Soviet Naval Operations in the First Period (Jun 1941 - Nov 1942)
Contributing to the seaside flanks of the troops of the Soviet Army, the Naval fleet contributed to their stability and never allowed the action of enemy on them from the side of sea. In the first period of war arose the need for stubborn defense by fleet together with the troops of the Soviet Army of the Naval bases: Murmansk, [Libavy] (Liyepaya), Tallin, Hango, Odessa, Sevastopol, Novorossisk and Tuapse. Persistently defending its bases, Naval fleet thus contributed to retarding the advance of enemy in the coastal zone, which had strategic value, since it directly influenced the disruption of the plans of Fascist-German command.
The Northern fleet, contributing to the 14th Army, which was being defended on by Murmansk direction, to a big degree helped it to break up the attack of Fascist-German army "Norway". The defense of Odessa during more than two months held in control the large forces of Rumanian army, while the defense of Sevastopol of more than eight months forged the significant group of the Fascist-German troops in the Crimea, without having given to use it in the spring offensive in the south in 1942. The forces of the Black Sea navy to the very high degree contributed to the success of the defensive operations of the Soviet Army in the North Caucasus. Large strategic role played red banner Baltic fleet in the defense of Leningrad, after ensuring, in particular, the durable retention of Oranienbaum bridgehead. In first and second periods of war the Naval fleet of the USSR the struggle on the sea communications, caused by the need for the supply of the seaside groups of its troops and suppression of the transportation to Germany of strategic raw material or effective opposition [im]. emergent from the first days of military actions.
The determined at the beginning of war direct threat to Naval bases from the side of land forced the Red Banner Baltic Fleet after leaving of Tallin to base its basic forces in Kronstadt - Leningrad. In the Black sea this threat required the displacement of the entire system of the basing of fleet in the Caucasian coast. All this complicated the conditions for actions on distant sea communications of enemy for the forces of the red banner Baltic and Black Sea navies, forced to use predominantly submarines for these purposes. Especially heavy situation was formed for KBF, since the outputs of its submarines to sea communications of enemy were connected with overcoming of that increased on depth and density of the system of enemy antisubmarine defense.
At the same time the actions of Baltic submarines on distant sea communications of enemy forced the latter to increase the stress of the forces of antisubmarine defense. To actions of northern fleet on sea communications of enemy on the North coast of Norway in 1941. to the greatest degree interfered with the limited composition of forces, but nevertheless the impacts of the fleet in this region perceptibly affected the supply of reinforcements and the supply of Fascist-German army in Norway.
The forces of the Black Sea navy, which acted on the distant enemy communications - between the ports of the West Coast, considerably complicated to enemy the organization of transportation, increased the stress of his forces, which ensured the motion of transports. In 1942. the ships of Black Sea fleet tore away the delivery of supply and completion to the seaside group of enemy on the coastal communications (Sevastopol - Theodosius - Kerch' - ports of Azov sea). The reliable cover of its predominantly coastal sea communications and waterways required large efforts from the personnel of surface ships and aviation of Naval fleet.
Because of the proximity of the routes of transportation of the bases and the airfields of enemy the accomplishment of this objective in first and second periods of war, especially in the Baltic region and the Black sea, was connected with overcoming of a number of difficulties. From the autumn of 1941 and to the end of the war the Northern Fleet ensured transportation on external sea communications in the limits of its operational zone. The Red Banner Baltic fleet under the exceptionally unfavorable conditions accomplished troop and cargo transportation during the evacuation of Tallin and of Hango peninsula, supply of the islands of the eastern part of Gulf of Finland, ensured the motion of ships and transports between Leningrad and Kronstadt. The important significance for the defense of Leningrad of the actions of Ladoga military flotilla guaranteed troop and cargo transportation through the Ladoga lake.
The successful organization by the Black Sea fleet of troop and cargo transportation into besieged Odessa and Sevastopol, and then in to Theodosius, Kerch' and into the foremost Naval bases on Caucasian coast contributed to the defense system stability of these bases and seaside groups of the Soviet Army. The Caspian Region had a strategic value to the national-economic transportation system. The need of creating a favorable regime in the operational zones of northern, red banner Baltic and Black Sea fleets also required the systematic fulfillment of a number of problems caused by the daily activity of these fleets, which influenced the motion of military actions in each maritime theater.
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