The defense of Odessa: the successful operation of the red Army in 1941

History 13/01/20 the defense of Odessa: the successful operation of the red Army in 1941

Almost all military operations of the great Patriotic war still contain “white spots”. When trying to understand the researcher immediately sees what we know, is usually much less that is unknown.

the events of 1941 in this respect the lead that is easy to explain reasons of an objective nature: the General retreat, the panic, the confusion, the loss of documents. Odessa defensive operation of 1941 is no exception. Despite the many descriptions, memories, still a lot of material raises questions.

However, what is known, it is enough to consider fighting the red Army during the defense of Odessa the most successful, at least for 1941.

the Red Army fought outnumbered

About the fact that defending Odessa troops of the red Army in numbers much inferior to the Romanian troops, stormed the town, you know.

However, in Soviet times all operations of 1941 were described as carried out with the numerical superiority of the enemy. Now in the public domain is a very large number of documents showing that the red army in the 41st year (and all others) always had the numerical advantage. Sometimes overwhelming, at least — negligible.

But in Odessa, this was not. Defending Odessa a Separate Maritime army consisted of three (later four) infantry and one cavalry division. In addition to the divisions, in the army there were a lot of separate parts: a regiment of the NKVD, border battalion, the regiment, five machine-gun battalions. Engineer troops consisted of five battalions, in addition there were eight workers and two construction battalion.

it Was formed eight assault battalions. Of the personnel of the Odessa naval base assembled two regiments of sailors.

Anti-aircraft defense of the city and inISC provided three anti-aircraft artillery regiment (army and two Navy), a separate division and anti-aircraft machine gun battalion.

By the 20th of August, the army had 580 guns and mortars. Coastal artillery of the black sea fleet in Odessa consisted of 35 coastal guns with a caliber of from 130 to 203-mm and 20 cannons 122-152 mm in the rolling division. Another 30 guns were in the ship squad.

Originally a seaside army had only 6 tanks, but in total were refurbished in the factories, more than 40 vehicles, mainly BT, but also at least 5 T-34 tanks. It was also built 60 penetration and three armored trains.

However, despite the rather large list of parts, defending Odessa, on the other side of the front of the list was more impressive.

the City was stormed by the 4th Romanian army. If initially the army had 8 infantry and 1 Panzer division and 2 cavalry brigade, by the end of August, the number of infantry divisions increased to 12, and cavalry brigades — to 3.

near Odessa were concentrated almost all Romanian tanks. However, only for the first four days of fighting was lost a third of machines: 47 units. By the end of August was only 30 combat ready tanks.

of Course, the fighting capacity of the Romanian troops were not comparable with the Wehrmacht. And armament, and the level of training of the personnel of the Romanian connection to the Germans was inferior. The weakest point of the Romanian army were anti-tank artillery. However, because coastal army number of tanks was negligible, and the lack of anti-tank weapons, the Romanians were affected not so much.

Evaluating the strength of the warring parties, one can speak of a triple at least the superiority of the Romanian troops.

And with this superiority, the Romanian troops: first, was unable to take Odessa by storm, and second, suffered a much greater loss than the Red Army. Nothing like during the great Patriotic war, and in 1941, certainly not happened.

However, the question the losses of the parties in the battle for Odessa causes some historians to doubt.

What were the losses?

the Losses of Soviet troops during the defense of Odessa, according to official data was 16578 man killed and missing, and 24690 — wounded.

losses of the Romanian troops, according to Romanian data, resulting in the book “defense of Odessa. 73-day heroic defense of the city,” Viktor Savchenko. The Romanian army lost in killed 17891 person, 63280 the wounded man, missing 8849 people just 90020 people. To lose almost a hundred thousand people, despite the fact that the Romanian data for operations in Transnistria and Odessa were mobilized 426 440 people, of which in the 4th army had about 340200 people. And Soviet forces had three times less!

it Should be noted that the author Boris Sokolov in his work “the Myth of defense of Odessa” questioned the loss of Soviet troops. According to the Romanians were captured about 16 thousand soldiers and commanders of the red army, and he questioned the death toll, which in this case is clearly not consistent with the real.

Sokolov’s Opinion usually professional historians perceived with skepticism, but his assumption can be checked.

To the beginning of the defense of Odessa Maritime army consisted of 35 thousand people. This does not include the number of personnel of the Odessa naval base which the Soviet data was about 10-12 thousand people. Also not taken into account here 12 thousand people from construction battalions and over 8 thousand soldiers fighting battalions. Given the air defense forces, NKVD, border guards, it turns out about 70 thousand people by the beginning of the defensive action. Later arrived in Odessa: 157-th infantry division (12 thousand people), several small units and marching completion of a total population of 37.5 million people. Only about 50 thousand people. That is, in the defense of Odessa were involved in at least 120 thousand people. B. Sokolov gives a figure of 130 thousand, and although it does not give the source, it is possible that this figure is correct.

We know from Odessa was evacuated to 86 thousand people. If we add to this the dead and missing, then a total of 102-103 thousand.

it is Known that the prisoner fell 6.4 thousand people, who were unable to evacuate in October. Only 14th September following the Romanian breakthrough, was captured about 5 thousand soldiers. That is the prisoners there were about 12 thousand people.

most Likely, the data on Soviet losses there are inaccuracies that are easily explained, as was undoubtedly very great difficulties, taking into account: the operation was attended by the army, the Navy and the NKVD and militia.

But, even assuming that the Soviet losses in the defense of Odessa was much higher and, for example, was $ 40 thousand and 60 thousand, much less Romanian.

And in any case nothing prevents us to consider the defense of Odessa the most successful operation of our troops against losses of the achieved results.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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