What price to pay the Red Army for the liberation of Crimea

History 08/02/20 What price to pay the Red Army for the liberation of Crimea

the Liberation of Crimea in 1944 is often referred to as “the Third Stalinist strike” that is not quite right. First, as explained in his work “the Third Stalinist strike — myth and reality” Crimean historian V. E. Polyakov, the concept of “Stalin’s blows” is a postwar invention, the impetus for which was the speech of I. V. Stalin in 1944, where he mentioned the ten crushing blows. And also one of the first postwar films “Third strike”, which tells about the liberation of the Crimea. The Soviet press came up with “Stalin’s blows”.

In any case, the “third strike” includes not only the liberation of the Crimea, but also the liberation of Odessa. So the Crimean offensive of 1944 — it is only a component of the so-called “strike”.

Although the theme of liberation of the Crimea dedicated to many different jobs (mostly creative, not historical terms), loss it is known a little.

forces of the red army in the Crimean operation

Offensive in the Crimea was planned to conduct on the part of the Perekop and Kerch Peninsula.

From the North to the Crimea was to enter the 4th Ukrainian front under the command of General of the army F. I. Tolbukhin. In the composition of the front two arms (51st and 2nd guards) and the 8th air army 19th tank corps. A total of 18 infantry divisions, tank corps, tank brigade, a separate tank and self-propelled artillery regiments, flamethrower-tank battalion, 2 artillery divisions and 4 engineering teams, parts.

Tank Park front was extremely variegated: there were already defecting to the Soviet KV and T-60, various American and English cars. There were 337 tanks. Of these, 51-th army was supported by 82, and the 2nd guards — 43 tanks and SAU. The front had a powerful artillery, including 203-mm howitzers and 280-mm mortars.

From the East came the independent coastal armyI’m under the command of General of the army A. I. Eremenko. In the army 12 infantry and mountain infantry divisions, 2 marine rifle brigades, a tank brigade, 4th separate tank and self-propelled artillery regiments, separate parts. Air troops Eremenko was supported by 4th air army. The tank fleet of the army also was diverse and consisted 204-211 tanks.

8th air army had 600 serviceable aircraft (750), 4th army — 561 aircraft (out of 580), aviation of the black sea fleet could provide up to 300 aircraft. The total number of aircraft amounted to 1456 machines, including 683 382 fighter and attack aircraft.

the Population of the coastal army is indicated by 92 367 people, of the 2nd guards — 72 230 51-th army — 93 300 people. In parts of front subordination was 20 681 people. Soviet troops after huge losses in previous operations has had a significant shortage. The divisions, according to the figures in the book of A. Isaeva, “the Battle for the Crimea” data were only 6500-7000 people. In the companies divisions of the 2nd shock army, according to the report No. 1195/sh, dated 16 April, was 70-75 people.

Who defended in the Crimea?

In Soviet times it was decided to inflate the number of German troops in every way possible. However, it should be recognized that in the Crimean operation, a significant advantage was on the side of the red Army.

In the Crimea was the 17th German army. It was composed of only five German infantry divisions. Of these, two were in the North, two on the Kerch Peninsula, and one on the coast (later transferred to Perekop). In addition, there were seven Romanian divisions: cavalry and mountain on the Kerch Peninsula, infantry and cavalry in the Northern part, and three were guarding the coast from any possible landings. There were 77 assault guns, were two of the respective division. Romanian troops had two tank companies, which had up to two dozen of Czech tanks, which had zero military value.

But the 17th army had 583 anti-tank guns (including the 98 caliber 75 mm), 30 self-propelled guns Marder, 485 grenade “Panzerschreck” and 9645 disposable “Panzerfaust”. Antitank defense consisted of a gun of the 9th anti-aircraft division, who had 134 88-mm anti-aircraft guns.

the fighting capacity of the Romanian troops was very low, both in moral terms and the training and armament. The German part has experienced a significant shortage in manpower and weaponry. While there was a significant amount of various non-staff and auxiliary groups. For example, the 50th infantry division, defending the Perekop, in total there were a whopping 19 battalions, including two “Caucasian” battalion and one battalion of the Slovaks. Shelves division was reinforced with 20-mm and 88-mm anti-aircraft guns.

the German air force in the Crimea has 48 fighters and attack aircraft 88.

the Total number of personnel of the Crimean group on the 1st of April was 230,000 people. Of these, about 65 000 soldiers of the Romanian parts. More than half of them had all sorts of rear services, policing, civilian personnel, and as a fighting force they should not be considered. However, after huge losses (fled from the Kerch Peninsula 73rd and 98th infantry division lost 79% and 43% of staff respectively), the German command threw in the position of the line and everyone can just be used.

what cost victory?

According to official data, the losses of the red army during the Crimean offensive was 84 819 people, including irrevocable — 17 754 people. Assuming that the beginning of the operation there were 278 578, the left 30% of the personnel.

Some modern authors suggest that the number of losses understated by half, for example, writes Boris Sokolov in his book “the Mirage of the World”.

But it is worth noting that the victory was complete, 17th army suffered huge losses. A. Polishchuk in his work “the Reckoning “the Hunt the bustards” cites data that differ from those oficial Soviet, but also very impressive.

In the fighting were killed or went missing 38 854 German and 24 674 Romanian — only 63 528. Evacuated 97 875 — 63 499 376 34 Germans and Romanians, this number includes about 10 000 people, who were sunk by Soviet aircraft transports. At Cape Chersonese on may 12-13, was captured 21 thousand soldiers and officers. It should be remembered that the German reports relate only to military personnel, and, as mentioned above, in the Crimea there were a lot of different people, including civilians. It is not surprising that Soviet and German data can be very large.

After the evacuation of the Crimea, the strength of the 17th army was — 9741 people, including 2680 tylovikov.

It is for this victory and sacrificed their lives and health of tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers in the Crimea in 1944.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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