World War II in Europe. From Warsaw to Berlin. Part 7-Battle of Caucasus

Nazis’ crusade for oil.

The+battle+of+Caucasus+was+a+hard+battle+that+played+a+key+role+in+the+battle+of+Stalingrad.

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The battle of Caucasus was a hard battle that played a key role in the battle of Stalingrad.

“Two soldiers of the Red Army, were talking German with another German officer, who sat beside blasting machine. They were from special German force, called “Brandenburg 800” and were German spies. Just a few hours before that minute, they prevented the explosion of Veselovsky Reservoir on the river Manych. Now Germans could easily cross Manych by riding on top of the Dam of that reservoir.

Map of the Veselovsky Reservoir (from the center to the down-right corner of the map). This reservoir was named after the town of Veselyy (in the center of the map) which means happy (funny)

They thought that operation will be successful, when in the door into the room where they were, appeared stranger-a real soldier of the Red Army…

The history didn’t save the name of unknown hero, who blew up the the dam of the Veselovsky reservoir on July 27, 1942. Manych, which was only 4o (400) meters wide turned into a real sea with width 4 km! Instead of “riding” the dam, Nazis had to transport their tanks on a ferry. But after Germans occupied Rostov-on-Don, the could move to Caucasus without crossing the river Manych, but on the territory to the west of that river.” telling us StarMedia.

The commander of the North-Caucasian Front, Marshal Budenny, knew that he had to retreat to the Caucasus Passes. This could save two Soviet armies. The government gave permission to retreat.

The map of the battle of Caucasus

Soviet army decided to stay on those passes. But its power wasn’t really good. Budenny thought that Caucasus passes were natural defense. So on Maruh pass, there were only one infantry company. Klukhor pass was protected by two infantry companies and sapper platoon. Germans used their mountain infantry divisions to attack Soviet army. When help arrived to the Caucasus, passes were half-occupied by Germans. Soviet forces stopped Nazis, but could not push the off those passes.

Soviet soldiers defending the Caucasus.

In September-October, Nazis started a massive attack on the city of Ordzhonikidze (Vladikavkaz) and towns of Mozdok and Malgobek. Fighting in there continued until the November. Germans tried, but failed to conquer Mozdok and Ordzhonikidze. They also failed to get to Baku.

In November, Nazis attacked the town of Tuapse to destroy Soviet Black Sea Fleet. The  surrounded a massive group of the Soviet soldiers. For 1 (2) month(s) the defenders of Tuapse tried to get out of that cauldron and finally succeeded. 

In December-January, Germans’ front on Caucasus collapsed, and the 17th army (part of the group “A”) evacuated to the Taman Peninsula (the part of the Kuban region). The whole front waited for the Battle of Kursk, and only there in Kuban, was a real fighting. Battles continued until the fall of 1943, when the 17th army evacuated to Crimea.

While the battles of Stalingrad and Caucasus, another battle was raging on much farther north, the battle of Rzhev…

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