In the plan to liberate Novorossiysk, a diversionary force of 250 men landed on schedule in the vicinity of the small fishing village of Stanichka. Their purpose was to draw attention to themselves and away from the main landing at South Ozereika. Unofficially called smertniki (destined for death), they knew that there was little chance of their survival. Armed only with light infantry weapons, the men, led by Major Cesar L. Kunikov, were all volunteers from the 255th Naval Infantry Brigade. Even though they achieved surprise, Kunikovís men encountered heavy resistance from the very beginning. Fighting in the dark was in extremely close quarters, often hand-to-hand. Twice slightly wounded, Kunikov continued to lead his men from the front. Soon, Kunikov was able to report by radio that a tiny strip of rocky shore was secure. Within hours, reinforcements diverted from South Ozereika were landed, bringing his force to approximately 800 men. Without allowing the Germans time to regroup, Kunikov launched an assault that resulted in the capture of a German artillery battery. This attack also succeeded in occupying several streets on the southern edge of Stanichka. The beachhead was now expanded to an area four kilometers wide and two-and-a-half kilometers deep.