|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2013)|
Coordinates: Malaya Zemlya (Russian: Малая Земля, lit. "Minor Land") was a Soviet uphill outpost on Cape Myskhako (Russian: Мысхако) that was recaptured after fierce, bloody battles with the Germans during the Battle of the Caucasus, on the night of 4 February 1943. The episode paved way for a Soviet attack on German forces in Novorossiysk.
Cape Myskhako is still associated with a heroic stand made by the 800-strong contingent of the Soviet Naval Infantry against the Germans during the Second World War. The special forces were dropped during winter high storms by the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, after the unsuccessful landing attempt at Malajia Ozereevka. The landing at Malaya Zemlya was supposed to be a decoy, but after the landing at Bolshaia Ozereevka was lost in an ambush, the offensive plan was reworked and the landing site at Malaya Zemlya was made the main landing location. Upon landing to secure the beachhead, they came under a furious German counter-offensive with air support.
Against very strong forces, the marines held their ground. The leader of the group, the Soviet Major Caesar Kunikov (Russian: Цезарь Кунников) was mortally wounded, and was posthumously awarded the highest Soviet World War II title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.