The Crimea peninsular fell to German in November 1941. For Hitler Crimea was a prize possession that he wanted to annex to Germany and call it Gotenland. The Soviets held out at Sevastopol which held out for 240 days. During the siege the Soviets attempted take back the peninsula by landing troops there. The Soviets achieved initial success in their landing, but were unable to break out. The Germans launched a major counteroffensive and in May of 1942 the Soviets were totally defeated losing 160,000 troops killed or captured.
In November 1943 the Soviets launched a Kerch–Eltigen landing operation. While they were not able to break out the Soviets managed to establish a strong bridgehead with 75,000 troops. On April 8, 1944 470,000 troops advanced into the Crimea. Facing them were 200,000 German and Romanian troops. The Romanians had wanted to withdraw, but Hitler would not agree. The Soviets had overwhelming advantage in tanks, aircraft and ships. By April 11th the City of Kerch was liberated. The Germans had hoped to duplicate the Soviets ability to hold Sevastopol and hoped to hold out for months. The Soviets captured the city in four days.