The last days of the defense of Sevastopol in 1942

The soldiers and sailors of the Primorsky Army defending Sevastopol did not have ammunition. They waited in vain for their evacuation. No one knew yet that there would be no more ships...

On June 18, at the cost of heavy losses, the Germans managed to reach the Northern Bay, Inkerman, Sapun Mountain. On June 26, the last replenishment arrived in Sevastopol on two destroyers, the leader "Tashkent" and two minesweepers - the 142nd rifle brigade. The ships were unloaded and received the wounded in Kamyshovaya Bay, which was located outside the city limits. On the way back at Cape Ai-Todor, enemy bombers sank the destroyer ‘Imperfect’. Ammunition, fuel and food were now delivered in small quantities only by submarines and Douglas transport aircraft.

On June 29, with the fall of the Inkerman Heights, the fate of the fortress was sealed. There were 800 fighters left in the Soviet rifle divisions, 400 in the brigades. Only the 9th and 142nd brigades were almost fully staffed. Due to the lack of ammunition, rare artillery fire could provide purely moral support to the defenders. On the night of June 30, units of the 22nd divisions of General Wolf and the 24th divisions of General von Tettan, covered by artillery fire and smoke screens, crossed the Severnaya Bay on motor boats. This operation was accompanied by concentrated attacks by the German-Romanian forces in all directions. The infantry of the 170th division, supported by rocket-propelled mortars, assault guns and goliaths, stormed Sapun Mountain, followed by Malakhov Kurgan. On the evening of June 30, the remnants of the SOR troops began to withdraw from Sevastopol to the bays of Streletskaya, Kamyshovaya, Kazachya and to Cape Khersones. The agony of the Primorsky army began.

The official Soviet history reports that on July 3, the Soviet troops, on the orders of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command, left Sevastopol and were evacuated by sea. In order not to give the enemy the opportunity to interfere with the evacuation, parts of the cover in the area of ​​​​Sevastopol and on the Chersonesos Peninsula held back the enemy’s advance, and in the meantime, ships were boarded at night. The following is a diagram of the evacuation of troops and the population.

In fact, the evacuation of Sevastopol was never planned, and from June 30, after the enemy occupied the Ship Side, it became simply impossible. Therefore, on the night of July 1, after the report of Admiral Oktyabrsky that all the possibilities for the defense of the city had been exhausted, by order of Moscow, only the highest commanders and commissars of the SOR were taken out of Cape Khersones in submarines L-23 and Shch-209 and several transport aircraft - General Petrov with headquarters, division commanders, fleet command, party leadership and ranks of the NKVD - a total of 498 people, as well as about three tons of documents and valuables. That same night, all the serviceable boats at hand sailed - they were also imprisoned according to the lists, they delivered 304 people to the Caucasian ports.

These generals are the evacuated troops, and the party bosses and their relatives are the population. All the rest - and the infantrymen still fighting, and the wounded in the cellars and adits - were all left on the shore ('covering troops'!). The last 18 operational combat aircraft flew to Anapa, and about 2,000 ground servants went to the trenches.

The remaining soldiers, led by the commander of the 109th Infantry Division, Major General P. G. Novikov (Crimean Tatar) was given an order: ‘…fight to the last opportunity, after which… break into the mountains, to the partisans’. They stayed for 2 more days.

On the night of July 2, personnel blew up battery No. 35: the ammunition load was completely used up. Two minesweepers, two submarines and five sea hunters, who arrived for the last time, took out about 650 more people.

Engineer A. N. Sharov, who fought on Chersonese until the last day, recalled: “Thousands of soldiers accumulated on the shore. When the ship approached, people rushed to the wooden pier, and it collapsed under the weight of the bodies. It was impossible to make out who died and who got out from under the logs. Storm wave. The ship moved away from the shore. People are jumping in. The sailors lowered the ropes to help the soldiers climb onto the deck. The picture was terrible... Along the coast, under the rocks, as far as the eye could see, lay dead soldiers. The narrow edge is literally strewn with bodies.”

The remnants of the Coastal Army - more than 30 thousand people who did not have ammunition, food, fresh water, all hospitals and medical battalions - tried to hide in caves located in steep slopes, waiting in vain for their evacuation. No one knew yet that there would be no more ships.

By July 4, organized resistance at Cape Khersones had been broken, by the 10th its last pockets had been eliminated. Almost no one managed to break into the mountains; another 750 fighters were transported to the Caucasus on small ships and vessels. A few managed to escape by sea on boats, rafts, car cameras; some were intercepted by enemy boats, some were picked up by Soviet submarines. In just 3 days, a little more than 2,000 people were taken out. The rest fell to death and captivity.

To comfort Soviet citizens and raise the morale of the Red Army, the Sovinformburo reported that the heroic defenders of Sevastopol only in the last 25 days of the assault "completely defeated" 22, 24, 28, 50, The 132nd and 172nd German infantry divisions and four separate regiments, the 22nd tank division (?) and a separate mechanized brigade of the 1st, 4th and 18th Romanian divisions "and a large number of units from other formations" - everything that was and was not It was.“In this short period, the Germans lost up to 150 thousand soldiers and officers near Sevastopol, of which at least 60 thousand were killed, more than 250 tanks (the Germans had about 80 tanks and self-propelled guns in total), up to 250 guns. Over 300 German planes were shot down in air battles over the city. For all 8 months of the defense of Sevastopol, the enemy lost up to 300 thousand soldiers killed and wounded. (This seemed not enough and later they began to claim that Manstein “lay down” 300 thousand only killed, and the writer Karpov even calculated arithmetically how high the wall would be if all these corpses were laid out along the 30-kilometer defensive perimeter, given that “each soldier, shod in boots, with a helmet on his head, was about two meters tall). In the battles for Sevastopol, German troops suffered huge losses, but acquired ruins... The enemy failed to capture any trophies, valuables or military property... By fettering a large number of German-Romanian troops, the defenders of the city confused and upset (?) The plans of the German command.

Fantastic figures cannot hide the fact that now the entire Crimea is in the hands of the Germans. The German command highly appreciated the successes of the 11th Army. Manstein received the rank of Field Marshal and a vacation in the Carpathians. For the participants in the assault, Hitler established the Crimean Shield badge of honor. From an operational point of view, the 11th Army, “completely defeated” by the Soviet Information Bureau, freed itself just in time to participate in a large Wehrmacht offensive on the southern sector of the Eastern Front. Its losses in June-July 1942, during the most brutal fighting, amounted to 24,111 people killed and wounded.

The troops of the Sevastopol defensive region from October 30, 1941 to July 4, 1942 lost more than 200 thousand soldiers and officers, including 156,880 irretrievably. When performing combat missions in the Sevastopol region, the Chervona Ukraine cruiser, 4 destroyers, 4 large transports, S-32 and Shch-214 submarines were killed; 1 leader and 3 destroyers were heavily damaged, not counting small warships. Having captured the fortress, the Germans captured 622 guns, 758 mortars and 26 tanks as trophies. 95 thousand Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner. They were abandoned, which often happens in war.

But they were also betrayed, declaring themselves traitors. Those who were left on the shore by their command will go through captivity and concentration camps and will live with a stigma in their biography. Interrogations, suspicions, accusations will fall on their heads - all in accordance with the leader's instruction: "We have no prisoners of war!"

A few examples from the article by Lyudmila Ovchinnikova:

About what they experienced after the war...

The officer, who was captured wounded, was sent to camps after the war. When he returned, he could only get a job as a stoker in a boiler room.

A former nurse who survived in a concentration camp was afraid for 10 years to cross the threshold of the personnel department so as not to let her husband down, who worked at a defense plant.

A soldier from Sevastopol went to study at the pedagogical one. The student was nominated for a nominal scholarship. The special officer called him: “How did you get here? You, who surrendered, will teach our children?”

And of course, the medal "For the Defense of Sevastopol", established on December 22, 1942, was not intended for them.

On the whole, the incompetently failed defense of the Crimea cost the Red Army almost 600 thousand people.

Based on the book by V. V. Beshanov "Year 1942 - educational"