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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Novorossiysk: Hero City of the USSR, liberated Sept. 16 1943

Malaya Zemlya Memorial

From a folder of historic cards published in 1985 on the 40th anniversary of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War we continue our series looking at the Hero Cities and Fortresses as well as other sites and battles critical to the Soviet victory. The folder was entitled "No one is Forgotten. Nothing is Forgotten."

This eighth post looks at the Hero City of Novorossiysk which was finally liberated by the Red Army on September 16, 1943.

It is important to never forget the tremendous determination, courage and sacrifices of the Soviet peoples and Red Army in the great struggle of liberation against Nazism and fascism that was World War II.

The victory in the battle for Novorossiysk created favorable conditions for the defeat of fascist German troops on the Taman Peninsula and the complete liberation of the North Caucasus from the Nazi invaders.

Novorossiysk was subjected to severe trials during the Great Patriotic War. In the summer and autumn of 1942, the battle for the Caucasus unfolded. In the Novorossiysk direction, the enemy, having concentrated troops several times superior to the Soviet ones, tried to break through to Transcaucasia. At the beginning of September, the Nazi troops were stopped.

The heroic struggle for the city, which lasted more than a year, showed examples of mass heroism, courage and bravery, the unbending will of the soldiers of the Soviet Army, underground fighters and partisans.

During the Novorossiysk defensive operation of 1942, 14,000 enemy soldiers and officers were disabled, 47 tanks, 95 guns and mortars, 25 aircraft, 320 vehicles and many other military equipment were destroyed.

After 350 days, soldiers of the Soviet Army and the Black Sea Fleet, in cooperation with the naval landing, began an assault on the city and on September 16, 1943, having defeated the fascist troops, they liberated the city. The Soviet Marine and sailor defenders of Malaya Zemlya -- who managed to holdout against the Nazis even though encircled for 225 days -- played an important role in the liberation of Novorossiysk. Many of them were awarded orders and medals, 21 people were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

The Novorossiysk-Taman operation ended the struggle for the Caucasus, significantly improved the basing of the Black Sea Fleet and created favorable conditions for attacks on the enemy’s Crimean group from the sea. For heroism and skillful actions during the liberation of Novorossiysk, 19 formations and units were given the name Novorossiysk. On September 14, 1973, Novorossiysk was awarded the honorary title “Hero City” with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.


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