Novorossiisk-Taman Operation of 1943
Novorossiisk-Taman’ Operation of 1943
combat actions by the forces of the Northern Caucasus Front (commanded by Colonel General I. E. Petrov), the Black Sea Fleet (commanded by Vice Admiral L. A. Vladimirskii), and the Azov Naval Flotilla (commanded by Rear Admiral S. G. Gorshkov) from September 10 to October 9 to crush the fascist German forces on the Taman’ Peninsula during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. On the Taman’ Peninsula the enemy had established a deeply echeloned defense, called the Blue Line, whose flanks ran to the Azov and Black seas. Novorossiisk was especially strongly fortified. Three German divisions and one Rumanian division from the Seventeenth Army (commanded by General of Engineers E. Jaenecke) were concentrated around the city.
According to the plan of the Novorossiisk-Taman’ operation, the main strike was delivered in the Novorossiisk region by forces of the Eighteenth Army from land and a landing party of the Black Sea Fleet from the sea. The troops of the Ninth and Fifty-sixth armies, which were deployed on the right flank and center of the front, were to go over to the offensive after success on the Novorossiisk axis became evident. Artillery preparation and air strikes were carried on during the night of September 9. At dawn, ships of the Black Sea Fleet broke into the port of Novorossiisk and landed three landing detachments, one on the west shore of Tsemesskaia Bay and two on mined wharves in the port. At the same time the land offensive of the eastern and western groups of the Eighteenth Army began. (The western group started from the Myskhako beachhead, called Malaia Zemlia.) Finding themselves surrounded and cut off from one another, the landing detachments fought heroically against superior enemy forces. During the night of September 10, the second echelon of the landing group was landed. On that same day the forces of the Ninth Army went over to the offensive, delivering a strike at Temriuk. On September 14 the forces of the Fifty-sixth Army went into action in the central sector of the front. In bitter fighting on September 15 in the city of Novorossiisk, the eastern and western groups of the Eighteenth Army joined, and by the morning of September 16 the city was liberated.
During the last ten days of September, the forces of the front reached the Staraia Kuban’ River line, where they met strong enemy resistance. To assist the advancing troops, the Black Sea Fleet landed marine parties in the enemy rear near Lakes Solenoe and Blagoveshchenskoe, while the Azov Naval Flotilla landed parties on the north coast of the Taman’ Peninsula, near Chaikino and Golubitskaia. After breaking through the enemy defense, the forces of the front reached the Kerch’ Strait on October 9. The Novorossiisk-Taman’ operation crushed the enemy’s Taman’ grouping, eliminated an important enemy beachhead for the defense of the Crimea, and created favorable conditions for a continued offensive to liberate the Crimean Peninsula.
REFERENCESGrechko, A. A. Bitva za Kavkaz, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1973.
Zav’ialov, A. S., and T. E. Kaliadin. Bitva za Kavkaz, 1942–1943. Moscow, 1957.
G. F. SILAEV