Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard for Fort Russ
19th March, 2016
Kilometres of ditches were filled with corpses of children: what the murderous Nazis did in Crimea
To be able to continue to live, we need to regain the truth about the war, regardless of any difficulties. The victory in the great Patriotic war kept our human dignity – this is our last bastion of peace. Most of the other great achievements of the Soviet era have been forgotten.
The truth about the war shows that our problems primarily were associated with the significantly superior forces of the “State” that attacked us – Hitler’s United Europe. But, of course, there were also mistakes made by our military commanders.
The causes of our defeat in the battle of the Kerch Peninsula were studied by the Stavka. The Stavka Committee determined that the leadership of the troops of the Crimean front, commander Lieutenant General D.T Kozlov, and representative of Supreme command of the army Commissar of the 1st rank L.Z Mehlis “was clearly untenable.” The front commander, and the representative of the Stavka were removed from their posts and dropped down the ranks.
“The loss of the Kerch Peninsula put our troops defending the Sevastopol defensive area in an exceptionally difficult situation. All the forces of the 11th German army had been turned against them. The heroic defense of the city lasted 250 fiery days and nights.
In early July 1942, when it became clear that the third enemy offensive could not be repelled, part of defenders of Sevastopol were evacuated to the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. But there was still a lot of fighters on the shore who continued the selfless struggle until 9th July. Individual units went to the Crimean guerrillas and continued the fight there,” wrote A.M Vasilevsky.
The capture of Sevastopol was the peak of Manstein’s military career and at the same time, the last victory of the German troops under his leadership.
“Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kharkov, and Kursk will be the steps to defeat, and the Dnieper, Korsun, Kamenets Podolskiy are the lesions, which only managed to escape a complete rout. That is why crafty evaluation of the balance of forces, modest reserves, and minor distortion will gradually be replaced by entirely inflated numbers, overestimating their troops and shamelessly overstating the number of the enemy,” writes A.V Isaev and M.E Morozov.
Indeed, when you compare the information on the number of actual troops, you can only wonder at the extent of the lying, which has come from General field-marshals. For example, Manstein writes that in March 1943, the “South” army group (the former “Don” army group) had a 700-kilometer front from the Azov Sea to the area north of Kharkov, and a balance of forces 1:7, that is, the number of Soviet troops opposing the Germans, exceeded the latter by 7-fold. In fact, on February 22th, the number of Soviet troops was 746,057 people, and the enemy – 662,200 people.
In March, the balance of forces changed in favor of the Germans. It is obvious that the cited figures are a conscious fraud. A normal person cannot believe that foreign and homegrown counterfeiters can distort information by 5-10 times. And even more, people the level of field Marshal. It is a calculated forgery.
Even Hitler was fed up of the scandalous, arrogant, deceitful, suffering defeat after defeat, commander of the “South” army group, and on 30th March 1944, he honorably sent Manstein into retirement.
And what those “Mainsteins” were doing in our country can be seen from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission about the crime of Germans in the city of Kerch. The act was presented at the Nuremberg process. Here’s what it says:
“In January 1942, when examining Bagerovo, a ditch was discovered that was one kilometer in length, 4 meters in width, with a depth of 2 meters and was filled with corpses of women, children, the elderly, and adolescents. Near the trench were frozen pools of blood. There were scattered children’s hats, toys, ribbons, torn-off buttons, gloves, baby bottles, shoes, galoshes, together with stumps of arms and legs and other body parts. It was all splashed with blood and brains.”
That’s why the Germans were afraid to surrender and fought to the last, not from courage, but from fear that in captivity they would be answerable for all committed crimes. But they didn’t know they had attacked the most noble people on earth who do not kill unarmed people.
For the first time our troops retook Kerch from the Germans on 30th December 41. German troops stayed in Kerch for just a month and a half, and during that time committed a lot of atrocities. This example is not the only evidence of the atrocities of the Germans in Crimea. These crimes were committed by savages at the highest stage of development of liberal European Fascism. The Germans committed such atrocities in most towns and villages of the Soviet Union. And after all it wasn’t us, but they who came to our land.
The Red Army, despite all the hatred for the enemy, never ever allowed such atrocities. The leadership of Germany knew this, and even during the war, sophisticated lies from the relevant German service made many provocations to degrade the Soviet army. When making these provocations, they spared neither their own nor someone else’s, and committed crimes to persecute our army again.
In most cases, our past is distorted intentionally, purposefully, and, in my opinion, this dirty work is well funded. The falsifiers themselves compose slanderous fabrications about the alleged numerous instances of atrocities on the part of our fighters and get the papers out of the office of Goebbels. And I must say, today’s Nazis, the disciples of Goebbels, have surpassed their teachers in the pure desecration of our past victories.
But all the efforts of Goebbels and his students to create dramatizations and myths about the atrocities of our troops are crumbling at the first fair and comprehensive study of the issue by such researchers as A. Isaev, P. Sutulin, O. Rubetsky, G. Pernavsky, A. Djukov, B. Goncharov, M. Morozov, I. Krichevsky, Dmitry Makeev, I.V Pyhalov, O. Ross, K. Asmolov, and N. Mendkovich.
We are grateful for their titanic work much needed by the people. The mind and heart of a normal person shudders at the atrocities committed by the Germans en masse on our land. In less than six months, from July 1941, in the area of responsibility of the 11th army, which since September 1941 was commanded by E. von Manstein, a total of 75,881 people were executed in Crimea.
“The fall of Sevastopol was the finest hour of Erich von Manstein, born von Lewinski, and this is what marked the hour. I.V Antonyuk, sailor of the 8th naval infantry brigade:
“… we were assembled into a column, four persons wide, and pushed forward. All ragged, dirty. The Germans shot, beat with rifle butts, shot in the air at people or at the column. When we were brought to Yalta road, before reaching Sapun mountain, a column of tanks was coming in front of us. They did not waver, but the Krauts did not turn our column away either. Those who tried to escape from the convoy, the Germans shot at with machine guns. So from head to tail the Germans crushed the columns with the tank’s caterpillar tracks. We were not stopped. And tanks were continuing to advance on us all the time. Many of us tried to run away but were shot.”
L.A Tarasenko, a resident of the city of Sevastopol (in 1942 she was 14 years old):
“Our long resistance made the Germans brutal. They snatched sailors from the convoy and shot them at close range. Our fighters here and there in the column were fighting with the German guards. When we got out on the highway, I was shocked to see how huge machines were passing the prisoners, and when they passed, the people were squashed like frogs on the tarmac”.
A.P Makarenko (Lukashevsky), Voenfeldsher of the 3rd battalion, 287th infantry regiment of the 25th Chapayev division:
“We were pushed together with our wounded on the road to Inkerman barefoot. They were beaten and shot when weary. Here in Inkerman was a passage of the Black river behind the barbed wire. Those who rushed to drink and to wash, remained there. Germans threw hand grenades at all of them.”
A.P Utin, sailor:
“The Germans in black uniforms with rolled-up sleeves, husky men with drunken faces snatched prisoners from the column every 5-6 steps and shot them in the back of the head. When we reached Bakhchisarai, half of the column was left”.
N.A Yanchenko, sailor/radio operator from the training detachment of the Black Sea fleet:
“On July 4th, I was taken prisoner… On the way we were escorted by Tatar traitors. They beat the medical staff. After prison in Sevastopol, we were escorted through the Belbek valley, which was mined. Many of our Red Army and Red Navy men died here. We were sent into Bakhchisaray camp, it was so crowded the apple had nowhere to fall. Three days later we were marched to Simferopol, with not only Germans accompanying us, but also Crimean Tartar traitors. I saw once a Tatar beheading a Red Army Navyman”.
Lieutenant I.P Mikhailyuk, commander of the fighter battalion of the 20th air force base of the Black Sea fleet:
“… we were told that the wounded who can walk are allowed to go in the general column, but if you fall behind, you will be shot. It was like this all the way to Belbek… In Belbek, the German translator announced that the Commissars and political officers were ordered to leave the column for a specified location. Then the commanders were summoned. In the meantime, the traitors of the Crimean Tatars went between the prisoners and looked for named people. If anyone was found, they were immediately taken away and another 15-20 people, near recumbent”.
How did a retired field-Marshal assure us? – “My opinion was shared by almost all formations of the ground forces. And in the 11th army, the order concerning commissioners was not carried out.”
And at the turning point of the corner of Cossack Bay in the direction of 35th artillery batteries, a monument stands there nowadays with inscriptions in two languages – Russian and German, for who died here in 1942 and in 1944. Those who were shot here, and for those who did the shooting …” – writes A.V Isaev and E.M Morozov. Yes, it is this kind of monuments that we started to erect now.
After the dismemberment of the Soviet Union in 1991, an attack began on the Russian army at a time when the most powerful army in the world began to reduce its population, destroy its missiles, planes, guns, tanks, ships, submarines, and other weapons. Years passed, but the work on the reduction of the Russian army up to amusing proportions did not stop for a single day, and only President Vladimir Putin managed to stop the complete defeat of the Russian army and military-industrial complex.
By destroying the Russian army, liberals inflicted to Russian and other people of Russia the same sentiment of distress which they experienced at the time when their advanced military industry was however inferior to the army and military industry of Hitler’s United Europe.
The population of the Russian Federation after 1991 showed an absolute indifference to the condition of the Armed Forces. Now we have to catch up and possibly Russians will pay dearly for carelessness and indifference to the ruin of their army and the military-industrial complex.
In the pre-war period under Stalin we built and had done everything possible to strengthen the army and industrial development, but did not have the time to attack the enemy to surpass Europe in the production of weapons and equipment of the modern army. We did not have a sufficient period of peace to surpass all of Germany’s United Europe, which in numbers of people alone were almost twofold that of the USSR.
The military situation on the southern wing of the Soviet-German front in July 1942 changed in favor of the enemy after capturing not only Crimea, but Sevastopol too. The Stavka and General Staff assessed the situation realistically. In the summer of 1942 an active strategic defense was planned, reserve accumulation, and then the transition to a decisive offensive.