Battle of Sevastopol
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
When Operation Barbarossa launched in mid-1941, the Crimean Peninsula in Russia (now Ukraine) was not even in the plans. It was assumed that when major Soviet political centers such as Moscow fell under German control, the entire Soviet Union would just fall apart. That thinking quickly changed in Jul 1941, when two Soviet naval aircraft attacks on Axis oil fields at Ploiesti, Romania, launched from Sevastopol, destroyed 11,000 tons of oil. On 23 Jul 1941, Adolf Hitler issued Directive 33 which not only called for the conquest of Crimea, but it was also to be done as a priority. On 21 Aug, Hitler further stated that "the seizure of the Crimean Peninsula has colossal importance for the protection of oil supplies from Romania."
The German force tasked for this conquest was the 11th Army, newly assigned under Colonel General Erich von Manstein. In Oct 1941, the 11th Army was relieved of other duties from Operation Barbarossa, thus it was now focused on the attack on Crimea. Lacking ample tanks, Manstein could not perform the kind of mobile war he advocated and succeeded in France. Instead, he now must rely on his infantry. Under his command were also Romanian troops. Some of the Romanians, particularly the Mountain Brigade troops, were known to be elite fighters, but overall the Romanians were ill-equipped, therefore never deployed independently without direct German support.
Axis Invasion of Crimea
Beginning on 18 Oct, General Erik Hansen of the German LIV Corps, with 22nd, 46th, and 73rd Infantry Divisions, attacked the Soviet 51st Army at Ishun. Although the Soviets had greater numbers and local air superiority, Hansen's troops slowly advanced, taking Ishun on 28 Oct after the arrival of three groups of Bf 109 fighters that defeated the Soviet air forces. The Soviet troops fell back to Sevastopol, which marked the start of the siege.
Siege of Sevastopol
Even before the remnants of the Soviet 51st Army began to flee into Sevastopol, the senior naval commander there, Vice Admiral Filip S. Oktyabrsky, had already drafted thousands of men from the region to construct defenses. He also formed several naval infantry units by removing sailors from their ships; the sailors were not trained in ground combat, but they helped boost the numbers Oktyabrsky desperately needed to man the front lines. On 30 Oct, the Soviet Navy Black Sea Fleet brought in the 8th Naval Infantry Brigade from Novorossiysk to further alleviate the situation.
On 30 Oct 1941, forward units of the German 132nd Infantry Division were detected. Soviets opened fire with 305-mm coastal defense guns on the next day on suspected German locations; the location of these guns, Coastal Battery 30, would soon to be dubbed "Fort Maxim Gorky I" to the Germans. Meanwhile, Soviet naval infantry held off the initial attack on Sevastopol. On 9 Nov, 19,894 troops, ten T-26 tanks, 152 guns, and 20 mortars arrived by sea. By this point, 52,000 troops were available under Oktyabrsky's command.
On 10 Nov, Manstein finally felt he was prepared enough to begin a formal assault. The German 50th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Friedrich Schmidt attacked first, capturing Uppa near the Chernaya River, southeast of Sevastopol. On the next day, the 132nd Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Fritz Lindemann took the village of Mekenzya to the northeast. By 15 Nov, the attack was halted by the ferocity of Soviet sailors and soldiers, aided by naval gunfire support from battleship Parizhskaya Kommuna. Manstein called off the offensive on 21 Nov after suffering 2,000 casualties, though Soviet casualty numbers were much higher.
Between 7 and 13 Dec 1941, Oktyabrsky received, by sea, the 11,000-strong newly formed 388th Rifle Division. Soviet engineers also took the opportunity to lay extensive minefields while Manstein's men regrouped for the next attack.
The next German offensive began on 17 Dec. At 0610, a bombardment by artillery pieces, 34 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, and 20 level bombers prepared for the assault, which began with the 22nd Infantry Division attacking grounds held by the Soviet 8th Naval Infantry Brigade north of the Belbek River. Shortly after, German 50th and 132nd Infantry Divisions also launched their attacks against the center of the defensive line. On 22 Dec, the 8th Naval Infantry Brigade gave way, falling back toward the city. On 23 Dec, German 170th Infantry Division and the Romanian 1st Mountain Brigade captured Chapel Hill, a strategic position southeast of the city.
Meanwhile, Axis forces also marched eastward toward Kerch on the eastern side of the peninsula. Soviet Lieutenant General Vladmir N. L'vov performed a daring amphibious landing with 5,000 soldiers of the 51st Army on 26 Dec, followed by a larger landing of 23,000 men of the 44th Army, with a battalion of tanks, at Feodosiya on 29 Dec. This move forced the Germans to delay the next attack on Sevastopol so that this new contingent could be dealt with.
Previously, Hitler had dictated that Sevastopol to be taken before the end of the year to improve morale damaged as the invasion of Russia ground to a halt. That order was not to be met. Thus far, German casualties were much greater than originally expected. The Germans suffered 8,595 casualties in the period of 17 to 31 Dec alone. The Soviets, typical for any WW2 battle involving the Soviets, suffered greater losses; 7,000 Soviets were killed and 20,000 were captured.
On 15 Jan 1942, Manstein called for a hasty counterattack which captured Feodosiya. Although this attack was launched before his troops were truly ready, therefore unable to wipe out the Soviet 44th and 51st Armies, but he knew by such an attack he would prevent the Soviets from gaining initiative in this campaign. The Soviets knew that they must gain the initiative as well, and in this attempt a series of offensives were taken between Feb and Apr 1942. Every single on of these offensives failed to break the German lines, which continued to besiege Sevastopol by land.
After a long period of preparation, Manstein finally decided he could take major action again. On 8 May 1942, he launched Operation Trappenjagd, which called for General Maximilian For-Pico's XXX Corps to attack the Soviet 44th Army on the southern coast. The operation launched at 0415 that morning with a 10-minute artillery barrage. By 0730, the Soviet front line troops were completely smashed at the pressure of German frontal attacks and the small landing by the 902nd Assault Boat Command and the 436th Infantry Regiment behind their lines. As the Soviet lines broke, multiple German and Romanian forces moved eastward toward Kerch. By 9 May, the important airfield at Marfovka 30-km from where the offensive began was already under German control, destroying 35 I-153 fighters on the ground. The Soviet commander, Lieutenant General Dmitri T. Kozlov, panicked, leading to a state of indecisiveness from Soviet command. Pressing on, Manstein sent in the German 22nd Panzer Division, which very quickly destroyed much of the 51st Army, which promptly surrendered. On 14 May, German troops entered the city of Kerch on the eastern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, and on 20 May they declared the city secured. Due to Kozlov and his staff's panic and inaction, only 37,000 Soviet troops were evacuated from Kerch. 28,000 Soviet soldiers were killed and 147,000 were captured. This meant that Manstein's victory in central and eastern Crimea effectively destroyed three Soviet Armies at the cost of only 3,397 casualties.
After Operation Trappenjagd, the 22nd Panzer Division was withdrawn from Crimea and sent north to prepare for operations at Kharkov.
With pressure from the east alleviated, Germans concentrated on Sevastopol again by launching Operation Störfang. At 0540 on 2 Jun 1942, a large bombardment began on defensive positions near Sevastopol. At 0600, the German air force, the Luftwaffe, joined in and dropped 570 tons of bombs on the first day. Over the next few days, the bombardment continued, with ferocity increasing every day. The bombardment focused generally on the northern portion of the Soviet defensive line. Between 2 and 6 Jun, 42,595 rounds, equivalent to 2,449 tons of munitions, were fired, which included heavy shells from the 80-cm "Gustav" railway gun and the "Karl" mortars, though these super-weapons were largely inaccurate and ineffective. The failure of "Gustav" could be blamed on General Arty Johannes Zuckertort, who fired too few "Gustav" shells at too many targets, making the monster weapon inconsequential in the outcome of the battle. Zuckertort's misuse of the "Gustav" gun actually brought scolding from Hitler by cable.
During the night of 6 Jun, the Soviets, who had held their artillery fire thus far to avoid counter-battery fire, finally opened fire on suspected German assembly areas. Oktyabrsky knew that a major attack had to be coming at the northern part of his defensive line, otherwise the bombardment would not have lasted so long. As Oktyabrsky suspected, the Germans were on the move. Men from the 132nd Infantry Division moved toward the Belbek River and men of the 22nd Infantry Division moved toward Ölberg. Advance was slow, but the Germans did advance amidst heavy Soviet mortar and aerial attacks. In the afternoon, at 1850, the first and only counterattack was launched by a battalion of the Soviet 747th Rifle Regiment; this counterattack was repulsed. Although the initial day of the attack was successful, casualties were high. The Germans suffered 2,357 casualties, including 340 killed.
Also on 7 Jun, Fretter-Pico, whose XXX Corps manned the southern portion of the Soviet defensive line, decided he was not going to sit while the generals to the north gained glory during the large offensive and began probing the Soviet defenders. Although he made some minor advances, his attack caused too many casualties, and he was told by Manstein not to attack in a piecemeal fashion again.
On 8 Jun, the Soviets struck first with a counterattack. Although supported by tanks, coordination between infantry, artillery, and tank units was poor, thus the offensive was a failure. At 1000, the German LIV Corps struck. After suffering 1,700 casualties, the LIV Corps dented the Soviet line by driving 3-km closer to Sevastopol on a 15-km front. On 9 Jun, the German 132nd Infantry Division of the LIV Corps attacked Coastal Battery 30, "Fort Maxim Gorky I", but was repulsed twice, at 1000 and 1200, by the Soviet 95th Rifle Division. 9 Jun also saw other Soviet counterattacks, some with tanks, but the counterattacks were indecisive.
On 11 Jun, Soviet Major General Ivan Efimovich Petrov organized a major counterattack utilizing every piece of artillery available in Sevastopol against the German 132nd Infantry Division at Haccius Ridge. Some pincers of the counterattack reach as deep as 1-km behind German lines, but in the end the Soviet units were too depleted, in both spirit and ammunition, to leverage this success. The territorial gains were given back by the end of the day, especially in the face of effective German aerial attacks. In the south, Fretter-Pico's XXX Corps made another attempt to advance. The German 72nd Infantry Division's 401st Regiment seized Chapel Hill, which enabled the rest of the division to drive 2-km into Soviet defensive lines, taking Kamary. As the Soviet defenses broke down further, Fretter-Pico sent in his reserves, the 266th Infantry Regiment, and took control of Fort Kuppe.
On 13 Jun, Hansen's LIV Corps took control of Fort Stalin, which was a weakly-defended reinforced concrete anti-aircraft position with three machine gun bunkers. Although it was only manned by about 200 Soviets, the defenders fought bravely for an hour before giving way. At 0530, as the Soviets realized Fort Stalin had fallen, the nearby Fort Volga opened up its artillery pieces on Fort Stalin, followed by a counterattack at 0630, which failed to regain the fort. Most of the 200 defenders at the fort were killed by 1500 that day. Small-scale but yet tough combat such as the one that took place at Fort Stalin repeated through the next few days, making the battle one of attrition.
On 17 Jun, Hansen launched the 132nd Infantry Division against Coastal Battery 30, "Fort Maxim Gorky I", while the 22nd and 24th Infantry Divisions marched through the center of the Soviet defenses. At 0330, the 22nd and 24th Divisions broke through the Soviet lines held by the 95th Rifle Division and surrounded a contingent at the train station. The Soviet line collapsed by 0520, leaving Coastal Battery 30 on its own. The German 436th and 437th Infantry Regiments reached the fort by 0900, and the attack began in the afternoon. At 1630, a dive bomber hit destroyed the fort's western turret, while the other turrets were slowing down because they were running low on ammunition. Under this kind of pressure, the whole Soviet defense to the north, dubbed Defensive Sector IV, completely collapsed between 18 and 23 Jun. As German pioneer forces methodically cleared out Soviet bunkers with grenades and flamethrowers, the German troops caught sight of the Severnaya Bay by 20 Jun. On 21 Jun, after a two-day battle, German troops captured Fort Lenin along with 182 prisoners. On 23 Jun, Fort Konstantinovsky was captured. With the northern defenses defeated, Hansen's troops moved south, where Fretter-Pico's advances were much slower.
To make up for XXX Corps' slow advance, the Romanians were called in to assist. Before this time, Major General Gheorghe Avramescu's troops had not been tasked to perform any major offensives. However, as they launched their first multi-division offensive, they proved their worth by defeating Soviet defenses near the Chernaya River where the Germans had failed, went on to take a Soviet strongpoint dubbed Bastion II, and then fended off a counterattack. On 27 Jun, Hansen's troops linked up with those of Avramescu's east of the Chernaya River.
At 0100 on 29 Jun 1942, German troops of the 132nd Infantry Division achieved total surprise by crossing 600-m of water of Severnaya Bay, assisted by the German 902nd and 905th Assault Boat Commands and their 130 boats. It was not until 0200 when the Soviets realized what was happening and fired off red flares to warn their headquarters, but it was too late as the beachhead had already been secured. Petrov had six T-26 tanks in reserve that could be used to attack beachhead, but again he was indecisive and the opportunity was lost. To the south, the German XXX Corps attacked Sapun Ridge at 0130, defeating the Soviet 7th Naval Brigade and the 775th Rifle Regiment by 0715, though scattered battles lasted through the afternoon. The German victories at the edge of the Severnaya Bay in the north and at Sapun Ridge in the south cut off Soviet troops in pockets, making them relatively inconsequential for the remainder of the attack on Sevastopol.
At 0130 on 30 Jun, Soviets destroyed a major ammunition dump near Severnaya Bay to prevent German capture. The ammunition dump was located inside a champagne factory, which also acted as a field hospital for 2,000 wounded men. Many of the wounded might still be in the building when it was demolished.
At 0950 on 30 Jun, Moscow ordered Sevastopol to be evacuated. Whatever defense was left soon turned to nothing as soldiers fled every way to try to save themselves. At 0300 on 1 Jul, Petrov and Oktyabrsky fled via submarine, giving little thought to the 23,000 men still left in the city, many of them wounded. Later that day, German troops entered the city. Manstein tried to exclude his Romanian comrades from sharing the glory by ordering them to stay out of the final drive, but Major General Gheorghe Manoliu disobeyed the order by driving his 4th Mountain Division into Sevastopol and placing a Romanian flag on the Nakhimov Monument in the city. The final act of defiance was committed by troops of the Soviet 109th Rifle Division fighting from the bunkers around Coastal Battery 35 and men who fought at the Cape Chersonese airstrip. Both pockets were defeated on 4 Jul.
Conclusion of the Battle
The battle of Sevastopol was costly for both sides even by the most conservative of estimates. About 18,000 Soviets were killed and 95,000 were captured; only 25,157 were successfully evacuated. The German 11th Army saw 4,264 killed, 21,626 wounded, and 1,522 missing for a total of over 27,000 casualties. Manstein estimated the German losses at about 24,000. The Romanians suffered 1,597 killed, 6,571 wounded, and 277 missing for a total of 8,454 casualties. Other sources quoted higher casualty numbers, though the counts are likely to be inflated by various intentions.
The city of Sevastopol also suffered dearly, largely to the long artillery campaign. In the city limits, only 5 to 10 buildings were left standing, the rest were reduced to rubbles.
Before the city was even fully secured, Manstein was given the rank of field marshal for the victory, and was given a vacation in Romania for him to rest. As soon as he left, SS-Einsatzgruppe D moved into Sevastopol and began a systematic genocide of Jews. For the following two years that the Germans held the city, the killing spree continued as it was controlled by the SS official SS-Gruppenführer Ludolf von Alvensleben.
Source: Robert Forczyk, Sevastopol 1942
Battle of Sevastopol Timeline
|24 Sep 1941||The German Armeegruppe Sud started its offensive from southern Ukraine towards Crimea, Russia.|
|18 Oct 1941||German Colonel General Erich von Manstein launched his Eleventh Army against the Perekop Isthmus in Russia but fierce Soviet resistance on a narrow front caused the German advance to proceed extremely slowly.|
|27 Oct 1941||Erich von Manstein's German Eleventh Army broke through the mud and fog on the Perekop Isthmus into the Crimean Peninsula in Russia.|
|29 Oct 1941||German forces pushed Soviet units back to Sevastopol, Russia.|
|30 Oct 1941||German 132nd Infantry Division reached the outskirts of Sevastopol, Russia. After sundown, Soviet cruiser Krasnyi Kavkaz brought in the Soviet 8th Naval Infantry Brigade from Novorossiysk as reinforcements, while the Soviet Black Sea Fleet relocated many of its warships out of Sevastopol as a safety measure.|
|31 Oct 1941||Soviet destroyer Bodry and other warships shelled German tank concentrations 25 miles north of Sevastopol, Russia. Meanwhile, German dive bombers attacked Soviet warships in the harbor, causing 50 casualties but failing to cause damage to the ships.|
|1 Nov 1941||Troops of the German 11.Armee captured Simferopol, Russia. To the southwest in Sevastopol, the Soviet 30th Coastal Battery bombarded the German 132nd Infantry Division at 1230 hours near the village of Bazarchik, slowing its preparations for an assault.|
|2 Nov 1941||German 132nd Infantry Division attacked toward Sevastopol, Russia and was halted at Bakhchisaray by Soviet 8th Naval Brigade. Nearby, ships of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet evacuated troops from Yalta, Yevpatoria, and Feodosiya, transporting them to Sevastopol; cruiser Voroshilov was damaged by German aircraft during this effort.|
|4 Nov 1941||German 170th Division captured Feodosiya, Ukraine.|
|7 Nov 1941||Soviet hospital ship Armenia departed Yalta, Ukraine at 0800 hours with 7,000 civilians and wounded troops aboard, against orders forbidding sailing during daylight hours. At 1129 hours, despite the red cross marking, she was attacked and sunk by a He 111 bomber of German KG26. Only 8 people survived.|
|9 Nov 1941||The 19,894-strong Soviet Independent Coastal Army, with 10 T-26 tanks and 152 guns, arrived in Sevastopol, Russia from Odessa, Ukraine, significantly bolstering the city's defenses. 40 kilometers east of Sevastopol, German troops captured Yalta.|
|10 Nov 1941||German General Erich von Manstein launched a major assault against Sevastopol, Russia with 50th Infantry Division, followed by the 132nd Infantry Division on the next day. On the Soviet side, Vice Admiral F. S. Oktyabrsky (with Major General I. A. Petrov as his deputy) mobilized 52,000 men, of whom 21,000 were sailors, together with 170 guns (some were in modern steel and concrete emplacements), for the defence of Sevastopol.|
|12 Nov 1941||Stuka dive bombers of German StG 77 damaged Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina with 3 bombs at Sevastopol, Russia. Destroyers Sovershenny and Besposhchadny were also damaged, with the former capsizing at the naval shipyard.|
|13 Nov 1941||Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina, damaged by German aircraft on the previous day, sank at Sevastopol, Russia. Her guns would be salvaged to be used on shore.|
|16 Nov 1941||The German 11.Armee captured Kerch, Russia. Soviet Deputy Navy Commissar Admiral Gordei Levchenko was arrested after being deemed responsible for this defeat.|
|17 Dec 1941||Another German assault on Sevastopol, Russia was launched, consisted of 15,551 men.|
|19 Dec 1941||The Soviets landed 20,000 men on the Kerch Peninsula in Russia with the aim of lifting the siege of Sevastopol.|
|26 Dec 1941||Soviet troops conducted an amphibious assault on the Kerch Peninsula in an attempt to relieve the siege of Sevastopol, Russia, landing 13,000 men of the Soviet 51st Army.|
|27 Dec 1941||46th Infantry Division of the German 11th Army counterattacked the Soviet beachheads on the Kerch Peninsula, Russia, but the attacks failed to stop further Soviet reinforcements from the sea.|
|29 Dec 1941||The Soviet 44th Army landed 23,000 men and a battalion of tanks at Feodosiya to reinforce Sevastopol, Russia at 0350 hours. In response, General Hans von Sponeck ordered the German 46th Infantry Division to fall back, losing much heavy equipment in the process and against Adolf Hitler's "no retreat" order.|
|30 Dec 1941||German troops retreated from Kerch, Russia.|
|31 Dec 1941||Germans halted their attacks on Sevastopol, Russia for the winter.|
|5 Jan 1942||The Soviet attempt to land at Eupatoria (Yevpatoria) was blocked by the Germans.|
|18 Jan 1942||German 11.Armee captured Feodosiya in the Crimea region of Russia, sealing off the Soviet bridgehead near Kerch.|
|13 Mar 1942||A major Soviet attack was launched out of Kerch Peninsula in Russia in an attempt to relieve the besieged city of Sevastopol.|
|20 Mar 1942||Soviet Army's Kerch offensive in Russia was defeated with heavy losses. To the west, German counter attack at Sevastopol failed, resulting in the loss of the 22nd Division.|
|9 Apr 1942||Repeated Soviet attacks on German positions at Kerch, Russia failed to break through.|
|11 Apr 1942||A Soviet landing attempt near Eupatoria (Yevpatoria) near Sevastopol, Russia was halted by the Germans.|
|8 May 1942||The German 11.Armee began its Crimean offensive.|
|10 May 1942||The German 11th Army pushed through Soviet positions and advanced toward Sevastopol, Russia. Meanwhile, Axis aircraft attacked Soviet vessel Chernomorets evacuating 500 wounded troops from the Crimean Peninsula; all aboard the vessel were killed.|
|12 May 1942||Soviet troops began to withdraw from the Kerch peninsula in Russia, freeing some German resources for the offensive near Kharkov, Ukraine to the north.|
|16 May 1942||German troops captured the city of Kerch and the namesake peninsula in Russia; Soviet troops in the area began a 5-day evacuation under heavy fire.|
|17 May 1942||German troops began capturing large numbers of artillery pieces and munitions around Kerch, Russia, which they would later use against Sevastopol.|
|2 Jun 1942||German forces began a 5-day bombardment of Sevastopol, Russia. One the ground, large weapons such as the 600mm Mörser Karl mortars and the 800mm "Gustav" railway gun were used. From the air, hundreds of sorties delivered 500 tons of high explosives, damaging port facilities, fuel tanks, and water pumps at the cost of only one Ju 87 dive bomber.|
|3 Jun 1942||German aircraft continued to attack Sevastopol, Russia.|
|5 Jun 1942||German troops continued the aerial and artillery bombardment of Sevastopol, Russia, using weapons including the 800mm railway gun Schwerer Gustav.|
|6 Jun 1942||German troops continued the bombardment of Sevastopol, Russia with large caliber weapons.|
|7 Jun 1942||Troops of German 11th Army began a 2-pronged assault on the city of Sevastopol in Russia, capturing Belbek at 1715 hours but also suffering 2,357 casualties.|
|9 Jun 1942||Failing to break Soviet defensive lines, the German offensive at Sevastopol, Russia that began two days prior was temporarily paused, instead letting aircraft and artillery pieces soften up the defensive positions further.|
|10 Jun 1942||German dive bombers sank Soviet destroyer Svobodnyy and transport Abkhaziya in port at Sevastopol, Russia.|
|11 Jun 1942||The German Luftwaffe flew 1,044 sorties over Sevastopol, Russia, dropping 954 tons of bombs.|
|13 Jun 1942||Troops of 16.Regiment of German 22.Luftlande Division attacked Fort Stalin at Sevastopol, Russia at 0300 hours, capturing it by 0530 hours; Germans suffered 32 killed and 126 wounded, and the Soviets 100 killed and 20 captured. In the harbor, German aircraft sank transport Gruzyia, transport TSch-27, patrol boat SKA-092, motor boat SP-40, 5 barges, and a floating crane.|
|15 Jun 1942||Soviet cruiser Molotov and destroyer Bezuprechny landed 3,855 troops at Sevastopol, Russia and then embarked 2,908 wounded personnel for evacuation; meanwhile, their guns bombarded German positions.|
|16 Jun 1942||German aircraft and artillery pieces bombarded Fort Maxim Gorky at Sevastopol, Russia, silencing the fort's 12-inch guns.|
|17 Jun 1942||Soviet defense lines north of Sevastopol, Russia began to collapse as German troops captured Fort Maxim Gorky, Fort Molotov, Fort Schishkova, Fort Volga, and Fort Siberia.|
|18 Jun 1942||German 132nd Infantry Division attacked Soviet Coastal Battery No. 12 near Sevastopol, Russia at 1100 hours, capturing it by 1900 hours. Nearby, German 24th Infantry Division overran Soviet defenses at Bartenyevka. At the docks, Italian torpedo boats performed a raid, damaging landing craft. Out at sea, destroyer leader Kharkov was damaged by German aircraft.|
|19 Jun 1942||Soviet 138th Naval Infantry Brigade launched a failed counterattack against German 22nd Division on the shore of Severnaya Bay near Sevastopol, Russia.|
|20 Jun 1942||German 24th Infantry Division attacked Fort Lenin and Fort North (held against German attacks for the whole day) near Sevastopol, Russia starting at 0900 hours; while Fort Lenin was captured with minimal resistance, Soviet troops at Fort North held their ground, repulsing German attacks all day.|
|22 Jun 1942||Soviet lines east and south of Sevastopol, Russia began to falter.|
|26 Jun 1942||German troops reached the northern shore of Severnaya Bay near Sevastopol, Russia. To the east of the city, positions held by troops of Soviet 386th Rifle Division were bombarded by German aircraft. As defeat appeared to be imminent, Soviet submarines D-6 and A-1 were scuttled in the harbor of Sevastopol to prevent capture.|
|28 Jun 1942||Before dawn, Italian torpedo boats staged a fake landing at Cape Fiolent south of Sevastopol, Russia as a diversion from the preparations for a major offensive north of the city.|
|29 Jun 1942||Troops of German 16th Infantry Regiment and 65th Infantry Regiment crossed Severnaya Bay north of Sevastopol, Russia in 130 rubber boats, landing behind Soviet defenses at 0100 hours, establishing a bridgehead.|
|1 Jul 1942||As the German bridgehead north of Sevastopol, Russia appeared to be too strong to be eliminated, Joseph Stalin ordered top Soviet leaders to evacuate the city by submarine.|
|3 Jul 1942||German troops captured Sevastopol, Russia.|
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal