Operation Bussard


This was the German recapture, otherwise known as ‘Trappenjagd’ (i), of the Kerch peninsula as part of the preparation for ‘Blau III’ against the Caucasus (8/15 May 1942).

The Soviets had established a lodgement in the eastern part of Crimea with the 'Kerch-Feodosiya Amphibious Offensive Operation' ('Kerch Landing Operation' and 'Feodosiya Landing Operation') between 25 December 1941 and 2 January 1942. The first essential for the Germans in the southern part of the USSR before they could contemplate any advance into the Caucasus was the elimination of the last Soviet footholds in Crimea, which could have threatened the right wing of any German advance into the Caucasus. These footholds were the Kerch peninsula in the east, to be taken in ‘Bussard’, and Sevastopol in the west, to be taken in ‘Störfang’. The seizure of these last Soviet positions in Crimea was of importance as great as the reduction of the Soviets’ Izyum salient, which would otherwise threaten the left wing of ‘Blau I’.