The Defence and Evacuation of the Kuban Bridgehead, January – October 1943

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Sniper1946
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The Defence and Evacuation of the Kuban Bridgehead, January – October 1943

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Post by Sniper1946 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:08 pm

Table of Contents
Table of Contents........................................................................................................................... i
Acknowledgements....................................................................................................................... ii
Author’s Note................................................................................................................................ ii
List of Maps and Illustrations....................................................................................................... iii
Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 1
Chapter I: The Operations of Seventeenth Army, June 1941 – January 1943 ............................ 10
Chapter II: The Novorossiysk Landing Operations...................................................................... 17
Chapter III: Operation Neptune & Soviet Summer Offensives ................................................... 26
Chapter IV: The Evacuation of the Kuban Bridgehead................................................................ 37
Chapter V: Conclusions ............................................................................................................... 48
Appendix I: Orders of Battle........................................................................................................ 54
Appendix II: Biographical Sketches ............................................................................................. 59
Appendix III: Awards ................................................................................................................... 63
Bibliography ................................................................................................................................ 64


List of Maps and Illustrations
Figure 1: The Kuban and Crimea ................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2: The Uman Pocket......................................................................................................... 11
Figure 3: Army Group A’s Withdrawal from the Caucasus ......................................................... 15
Figure 4: The Novorossiysk Landing Operations......................................................................... 19
Figure 5: Tsesar Kunikov's Grave in Novorossiysk ...................................................................... 22
Figure 6: The Malaya Zemlya Memorial Complex in Novorossiysk ............................................ 23
Figure 7: Leonid Brezhnev with a Group of Political Officers at Malaya Zemlya, 1943 .............. 25
Figure 8: Operation Neptune ...................................................................................................... 28
Figure 9: Romanian Artillery Observers Using a Knocked-out T-34 as Shelter........................... 29
Figure 10: Soviet Marines in the Malaya Zemlya Beachhead, Spring 1943 ................................ 30
Figure 11: German Infantry in Novorossiysk............................................................................... 33
Figure 12: Frontline, May-September 1943................................................................................ 36
Figure 13: Intermediate Positions during Seventeenth Army’s Withdrawal .............................. 41
Figure 14: Kerch Harbour ........................................................................................................... 45
Figure 15: The Baltic Offensive Operation and the Kurland Bridgehead .................................... 49

Introduction
David M. Glantz, one of the foremost scholars of the Soviet-German war of 1941-5,
makes frequent reference to what he calls the “forgotten battles” of the war, the many
operations that are partially or completely overlooked in the published history. These
operations are understandably obscured by more famous events, such as the initial
German advance in the summer of 1941, the Battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk
and the huge Soviet offensives of the later period of the war.1 Glantz argues, however,
that a comprehensive understanding of the war cannot be gained without some
knowledge of these forgotten battles, as they accounted for upwards of 40 percent of
the Red Army’s total wartime operations. There are a number of reasons why this
situation has come about. Access to Soviet/Russian sources has long been a major
challenge for Western historians, and even many Russian researchers have been forced
to ignore or gloss over facts or events considered politically embarrassing or
inconvenient. The early English-language histories, which formed the Western view of
the war that has largely persisted to the present day, were forced to rely heavily on the
memoirs of German generals such as Heinz Guderian, Friedrich von Mellenthin, and
Erich von Manstein, which were written from personal notes without the use of archive
materials and naturally presented a one-sided view of events.
2
The operations in the Kuban bridgehead, the subject of this thesis, can certainly be
included in the ranks of the forgotten battles. Indeed the entire campaign in the
Caucasus during 1942-3 is often viewed as merely a footnote to the Battle of Stalingrad,
even though the oilfields were the primary objective of Operation Blue, the
Wehrmacht’s 1942 summer offensive, and the forces sent to the Volga were initially
intended to act as a screen for the advance to the south. The Kuban bridgehead, which
was held by the German Seventeenth Army from January to October 1943, receives
even less attention. As an example, John Erickson’s The Road to Berlin devotes several
early pages to the Soviet offensives and German withdrawal that led to the pocket being

formed, then briefly mentions the Soviet plans to eliminate the bridgehead, but the next
mention of Seventeenth Army sees it in the Crimea in October 1943 following its
evacuation over the Strait of Kerch from the Kuban, which is not discussed at all.3
Read book: http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/55 ... gehead.pdf
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Re: The Defence and Evacuation of the Kuban Bridgehead, January – October 1943

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Post by The Ringo Kid » Fri May 19, 2017 9:15 pm

Id love to eventually buy this book. Glantz is one of my favorite authors.
"Where Liberty Dwells, Is My Country" Ben Franklin.


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