Mius-front: German Defense Line in the South of the USSR and Its Features (1941-1943)
Authors: Evgeny F. Krinko, Maxim V. Medvede
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The paper is concerned with the Mius-front – German defense line with the total length of 104 km, constructed during the Great Patriotic War. The major part of it ran along the right bank of the Mius River, which gave its name to the defense line. Within the fifteen months, from October, 1941 till June, 1942 and from February till August, 1943 Mius-front was the ground of sanguinary battles between the Red Army and Wehrmacht. Nevertheless, it became the subject of research only in modern historiography.
Originally Mius-front was constructed as the system of field fortifications, aimed to deter Soviet winter counterattack in 1941. In 1942 and, especially, in 1943 the enemy upgraded defense fortifications. Permanent defense fortifications were built in Priasov’e and Primius’e in accordance with the military and engineering demands of the time. German Command managed to use the natural features of the site, having tied them to the system of gun, mortar and machine-gun fire.
Mius-front deferred the advance of the Soviet troops, which suffered great casualties during its assault, to the west. Soviet-German confrontation in Priasov’e and Primius’e reflects the general battle actions during the Great Patriotic War to the large extent. Having gained the advantage in warfare preparation, conduction, planning and maintenance, the Soviet troops managed to breach the defensive line of the enemy. Declassified archive documents, recalls by the witnesses and field data enabled to reconstruct the history of construction and fortification features of Mius-front, reconsider its role in the Great Patriotic War.