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(2/10) Battlefield II The Battle of the Crimea Ep8 World War II
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Videos Running Time 01:41:00 in 10 Parts
Battlefield II: The Battle of the Crimea"
This episode of "Battlefield" chronicles the German Armys campaign in the Crimea.
The campaign was conducted by the German 11th Army (XI), despite the incorrect map references to the 6th Army (VI).
The Crimea was a thorn in the belly of Army Group Souths advance on Rostov. Hitler also believed the Crimea could act as an alternative invasion route into the Caucasus. The task of conquering the Crimea would fall on Gen. Erich von Manstein. Mansteins 11th Army would consist of 4 Corps. Thirty, 49th Mountain, 54th, and the 3rd Romanian Corps were all assigned to the 11th Army. The Soviet Union would assemble a force of 235,000 men in various units.
The Battle of the Crimea officially began on September 24th, 1941. Gen. Mansteins first objective was to break resistance and breakthrough the Isthmus of Perekop. This invasion route was an obvious choice, and a necessary entrance into the Crimea. Manstein had no choice but to fight a battle of attrition in this area. Manstein achieved a breakthrough on October 28th, 1941.
The defenses of Sevastopol were extensive and well planned out. Three belts of defenses defended the approaches to the city. Manstein chose to center his offensive in the south. The Soviet defensive belt network was weaker in the south. However, the terrain was terrible. The offensive failed.
As Manstein was closing on Sevastopol, the Soviets launched attacks across the Kerch Peninsula. These attacks succeeded in pushing the Germans back. A series of excellent counter offensives succeeded; in clearing the Soviet presence out of the eastern Crimea, and inflicting 175,000 casualties on the Soviets.
After murderous attacks, bombardments and tough Soviet resistance Sevastopol fell on June 29, 1942. Gen. Manstein was promoted to Field Marshall.
In 1944 the Soviets crossed into the Kerch Peninsula once again. As the 17th Army retreated, the Soviets encircled all forces in the Crimea. When all hope seemed lost a botched seaborne extraction began. The German defense of the Crimea in 1944 was another complete Hitler influenced disaster.
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