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The Battle of the Caucasus

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Description

The Battle of the Caucasus

From Wikipedia

The Battle of Caucasus is a name given to a series of German and Soviet operations in the Caucasus area during the Soviet-German War.

In his memoirs, Soviet Transcaucasian Front commander Ivan Tiulenev recounts how thousands of civilians attempted to flee from Ukraine to the comparatively safe Caspian ports, such as Makhachkala and Baku. The Caucasus area became a new area of industry when 226 factories were evacuated there during the 1941 industrial evacuation in Soviet Union. After the Grozny to Kiev line was captured during German advances, a new railway link between Moscow and Transcaucasia was re-established with the construction of the new railway line running from Baku to Orsk (via Astrakhan) and bypassing the frontline Grozny, while a shipping line was maintained over the Caspian Sea through the town of Krasnovodsk in Turkmenistan.

However due to lack of time, it proved impracticable to evacuate industry from Caucasus. Oil wells in Maykop, because they could not be evacuated, were blown up by the Red Army during withdrawal from the city to prevent this resource from falling into German hands.
1942

In 1942, the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) launched Operation Edelweiss which was aimed at penetrating to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The German offensive was stopped by the Red Army in Chechnya in September during the North Caucasian Strategic Defensive Operation (25 July 1942 - 31 December 1942), partly due to severe drain of German personnel to support the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad.

The Soviet strategic operation included

    Tikhoretsk-Stavropol Defensive Operation (25 July 1942 - 5 August 1942)
    Armavir-Maikop Defensive Operation (6 August 1942 - 17 August 1942)
    Novorossiysk Defensive Operation (19 August 1942 - 26 September 1942)
    Mozdok-Malgobek Defensive Operation (1 September 1942 - 28 September 1942)
    Tuapse Defensive Operation (25 September 1942 - 20 December 1942)
    Nalckik-Ordzhonikidze Defensive Operation (25 October 1942 - 12 November 1942)

1943

The Soviet North Caucasian Strategic Offensive Operation (1 January 1943 - 4 February 1943) was launched with the objective of removing threat of German bombing of the oil fields. In this operation Germany lost according to Soviet information 30,690 dead soldiers, 3,000 captured and 229 tanks. The operation consisted of operations with more limited operational objectives

    Salsk-Rostov Offensive Operation (1 January 1943 - 4 February 1943)
    Mozdok-Stavropol Offensive Operation (1 January 1943 - 24 January 1943)
    Novorossiysk-Maikop Offensive Operation (11 January 1943 - 4 February 1943)
    Tikhoretsk-Eisk Offensive Operation (24 January 1943 - 4 February 1943)

The key military base of Novorossiysk was re-taken by September.

The Taman Peninsula was cleared from the Germans during the 1st Taman Offensive Operation (4 April 1943 - 10 May 1943), but due to a German counterattack the Red Army was forced on the defensive again during 26 May 1943 - 22 August 1944. This was however followed up with a new Novorossiysk-Taman Strategic Offensive Operation (10 September 1943 - 9 October 1943) which, following the Novorossiysk Amphibious Operation (10 September 1943 - 16 September 1943), resulted in the successful 2nd Taman Offensive Operation (10 September 1943 - 9 October 1943).

    January 3, 1943 - Red Army retake Mozdok
    January 21, 1943 - Red Army retake Stavropol
    January 23, 1943 - Red Army retake Armavir
    January 29, 1943 - Red Army retake Maykop
    4 February 1943 - Soviet marines beat off a German attempt to land at Malaya Zemlya
    February 5, 1943 - Soviet forces landing in Novorossiysk
    February 12, 1943 - Red Army retake Krasnodar
    September 9, 1943 - the Blue Line of German Defense broken
    September 16, 1943 - Red Army retake Novorossiysk
    October 9, 1943 - Red Army retake Taman Peninsula

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