Germans in Caucasus

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Robb
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Postby Robb » 20 Jul 2005 13:11

Mt Elbrus is, I believe the highest mountain in the Caucasus, and was climbed by the Germans in 1942 and the Swastika raised on the top of the peak as a propoganda exercise. The Germans captured a number of the high mountain passes but didn't hold them for long, as following the Stalingrad debacle the German situation in the Caucasus deteriortaed rapidly and the 1st Panzer Army and XVII Army had to retreat quickly to avoid encirclement. the original objectives had been the capture of Tbilisi the capital of the Georgian SSR, the oilfields at Maikop and surrounding areas, the oilfields at Baku and the main naval base left to the Russian Black Sea Fleet at Batumi. Only Maikop was captured and the Russians left that oilfield in flames (scorched earth!)

I have seen pictures alleged to be of the Germans advancing in the Caucasus, I think in Purnell's History of the Second World War but I am not sure. As an aside I believe some of the Lend Lease Valentine tanks sent by the UK to the USSR in 1941/42 ended up on this front. The Germans captured a number of them and were surprised to find that instructions for operating the tanks had been witten in chalk in the turret!

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92-StammkompPz.Gr.Ers.Btl
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Postby 92-StammkompPz.Gr.Ers.Btl » 02 Aug 2005 08:42

Robb wrote:Mt Elbrus is, I believe the highest mountain in the Caucasus,
The Germans captured a number of the high mountain passes but didn't hold them for long, as following the Stalingrad debacle the German situation in the Caucasus deteriortaed rapidly


Mt Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe :)

After the fierce combat with Soviet 808, 810, 815 Str. Regiments elements of the 1 Gebirgsjaeger Div. managed to capture the key-passes: Klukhor, Marukh, Khalega and some others and held them up to March 1943. But because of situation in Stalingrad area, desperate resistance of suppressed Soviet troop remnants and severe weather conditions they couldn`t reach their primary target - Sukhumi and the Black Sea coast. To supply their troops positioned on the passes the Germans built several "rope-ways" and started several diesel generators which remains are visible even today. On the attached photo taken by me this July you can see so called "Defence Crest". The mountain to the left is called Marukh-Bashi, then to the right you can see Kara-Kaya (covered by dark shadow of cloud) and then to the right begins the "Defence Crest".
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Robb
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92-StammkompPz.Gr.Ers.Btl

Postby Robb » 03 Aug 2005 11:53

Thanks for the info. Great photo looks a beautiful area. Any more photos of the Caucasus? Or any other areas connected with the German campaign in Russia?

Regards

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Lars
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Postby Lars » 03 Aug 2005 12:02

Great info and picture. Are you sure that the Germans held the passes until March 1943? It is my understanding that the Germans left in late January 1943, but perhaps some soldiers were left behind one reason or another ..

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Groscurth
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Postby Groscurth » 04 Aug 2005 02:38

Georgien wrote:Dear Lars,

I have actually seen it. But never came across the pictures or photos of their advances in Caucasus. I guess no one has it.


I saw a picture of German troops on Mount Elbruz, the highest EU summet. (climbed by my brother solo in 1996 btw).
Will look for it.

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Postby Groscurth » 04 Aug 2005 02:41

92-StammkompPz.Gr.Ers.Btl wrote:. Btw one of my friends is an alpinist, so he tells that traces of war are still visible there even today!


In Chamonix-Mont Blanc, we call those sympathic collegues of us "Caucasists", like you have lots of "Himalayists" to (specialy Himalayisme is different from technical and more difficult climbing in the Alps due to the heavy expedition help of other climbers and the climbing on fixed ropes instead of the sportive and lighter but more dangerous Alpine style, also used in the Himalaya btw) . I was a collegue of Anatoli Boukreev, had a beer often with him when he stayed here for climbing. We miss our Russian friend. Disapeered on Annapurna (8091m., one of the few 8000'ers), my toughts will be with him next spring on the summit.
http://www.boukreev.org/
http://classic.mountainzone.com/climbing/boukreev/

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Lars
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Postby Lars » 11 Aug 2005 09:43

Gregorien,

"The Caucasus and the Oil, The German-Soviet War in the Caucasus 1942/43" by Wilhelm Tieke which I got yesterday from Amazon.uk :D has quite a few pictures of Axis forces advancing through the Caucasus. Several pictures are of the Mount Elbrus andvance and some pictures even show the Finnish volunteers.

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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 20 Aug 2005 13:09

Bruce Quarrie's German Mountain Troops has some photos in it of the Caucasus operations.

"...overlooking the Kluchor Pass"
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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 20 Aug 2005 13:15

From Quarrie:

"...10.5cm leFH 18 in the Caucasus".
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tigre
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 17 Aug 2008 15:57

Hello to all :D; here goes a little acount dealing with the conquest of the city of Noworossisk in Sep 1942...................

Noworossisk – Sep 1942.

Towards the Caucasus.

Image
To the bridge - Pz Jäg Abt 125 here

On Jul 27 1942, after some rest the 125 ID moved on through the “Caucasus Gate” Rostow-Bataisk. This very day the unit grasped the towns of Ogpu and Lenina, then marched through the burning and dusty steppe in the North Caucasus. The 125 ID was within the Army Group “A”’s framework (Generaloberst List) with the 17 AOK (General Ruoff) in the V AK (General Wetzel) with the 198 ID on its left and the 73 ID on its right.

Image
Crossing the bridge - Pz Jäg Abt 125 here


On Jul 28 1942 by nightfall, Krasnaja Slobodka was reached and seized. From Aug 02 1942, onwards the new neighbour on the right was the 9 ID.

On Aug 12 a meeting was held between all the units’ Ia (Ops Offrs) in order to co-ordinate the advance of the four divisions belonging to the V AK to the Caucasus. According to the order issued on Aug 13 the divisions should attack across the Kuban as follows:

73 ID from the west of Jelisawetinskaja to Sewerskaja.
9 ID from the east of the rail bridge of Krasnodar to Tochtamukaj.
125 ID from the north of Tljustenchablij to Schendskij.
198 ID from the south of Lenina to Wotschepschij.

On Aug 14, at dawn the men of the I./ IR 421 took up their readiness positions and by 04:30 hours, after a softening barrage the assault boats carried the first wave of 36 men to the opposite bank, which in that place was located 250 meters away. At the Division’s CP, the Corps Commander and the CoS of the 17 AOK followed the IR 421’s assault. Around 19:30 hours, Oberst Reinhard reported that the bridgehead was secured; it costed 18 KIA and 44 WIA. The other Corps’s divisions also got across the Kuban river with success so the V AK’s crossing stretched out over 40 kilometers.

On Aug 20 a Corps’ order reached the 125 ID: stop the advance at once. At mid morning the V AK’s CoS informed the 125 ID’s Commanding Officer that the division had a new task so the O1, Oberleutnant Prinz was detached to the Corps’ CP; the task was the following: march to the west and attack on Noworossisk.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 24 Aug 2008 14:03

Hello to all :D; more follows............................

Towards the City.

At that time the 125 ID's strengh was as follows: 299 Officers; 87 Officials; 2048 NCOs and 12192 Enlisted men; also 5270 horses and 1800 horse drawn vehicles. During its advance from the Mius, the division had had the following casualties: 99 Officers, 336 NCOs and 1862 Enlisted men.

On Aug 29 1942, fighting against one strong resistence the regiments went on reaching a security line within the wooded land before Natuchajewskaja; from there the German could see for the first time the Black Sea coast. According to the legend Oberst Friebe radioed the words “Thalatta, Thalatta” (the sea, the sea).

On Augh 30 1942, both regiments had reached the last heights before the town of Natuchajewskaja, after that the ground rolled down towards the city and port of Anapa some 20 kilometers away. The II./ AR 125 reinforced with one heavy battery took up positions and one recce patrol (I./ IR 419) was detached to the village but found it free of enemy, at 17:00 hours the town was seized without fight; the IR 421 occupied the north part and the IR 419 the south part. At once more recce patrols were sent towards Krasn. Medwedowskaja located 6 kilometers away to south which was found strongly occupied by the enemy.

On Aug 31 1942, at 15:00 hours the IR 419 attacked towards Krasn. Medwedowskaja coming from the wooded land located some 3 kilometers to the north of the town with its III. Battalion to the right and the I. Battalion to the left the riflemen was escorted by three assault guns belongng to the 249 Stug Abt. At 15:45 hours the battalions broke into the town and by 18:00 hours it was in german hands. With this attack the division had turned 90º towards the south, proceeding to its new objective: Noworossisk.

This very day, the 3º Army (Romanian) took Anapa thus surrounding part of the Soviet 47 Army within the Taman's Peninsula and on Sep 01 1942, German and Romanian troops got across the Kertsch strait moving ahead along the Peninsula of Taman coming from the west.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 31 Aug 2008 12:41

Hello to all :D; more follows............................

Towards the City - Last obstacles.

On Sep 01 1942 at 08:45 hours, the I./IR 419 (Hauptmann Wildschütz) seized the height 116 while the III./ IR 419 did the same with height 106; ahead and 2,5 kilometers away stood out the Point 198,9 known as Heigh of “Gudsewo”. That hill should be taken this very day and the battalion went on with its 2. Company in the lead reinforced with three assault guns and the support furnished by three heavy batteries; the enemy position was rolled in spite of two assault guns were lost. From there the German had got an amazing view of the Zemeskaja Bay, the city and the port.

On Sep 02 1942, the enemy counterattacked twice at 08:30 hours and at 09:15 hours but without success. Shortly afterwards the german artillery was hit by heavy shells, the fire being directed from hill “Seregaj”. That height was finally seized by the III./ IR 419 on Sep 03 1942; by noon the II./ IR 419 had relieved the III./ IR 419 at “Seregaj” so it could proceed towards south.

On Sep 04 1942, the villages of Wassilijewka and Glebowka were conquered hence that day the II. and III. Battalions took up an all-round position at Glebowka.

On Sep 05 1942, the IR 421 with the support furnished by the assault guns seized the last bulwark before the city, the wooded land outside of Borissowka and then the Radfahr Abteilung pressed on against the road leading to Wladimirowka.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 07 Sep 2008 13:28

Hello to all :D; after a while, more follows............................

The fight for the City.

On Sep 07 1942, the soviets launched another attack yet, but were compeled to retreat by the IR 419. The German regiment charged in turn against the retreating enemy with the I./ IR 419 to the right and the III./ IR 419 to the left. The artillery (II./ AR 125, 10./ AR 125 and one battery belonging to the AR 634) unleashed a barrage that lasted 15 minutes on the city’s outskirsts and then both battalions moved ahead against the southwestern edge. As before at Rostow, the enemy turned the city into a fortress; the russian shot from their casemates, houses, barricades and trenches with rifles, submachineguns, machineguns and antitank guns. This would not be the first time that the regiment should fight house to house and block to block. The assault guns and the engineers with their flamethrowers were of great help. Both battalions (from IR 419) suffered heavy losses within the city but the established line was reached and then the regiment did a 90º turn towards the bay.

But yet the situation worsened for the IR 421 when it was advancing along the assigned street due to the enemy expected the attack there; after reaching the city, the unit met defensive positions well established, obstacles and mine fields, however by mid-morning the link with the IR 419 was accomplished. When the night fell a third of the city was in German hands. The hostile artillery fired heavily upon the attackers while the red air force carried out aerial attacks over the German artillery and infantry alike without oposition.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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tigre
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 13 Sep 2008 12:48

Hello to all :D; more follows............................

The fight for the City (2º part).

On Sep 08 1942, the bloody battle was reasumed; the III./ IR 419 pressed on against the lumber camping but without take it. Oberst Friebe shifted the II./ IR 419 from the division’s flank; the 1./ Pi Btl 125 and the 2./ Pi Btl 658 were to take the security there. By noon both battalions (II and III./ IR 419) attacked again; supported by flamethrowers the companies moved on meter by meter and around 18:00 hours the camping was in german hands.

During the morning, the IR 421 had seized the weak sectors of the city and by 16:30 hours attacked again coming from the northeast towards the southwest; with the support furnished by the assault guns, an antiaircraft battery, antitank guns and the howitzers belonging to the 8./ AR 125 the resistence was finally broken.

On Sep 09 1942, at 04:00 hours the IR 419 reasumed its attack; the assault guns together with the antiaircraft guns smashed any resistence and by 04:45 hours Oberst Friebe could report that the big refrigerator building was in his hand and the liaison with the 73 ID had been established at last. In front of the IR 421 the resistance still was hard and the fight proceeded house to house; around noon the German troops reached the Park of Culture and Entertaiment so the Oberst Reinhard’s men asked for themselves which kind of culture or entertaiment could be get of that bunkers and foxholes located there. At 13.30 hours the I./ IR 421 seized the Park’s southern half and the II./ IR 421 the barracks located to the southwest of it. Meanwhile the IR 419 (Oberst Friebe) should clear the port, especially the radio station and the submarines’ dockyard.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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tigre
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Re: Germans in Caucasus

Postby tigre » 20 Sep 2008 12:28

Hello people :D; the last part of it............................

On Sep 10 1942 the struggle went on and both regiments should break hard resistence yet. The I./ IR 421 after a short fight grasped the whole Park of Culture and Entertaiment and then both battalions (IR 421) moved ahead as one unit; at 10:00 hours the line C was reached; at 11:25 hours the line D and by evening the city as a whole. The IR 419 mopped up the port, reaching the shore of Zemeskaja Bay. By 10:00 hours, Oberleutnant Lipfert hoisted the Reich’s flag on the dock of the southwest jetty. The city was in hands of the 125 ID. Around mid-morning, the Commanding Officer of the 73 ID requested and got artillery support in order to seize the industrial district.

On Sep 11 1942, the IR 421 was to accomplish the task of seizing the fort, the mission was taken by the I./ IR 421 with the support furnished by the Pi. Btl 213. That very day, the 125 ID did receive an order issued by the Army Corps and according to it, the unit should leave the city. It was fulfilled from 12 Sep 1942 onwards; first left the city the IR 421 then the IR 419 and after that both regiments got some rest (two days). Nevertheless, before leaving the Ib managed to approach the buchers’ company up to the refrigerating building, still under enemy fire, in order to grasp meat, sausages, butter and others consumer goods stored up there.

From Sep 19 1942, onwards the 125 ID was under the LVII PzK’s framework.
A partir del 19 de Septiembre de 1942 la división quedó encuadrada en el LVII Pz K.

Sources: Del Caucaso a Leningrado. Coronel Marini. Círculo Militar
"Das Wiesel - Geschichte der 125. Inf.Div". Breymeyer.

It's all folks. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).


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