Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Battle of the Kerch Peninsula

 IL2 Forgotten Battles Video Game of a German He 111 medium bomber on a torpedo mission from Feodosiya to Kerch on the Crimean Peninsula; not that far from Sochi Russia (where the games took place and the Germans and Russians battled so long ago). All scenes recorded by FRAPS; the  computer screen capture software free licence (limited to 30 seconds not looped recording time).

The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Wikipedia
Top speed: 400 km/h
Length: 18 m
Wingspan: 23 m
First flight: February 24, 1935
Introduced: into service 1936
Engine type: V12 engine
Manufacturer: Heinkel

Battle of the Kerch Peninsula (GermanUnternehmen Trappenjagd) (Russian Керченско-Феодосийская десантная операция (Kerchensko-Feodosiyskaya desantnaya operatsiya, 'Kerch-Feodosiya landing operation') was a World War II offensive by German and Romanian armies against the Soviet Crimean Frontforces defending the Kerch Peninsula, in the eastern part of the Crimea. It was launched on 8 May 1942 and concluded around 18 May 1942 with the near complete destruction of the Soviet defending forces. The Red Army lost over 170,000 men killed or taken prisoner, and three armies (44th, 47th, and 51st) with twenty-one divisions.[1] The operation was one of the battles immediately preceding the German summer offensive (Fall Blau), and its successful conclusion made it possible for the Axis to launch a successful assault on Sevastopolin the following months.
Some groups of Soviet survivors refused to surrender and fought on for many months, hiding in the catacombs of the quarries. Many of these soldiers were occupying the caves along with many civilians, who had fled the city of Kerch.[2]
Battle of the Kerch Peninsula
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Eastern Front 1941-12 to 1942-05.png
The Eastern Front at the time of the siege of Sevastopol. (click to enlarge)
Date26 December 1941 — 19 May 1942 (4 months, and 23 days)
LocationCrimean Peninsula
ResultAxis victory
 Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Nazi Germany Erich von MansteinSoviet Union Dimitri Kozlov
Soviet Union Lev Mekhlis
Soviet Union Filipp Oktyabrsky
Casualties and losses
~9,000 casualties170,000 dead or captured (including civilians)
wounded unknown

Luftwaffe operations[edit] Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe had flown in the specialist torpedo bomber unit KG 26. On 1/2 March 1942, it damaged the 2,434 long tons (2,473 t) steamer Fabritsius which was damaged but written off. The 4,629 long tons (4,703 t) oil tanker Kuybyshev was damaged on 3 March south of Kerch, which deprived the defenders of much fuel. It was withdrawn the port of Novorossiysk where it was crippled by Ju 88s of KG 51 on 13 March. On 18 March, KG 51 Ju 88s sank the 3,689 long tons (3,748 t) transport Georgiy Dimitrov. Further damage was done on 23 March when nine Ju 88s of KG 51 sank the minelayers Ostrovskiy and GS-13 and a motor torpedo boat in Tuapse harbour. They also damaged two submarines (S-33 and D-5). That evening, He 111s of KG 27 claimed one 5,000 long tons (5,100 t) and two 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) ships sunk. Soviet records recorded the loss of the 2,960 long tons (3,010 t) steamer V.Chapayev, with the loss of 16 crew and 86 soldiers. KG 51 returned to Tuapse on 24 March and sank the transports Yalta and Neva. On 2 April, the Kuybyshev was intercepted and sunk. So great was the loss of the ship that Soviet land forces were ordered to cease all offensive operations and conserve its supplies. In the eight-week air offensive, from early February to the end of March, the Black Sea Transport Fleet had been reduced from 43,200 long tons (43,900 t) of shipping to just 27,400 long tons (27,800 t). Six transports had been lost and six were under repair. On 17 April, the 4,125 long tons (4,191 t) steamer Svanetiya was sunk by KG 26 while trying to bring in supplies to Sevastopol. Some 535 men were lost. Worse was to follow. On 19 April, the tanker I. Stalin was damaged along with three other transports. On 21 April, KG 55 damaged the minesweeper Komintern and sank a transport ship. By this time the Black Sea Fleets ability to supply the Soviet forces in Sevastopol was severely curtailed.[7]

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