Romanian forces began the encirclement of Odessa on 8 August 1941. It was initially assumed by German and Romanian leadership that the city would fall quickly. However, the city proved to be a tough nut for the Axis to crack. The city was heavily fortified with three concentric defensive lines of trenches and was reinforced and supplied by the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. The Russians put up a determined resistance, conducting numerous counterattacks. By 21 August, the Romanian offensive had bogged down. Reinforced by German assault troops and artillery, the Romanians resumed their attacks on 28 August. They made slow but steady progress during which they bypassed and encircled a major Soviet force in a Russian State Farm at Vakarzhany. Russian interdiction fire from the village was a problem, inhibiting further attacks against Odessa proper, and it was decided to eliminate the isolated Russian forces.
Attacker: German/Romanian (70th Pio BN; 1st Regt 1st Gds Div)