Adjimuschkay underground were used for extracting stone for construction of
several buildings in the Kerch peninsula. However it
became infamous during World War II, when it became the symbol of Soviet
resistance against overwhelming Nazi forces. Adjimuschkay Quarries have been used by
the local people for centuries to extract stones for construction projects.
However quarry located near a village of Adjimuschkay became famous during the World War II after it
was abandoned. These artificial underground saw some of
the fiercest battles in the Crimean Peninsula between May and October 1942.
Remains of the Crimean Front were entrapped in the quarries for
months without hope of rescue. Most of defenders were killed.
On May 8th 1942 German Wermacht
attacked Red Army stationed in the Crimea and on May 16th
into enemy hands. Remains of 83rd Marine Division, 95th Border Division,
students of the Yaroslavl Pilot School and students of Voronezh Radio
School along with countless civilians took cover in the Adjimuschkay
quarries. They expected quick counter attack by the
Soviet forces that would liberate them. Unfortunately their predictions
didn't pan out and few weeks that they expected turned into long months.
of Adjimuschkay Quarries were
protected by a small garrison headed by colonel P.M. Yagunov, I.P. Parachin, G.M.
Burmin and in the Minor Quarry colonel A.C. Ermakov along with
lieutenant M.G. Povajniy and M.N. Karpechin. About 13,000 defenders
managed to hold their grounds for over 170 days. German troops used
mortar rounds to collapse some of the passages, poison gasses to kill
people and filled up most of the wells in the area once they realized it
was the only source of water for people inside the undergrounds. When
Germans finally took Adjimuschkay Quarries they captured only 48 soldiers who ran
out of bullets.
Map of underground passages
Adjimuschkay Quarries were liberated by the
Soviet troops at the end of November 1943. Quarries entrances were
largely caved in or hard to access. A search group "Poisk" ("search"
in Russian) managed to descend deep inside the mountain in 1972.
Together with speleologists, soldiers and volunteers they searched
for remains of soldiers as well as find historic staff documents as
well as documents of the Communist Party that might have been found
Expedition had to work in difficult
conditions with numerous cave- ins and landslides. The participants
of the first expedition discovered several shells of various caliber
including 45- mm caliber that didn't explode. Overall the results of
this expedition were modest. Therefore in the summer of 1973 a large
expedition led by military historian V. Abramov along with
participants of the Adjimuschkay Quarries defenses F. Kaznacheev and
S. Shayndurov. With their help expedition knew the location of the
key position of this underground fortress.
The central tunnel was the center of the
defenses of Adjimuschkay Quarries. It also housed the master
transceiver. Expedition discovered over 150 items left by its brave
garrison. This included two smoke grenades that didn't explode. It
served as a proof that the German forces used smoke to drive the
soldiers out of their shelters.
Tractor used as a power generator
Remains of the make shift hospital
Abandoned helmets at the water collecting posts. Once the wells
outside were sealed off this was the only way to get precious water.
Red Army recaptured Adjimuschkay
only in November of 1943. Much of the history associated with this
episode were deemed as non- heroic enough and potentially harmful to
the careers of some generals so most of the documents were made
secret shortly after liberation.