Sunday, March 16, 2014

Unternehmen Trappenjagd

The Battle of the Kerch Peninsula
German advance to the Kerch peninsula, start of May 1942 (Deutsches Bundesarchiv).

The Battle of the Kerch Peninsula (German: Unternehmen Trappenjagd) was a World War II offensive by German and Romanian armies against the Soviet Crimean Front forces defending the Kerch Peninsula, in the eastern part of the Crimea. 

It was launched on May 8, 1942 and concluded around May 18, 1942 with the near complete destruction of the Soviet defending forces. The Red Army lost over 170,000 men killed or taken prisoner, and three armies with twenty-one divisions.

The operation's successful conclusion made it possible for the Axis to launch a successful assault on Sevastopol in the following months.

Russian soldiers escorting German prisoners of war near Kerch, Crimea (presumably April 1944).

next episode: Sevastopol 


  1. Wow. What a fabulous insight into snippets of WWII, You sure do know your history, Rob. My dad would have loved this blog!!

  2. The conquest of Kerch by the Axis was paid very heavily by Italian etnic minority, living there since several centuries. Exactly 2 years later (1944), they were deported to Central Asia and, nowadays, only 300 Italians still live at Kerch.
    If interested, give a look at the following link

    1. Thank you, I wasn't aware of the Italian presence in the 20th century (I'd read about Genuese Fortresses). The Communists were certainly keen on deporting every possible minority.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. In the Middle Age Kerch was already known by the Republic of Genoa (which controlled Corsica, Sardinia and the Black Sea via Constantinople, while the Republic of Venice was in trade along the Adriatic, Crete and Cyprus). But the big part of Italians who live/lived in Crimea were descendant of people coming from Southern Italy (Apulia and Calabria) in the XIX century.
    Just a pair of days ago, in Italian TV there was a special video service (with interviews) to some Italians still living there. It was a very touching dossier. Inside their houses there are a lot of Italian objects, but they speak Italian with Russian accent. Poor them. I think they are no land's people and, in the space of 1 generation, they'll be assimilated completely - See more at:


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