An assault across the Perekop Isthmus was launched on 8 April by elements of the 4th Ukrainian Front's 2nd Guards and 51st Armies. The 17th Army defended but was unable to stop the advance. Kerch was reached by the Separate Coastal Army on 11 April; Simferopol, about 37 mi (60 km) northeast of Sevastopol, followed two days later. The 17th Army was retreating toward Sevastopol by 16 April, with remaining Axis forces in the Crimea concentrating around the city by the end of the third week of April.
"At Sevastopol stands the Seventeenth Army, and at Sevastopol, the Soviets will bleed to death." -Generaloberst Erwin Jaenicke
The OKH intended to hold Sevastopol as a fortress, as the Red Army had done during the first battle for the Crimea in 1941-1942. However, the fortifications of the city had never been restored and Sevastopol was not the strong defensive position that it had been in 1941. Fighting broke out in the city outskirts towards the end of April and the city fell on 9 May, less than a month after the start of the offensive. The Axis sea evacuation to Constanța was attacked by Soviet land-based bombers. The last Axis pockets in the Crimea were destroyed on 12 May.
In a meeting with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden, Jaenecke had insisted that Sevastopol should be evacuated and his cut off Army of 235,000 men withdrawn. After the loss of the Crimea, he was held responsible, arrested in Romania and court-martialed. Only the intervention of Heinz Guderian saved his life. He was dismissed from the army on 31 January 1945.
The German and Romanian formations suffered the loss of 57,000 men, many of whom drowned during the evacuation. The sinking of the Totila and Teja on 10 May alone caused up to 10,000 deaths. The table below is based on information from Glantz/House When Titans Clashed.:
German losses: Killed and missing: 31,700. Wounded: 33,400
Romanian losses: Killed and missing: 25,800. Wounded: 5,800
Soviet losses (according to Krivosheev): Killed and missing: 17,754. Wounded: 67,065.