The raid on Eupatoria - Crimea 1942
Hi fellow hobbyists,
I have spent some 30 years collecting original documents and newspapers from WW2, most of the documents and official diaries have never been translated into English. I am going through the war day by day exactly on the 67th anniv. using original newspapers and moving pins on a huge map of Europe. Anyway, I have discovered lots of information that would otherwise have been lost in time.
THE GERMAN OKW RECORDS
I have done a google search for Eupatoria and have found nothing about WW2, I have not found any reference to the village in Mansteinīs "Lost Victories" or indeed in any other book in my collection. But I have found the following in the 8 volume KRIEGSTAGEBUCH des OKW, dated 12th January 1942.
A soviet landing on the coast at Eupatoria has been pushed back into the sea. Houses have been blown up or burned down in a three day battle. 203 Red Army POWs were taken and 600 lay dead. A further 1300 partisans were shot. Original text "1300 Partisanen wurden erschossen".
In the German news broadcast 12th January 1942 ( a 3 volume work, listing the news day by day). The news states: 1300 partisans fell battlefield. Original text "1300 Partisanen auf dem Kampffeld".
We will never know exactly what happened, they may have fought side by side with the Red Army after they landed on the coast? They may have been forced to take part by a polit.commissar? Or they may have been caught up in the fighting, was it the best way to explain so many civilian deaths by calling them partisans?
One of the points that I am trying to illustrate is the fact that the OKW internal report says these partisans were shot, which suggests it may have happened after the battle, suggesting "tidying up".
However the German public were informed that they fell on the battlefield, which suggests they fell during the fighting. A subtle difference, although both sources state the same numbers 1300.
THE RAID ON EUPATORIA
The Russian military losses of 600 dead and 203 POWs taken, would suggest a force of about 800 men, or a full battalion. There were no follow-up attacks so it would seem that this battalion was carrying out a raid in force, with no other motive than to tie down as many Germans as possible and sell their lives as best they could.
The battalion commander would know that by landing on the coast at a town, he could double his forces with volunteers from the towns folk before the Germans could react and counter attack. Their training would be next to nothing, they would have suffered heavy casualties. But as the soldiers knew their force was only a raid with no thought of reteat, their fate was sealed before they landed. Would they as individuals have had any thought for the fate of the civilians when the fighting was over? I think perhaps not, Stalin viewed any liberated villagers as possible collaborators after the war, which was perhaps unfair.
Whatever the reason, lost in the dust of time, let us now give a moments thought for the villagers of Eupatoria.
01-28-2009 01:09 PM