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> 34. The Battle in the North of Azov Sea
dragos
Posted: March 31, 2004 03:52 pm
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by Alesandru Dutu

The battle in the north of the Azov Sea with its protagonists (the 11th German Army - XLIX Mountain and XXX Army Corps - and the 3rd Romanian Army - The Mountain and Cavalry Corps) had special importance not only by its largest troops' number or duration but mainly by its consequences on military actions at the Southern front flank, and especially in Crimea.

The 11th German Army first started to cross Dnieper river at Berislav on August 30, 1941, using its XXX Army Corps. This unit, up to September 7, represented a force of 5-10 km long (as disposed in march) wich afterwards, until September 13, was enlarged by divisions belonging to XLIX Alpine Corps. Then, the German Army continued their offensive and obliged the Soviet forces to withdraw towards east as far as on the enforced aligment between Baliki and Melitopol, south of the greatest bend of river Don, where they succeeded to strongly oppose enemy. At the same time, the German XLIX Army Corps' offensive towards Crimea was blocked.

Within this period, the 3rd Romanian Army ensured the liberty of action for the 11th German Army until September 15, 1941. After that it was used in successful actions to east.

After the 1st Mountain Brigade and the 4th Mountain Brigade crossed Dnieper on September 15, the Mountain Corps marched towards Nogai steppe under permanent air attacks and reached the back of the XLIX German Army Corps, south of Bol-Belozorka on September 22-23. The Germans were severe fighting against Soviet troops south of Balki. Instantly, General Gheorghe Avramescu was given the order of replacing the German divisions that were to move for Crimea with the view to attack the Perekop Isthmus.

The action took place between September 23-25 on a 40 km wide front in between east of Balki and north of Veseloie.

At the same time, at the southern flank of the front, the Romanian Cavalry Corps (the 5th, 6th and 8th Brigades) joined the forces. It was positioned between the 170th and 72nd German Infantry Divisions between Akimovka and Veseloie.

But shortly, right on the day, the 11th German Army had started offensive towards Crimea and prior to the final joint of the German and Romanian troops, heavy forces of the 6th and 18th Soviet Army strongly counterattacked with infantry and armoured troops on the front between Balki and Melitopol.

Their aim was to strike against the flank and the rear of German troops attacking towards Perekop. Fights were at peak on September 27-29, 1941, when Soviets managed to get several breaches in the Romanian-German front.

This was the birth of the Great Battle in the north of the Azov Sea which in German-Romanian view had three stages: the offensive (August 30 - September 23); the defensive (September 24 - October 3) and the counter-offensive (October 4-11, 1941).

To prevent the attacks of the Soviets who were successful in breaking the German-Romania flank in several points, the 11th German Army decided to halt offensive to Crimea and bring back the XLIX Alpine Corps attached to the left flank of the Romanian Mountain Corps.

The counter attack of the SS "Adolf Hitler" Divisions, together with units of the XLIX German Army Corps and the Romanian Mountain Corps took place at Balki on September 29.

They managed to stabilize the sitation and to overcome crisis up to October 3. They also did away with the danger at the southern flank of the front as a result of Soviet forces penetration as far as Elisavetovka (about 10 km) through connecting the space between the 170th German Infantry Division and the 8th Romanian Cavalry Brigade.

A main contribution to prevent the initial attack came to the SS "Adolf Hitler" Division which was brought to area from the left front flank. In the morning of October 2, together with Romanian Cavalry units, they counterattacked and reestablished the situation.

Under the pressure of the German Alpine Corps and of the XXX and Romanian Cavalry Corps, and threatened by the vast manoeuvre of return in the north-east towards east Zaporoje-Berdiansk executed by the Armoured Group commanded by Marshal Edwald von Kleist (two armoured divisions and a motorized division), the Soviet forces started to withdraw towards east.

They were finally surrounded south of Semienovko and north of Berdiansk and defeated or mostly captured until October 11, 1941.

The defeat of the Soviet forces in the north of Azov Sea allowed the 11th German Army to resume offensive to Crimea.
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bobby1974
Posted: February 26, 2010 08:44 am
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Can you posts some photos with romanian and german troops involved in these battles?
I'm curious bcz may grandpa died there in battle of Belozorka (sep 1941).
According to many documents and hystorians it seems that these battles (along the Azov Sea ) was the strongest and shudderest on the Eastern Front (except maybe the Stalingrad Battle).

Regards Bobby
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MMM
  Posted: July 17, 2010 04:07 pm
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QUOTE (bobby1974 @ February 26, 2010 08:44 am)
Can you posts some photos with romanian and german troops involved in these battles?
I'm curious bcz may grandpa died there in battle of Belozorka (sep 1941).
According to many documents and hystorians it seems that these battles (along the Azov Sea ) was the strongest and shudderest on the Eastern Front (except maybe the Stalingrad Battle).

Regards Bobby

Hi, Bobby!
What historians are those?!?! What books?
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Vranceanu
Posted: December 31, 2012 11:10 pm
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This is an very interesting subject for me. My grandfather, artillery leutenent Gheorghe Vranceanu took part to theese battles.
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Victor
Posted: January 03, 2013 08:06 am
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