The Crimean Offensive, 1944: The Russian Battle for the Crimea (Casemate Illustrated) (Paperback)

The Crimean Offensive, 1944: The Russian Battle for the Crimea (Casemate Illustrated) By Ian Baxter Cover Image

The Crimean Offensive, 1944: The Russian Battle for the Crimea (Casemate Illustrated) (Paperback)

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By October 1943, the German 17th Army had been forced to retreat from the Kuban bridgehead across the Kerch Strait to Crimea. During the following months, the Red Army pushed back the German forces in the southern Ukraine. In November 1943, they eventually cut off the land-based connection of 17th Army through the Perekop Isthmus. Hitler prohibited a sea evacuation of 17th Army because he thought the Red Army could use the Crimean Peninsula to launch air attacks against Romanian oil refineries.

In November 1943, the Russian launched a massive amphibious assault at two locations on the eastern coast of the Crimea, but its units were unable to prevent an Axis counterattack that collapsed the southern bridgehead. The Red Army held the bridgehead at Yenikale, from which they launched further offensive operations, culminating in a huge offensive in April 1944.

Although the 17th Army bitterly contested every bit of ground, it was unable to stop the advance. Soviet forces reached Kerch on April 11, forcing the 17th Army to retreat towards Sevastopol. The remaining Axis forces in the Crimea were concentrating around the city by the end of the third week of April.

The Germans intended to hold Sevastopol as a fortress, as the Russians had done between 1941 and 1942. However, the fortifications of the city had not been restored and the city fell on 9 May.

From mid-April, Romanian and German ships undertook a huge and complex evacuation operation. The last phase of the evacuation, following the fall of Sevastopol, saw 37,000 troops transported under constant attacks from Soviet aircraft and shore artillery. Overall around 57,000 men were lost during the evacuation.

Fully illustrated with rare and unpublished photos, this is a detailed account of the dogged attempt to retake the Crimea in 1943-44.

Product Details ISBN: 9781636244358
ISBN-10: 1636244351
Publisher: Casemate
Publication Date: April 30th, 2025
Pages: 128
Language: English
Series: Casemate Illustrated