Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 790 October 29, 1941

Operation Typhoon. At 4 PM, Kampfgruppe Eberbach, part of German 4th Panzer Division, reaches Tula (Southeast end of the Mozhaysk line, 100 miles from Moscow) having advanced 75 miles in a week despite the mud and stiff Soviet resistance. Reconnaissance of the Southern outskirts is turned back by Soviet anti-aircraft guns firing over open sights, so Eberbach decides to wait until dawn to attack.

Further South, Manstein’s German 11th Army has overrun most of the Crimean peninsula and is approaching the regional capital Simferopol and the massive port of Sevastopol, home of Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Germans want the Crimea as a base for operations further East into the Caucasus and need to eliminate the Soviet threat to their advance around the Black Sea. Moreover, Hitler wants the Crimean peninsula as a sun-drenched “German Gibraltar” for vacationers after the war.

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