The Moles of Kerch

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
User avatar
Roberto
Member
Posts: 4505
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 15:35
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The Moles of Kerch

Post by Roberto » 04 Feb 2003 19:17

On pages 126/127 of his 1952 book Die unsichtbare Flagge, German frontline surgeon Peter Bamm wrote:

[…]Von der Halbinsel Kertsch wurden die Russen wieder vertrieben. Nur tief in der Erde, in den alten Bergwerken, die sich wie Katakomben unter der Stadt Kertsch hinziehen, hielten sich noch russische Widerstandsnester. Sie hielten sich zwei Jahre lang, bis im Frühjahr 1944 die Krim endgültig verlorenging. Die Tapferkeit dieser Männer verdient um so mehr Beachtung, als die Russen über die wiedergekehrte Schlagkraft der Deutschen verzweifelt gewesen sein müssen.[…]


My translation:

[…]From the Kerch peninsula the Russians were again driven away. Only deep in the earth, in the old mines that stretch like catacombs underneath the city of Kerch, Russian nests of resistance continued to hold out. They held out for two years, until in the spring of 1944 the Crimea was finally lost. The bravery of these men is all the more noteworthy as the returned German striking power must have driven the Russians to despair.[…]


Does anyone know more about these Russian troops who held out for two years, from 1942 to 1944, underneath the city of Kerch in the Crimea ?

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 04 Feb 2003 22:52

83rd Marine Brigade
95 NKVD Border Guard Detachment
Cadets of Yaroslval Aviation Academy
Cadets of Voronezh Radio Specialist Acdemy.

In charge of the defense: colonel Yagunov, senior battalion commissar Parahin, lieutenant-colonel Burmin, colonel Ermakov, senior lieutenant Povazhniy, battalion commissar Karpehin.

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 04 Feb 2003 23:15

Oh btw in Kerch there is place called Bagerovskiy Rov – Bagerov’s ditch – 7000 executed for less than 2 months of German occupation.

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15032
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Post by Andy H » 05 Feb 2003 00:36

Roberto/Oleg

What an amazing tale, from your Troop listing it would give the appearance that several thousand men were down the mines, but in reality are we talking about only a few hundred at most?

Andy

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 05 Feb 2003 00:45

Andy H wrote:Roberto/Oleg

What an amazing tale, from your Troop listing it would give the appearance that several thousand men were down the mines, but in reality are we talking about only a few hundred at most?

Andy
actaully about 10000 but that number includes civillians who run from Germans as well. I think that was the only palce in WW II where Germans used chemical weaposn (some kind of suffocating agent) in attempt to drive them out.

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15032
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Post by Andy H » 05 Feb 2003 02:49

Hi Oleg

Even if your figure of 10,000 contains civilians thats a huge number to keep supplied and armed underground, I'm even more amazed now that this info has never been reported before.

I imagine the Germans would use smoke generators as the maens to drive the Russians out of the mines, or did they attempt to fllod some areas?

Andy

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 05 Feb 2003 09:25

Well they pumped something in ? I don?t know what exactly is the substance name ? could be chlorine. Soviet General Staff, when became aware of the fact, immediately, ordered to see if evacuation was possible, or at least delivery the supplies. First was not an option and the supplies brought in not always got there and there were not enough of them anyway, so these guys had to rely on Germans ? to ?provide? them with ammo, weaponry and such. Most of them died out there of course; those who survived were in horrible condition ? sick, horribly underweight; they could not be brought up in the daylight because they became unused to it and their eyes hurt.

User avatar
Roberto
Member
Posts: 4505
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 15:35
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Post by Roberto » 05 Feb 2003 12:42

Thanks a lot for the information, Oleg.

Do you have anything more on the Bagerovskiy Rov killing site ?

ISU-152
Member
Posts: 711
Joined: 14 Nov 2002 14:02
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post by ISU-152 » 05 Feb 2003 16:02

You are definetely talking about Adzhimushkay catacombs near Kerch. The remnants of unsuccessful soviet armies in Crimea found their shelter in these catacombs. The leadership was mentioned by Oleg, although Parahin was soon killed by faulty german grenade which exploded in his hand.
When the situation became desperate at september-october 1942 some of them went for a breakthrough towards Taman peninsula .. very few actually made it there. Most of them died in catacombs and the fighting actually seized by late 1942. When soviet forces recaptured Kerch peninsula in late 1943 they found numerous bodies and military equipment within the catacombs. There is a museum in Kerch today dedicated to this heroic struggle of unknown heroes.

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15032
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Post by Andy H » 07 Feb 2003 00:57

Oleg & ISU

When did the Russians actually stop fighting with any coherent form, is it 1942 or 1944?. My intial reaction was for 1942 but as I said I knew nothing about this area of warfare until this thread opened.

Andy

ISU-152
Member
Posts: 711
Joined: 14 Nov 2002 14:02
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post by ISU-152 » 07 Feb 2003 09:26

2 Andy H

The fighting stopped by the end of October 1942 when the defenders of catacombs were either gased, ran out of water, food or died of wounds. Those still strong enough seeing that the situation was desperate went for a breakthrough. As I said very few of them actually made it to their own lines.


best regards,
Sergei

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 07 Feb 2003 20:00

ISU-152 wrote:2 Andy H

The fighting stopped by the end of October 1942 when the defenders of catacombs were either gased, ran out of water, food or died of wounds. Those still strong enough seeing that the situation was desperate went for a breakthrough. As I said very few of them actually made it to their own lines.


best regards,
Sergei
Well this is not entirely correct small group did survive and fought on till 1944 when the rae was recaptured by Soviet troops

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 07 Feb 2003 20:02

Roberto wrote:Thanks a lot for the information, Oleg.

Do you have anything more on the Bagerovskiy Rov killing site ?
according to locals - mostly Jews and Krimchaks were executed, Materials on the atrocity were sent to Nuremberg.

Return to “The Soviet Union at War 1917-1945”