On April 10, 1944 in the course of Odessa operation which took place 26 March – 14 April, 1944 the armies of the 3rd Ukrainian front liberated the city of Odessa. The symbol of the city liberation from the occupants was the red banner raised on the very same day over the Opera theater.
After the success of Bereznegovato-Cnigiryev operation 6-18 March 1944, the main forces of the 3rd Ukranian front under the commandment of the General of the Army Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky On 27-28 March forced a crossing over Southern Bug river and began the decisive offensive in the direction of Nikolayev and Odessa.
Odessa operation began on the night of March 27, when the armies of the right wing and the center of the 3rd Ukrainian Front began the expansion of previously captured bridgeheads. The success of the operation was due to the deep coverage of the southern group of the enemy troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, which by the end of March had crossed the Prut River and reached the approaches to Yassam. On 28 March the Soviet forces liberated the town of Nikolayev. The 6th German army under the threat of losing its left flank and rear was obliged to draw off behind the Dniester River. Front's forces started to pursue the enemy in the direction of Tiraspol and Razdelnaya.
On March 30 the forces of the 28th Army supported by the sea landing party liberated the town of Ochakov and started the Odessa offensive. On April 4 the 37th Army and cavalry and mechanized group occupied the railway junction of Razdelnaya and cut off the last branch line which connected the enemy’s forces. Submarines and torpedo boats of the Black Sea Fleet conducted active operations against enemy communications, disrupting the evacuation of the German troops.
On the night of 10 April the forces of the 8th Guards army and the 5th and 6th shock armies after a brief artillery training supported by partisans attached the enemy in Odessa. The troops of the 8th Guards army stormed from the western part of the city; the formations of the 6th and 5th shock armies pressed the enemy from north and north-west. By 10 o’clock April 10 Odessa was completely freed by the Soviet troops. The enemy lost about 160 thousand officers and soldiers.
During Odessa’s occupation which lasted for 907 days the city lost 82 thousand people dead; 78 thousand were taken prisoners to conduct the forced labor in Germany.
27 formations and units which distinguished themselves especially during the city’s assault were awarded with the honorary name of Odessa. For heroism and courage demonstrated at the battles for the city 14 men were conferred the title of the Soviet Union Hero; over 2 150 men were awarded with orders and medals of the USSR.
On the 1st May, 1945 under the order of the Supreme Commander in Chief Odessa was announced a hero city.
Under the decree of the Supreme Soviet Presidium of the USSR from May 8, 1965 for the outstanding merits to the Motherland, for courage and heroism demonstrated by the city’s workers during their struggle with the Nazi occupants, the hero city Odessa was awarded with the order of Lenin and the ‘Gold Star’ medal.
Lit.: Басов А. В. Крым в Великой Отечественной войне, 1941-1945 гг. М., 1987; Бессмертная слава. Одесса, 1975; Гpылёв А. Н. Днепр — Карпаты — Крым. М., 1970; Пензин К. В. Черноморский флот в обороне Одессы. М., 1956; Самсонов А. М. Освобождение Правобережной Украины и Крыма // Крах фашистской агрессии 1939-1945. М., 1980. С. 470; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://militera.lib.ru/h/samsonov2/15.html; Силаев Г. Ф. Одесская операция 1944 г. // Большая советская энциклопедия. М., 1974. Т. 18; Чуйков В. И. От Сталинграда до Берлина. М., 1985; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/chuykov_vi4/index.html.
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