The History of Crimean Conflicts: Sevastopol, von Manstein’s Triumph & Hitler’s Last Great Victory, Part II.

Under the command of Generaloberst Erich von Manstein, Hitler’s armies prepared for what would be the final assault on the great fortress city of Sevastopol, belief in their destiny as humanity’s superior race meant ultimate victory was their due. What neither he, nor Hitler knew, was that this would be the Nazis last great victorious battle…

Peter Winn-Brown

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Soviet soldiers lie flat to take up firing positions on the outskirts of Sevastopol as the Germans close in.
Soviet soldiers take up firing positions on the outskirts of Sevastopol as the Germans close in. Image from Warfarehistorynetwork.

“The two outstanding characteristics of the German mind since the (First World) war have been, first, a sense of national grievance, and second, a declining faith among all classes in liberal capitalism. National Socialism fused the two in the conception of Germany as a “coolie” nation, exploited like any colony, by foreign financial imperialism and military power. It made the liberation of the German nation synonymous with social liberation. Its historic rôle was to put German social radicalism behind German militarism, to hail German militarism as the means of achieving a new society.”

Dorothy Thompson, Foreign Affairs, 1935, on how Germany became a war economy before it ever went to war.

The last few days…

17th-23rd June 1942

In the centre of sector 4, under cover of darkness Hansen brought two infantry divisions forward close to the railway station. They made a surprise attack and quickly smashed through the weakened Soviet line, taking the remaining outpost that guarded the road down to Severnaya Bay.

Interestingly, the Germans tested some new technology as they closed on the series of hill forts that lay between them and the bay. Six remote controlled demolition vehicles were brought up to attack Soviet bunker positions.

However, as with most new technologies, there were teething problems and only two of the six managed to get as far as the Soviet line, only succeeding in destroying a couple of timber bunker positions, but nothing more (4).

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Peter Winn-Brown

The past can illuminate the present if we shine the light of inquiry openly, truthfully, with attention to detail & care for the salient facts.