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Sevastopol...

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by CrazyD, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On Big Bertha then. The text says that the name came from Krupp´s wife...

    here´s a site on ww1 and these big guns, with pics:

    http://www.worldwar1.com/pharc005.htm

    On von Manstein´s memoirs he recalls on those big guns:

    " We had a battery of 30.5, 39 and 42 cm
    ( howitzer and morsers ) guns, and two 60 cm special guns and the famous "Big bertha", 80 cm gun."

    It seems he did not know what they had, unfortunately. The Big bertha was "Dora", and the 60 cm morser "Big Bertha´s" brother "Karl". Of course if someone has data on "Big Bertha" being there It´d be great but I found none.

    On aeroplanes he doesn´t mention any details during this attack.

    http://www.cix.co.uk/~nrobinson/railgun/Railwayguns/German/Morser%20karl.html

    http://panzertracts1.tripod.com/images/berthac.jpg

    http://panzertracts1.tripod.com/images/bertha-2.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
  2. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Well, I was wrong about the Dora/Krupp connection. I checked one of my books (the Krupp book by Manchester), and it mentions nothing about a Dora Krupp. Sorry, Andy- don't remember where I got that one...

    And on Big Berthat, Kai, that gun was only used in ww1. The only super-heavy used in ww2 seems to be Dora.

    Although it's not really on topic (dosen't bother me!), this one or two Dora guns is an interesting theory. It seems we have some differing sources, but it also seems that all are working off of similar info. I wonder... it seems to me that there were probably two of the guns, but one was never completed or crewed. If we could find some photographic or veterans first hand info on this, it would be really interesting...

    (Sorry again- I skipped on the Karl info last night. Hravets season... he he)
    But I think even Manstein is a little off- I'm pretty sure there were three of the Karl mortars at Sevastopol, not two. Again, I'll try and get time to check tonight...
     
  3. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Kai, I couldn't see the last two links... :(

    But that of the big guns in WWI!!! :eek: Superb! I loved it. Great pictures of big guns! Enough to feed another of Friedrich's passions: WWI.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yeah, I noticed it as well as I checked the sites afterwards.I first thought it might be just my computer, but thanx for telling Friedrich. I´ll put this time the main site, so that you can check the site yourselves. The big gun is one of the book covers as you roll down the site,press the picture and get the pic, as well some article page.Those were the two sites I had here previously.

    http://panzertracts1.tripod.com/
    [​IMG]
     
  5. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    This is very interesting do you have Manstein in the english version?

    I'm asking because in my (german) version of Manstein's "Lost Victories" (8th print, 1979, p.268) he says:

    "Among heaviest artillery [at 2nd Sevasdtopol, A.W.] there were gunnery batteries of up to 19 cm and single howitzer- and mortar-batteries of cal. 30.5, 35 and 42 cm. Additionally there were two special guns of 60 cm and the famous "Dora"-gun of caliber 80 cm."

    Cheers,
     
  6. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Thanks, Kai, looks like a nice site with great info! ;)
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Andy.I´m pretty sure I got too much howitzers and morsers set here for action. Just noticed how different it turned out by my writing from the book..(My version is in English). Sorry about that.

    At the end of the Sevastopol part in von Manstein´s book was what he received as thanks for the victorious operation:

    Of course he received a fax from Hitler saying congatulations and promoted him to Field Marshall.

    1. The reconnaissance commander major Eisman went to Simteropol, woke a local Tatarian silver smith, gave the man his own silver watch. The man made a couple of marshall rods, and the next morning on 2.7. von Manstein had those on his shoulders.

    2. The Crown Prince of Germany sent him a golden cigarette case. On the front there was a layout of Sevastopol fortress. The Prince also sent a message saying how " He was refused the fortress of Verdun, and the how much happier he was that von Manstein had conqured the Sevastopol fortress."

    3. A Russian priest, who had escaped the communists to France, and lived now in Vichy, sent a stick, that was made with skill from a grape vine that had entwined together. In the handle piece it had a topaz stone (?).The grandfather of the priest was a regiment commander in the Crimea war defendind Sevastopol. He was wounded seriously to his leg and his soldiers had carved this beautiful stick for him.

    4. A leather covered memoir by General v. Manstein...He had served during Queen Anna´s time in the Russian army in the area of the Black Sea. They were linked by name and not by blood.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    Talking about watches...

    ...wasn't it Manstein who asked the Chief of Einsatzgruppe D for "watches for military purposes", remaining from an earlier "action against the Jews" (=execution) in Simferopol/Caucasus?

    Of course you will not find a word of that "gifts" in Manstein's memories, as they are very apologetic and selective.

    Cheers,

    [ 26 September 2002, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: AndyW ]
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Those are really nice details! I love them!

    When Rommel was promoted to field marshall in June 22nd 1942 (I think that's not the date, but I will check it later), after his tremendous victory at Tobrouk in which 20.000 British troops were captured, a telegramme was sent to him by the Führer, telling him about his promotion. His generals wanted to congratulate him but he responded:

    'Well, that's in the past now. I want you to go ahead again immediately'. He did not congratulate his officers nor accepted they to congratulate him... He was though and excellent, but a pain in the a... :D
     
  10. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Here's an old one I thought I'd follow up on a bit more...

    On the deployment and use of the Karl-Gereate heavy Mortars at Sevastopol... (From Thomas J. Lentz, "Bertha's Bigger Brother")

    Orders were given on 4 March 1942 to ship three of the super-heavy self-prepelled mortars to the 11th Army under Army Group South. Preparations for a suitable firing position had started earlier; "in accordance with a directive from OKH, the following poitns are to be observed when employing Karl-Gereate:
    a. assembly area far to the rear (20km)
    b. Move into firing positions during the last night
    c. Dug-in firing positions
    d. Ensure positions are camoflaged
    From s.Artl.Abt.833 report on 3 April... it was noticed that proposed assembly area was onyl 4 kilometers to the rear. Report the reasons for this choice as well as preparations and methods that will be implemented to comply with points c and d above."
    "The difficulties encountered in digging firing positions for the three Karl-Gereate were recorded on 18 April 1942 in a report from the pioneer commander to operations: ... S.Art.Abt.833 dosen't have the manpower needed to dig these positions, although they can dig their own protection and air-raid trenches. (right on soldiers!!!)
    Digging out these three gun positions requires the movement of about 1500 cbm (cubic meters) of earth, translating to about 7000 man hours of work. Due to the terrain, only 80 to 100 men can be employed and the work must be done at night because the positions are only 1 to 1.5 km behind the front lines. (???) It is estimated that the job will take 90 days to complete. By shortening the shifts and using twice as many men, it is possible to decrease the time to 60 days.
    The equipment needed to complete the work includes 150 heavy picks, 150 shovels or spades, three heavy compressors with jackhammers, about 700 kg of explosives, about 1000 blasting caps, 500 meters of timed fuze, and 25 wheelbarrows."
    (This certainly provides a wonderful example of the logistics I'm alwyas ranting about. All this stuff was needed just to emplace the guns- and they were self-propelled- barely!)

    "On 20 May 1942, 11th Army reports show that three Karl-Gereate, supplied with 72 schwere and 50 leichte Betongranaten (ammo), were available at the front. On 25 May 1942, LIV. Corps reported that the targets selected for engagement included firing the 60cm Karl-Gereate at Maxim Gorki and the Bastion (fortifications at Sevastopol). The three Karl-Gereate fired 18 schwere from 2 to 6 June, 54 schwere on 7 June, and 50 leichte from 8 to 13 June. Artillery Commander 306 reported to OKH "Karl without ammunition" on 13 June 1942."

    [Allright, I'm off to play some games. The effect of the Karl-Gereates on Sevastopol will have to wait a few hours!]
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Also something from Kampgeschwader "Edelweiss" by Dierich and can be found in wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sovetsky_Soyuz_class_battleship

    In late 1940 to Sevastopol towed the specially build at Nikolayev shipyard central section (50 х 38) of the battleship - to test it against modern torpedo warheads. However testing was postponed and the section remain at Sevastopol until the beginning of the Nazi invasion. It was decided to use it as a floating AA- battery. 3 August 1941 it was joined the list of Black sea fleet under name floating AA- battery(Плавучая зенитная батарея ) - acronym PZB #3. It was equipped with: 2 B-4 130 mm , 3(4) - 76 mm AA. , 4 - 37 мм -AA, 3- 12,7 mm DSHKa and 1 7.62 quadruple A-4. Crew - 130. Soon it was gained the unofficial name Ne Tron Menja (Noli me tangere) - while shot down dozens of Luftwaffe planes. By the end Sevastopol siege in 1942 it scored 22 planes shot dozen damaged .

    To the Luftwaffe's considerable relief the large antiaircraft raft PZB-3 ( Floating Antiaircraft Battery No. 3 ) - known to the soviets as Ne tron' menya ( Don't touch me ) - in Severnaya Bay was destroyed by 2./KG 51's Oberleutnant Ernst Hinrich that evening. Generaloberst von Richthofen, who personally witnessed the conspicous explosion of the antiarcraft raft from the cockpit of his Fieseler Storch, was so enthusiastic that he immediately called Hinrich's commander and told him that the succesful pilot would be awarded the Knight's Cross."

    --------

    In the book it is mentioned this AA raft was stopping German land, sea and air forces from making effective attacks on the strongpoints in the fortress. This deed ( destruction of traft ) played a decisive part in the capture of Sevastapol (?).

    In the book the raft is mentioned to have 164 AA-gubs mounted on it.

    Commander Lt. Captain (lieutenant commander) S. Ya. Moshenskiy was killed together with 24 crew - up to 50 was injured.
     
  13. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    Sorry Andy - but I wouldn´t say that the second assault on Sewastopol "failed" - because of the soviet amphibious landings at Kerc and other places Manstein had to stop the attack. He had to take several units for a counter-attack (for example 132 infantry division these units couldn´t fight any longer Sewastopol - and this would be probably necessary to capture Sewastopol.

    My grandpa served for the 744th engineer bataillon during the fight on crimena (this bataillon was attached to the LIVth army corps (22. infantry division) and took part on both assaults (december 41 and june 42).

    P.S.
    There was only 1 DORA railway-gun -- the name of this railway gun at Krupp was called "Heavy Gustav" (schwerer Gustav (1)). But the german soldiers called the gun "DORA" (the name of a daughter of Krupp) - but it was the same gun. Krupp Ind. built one other 80cm gun like "DORA" - called "Heavy Gustav 2" (Schwerer Gustav 2). This gun was never been used. There was also a "third"-one - but this gun was modified and has only 52 cm ... it was been finished
     
  14. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    During the first battle of Sewastopol their was only a small part of the heavy artillery support the assault on Sewastopol. For examle the 80 cm railway gunn DORA wasn´t there either ... the advance wasn´t stopped due to the resistance of the withdrawing soviet coastal army at all. The main problem for the germans was that they had no "quick" armored units to follow the withdrawing soviet army - especially the missing of SS-Leibstandarte was a big problem for the 11. Army corps for an overtaking tracking of the withdrawing sovjet units after the breakthrough at Perekop. Manstein tried to overtake the coastal army before they could reach the fortress of Sewastopol ... and he and his troops failed at this point ...
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Sevastapol:
    The Soviet submarines distinguished themselves as blockade breakers.During the monthlong assault on the fortress, they completed seventy-eight suppply missions, delivering almost 4,000 toms of food, medicine,ammunition and gasoline. ( carried in their ballast tanks ). On their return voyages, they evacuated more than 1,300,civilians and wounded troops.

    Stopped at Stalingrad by Joel S.A. Hayward
     
  16. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Member

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    In 1998 I visited the Crimea, with a German-led military history group for a week, going up to the Perekop peninsula, then to Kerch to the east and then into Sevastopol for three days. Readers should recall the siege of the city lasted from 30 October 1941 – 4 July 1942 and the city was destroyed, mainly by air bombardment. For the USSR and Russia it holds a special place in the history of WW2.
    One example was / is the Maxim Gorky Battery No.1, with two turrets, each with three 12" or 305mm guns; the turrets had / have a 360 degree traverse and in 1998 (when the Crimea was in the Ukraine) this rebuilt battery had a Russian Army garrison. The guns appeared to be in full working order, minus any ammunition. The batteries, along with Maxim Gorky Battery No.2 (same configuration), fired inland during the German attempts to take the city. One was allegedly destroyed by a German shot (by one of the big guns) or both were destroyed at the siege's end by the Soviets. Maxim Gorky No. 1 was rebuilt after 1945 and No.2 was left alone. Two photos attached.
    Our guides (German and Russian) referred to the first assault as "an attempt to bounce the defences", which failed and Manstein requested all the "big guns" that could be assembled. One night we watched a B&W Soviet newsreel that showed captured British armour being there - in German use.
    Yes there was the amphibious landing at Kerch, but throughout the siege partisans and others continued to resist in the mountainous interior.
    The Rumanians contributed three infantry divisions and we visited a large Italian war graves cemetery, allegedly the local mafia took the money to build this - in the post-Cold War era. There were German cemeteries, all disappeared after 1944-1945 and when the post-Cold War era arrived the German war graves body refused to pay the local mafia to do anything. To be fair as the group was mainly German we only encountered one angry man in a small town that we were there.
    Wiki has a useful entry and a small book list: Siege of Sevastopol (1941–1942) - Wikipedia
     

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  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  18. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks for posting - I envy you the opportunity to visit !

    As an aside, this is a very old thread - since it first appeared more material has appeared about the Crimean campaign. One of the more notable is : -

    'Where The Iron Crosses Grow - The Crimea 1941-44' by Robert Forczyk ( Osprey, 2014 ).
     
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