This fight is not very clear in military history. It is rarely mentioned in the memoirs of generals and even in basic research work is stately Russian war does not take a lot of space. It is not surprisingly: in comparison with excellent fights like the Metropolitan, Stalingrad or Kursk, Odessa offensive fades slightly.
But for us, the inhabitants of Odessa, this operation has independent significance. In addition, it perfectly illustrates the features of Russian army of the period and impressively refutes many legends that are carefully around majestically Russian war, individual writers and journalists.
And it was so.
By March 1944, the line of the Soviet-German front on the southern portion thereof held by the Southern Bug River. With all of this on the east bank of the river the Germans still held city Nikolaev. Defense — and after the Battle of Kursk, about anything, except for defense, for the Germans out of the question could no longer — then kept the German troops of Army Group "A" in the 6 th and 17 th German and 3rd Romanian Army. Defense had to break this army 3rd Ukrainian front in the 57th, 37th, 46th, 8th Guards, 6th and 5th Shock Army, 28 Army, also mechanized cavalry group of 4 -Guards Mechanized Corps and the 4th Guards Cavalry Corps.
Average listing the number of connections to create memories crushing numerical advantages Russian troops seven armies and military groups against one of three armies. But the fact that the Russian connection, usually had the smallest population than similar German formation.
By the way, this aspect is often use in his memoirs, the German generals (especially likes to resort to this aspect of Erich von Manstein) in order to justify the defeats inflicted upon them Russian military leaders. Well, the Russian writers behind them love to talk about what the Germans, they say, just run over a number, without throwing thousands of unarmed accounts and poorly trained people on German machine guns and tanks …
In practice, in general, things were a little different. In humans, Russian troops outnumbered the Germans only 1.3-fold: the advantage is not very significant for offensive operations as part of which was to boost the big river and the release of 2-big cities.
Russian side an advantage in tanks and artillery were far more compelling: our troops were 2.7 times more tanks and self-propelled guns than the enemy, and on the artillery we were stronger than 4 times.
So the Russian fighter was not thrown into battle hoping to fill up the dead bodies of the Germans — on the contrary, Russian troops went into battle, having a much greater degree of saturation weaponry than that which could brag Germans.
In planning the operation, Russian commanders in advance puzzle put in front of him is not just the liberation of the region from the Southern Bug and Dniester to displace an old enemy of the Soviet border. It was the intention to kill and cut is here troops the enemy. To achieve this plan, using the strategy of profound breakthrough mobile connections with dissection of the defending enemy forces, interception of communications and its surroundings as follows, in other words, with the introduction of a more progressive strategy ever since.
At the initial step operation Russian army had to perform the crossing of the Southern Bug and the release housed in its lower reaches of the town of Nikolayev.
Breakthrough of the German defense began a descent in three places: in the north, near Voznessensk, center, in the newest area of Odessa, and in the south in the operation to free the Nikolaeva. With all this to facilitate the operations of the troops in this area, it was decided to perform the surgery on planting in Nikolaev sea landing.
By the way, amphibious assault forces with limited objectives were also relevant tactical inventory that was used in the main Russian Union. Thus, the Anglo-American forces landings used only as an initial step of large transactions in which there were new theaters: the landing in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and, eventually, in Normandy. While Russian forces used amphibious assault forces with personal goals specifically as a tactical tool: to disorient the enemy command and control difficulties, the creation of confusion and panic.
So, it was decided to plant a limited landing in the port of St. Nicholas. The commander of the troops was appointed Lieutenant Konstantin Olshansky. Supposed to land with 2 waves: the first one had to go 55 marines and 12 army sappers.
Marines Olshansky inconspicuously leaked port area, quietly removed the guard and took the radial defense. Began a three-day epic paratroopers' olshantsev ", which is one of the best examples of heroism more Russian soldiers.
During the three days are — from 26 to 28 March — 18 Marines Olshansky repelled the German attacks, killing more than 700 enemy soldiers and officers, and two medium tanks. They managed to survive until the moment when the advancing Russian troops vyshybli Germans out of town and deprotected squad. How annoying would it sounds, since previously lived only 11 people — the other Marines, including Konstantin Olshansky, were killed in a fierce battle.
March 28 Nikolayev was absolutely cleared of the German occupiers. At the same time, the northern part of the front acts also managed to break through the German defenses on the west bank of the Bug. In accordance with the previously laid plans were introduced in the breakthrough of the mechanized cavalry group under the command of Issa Plieva.
Mechanized cavalry groups were also Russian invention — and, moreover, a very successful one. Although the horse was suitable for a bad defense or defense of enemy breakthrough, she was flawless inventory deepest raids on enemy rear areas. And when the Russian cavalry command began to connect with tanks and motorized infantry, it has received a great tool of the deepest mobile operations. One of these guns and was mechanized cavalry group Plieva.
Going into the break, the mechanized cavalry group began to move quickly in the direction of the Split — a large transport hub throug
h which the band supply the entire group of armies. German units turned over feeble rally, stronger and holding fortified positions — treated. Already on 31 March of the group broke into Beryozovka, and released April 4 separate. A fascinating detail: a few hours after the Separate been cleared of Germans from Odessa to the station the train had come to the German troops, who came to the defense of the Community Sat. Germans apparently without any problems captured. This example proves that speed and strong pressure is often more important than the number of units.
The only way to break a fast head mechanized cavalry group was aviation, and the Germans used this card in full. As he recalled Pliev, "up to this time had to occasionally create a frenzy of enemy aircraft." And this man's words, who fought with the July 1941!
While the group Plieva quickly moved to the Split, the other troops of the front is clearly not warehouse were sitting hand. Their main task was to put pressure on the German forces, that the command of Army Group "A" could not be removed from the front of the forces for the destruction of the mechanized cavalry group. 5th Shock Army under the command of Colonel General Vyacheslav Tsvetaeva was moving along the coast, and the 8th Guards Army and the 6th Army attacked between the EP and the lines of action of the 5th Shock Army.
Meanwhile, a group of 7 April Plieva went to the Dniester. Army Group "A" was actually in the environment. At the disposal of the command group there was only one escape route: the road to Ovidiopol. But its capacity was not sufficient to take out of town a huge number of troops and military equipment!
7 and 8 April the Germans launched a desperate break the sample in the direction of the Split and Tiraspol, but were repulsed with loss bolshennymi.
How annoying would it sounds, the way to intercept fighters Ovidiopol Plieva failed: it just was not strong enough. 10th Guards Cossack Division managed to capture the city on April 9, but soon they had to throw Ovidiopol under the pressure of an opponent who struggled torn from Odessa to the west.
In general, in this situation had its advantages. Russian army was virtually eliminating the need to carry a heavy storm the town because the Germans thought is not about how to keep, how to get out of it. At night from 9 to 10 April Russian troops occupied the starting position for the assault of Odessa. From the north to the city limits came forward units of the 8th Guards Army under the command of Colonel General Vasily Chuikov. Siltings the part where the Germans tried to organize a fortified line of defense, came 5th Shock army Colonel-General Vyacheslav Tsvetaeva. A group of soldiers Plieva had to enter the city from the huge fountain.
At night on April 9 against the erupting from the town of German units particularly intense partisans. German General and author of the "History of the second world war," says Kurt Tippelskirch about 10 tyschah partisans in force at that time in the town. This figure is likely somewhat exaggerated. It seems to be better or worse, according to the Germans, on the night of 9 to April 10 from guerrilla attacks by German and Romanian troops in Odessa lost about 500 people. Even more fundamentally, that the guerrillas were able to prevent the liquidation of a number of basic facilities in the town, including the opera house.
Assault on the town itself, which began at dawn on April 10, was immediate: by the Russian 10-11 am troops were Deribasovskoy.
As a result, the operation of the Odessa German Army Group "A" has been virtually wiped out — when the operation was renamed Army Group "South Ukraine." Although this title does not correspond to reality: Virtually Army Group were driven across the Dniester, where Russian troops have succeeded in several places to capture a bridgehead on the west bank of the river, creating the conditions for further offensive action.