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Battle for the Crimea (June 1941 - May 1944)

Battle for the Crimea (June 1941 - May 1944)

The Crimea Campaign was an eight month long campaign of the Axis forces to conquer the Crimea peninsula, and was the scene of some of the bloodiest battles on the Eastern Front during World War II. The German and Romanian troops suffered heavy casualties as they tried to advance through the isthmus linking the Crimean peninsula to the mainland at Perekop, from summer of 1941 through to the first half of 1942.

From September 26th, 1941, the German 11th Army and troops from the Romanian Third Army and Fourth Army were involved in the fighting, opposed by the Red Army's 51st Army and elements of the Black Sea Fleet. After the campaign, the peninsula was occupied by Army Group A with the 17th Army as its major subordinate formation.

Once the Axis (German and Romanian troops) broke through, they occupied most of Crimea, with the exception of the city of Sevastopol (given the title of Hero City later) and Kerch, which was recaptured by the Soviets during an amphibious operation near the end of 1941 and then once again by Germans during Operation Bustard on May 8th. Sevastopol held out for 250 days from October 30th, 1941 until July 4th, 1942, when the Germans finally captured the city.

In 1944, Crimea was recaptured by the troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front during the Crimean Offensive (April 8th, 1944 - May 12th, 1944).