Malaya Zemlya Memorial

Jul 8, 2016 1 comments

The Malaya Zemlya Memorial in Novorossiysk, Russia, pays homage to a little known but important battle of the Second World War, that eventually paved the way to the liberation of Novorossiysk from German occupation. On February 4, 1943, a small unit of Red Army marines landed in Malaya Zemlya, or “Little Land”, and defended this area for 225 days until the city was liberated on September 16, 1943. The heroic defense of the port by the sailors allowed the Soviets to retain possession of the city's bay, which prevented the Germans from using the port for supply shipments.

The Malaya Zemlya Memorial was erected in 1982. It features a gravity-defying triangular arch which rises to 22 meters at its highest point and represents the bow of a landing craft that has come ashore on the beach. One side of the “bow” features a 10-meter-tall bronze sculpture of a group of marines disembarking from the ship. The opposite side features bas-relief depictions of the battles.


Photo credit: Mary Quite Contrary/Flickr

Inside the arch, a staircase lines with plaques featuring the names of the units that took part in the operation and portraits of the heroes, leads up to the apex of the boat, where a niche holds a golden heart-shaped capsule holding the names of those who died in the area. On the wall of the niche is inscribed, in Russian,

We retook from the enemy a plot of land near the city of Novorossiysk that we called “Little Land.” Although it is small, it is ours, Soviet. We shed our sweat, our blood over it, and we will never give it up to the enemy.

Beside the main memorial is a small exhibit of military hardware, including several tanks, artillery pieces and an aircraft that was recovered from the bay and was restored and mounted on a pedestal.


Photo credit: vkhonin/Panoramio


Photo credit: Mary Quite Contrary/Flickr


Photo credit: Mary Quite Contrary/Flickr


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Sources: / Traces of War


  1. "The Malaya Zemlya Memorial was erected in 1882."
    This is the first prophetic memorial I have ever hard of! And they got all the details right too!
    Nostradamus would be proud...


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