The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a settlement within the precincts of Kerch with extensive underground quarries, long a source of shell rock limestone used for building. Before the October Revolution the quarries served as a frequent meeting place and base for the underground Bolsheviks. During the Civil War they were used as a base by the partisans in 1918–20.

The quarries became particularly famous during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. In November and December of 1941 a partisan unit under the command of N. I. Bantysh and S. I. Cherkez was located there. A group of Soviet soldiers—the remnants of the 83rd Brigade of the marines, the 276th Rifle Regiment, the 95th Border Division, regiments intended for the front, the Yaroslavl Technical Aviation School, the Voronezh School for Radio Specialists, and others, more than 10,000 people in all, not including the civilian population—battled heroically in the quarries, from May through October 1942; they concealed the retreat and transfer of the major forces of the Crimean front and were later cut off by the enemy. In the Central Quarries the defense was led by Colonel P. M. Iagunov, Senior Battalion Commissar I. P. Parakhin, and Lieutenant-Colonel G. M. Burmin, and in the Small Quarries by Lieutenant-Colonel Ermakov and First Lieutenant M. G. Povazhnyi. In spite of unbelievably difficult circumstances—with insufficient water, food, and military supplies—the underground garrison fought stubbornly for nearly half a year, regularly making attacks and striking at the enemy. Hitler’s forces blockaded the quarries, surrounding them with several rows of wire entanglements, blocked the exits with explosives, and released gases within, but they could not crush the Soviet people. They perished but did not surrender to the enemy.


V katakombakh Adzhimushkaia (anthology). Simferopol’, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.