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Small Land Memorial in Novorossiysk

The Small Land Memorial is located in the South-Western part of the Tsemes Bay near the Sudzhuk spit. It was erected in memory of the events of the defense of Novorossiysk, when German troops tried to break into the Caucasus to capture the Baku oil fields.

After the failure of the Barbarossa plan in 1941, German troops could no longer advance in all directions, so in 1942, Hitler adopted the Blau plan, which provided for the capture of oil fields in Maykop, Grozny and Baku. The main group of German troops in the summer of 1942 was advancing from the Northern side of the Caucasus mountains.

To complete this task, German troops also needed to capture Soviet ports and airfields on the Black Sea coast, on the southern side of the Caucasus mountains. For this purpose, assaults on mountain passes and the battle for Tuapse were undertaken. Very fierce fighting took place and Novorossiysk.

The city of Novorossiysk was one of the main bases of the Black Sea fleet. In August 1942, most of the city was captured by German troops, but their further advance along the coast was blocked. As a result, both sides here organized powerful lines of defense.

In order to break through the German defense line and launch an offensive on Rostov-on-Don, the Soviet command developed an amphibious operation on the South-Western shore of the Tsemes Bay. It provided for the landing of a large amphibious group on the Black Sea coast a few kilometers from Novorossiysk and distracting the landing group directly to the German positions in Novorossiysk itself. The landing party was landed on February 4, 1943. The main landing group was defeated, and a small "distracting" group under the leadership of Caesar Kunnikov, planted in the very place where the Memorial now stands, won a small piece of land with an area of 28 km2 south of Novorossiysk.

The Germans made constant attempts to dislodge the Russians from this small area. Artillery fire was conducted around the clock, however, Russian soldiers continued to hold the beachhead called Small Land for 225 days. On September 9, 1943, Soviet troops made a second assault on Novorossiysk. As a result the city was completely cleared of German troops, who were forced to evacuate to the Crimea.

The Small Land memorial was opened in Novorossiysk in 1982. It is created in the form of the nose of a ship crashing into land. On both sides it is engraved with bas-reliefs symbolizing the soldiers of the same landing of Caesar Kunnikov. Inside of monument is a gallery of Military Glory.