Operation Wiking (v)

Viking

This was the German alternative designation for the ‘Krimhilde-Bewegung’ evacuation of the Axis forces from the Taman lodgement at the western end of the Kuban peninsula (8/10 October 1943).

The last stage of the operation saw the westward movement of the 240 craft used in the evacuation in four major convoys from the Kerch Strait to Sevastopol on the west coast of Crimea. The craft had the close escort of the motor minesweepers of Kapitänleutnant Helmut Klassmann’s 3rd Räumboots-Flottille and Fregattenkapitän Paul Schröder’s 30th Räumboots-Flottille, with seaward protection provided by the craft of Korvettenkapitän Hermann Büchting’s 1st Schnellboots-Flottille. The operation suffered the loss of only one engineer assault boat to air attack and one ferry barge to submarine attack.