Siege of Odessa
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe Ukrainian city of Odessa was subjected to German aerial bombing on the very first day of the Axis invasion in Jun 1941. On 8 Aug 1941, the Romanian General Staff issued Directive No. 31 calling for the capture of Odessa and the defeat of Soviet forces between the Dniester River and the Tiligulskiy Estuary. Surrounded on three sides, it was originally thought by the Axis leadership that Odessa would fall quickly, but the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was able to transport reinforcements and supplies into the city, preventing the city from being truly enveloped and blunting the first offensive. The second Axis offensive began on 16 Aug, seeing initial success in the first few days, but by 24 Aug, heavy casualties forced the attacks to pause for a few days. On 15 Sep, Soviet troops began to fall back to the southeast toward the city, and on the following day Romanian troops captured the heights northwest of the Gross-Liebenthal district of Odessa. In early Oct, Soviet leadership in Moscow had decided to sacrifice Odessa and instead deploy its defenders to protect other areas of the Soviet Union. Through the first two weeks of Oct 1941, the Black Sea Fleet evacuated 121,000 troops and civilians, 1,000 trucks, and 20,000 tons of ammunition; meanwhile, anything that could not be evacuated was sabotaged by the Soviets to prevent Axis use. The evacuation was complete in the evening of 15 Oct, and on the following day Romanian troops entered the city. In the battle for Odessa, the Romanians suffered 17,729 killed, 63,345 wounded, and 11,471 missing. The Soviets suffered 16,578 killed and missing and 24,690 wounded.
ww2dbaseOdessa was to be occupied by German and Romanian forces until Apr 1944. During the occupation, approximately 280,000 citizens, mostly Jews, were massacred or deported. After liberation, Odessa was among the first four Russian cities to receive the honor Hero City in 1945.
Last Major Update: Sep 2005
Siege of Odessa Timeline
|27 Jul 1941||German leader Adolf Hitler requested Romanian leader Ion Antonescu to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers.|
|31 Jul 1941||Romanian leader Ion Antonescu formally accepted German leader Adolf Hitler's request for Romanian troops to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers.|
|3 Aug 1941||General Nicolae Ciuperca's Romanian 4th Army crossed the Dniester River in Ukraine.|
|5 Aug 1941||Romanian troops arrived in the vicinity of Odessa, Ukraine.|
|8 Aug 1941||The Romanian General Staff issued Directive No. 31 calling for the capture of Odessa and the defeat of Soviet forces between the Dniester River and the Tiligulskiy Estuary in Ukraine.|
|9 Aug 1941||Romanian 30th Dorobanti Regiment captured the village of Ponyatovka, Ukraine while other Romanian units captured the railway town of Razdelnaya.|
|16 Aug 1941||German troops of Armeegruppe Sud captured the Soviet naval base at Nikolaev in Ukraine on the Black Sea. Nearby, Romanian troops launched a renewed attack on Odessa.|
|17 Aug 1941||Romanian troops captured the water reservoirs of Odessa, Ukraine with heavy casualties.|
|18 Aug 1941||In southern Ukraine, German troops established a bridgehead across the Dnieper River at Zaporizhia. Further southwest along the river, German troops began an attack on the city Kherson situated on the western bank of the river. The port facilities of Odessa, Ukraine was struck by He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe KG 27; the pilots reported overwhelming success in terms of Soviet shipping destroyed. Out at sea, Two Romanian torpedo boats, NMS Viscolul and NMS Vijelia, damaged a Soviet destroyer south of Odessa.|
|20 Aug 1941||German Eleventh Army captured Kherson, Ukraine. Romanian aircraft destroyed a Soviet armored train at Odessa Ukraine.|
|28 Aug 1941||Axis troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine.|
|30 Aug 1941||Romanian troops captured Kubanka, Ukraine, but Soviet forces recaptured the city later in the day.|
|3 Sep 1941||German and Romanian troops captured the village of Vakarzhany, Ukraine.|
|9 Sep 1941||General Nicolae Ciuperca was replaced by Lieutenant General Iosif Iacobici as the commanding officer of the Romanian 4th Army.|
|12 Sep 1941||Axis troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine.|
|15 Sep 1941||Soviet troops outside of Odessa, Ukraine withdrew southeast toward the city.|
|16 Sep 1941||Romanian troops captured the heights northwest of Gross-Liebenthal district of Odessa, Ukraine.|
|21 Sep 1941||Soviet forces attacked the Romanian 15th Infantry Division near Odessa, Ukraine by landing 1,617 troops of the 3rd Naval Rifle Regiment (by Soviet cruiser Krasni Kavkaz, cruiser Krasni Krym, destroyer Boyki, destroyer Besposhchadny, destroyer Bezuprechny, and destroyer Frunze) and by launching 157th and 421st Rifle Divisions on the ground. Destroyer Frunze was sunk by German Stuka dive bombers in the action.|
|22 Sep 1941||German Stuka dive bombers damaged Soviet destroyer Bezuprechny at 1300 hours, destroyer Besposhchadny at 1630 hours, and destroyer Boyki in the Black Sea off Odessa, Ukraine.|
|30 Sep 1941||The leadership of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet began to consider evacuating forces in Odessa, Ukraine to the Crimean region of Russia (now also in Ukraine).|
|15 Oct 1941||In southern Ukraine, Soviet troops set off explosive charges to destroy port facilities and defensive structures at Odessa in preparation of the evacuation of 35,000 Soviet troops from Odessa to Sevastopol in Russia, which would commence after sundown.|
|16 Oct 1941||The final Soviet evacuation ships departed Odessa, Ukraine at 0510 hours. In the past two weeks, 121,000 troops and civilians were evacuated from the city, along with 1,000 trucks and 20,000 tons of ammunition. Romanian troops entered the city later on this date, capturing the city.|
|22 Dec 1942||About 38,000 Soviet personnel were awarded the Medal for the Defence of Odessa.|
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Visitor Submitted Comments
2 May 2019 08:56:18 AM
Add how it impacted ww2!!!!!
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