Museum of Kerch-Eltigen Landing Operation
Village of Eltigen became famous all over the Soviet Union in November 1943. Valour of Soviet soldiers in Eltigen gave an initial push to commencement of the Crimean Liberation offensive, and the majestic expression “Burning Land” became a symbol of unparallel valour and glory.
Nowadays village of Eltigen bears the name Geroevskoye (from Russian герой – “a hero”). But the Crimean-Tatar word Eltigen is also translated as ‘the land of heroes’, that is very symbolic for this site of Crimea. Eltigen went into history thanks to outstanding valor of landing troops.
During the Kerch-Feodosiya offensive, at a stormy night of 1 November 1943, near a fishing village Eltigen, a landing corps of Soviet troops managed to capture a beachhead, which went into history as the burning land. And it was really so, because this tiny part of land was entirely exposed to enemy’s fire. But the landing troops, Eltingengentsy (literary men of Eltigen) as they are called, virtually dug themselves into ground and managed to hold this land for almost forty days and nights, withstanding dozens of attacks every day. Being engaged with massive force of the enemy, they managed to make the landing of main troops safer and easier.
Eltingentsy were supported by cutters, which had to virtually break their way from Taman coast through constant and massed artillery fire. At night, on 7 December 1943, according to order of command staff, all who could move (over 1,500 landing troops) started a breakthrough. Having broken the enemy’s encirclement, they needed a night to get to Kerch and after that they unexpectedly attacked Nazi troops from the rear, moved to Mount Mithridates and surrounding streets. For four days after did they manage to engage the enemy’s rear until they were evacuated aboard cutters.
In May 1985 a Museum of Eltigen Landing Operation was unveiled in Geroevskoye. A memorial was erected on the legendary beachhead. Memorial Complex comprises also a common grave of those who died during operation, a cutter sunk by enemy aircraft and now resting on a pedestal, a hospital and operating-room, remains of entrenchments and anti-tank ditch, a pillbox and a wing-shaped monument. Museum’s exhibition is devoted to Eltingen landing operation. The Museum was unveiled in the year of 40th anniversary of USSR victory in the Great Patriotic War.
21 soldiers of the division were awarded the highest award of the USSR, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, for the valour shown during the landing operation.
Village Eltigen, city of Kerch
Working hours: 9:30 a.m. – 18 p.m
Ticket price: 8 UAH (adults), 4 UAH (children), guided-tour 30 UAH