Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
Home | Contact
ADD THIS - Bookmark and Share
CAPTURE OF NOVOROSSIYSK
Written By: Peter Ayers Wimbrow, III
*Click images below to view larger versions.
CAPTURE OF NOVOROSSIYSK
Hero City monument at Novorossiysk.
CAPTURE OF NOVOROSSIYSK
Monument at the seaman’s club at Novorossiysk commemorating the Soviet amphibious landing.
CAPTURE OF NOVOROSSIYSK
Gen. Ivan Tyulenev, cmdr. Trans-Caucasian Front.
CAPTURE OF NOVOROSSIYSK
Andrei Grechko in 1967, cmdr. 47th Army in defense of Novorossiysk.
    This week, seventy years ago, the 17th Army, commanded by Richard Ruoff, captured the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Today Novorossiysk is Russia’s main Black Sea port with a population of 241,800. It is located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea.
    17th Army was a part of Army Group "A," commanded by Field Marshal Wilhelm List, whose objective was the conquest of the Caucasus and its rich oil fields. These oil fields produced 90 percent of the Soviet Union’s oil and are located between the Black and Caspian Seas. Originally, Army Group "A" also included First Panzer, Third Romanian and Eleventh Armies under the commands of, respectively, Ewald von Kleist, Petre Dumitrescu and Erich von Manstein. However, Eleventh Army was occupied with the capture of Sevastopol, after which it was supposed to go capture Leningrad. And as the Battle of Stalingrad ground on, other forces, such as General Dumitrescu’s Third Army and much of the Axis air cover were peeled off and diverted to Stalingrad. On September 1, 1942, General Dumitrescu would be presented with the Knight’s Cross. He was presented with the Oak Leaves on April 4, 1944.
    The forces of Army Group "A" had been, together with those of Army Group "B," a part of Army Group South, commanded by Field Marshal Fodor von Bock, until split in July 1942. Field Marshal von Bock had been relieved of command of Army Group Center, on December 18, 1941, for "health reasons," after he had the temerity to request permission to withdraw his troops in the face of the Red Army’s surprise winter offensive. He was subsequently given command of Army Group South after Field Marshal Walter von Reichnau died of a heart attack on January 17, 1942, after being in that command less than two months. Field Marshal von Bock was retired, permanently, on July 15, when Army Group South was split into Army Groups "A" and "B." Baron Maximilian von Weichs was named commander of Army Group "B."
    Army Group "A" was opposed by the Soviet North Caucasian and Trans-Caucasian Fronts, commanded by Heroes of the Soviet Union, Marshal Semyon M. Budenny and General Ivan Tyulenev.
    Novorossiysk was defended by the Red Army’s 47th Army, which was a part of the Transcaucasian Front. The 47th Army was commanded by Grigorii Petrovich Kotov. He was replaced, that month, by future Marshal of the Soviet Union Andrei Grechko. After a bitter four-day battle, most of the city was captured on September 10, 1942 by the German 4th Mountain Division, commanded by Knight’s Cross holder, Karl Eglseer, and the Romanian 5th Cavalry Division, commanded by Colonel Vasile Mainescu. On September 25, the Soviets mounted a counterattack which nearly destroyed Leonard Mociulschi’s Third Romanian Mountain Division. General Mociulschi would be awarded the German Knight’s Cross the following year.
    By the time of the capture of Novorossiysk, Field Marshal List had been relieved of command and joined Field Marshal von Bock in permanent retirement. He was replaced by the Supreme Warlord, himself, who exercised his command responsibilities from his headquarters 1500 miles away.
    Meanwhile, the Axis attempted to proceed south along the Black Sea Coast to capture the bases on the eastern side of the Sea and eliminate the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and shorten their supply lines considerably. First stop was Tuapse, which today has a population of 63,000. However, the Axis were stopped 14 miles from the city, at a cost of 100,000 Soviet lives and 25,000 Axis. On May 5, 2008, President Putin designated Tuapse a "City of Military Glory."
    The Red Navy mounted an amphibious assault by 800 naval infantrymen against the Axis forces, occupying a bridgehead in Novorossiysk at Malaya Zemlya, on the evening of February 3, 1943, which the Axis were unable to dislodge. The landing party was led by Major Ceasar Lvovich Kunikov, who was born in Rostov-on-the-Don. By February 9, 17,000 Soviet soldiers were ashore. The Soviet forces continued to hold, occupying the eastern shore of the bay and denying the Axis control and use of the port.
    Major Kunikov was seriously wounded on February 12 and died on February 14, 1943. He was, posthumously, named a Hero of the Soviet Union and awarded the Orders of Lenin and Red Banner and the Alexander Nevsky Medal. Streets in Novorossiysk, Rostov-on-the-Don and Tuapse bear his name.
    On September 10, 1943, the Red Army mounted a concerted effort to retake the city. After much fighting, the city was finally retaken on October 10, 1943.
    On September 14, 1973, the Soviet government accorded Novorossiysk the title of "Hero City." It was the smallest city in the U.S.S.R. to receive this honor.

NEXT WEEK: THE LACONIA INCIDENT

Mr. Wimbrow writes from Ocean City, Maryland, where he practices law representing those persons accused of criminal and traffic offenses, and those persons who have suffered a personal injury through no fault of their own. ? Mr. Wimbrow can be contacted at wimbrowlaw@gmail.com <mailto:wimbrowlaw@gmail.com> 
«Go back to the previous page.
Calendar Of Events
< September `21 >
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30