Siege of Odessa (1941)
The Siege of Odessa was a siege battle during World War II. It was part of the Eastern Front area of operations in 1941. It was done by Romanian forces and the German Army's (Wehrmacht Heer) 11th Army (11. Armee). They attacked the city of Odessa in the Soviet Union.
|Siege of Odessa|
|Part of the Eastern Front of World War II|
A Soviet gun crew during the siege.
|Commanders and leaders|
Erich von Manstein
Ivan Petrov (later stages)
|initially 160,000 men||
initially 34,500 men|
240 artillery pieces
|Casualties and losses|
90 artillery pieces
Low estimate: 41,268 overall|
High estimate: 60,000 overall
Due to the strong fighting of the 9th Independent Army (initially) and the Separate Coastal Army, and the Black Sea Fleet forces in Odessa, it took the Romanian army 73 days of siege and four attacks to capture the city. They had 93,000 casualties. The Red Army had 41,000 casualties. Some historians say the Red Army had 60,000 casualties.
Before the battle change
On 8 August, the Romanians ordered the 4th Army to capture Odessa. They thought the city would surrender quickly. However, Odessa was a heavily fortified city. It had trenches, anti-tank ditches, pillboxes and other defences.
Overall, the Red Army had some 34,500 men and 240 artillery pieces in the area. Airplanes included two seaplane squadrons and one bomber squadron.
The Romanian 4th Army planned to attack Odessa. The 5th Corps would go north then turn south.
The 1st Armored Division defeated the Soviet forces at Bolschaya Buzhalyk, breaking through Odessa's first line of defense.
The 10th Dorobanţi Regiment beat the Soviet forces at Lozovaya. The 4th Army surrounded Odessa.
On 17 August, Romanian troops capturing Odessa's water reservoirs. The Soviet forces fought hard. There were many losses on both sides.
By 24 August, the Romanians were stopped at the Soviets' main line of defense. The 4th Army already had 27,307 casualties, including 5,329 killed.
On 28 August, the Romanians attacked again. They had help from a German assault battalion and ten heavy artillery battalions.
A German force came to help the Romanians. The Soviets also received 15,000 men and ammunition. Then the 157th Rifle Division arrived with 12,600 troops. Also, 18 Soviet companies were brought in from Novorossiysk.
- Axworthy, Mark; Scafes, Cornel; Craciunoiu, Cristian (1995). Third Axis Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941–1945. London: Arms & Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-267-7.
- Glantz, David M. & House, Jonathan (1995), When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0899-0