Battle of the Sea of Azov

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The Battle of the Sea of Azov was a battle between elements of the German, Italian, and Romanian armies (all under the command of the German 11th Armee, commanded by Erich von Manstein), against the forces of the USSR (specifically the Soviet 9th and 18th Armies, under the command of Generals Yakov Cherevichenko and Andrei Kirillovich Smirnov, respectively); during September–October 1941, in World War II. The battle took place during the Axis invasion of the USSR, Operation Barbarossa, and occurred in a location near to the coast with the Sea of Azov, near the Crimea.

The battle started with an attempt by Soviet forces to rupture the northern flank of the 17th Armee as it advanced eastward along the coastline. However, even though the Soviets were successful in causing turmoil amongst some of the Romanian troops who were in the path of the advance of the 9th and 18th Armies, for the most part the front held due to a combination of German resistance, limited Soviet objectives, and poor co-ordination and logistical support. While the Soviets were held in place along the front, Panzergruppe 1, under the command of Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist flanked their positions, cutting them off along their lines of communications, and surrounding them when the Panzergruppe advanced to meet the Eleventh Army. The 9th and 18th Armies were eliminated in the resulting pocket, and over 106,000 Soviet POWs were sent into captivity, 212 Soviet tanks were destroyed, and 766 pieces of artillery were put out of service. The battle lasted from 26 September-7 October 1941.