German Plans for amphibious landings in the Black Sea at Taman and Tuapse in support of Fall Blau in 1942.
Kriegsmarine Marinefährprahme (MFP) in the Black Sea.
(from Kriegsmarine: The Forgotten Service)
Fuhrer Directive 43, issued on 11th July 1942, which detailed Plan BLUCHER, the proposed operations of the German 11th Army in crossing the Kerch Strait from the Crimea into the Caucasus, contains some information about proposed German landings and naval activity along the Black Sea coast.
The operation will be executed on the following lines:
In accordance with the proposals of 11th Army, the crossing is to be
planned so that the strongest possible forces are landed in the rear
of enemy coast defenses.
The high ground north of Novorossiysk will then be captured. The ports
of Anapa and Novorossiysk will be occupied, thereby eliminating bases
for the enemy fleet.
After that, the operation will continue to the north of the Caucasus,
its main thrust in a general easterly direction. In this connection it
is especially important that the Maykop area be quickly occupied.
The decision whether small forces should also be landed on the coast
road along the Black Sea in the Tuapse area can only later be taken.
The Navy will take immediate steps to secure the necessary shipping
for the crossing, in accordance with detailed Army requirements.
To meet this need , suitable shipping, apart from vessels already
available in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and those which may be
brought in for the operation, will be chartered or bought from the
Bulgarians and Rumanians.
During the actual operation, the Navy will support the landing forces
during the crossing, and protect them with all available means against
action by enemy sea forces.
Naval units detailed to cover the crossing of the landing forces will
come under command of 11th Army during the operation.
The task of the airforce in preparing the operation is the overall
elimination of enemy naval forces and harbours in the Black Sea.
During the operation its task, apart from immediate support of the
landing forces, will be be to prevent enemy naval forces from
interfering with the crossing.
Preparations are to be made so that the Army forces landed on the
Temryuk Peninsula may be supplied for several days by air.
The possibility of using parachute and airborne troops is to be
investigated. If possible, the 7th Airborne Division will not be
involved in these operations, or at least only in small part. It may
be advantageous to employ units of 22nd Infantry Division as airborne
Other Fuhrer Directives from that year also offer some insight into planned German naval activity in association with the 1942 Fall Blau offensive:
Fuhrer Directive 41, issued 5th April 1942:
In the Black Sea it is the principle duty of the Navy, in so
far as our combat and escort forces and our tonnage allow, to assist
in supplying the Army and Airforce by sea.
Because the battle potential of the Russian Black Sea fleet is still
unbroken it is particularly important that the light naval forces to
be moved to the Black Sea should be ready for action there as soon as
Fuhrer Directive 45, issued 23rd July 1942:
It will be the task of the Navy, besides giving direct
support to the Army in the crossing of the Kerch Straits, to harass
enemy sea action against our coastal operations with all the forces
available in the Black Sea.
To facilitate Army supply, some naval ferries will be brought through
the Kerch Straits to the Don, as soon as possible.
In addition, Commander-in-Chief Navy will make preparation for
transferring light forces to the Caspian Sea to harass enemy shipping
(oil tankers and communications with the Anglo-Saxons in Iran).
The above is sourced from:
Hitler's War Directives 1939-1945, edited by H.R. Trevor-Roper (1964)
From We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion, 1940–41, by Robert Forczyk, Chapter 11: Hidden Benefits of Sea Lion: Germany Gains an Amphibious Capability for other Theatres, we can see that Operation BLUCHER was executed in a limited form, known as Operation BLUCHER II, on the night of 1/2 September 1942. The other proposed amphibious landing around Tuapse was never deemed viable under the prevailing operational circumstances.
"As German forces surged across the Ukraine in 1941, the Kriegsmarine
realized that they needed an amphibious capability in the Black Sea as
well. In November 1941, the 1. Landungs-Flottille was formed at the
port of Varna in Bulgaria. A facility was established in Vienna to
fabricate MFP components and they were sent down the River Danube to
be assembled at Varna. By the time that the German 11. Armee began its
final offensive to reduce the Soviet fortress of Sevastopol in the
Crimea in June 1942, the Kriegsmarine had enough MFPs available in the
Black Sea to provide logistical support to the army. After the fall of
Sevastopol, the Kriegsmarine began planning an amphibious operation
known as Operation BLUCHER II to cross the Kerch Straits and thereby
support the invasion of the Caucasus. On the night of the 1/2
September 1942, the 1. Landungs-Flottille, equipped with 24 MFPs,
carried a kampfgruppe from the 46. Infanterie-Division across the
straits to the Taman Peninsula. Operation BLUCHER II was a low-key
success, which helped to accelerate the German drive into the Kuban." (pp. 295-296)
The Germans continued to increase their amphibious capabilities in the Black Sea throughout 1942-43 up to a total of four amphibious flotillas consisting of 70 MFPs and several Siebel ferries, which successfully evacuated over 200,000 men from the Kuban to the Crimea in September 1943.
Map showing the progress of Fall Blau in the Caucasus and Black Sea region.