Heroic Defense of the Adzhimushkai Quarry in 1942

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Jarkko Hietala
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Post by Jarkko Hietala » 09 Jun 2006 06:04

I like to know what German unit(s) fought there for this 5 months time there must be thousands of Germans holding 15 000 - 20 000 troops inside caves so we can find German soldiers who have taken part of this battle?

I also like to know witch officer led this operation as German side?

There must be also some documentation about poison gas transportation to eastern front as I suspect that German officials don’t give gas from their storages without official order.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 09 Jun 2006 13:19

It seems that the popular belief that the Germans didn't use poison (or choking) gas in battles during WW2 is a myth.

viewtopic.php?t=102632


That is hardly established in the thread you quote, and nor does there seem to be a sufficient foundation for such a clear conclusion, judging from the present discussion.

cheers

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Jun 2006 13:31

Qvist wrote:That is hardly established in the thread you quote, and nor does there seem to be a sufficient foundation for such a clear conclusion, judging from the present discussion.

That's why I used an expression 'It seems that ~'

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Kim Sung

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Post by Epaminondas » 09 Jun 2006 14:19

Kim Sung, just because some of us haven't post the same critacism of that post as we did on this thread, does not mean that you have shown anything in the other post.

It just means some of us haven't wasteed the time pointing out the problems. Translation of rocket troops into other languages being one.

---

At Eben Emel, the Belgians were convinced at that time and throughout the war that German used chemical weapons. They just couldn't believe a company of pioneer landing from gliders could knock out the guns with out chemical weapons. Information availible at the fort stills claim the germans used gas in the attack... despite no gas being used.

The german hollow charges set off fires inside the fort, which caused alot of venilation problems due to the system's design.

===

Particularly with underground fortifications normal fires are easily confused by the defenders with the use of chemical weapons.

From the point of view of the defender, people are dying for no obvious reason... but it is lack of oxygen.

If the Germans really did use chemical weapons, despite Hitler's adversion to it; it would have been widely publisized immediately after the war, and at Nuremburg.

===

The only documented use of chemical weapons in World War II was the accidental discharge by the US after a german bomber raid in Italy [hit a merchant ship loaded with chemical weapons 5-6,000 civilian deaths]. And the Death Camps.

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Post by tigersqn » 09 Jun 2006 14:26

Epaminondas wrote:The only documented use of chemical weapons in World War II was the accidental discharge by the US after a german bomber raid in Italy [hit a merchant ship loaded with chemical weapons 5-6,000 civilian deaths]. And the Death Camps.


Not true.

The use of chemical and even biological weapons use by Unit 731 (Japanese) has been widely documented.

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Post by Jarkko Hietala » 09 Jun 2006 17:52

Epaminondas wrote:The german hollow charges set off fires inside the fort, which caused alot of venilation problems due to the system's design.


Explosives could raise huge amount of smoke and dust particles in the air inside a closed space like in cave or bunker it could fill up whole space with smoke and dust particles making breathing very hard or even cause suffocation.

Even a one bomb could create a smoke and dust cloud that rises hundreds of metre off the ground.

Particularly with underground fortifications normal fires are easily confused by the defenders with the use of chemical weapons.


Yeah and I beleve that some occassions US marines used fires outside Japanese caves as attempt to fill caves with smoke and force Japanese out? Maybe Germans made this same witch filled the cave with smoke and that made it look like from inside that cave is filled with poison gas.

This whole battle sounds like a Soviet War propaganda to me the battle might have happened but surviving 5months in caves with no food, water and ammo sounds too hard to beleve and lack of evidence even secondary evidence is imminent.

Do you even know how many tons of food and water 15000 - 20000 troops needs per day? If human dont get water at all in two days he dies and if he dont get food in two weeks he dies and faster if he is allready suffering malnutrition.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Jul 2006 18:36

Jarkko Hietala wrote:Explosives could raise huge amount of smoke and dust particles in the air inside a closed space like in cave or bunker it could fill up whole space with smoke and dust particles making breathing very hard or even cause suffocation.

Even a one bomb could create a smoke and dust cloud that rises hundreds of metre off the ground.

Yes, I agree. A newly published Russian book states the same thing.


Jarkko Hietala wrote:This whole battle sounds like a Soviet War propaganda to me the battle might have happened but surviving 5months in caves with no food, water and ammo sounds too hard to beleve and lack of evidence even secondary evidence is imminent.

Do you even know how many tons of food and water 15000 - 20000 troops needs per day? If human dont get water at all in two days he dies and if he dont get food in two weeks he dies and faster if he is allready suffering malnutrition.

I don't agree. The 5-month resistance doesn't mean that allmost all defenders endured until mid-October.

Most of the defenders were women and children. I guess most of them would have died of starvation and thirst at the latest until August. The population decrease at Adzhimushkay might have shown a steep slope. It would have been remaining male soldiers who stood unimaginable plight until mid-October, finally found by the Germans. If the circumstances being this, the 5 month resistance was possible.

And one notable thing is that the Soviets didn't use politically these kinds of heroic, tragic last stands caused by failures of Soviet commanders. The tragedy of Adzhimushkay was caused by Stalin's crony Mekhlis' stupid tactical decisions just as the tragedy of Brest fortress was by Stalin's bigotry and misjudgement. Crimean disaster and fiasco of possible Soviet Dunkirk was brought about by his foolish decisions. Heroism shown by defenders of Brest fortress and Adzhimushkay quarry was totally ignored and forgotten by the Soviet authority because they were proofs of irrational Soviet commandership.

As you know heroes of Brest fortress were rehabilitated by the efforts of one Soviet journalist Sergey Smirnov in 1956, not by the post-Stalin Soviet authority. Likewise, there was no reason that the Soviets wanted to use the heroes of Adzhimushkay quarry. If they did, why are there only a few books and sources dealing with this unimaginable heroism? Why isn't this incident known to the world outside Russia so that even Russian members don't know well about this epic battle? I would say the legend of Adzhimushkay is not a Soviet propaganda.

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Post by paulmacg » 10 Jul 2006 15:17

Kim Sung wrote:I don't agree. The 5-month resistance doesn't mean that allmost all defenders endured until mid-October.

Most of the defenders were women and children. I guess most of them would have died of starvation and thirst at the latest until August. The population decrease at Adzhimushkay might have shown a steep slope. It would have been remaining male soldiers who stood unimaginable plight until mid-October, finally found by the Germans. If the circumstances being this, the 5 month resistance was possible.


With all due respect to the poster, this is starting to, imo, drift into the realm of romantic fiction bordering on pure fantasy. 20,000 people are not surviving in a "cave city" for 5 months. Even assuming most of them died quickly and only a small group of defenders was left, where did the thousands of bodies go? Imagine the disease that would have been the result of having huge masses of rotting corpses lying in an enclosed space with poor ventilation. The only options would have been to bury them deep, very unlikely to impossible, or burn them. With hundreds of people dying every day the fires from those corpses alone would have been enough to drive out or incapacitate the defenders. I'm sorry but this is ridiculous.

And one notable thing is that the Soviets didn't use politically these kinds of heroic, tragic last stands caused by failures of Soviet commanders. The tragedy of Adzhimushkay was caused by Stalin's crony Mekhlis' stupid tactical decisions just as the tragedy of Brest fortress was by Stalin's bigotry and misjudgement. Crimean disaster and fiasco of possible Soviet Dunkirk was brought about by his foolish decisions. Heroism shown by defenders of Brest fortress and Adzhimushkay quarry was totally ignored and forgotten by the Soviet authority because they were proofs of irrational Soviet commandership.

As you know heroes of Brest fortress were rehabilitated by the efforts of one Soviet journalist Sergey Smirnov in 1956, not by the post-Stalin Soviet authority. Likewise, there was no reason that the Soviets wanted to use the heroes of Adzhimushkay quarry. If they did, why are there only a few books and sources dealing with this unimaginable heroism? Why isn't this incident known to the world outside Russia so that even Russian members don't know well about this epic battle? I would say the legend of Adzhimushkay is not a Soviet propaganda.


Odd because they tended to use many of these kinds of heroic last stands for everything they were worth. The example of Sevastopol has already been raised. I have seen no end of romanticized fiction written by Pravda "journalists" and goverment historians dealing with the trials and tribulations of the defenders of that city. In fact, I remember at least one account which dealt in detail with a "cave city" that supposedly lasted until the final days of the seige. None of it seemed to me to be anything more than propaganda. All of it sounded exactly like virtually all of the material posted in this thread.

Furthermore, I would like to see an answer to a very good question raised above. What German units were tasked with job of eliminating the inhabitants of this cave city? 20,000 people would require a substantial amount of manpower to isolate. I find it extremely unlikely that there would not be some documented version of these events available from German or other sources.

Cheers

Paul

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 26 Aug 2006 09:50

TISO wrote:
Do you have lyrics for that?

Unfortunatly not.
On the site sovmusic.ru where impressive collection of Soviet era music is collected some texts are missing, among them also for this song.
I only managed to find translated and translitered text (in latinic script) on one other site:

RKKA ww2 armcahair general-multimedia it is in the post war file (go to details next to the song).


No, there is Cyrillic lyrics on that site.

Аджимушкай

Music: V. Shainsky Lyrics: B. Dubrovin

От канонад, от канонад
Пылала Керчь вдали,
Ряды солдат, ряды солдат
В каменоломни шли.

Держись, не отступай,
Держись, ты не сражён,
Аджимушкай,
Подземный гарнизон.

Опять обвал, опять обвал,
И всё темно вокруг.
И прошептал, и прошептал
Упавший политрук:

"Держись, не отступай,
Держись, ты не сражён,
Аджимушкай,
Подземный гарнизон".

И нет воды, и нет воды,
И хлеба тоже нет,
И лишь в груди, и лишь в груди
Живёт надежды свет.

Держись, не отступай,
Держись, ты не сражён,
Аджимушкай,
Подземный гарнизон.

Гул канонад, гул канонад
Уносится в века,
Но всё звучат, но всё звучат
Слова издалека:

Держись, не отступай,
Держись, ты не сражён,
Аджимушкай,
Подземный гарнизон.

1980


My Translation

Adzhimushkay

From bombardment, from bombardment
Kerch' ablazed far,
a number of soldiers, a number of soldiers
came into the stone quarries.

Hold fast, do not step back,
hold fast, you are not dead,
Adzhimushkay,
underground garrison.

I collapse and again collapse,
everything is dark all around.
the fallen political instructor
whispered and whispered:

"Hold fast, do not step back,
hold fast, you are not dead,
Adzhimushkay,
underground garrison".

there is no water, there is no water,
there is no bread either,
only in the heart, only in the heart
hope lives.

Hold fast, do not step back,
hold fast, you is not slain,
Adzhimushkay,
underground garrison.

Rumble of bombardment, rumble of bombardment
is taken away into the centuries,
but all hear, all hear
words from a distance:

Hold fast, do not step back,
hold fast, you are not dead,
Adzhimushkay,
underground garrison.



Souls of the 20,000~40,000 defenders who perished in the Adzhimushkay quarry would get consoled if they hear this impressive song.

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Post by Empower » 27 Sep 2006 03:17

I was there with an expedition sponsored by “Around the World”, Russian magazine at the end of 80th. Still it is a lot of human bones around there. Regarding 20,000 people, I believe it can be even more. This number of people was only at the beginning of the defense and the population dropped significantly after first attack, when Germans used poison gas. The thousands dead bodies was collected to “no exit” galleries and the entrances were blocked with stones.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 27 Sep 2006 11:46

Only 48 people survived 5 month defense of the underground cave city when Germans entered the quarry in mid-October 1942.

According to Aleksei Kapler's 'Two among Two Millions' (Алексей Каплер: Двое из двадцати миллионов), only 24 survivors from the Adzhimushkay remained alive on the 30th anniversary of Victory Day (День Победы) in 1975.

It possibly means that half of the 48 survivors died or were killed just after the capture by the Germans or in German POW camps.

So we can conclude that the survival ratio at the 5 month defense of the cave city was just 0.05~0.1% because 20,000~40,000 Kerch residents entered the underground quarry in mid-March. Mathmatically, only one or two among 2,000 people could survive in the most heroic and tragic stand in the human history.

At the Battle of Tarawa, only 17 among 3,600 Japanese soldiers surrendered. So their survival ratio was about 0.5%.

The defenders of the Adzhimushkay quarry had just 1/5~1/10 survival ratio of the Japanese defenders of Tarawa! :o

When I told this unbelievable story to a reporter of a newpaper company several months ago, he said to me like this.

"You, liar!"

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Re: Heroic Defense of the Adzhimushkai Quarry in 1942

Post by Penn44 » 02 Nov 2006 18:14

I see in photo 2 above, the dying Soviet soldiers left their toys behind. They're in an excellent state of preservation.

Penn44


.

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Kim Sung
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Re: Heroic Defense of the Adzhimushkai Quarry in 1942

Post by Kim Sung » 03 Nov 2006 01:50

Penn44 wrote:I see in photo 2 above, the dying Soviet soldiers left their toys behind. They're in an excellent state of preservation.

Penn44


.

Do you think those dolls were left by the dying Soviet soldiers? No, they are given by visitors to the child heroes of Adzhimushkay who held fast to their last minutes with their parents. Among thousands of Kerch childrens who went underground in May 1942, nobody survived 5 month seige. Germans murdered those children with poison gas and through blockade of the quarry.

I'll add one more doll for those children's soul when I will visit the Adzhimushkay quarry next year.

May they rest in peace ~

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Post by Victor » 04 Nov 2006 09:35

Two posts were removed. Pen44, if you don't have something constructive to add to the topic, then don't add anything at all.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Nov 2006 12:57

Thanks, Victor.

Those dolls in the Adzhmushkay quarry show that most of the defenders were children and women, not soldiers, symbolizing inhuman nature of Germany's extermination war in eastern Europe. But we should also note that those children's sacrifice and steely will eventually crushed the murderers' empire. The child defenders of the Underground Fortress will NOT be forgotten. They are my heroes.

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