Ahead of the Moscow Victory Day Parade, the Russian Ministry of Defense released more historical records, this time to commemorate 75 years of the liberation of Sevastopol from the Nazi army. The article is called “Beacon of Victory.”
In the final report of the combat operations of the troops of the Primorskaya Army in May 1944, it is said that on May 9th units of the 32nd Guards Rifle Division broke into the southern part of Sevastopol.
Fighting for every street and winning it over, in cooperation with parts of the 51st Army, they fully captured the western part of the city. Entering the city, the fighters of the division hoisted the Red flag on the Sevastopol panorama.
The Nazi occupants attempted to withdraw, but the Black Sea fleet, with the help of the Air Force and the long-range artillery prevented the approach of the Nazi vessels, making evacuation impossible. By 9:45 AM on May 12th, the Sevastopol grouping of the enemy was completely destroyed.
The logbook of the military operations of the troops of the Primorskaya cited the testimony of the captured Lieutenant General Böhme. He noted “especially the amazing work of the Russian artillery, decisive offensive actions and stubbornness in the battle of the Russian infantry.”
The captured general stated that on the Chersonese peninsula, at least 20,000 Nazis were killed, wounded and captured.
In a combat report dated May 9th, 1944, the commander of the 4th Ukrainian Front [it was named “Ukrainian” after the main area of operations], Army General F. Tolbukhin, reported that the front forces stormed the city and the Sevastopol Sea Fortress.
Within the article there is also an album of the 8th Air Army which shows photographs of the liberation of Crimea and provides information on the number of sorties made by army units, damage to the enemy, including the number of planes and other equipment destroyed.
The map underneath shows the scheme of the defensive structures of the ground grouping of the enemy and the basing of aircraft in the area of the city of Sevastopol according to aerial photography data between April 13th and 20th , 1944 and captured materials.
On May 19, 1944, representatives of the 3rd Fighter Aviation Corps made a field trip to the combat area of the Sevastopol bridgehead. Throughout the day, the area was examined and detailed descriptions of the destruction in the areas near Sevastopol and in the city were given. Following are pictures documenting the destruction.
According to the testimony of the German captive pilot Arnold Zeppelin (great-great-grandson of Count Zeppelin), shot down on May 6, 1944 in the region of Sevastopol, the Nazis were ordered to defend the city, because it hampered the forces of Soviet troops.
In the testimony of the captured German staff doctor, Dr. Rudolf Ruttensteiner he described the unrelenting offensive of the Russian army and that there was no hope, the only choice was to surrender.
In order to exclude the possibility of evacuating the enemy from the Crimea, in the combat directive to the commander of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force of April 10th, 1944, the following tasks were set: to destroy enemy transports and vessels at the sea crossing and in bases, to carry out mine-barrage operations at the exit from Sevastopol, direct ships squadrons, submarines and torpedo boats at enemy convoys 24/7.
During the period from April 11th to May 12th, 1944, the submarines of the Black Sea Fleet attacked 27 enemy ships, of which 23 were sunk.
Heavy fighting for the liberation of the Crimea claimed the lives of many defenders of the peninsula. But the memory of them remained in the hearts of comrades, who did their best to perpetuate the names of the heroes. A lot of work has been done by the political agencies in the area.
They took charge of the organization of the funeral and the design of the communal and individual graves of the army units from Perekop to Sevastopol that were lost along the way. At the initiative of the commander of one of the regiments in the Sapun-mountain region, monuments were erected to the heroes of the storming of Sevastopol.
The Military Council of the Army addressed the issue of preserving the site of the Turkish Wall as it was during the days of the assault as a historical monument.
In the days of fighting, the defenders of the Crimea – the sailors of the Black Sea Fleet found time to write poems, some of which are published on the website.
In the history of the 5th Guards Aviation Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet there are pages dedicated to the Hero of the Soviet Union Guards Major General of Aviation Nikolai Alexandrovich Tokarev. He died in the sky over the Crimea, performing a combat mission.
When the Soviet units liberated Sevastopol, they saw what the fascists had made with the once-flourishing city. There was not a single whole building. But the liberators saw not only the ruins, they witnessed the results of the atrocities the Nazis had carried out on civilians.
On May 14th, 1944, representatives of the Red Army, the local authorities and residents drafted an act of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis in the Sevastopol region called the Northern Side.
It said that out of three thousand people in the area only 10 people survived. The “new order” imposed by the occupiers was accompanied by constant beatings, drunken shouting from the Nazis, imprisonment, robberies, humiliation, and kidnappings to Germany.
Along with the Germans, the Romanians were operating in Sevastopol. The act, drawn up on May 13th, 1944, documented the destruction and atrocities of the German-Romanian invaders in the ship’s district of the city:
“… The fascist barbarians turned the once flourishing region into ruins.
They completely destroyed businesses, schools, clubs, cinemas and many hundreds of homes. In their bestial rage, the fascists destroyed the historical monuments of the Defense of Sevastopol in 1854-55 … The executioners mercilessly dealt with the civilian population … A large number of residents of the Port area were forcibly driven into slavery…”
The liberated Crimea needed rebuilding. The report of the Military Sanitary Administration of the 4th Ukrainian Front reports on the activities carried out in order to assist the peninsula.
Thus, the necessary measures were taken to preserve the property of the Crimean sanatoriums, medical assistance was provided to the civilian population, areas of infectious diseases were identified, work was carried out to organize the construction of baths and sanitation for various villages and farms.
The command of the 4th Ukrainian Front in 1944 provided actual assistance to the national economy of the Crimea. 4050 tons of grain of various crops were transferred, assistance was rendered in partial restoration and commissioning of grain processing enterprises.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: