19th Panzer Corps, where they took the last battle, as a result of which the 17th Army was completely defeated, and 21,000 soldiers (including officers) were taken prisoner together with a mass of equipment and other weapons.
The last bridgehead of the Wehrmacht in the Right-BankUkraine, located in the Crimea, represented by the 17th Army was destroyed. Over 100,000 German and Romanian soldiers were irretrievably lost. Total losses were 140,000 soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht.
The threat to the southern direction of the front disappeared for the Red Army. There was a return of Sevastopol, the main base of the Black Sea Fleet.
But the most important thing is that after the Crimean operation the USSR regained control in the Black Sea basin. This fact sharply shook Germany's strong positions in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
The worst grief in the history of our people in the XX centurycentury - the Great Patriotic War. The Crimean operation, like all the others, had positive consequences for the offensive and strategies, but as a result of these clashes hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of our citizens died. The Crimean offensive operation was an important strategic goal set by the Soviet command. Germany was required in 1941-1942. 250 days to capture Sevastopol. Soviet troops had enough 35 days to liberate the entire Crimean peninsula, 5 of which were required to storm Sevastopol. As a result of a successful operation, favorable conditions were created for the advance of the Soviet armed forces to the Balkan Peninsula.