As spring arrived in the Crimea, the fortress of Sevastopol still stood defiant after resisting two offensives and a six month siege. A June offensive had XXX Corps attacking to break through Sevastopol’s eastern defenses. XXX Corp included a large Romanian contingent including the elite Vanatori de Munte (Mountain Hunters) of the 1st and 2nd Mountain Divisions. As XXX Corps reached the main Soviet defense line on Sapun Ridge on 28 June, the commander pressed his troops to force a breakthrough. Their opponents in the Independent Coastal Army, whose heroic defense was “encouraged” by ruthless political Commissars, were determined to hold their ground.