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Chronicle of the Second World War

 

The main event  of 6-13 April 1945 took place on the Eastern Front. It was the height of the East Prussian Offensive of the Red Army, which was the decisive episode in the battle for the strategically important city of Königsberg (now. Kaliningrad). In central Europe, the Soviet troops came close to the Austrian capital Vienna. As a result of fierce fighting, both cities were liberated from the Wehrmacht. We offer you a chronicle of events of 6-13 April 1945.

Map of the Battle of Königsberg

 

Tower "Don" (view from rear) -

the last center of the German defense, now Amber Museum on the  Wasilewski  square

 

April 6, 1945. 1385 Day of War

During the East Prussian operation the Battle of Königsberg began on April 6 by the troops of the 3rd Belorussian Front.

After a powerful artillery preparation and strong air strikes they began the attack of Koenigsberg. At noon, infantry and tanks under the guise were  attacking the enemy barrage. 2nd Guards Army pinned German operations group "Samland". First broke into the Koenigsberg the troops of  the 43rd Army. 50th and 11th Guards Army were fighting in the city.

The enemy in many areas moved to counterattack. In order to stop the advance of the Red Army, the German command put into fighting to the west of Koenigsberg , the 5 Panzer Division.

From the Soviet Information: During the April 6, the 2nd Byelorussian Front fought to destroy the remnants surrounded by a group of German troops to the south and east of Gdansk ...

At the direction of the Vienna troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front took by force settlements Schwechat Altkettenhof, Rothneusiedl (2 kilometers south of Vienna), Hennersdorf bei Wien.

April 7, 1945. 1386 Day of  War

During the Battle of Königsberg  the Soviet aviation made massed manpower and enemy fortifications, its reserves, airports, railway stations and ports.

At the same time on the Western Front was going on  Allied offensive led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Dwight Eisenhower, Allied Joint Staff informing of its decision on the final operations, said: - If after the capture of Leipzig  turns out that it is possible without great losses to move to Berlin, I want to do it. - And further: - I am the first to agree that the war is being waged in order to achieve political goals, and if the Joint Staff decides that the Allied effort to capture Berlin in this theater outweigh the purely military considerations, I am happy to fix their plans and their thinking so to realize such an operation.

Soviet Information Bureau: During the April 7 in the strip of the Carpathians, northwest of the town of Ruzomberok, the troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front took by force more than 30 settlements ...

In the district of Vienna troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, continuing the offensive, took the city Mödling, Pressbaum, Klosterneuburg, reached the Danube north-west of Vienna and established street fighting in the southern part of the city.

April 8, 1945. 1387 Day of War.

During the Battle of Königsberg  the 43th Army of the 3rd Belorussian Front cleared  the enemy from the north-western part of the city. The garrison was cut off from the forces operating on the Samland Peninsula, and clamped in the eastern part of Konigsberg.

On April 8 Aleksandr Vasilevsky appealed to the German generals, officers and soldiers of Koenigsberg military force with a proposal to lay down arms. There was no answer.

From the Soviet Information: Today, our troops stormed the town and fortress of Koenigsberg. For a day of fierce fighting troops of the 3rd Belorussian Front, advancing to Koenigsberg from the northwest, broke through the outer perimeter position of serfs and occupied urban areas Yuditten, Lavsken, Ratshof, Amalienau, Palffy. Front troops, advancing on the city from the south, took a few urban areas of Koenigsberg, main train station, port and Konigsberg, crossed the river Pregel, joined forces advancing at Konigsberg from the northwest. Thus the front troops surrounded the large group of enemy troops defending the city and castle ...

April 9, 1945. 1388 Day of War

By the evening of April 9 the entire north-western, western and southern parts of Konigsberg were occupied by Soviet troops. The enemy continued to hold only the center and eastern part of the city. Commandant of the fortress, General Otto Lasch ordered the garrison to surrender, for which he was sentenced in absentia by Hitler's government to death.

On the night of April 10, Moscow saluted the Soviet forces by 24-packs of 324 artillery salvos's guns.

From the Soviet Information: The troops of the 3rd Belorussian Front, after heavy street fighting with Koenigsberg group completed the rout of the German troops and today, on April 9, stormed the fortress and the main city of Koenigsberg, East Prussia ... Remains of the Koenigsberg garrison led by the commander of the fortress - General of Infantry Lasch - and his staff today, 21 hours 30 minutes, stopped resistance and lay down their arms.

April 10, 1945. 1389 Day of War    

From the Soviet Information: According to the 3rd Belorussian Front, after 21 h. 30 m. on April 9, that is, after the termination resistance of the German troops in Koenigsberg, during the night from the 9th to the 10th day and the 10th of April surrendered captured about 50 thousand German soldiers and officers. Thus, during the fighting on the Elimination of Koenigsberg German group, that is, from the 6th to 10th April, captured just over 92 thousand German soldiers and officers. During the same period the Germans lost in killed  42 thousand soldiers and officers ...

April 11, 1945. 1390 Day of  War

From the Soviet Information: During the April 11 in the band of the Carpathians, to the west of the town of Ruzomberok, our troops, advancing together with the Czechoslovak and Romanian troops took by force the city and the railway station of St. Martin, Union Station Vrútky.

April 12, 1945. 1391 Day of War

From the Soviet Information: Within 12 April in Czechoslovakia  to the north-east and north of Bratislava, the 2nd Ukrainian Front took by force the city and the railway station Skalica ... North-east of Vienna troops occupied the front in Austria a few settlements and the railway station Eysbesbrunn, cutting the railway and highway Vienna - Brno.

April 13, 1945. 1392 Day of War

During the Vienna operation  troops of the 3rd and 2nd Ukrainian Front occupied the capital of Austria Vienna. The enemy, in order not to get into the environment, retreated to the north.

From the Soviet Information: Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, with the assistance of the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, after heavy street fighting, on April 13 captured the capital city of Austria, Vienna ...

Until the end of World War II was 26 days and nights!

 Monument to Soviet soldiers in Vienna

Vienna operation of the Red Army

 The Viennese meet liberators

 To Vienna!

Captured German soldiers in Königsberg

In the period from 13 to 19 April 1945, on the battlefields of the great Patriotic war there were many important events.
On 13 April 1945 there began Samland offensive of the troops of the 3rd Belorussian front in cooperation with the Baltic fleet, which lasted until April 25.
At 8 o'clock in the morning artillery and air preparation began, and an hour later the troops of the front took the offensive. The main attack of the Soviet troops inflicted in the center, in the General direction of Fishhouse, for the purpose of dismemberment of the German group and its subsequent destruction in parts. The enemy had a strong fire resistance, and when the advancing burst into the first defensive zone, followed by their continuous counterattacks.
On the same day at the Vienna operation, troops of the 3rd and 2nd Ukrainian fronts took the capital of Austria Vienna. The enemy, who was not to get surrounded, retreated to the North.
During the East Prussian operation on the morning of 14 April, troops of the 3rd Belorussian front resumed the offensive and broke through the enemy's defenses on the flanks of the front. By the end of the day our troops forced the enemy to retreat in the direction of Pillau.
On 15 April, the Moravian-Ostrava offensive operation began. On April 15, troops of the 4th Ukrainian front began the breakthrough of the enemy defense on the 12-km stretch of the North-West of Moravska-Ostrava.
On the same day the Vienna offensive operation ended and it ended in the liberation from Nazi troops considerable territory in Austria and neighboring regions of the European theater of operations.
On 16 April 1945 the Berlin offensive operation began. In the Berlin strategic offensive operation took part troops of the 2nd Belorussian front of Marshal K. K. Rokossovsky's ,1st Belorussian front of Marshal Zhukov and the 1st Ukrainian front of Marshal Konev.

Marshal  of the Soviet Union, Georgy Zhukov

The onset of the shock troops of the 1st Belorussian front began two hours before dawn at 5 o'clock Moscow time with powerful artillery preparation. Three minutes before the end of the artillery preparation for special signal (vertical spotlight) in the bands of 3rd and 5th shock, the 8th guards and 69th armies had been included 143 anti-aircraft searchlight, the light of which the infantry with tanks in direct support went on the attack.
5th shock army came to the line in 3 km. to the West of the railroad of Lachin – Seelow. In the second half of the day in the band of the 5th shock army entered the battle, the 2nd guards tank army of S. I. Bogdanov, who continued the attack during the night and part of the forces approached the river Philanderson.
8th guards army of V. I. Chuikov to the middle of the day came at the turn of the channel Haupt Graben, where it met fierce fire resistance of the enemy. To 18.00 here artillery was tightened and part of the army crossed the border Haupt Graben. By the evening of 16 April, 8th guards army came to the foot of the Seelow heights. In the band of the 8th guards army in the second half of the day entered into battle the 1st guards tank army of M. E. Katukov. Advanced units of the army by the evening approached the turn of the Seelow heights.
On the right flank  the 1st Polish army crossed the Oder and the Alte Oder and took a large bridgehead. 61st army of P. A. Beebe on the first day of the offensive carried out reconnaissance. 47 army broke through the first position of the main line of enemy defenses and went on to the second position. 3rd shock army crossed the channel Posedin Graben and advanced on 8 km.
On the left flank  the 69th army of V. Y. Kolpakchi overcame the first defensive line of the enemy. With the approach to the second defensive line, the army met with strong fire resistance and further couldn’t advance too far. 33rd army of V. D. Tsvetaev in one day of fighting had progressed on 5 – 7 km.
At the 1st Ukrainian front on April 16 in 6 hours 15 minutes a powerful artillery preparation started. Under cover of a smokescreen, a powerful artillery fire and air support infantry and artillery crossed the Neisse and seized a number of strong points. At the same time engineer and pontoon-bridge part had started construction of bridges across the river Neisse. At 9 o'clock there began the crossing of the second echelons of infantry and artillery troops. By noon on April 16 via Naas there were built several bridges with capacity of 60 tons, which gave the opportunity to enter into battle vanguards tank armies and to transport heavy artillery. By the end of the day shock troops of the 1st Ukrainian front went over to the second line of defense of the enemy, passing across the boundary to the East of Vienna – Weiswasser – Niesky.
17 April, 1945 year. As a result of the East Prussian operation, troops of the 3rd Belorussian front captured a powerful site of resistance of the enemy on the Samland Peninsula the city of Fischhausen. The remnants of the German forces numbering 15 to 20 thousand people moved to the area Pillau and fixated on prepared defensive line. The Soviet offensive was halted.
Berlin offensive operation. On the right flank  the 61st army of the 1st Belorussian front began crossing  the Oder. 47 army came to the second defensive belt of the enemy. 3rd shock army advanced 8 km away and wedged in the second line of defense.
In the center of the 5th shock army and 2nd guards tank army across the front of the offensive reached the line of the river the Alte Oder, crossed it and came to the foot of the Seelow heights. 8th guards army, in cooperation with the 1st guards tank army during the day were heavy battles of Seelow heights. To 15.00 the 8th guards army  surrounded and captured Seelow.
On the left flank  the 69th army moved into 1-2 miles, 33rd army crossed the canal, the Oder – Spree.
By the end of the day at the site of the 13th army Pukhov of the 1st Ukrainian front and on the right flank  the 5th guards army of Zhadov  brake the second line of the German defense, passing across the boundary to the East of Vienna – Weiswasser – Niesky. Soviet troops rushed to the third line of defense, to Spree, and in the evening, they had crossed the river.
On April 17, Stalin, due to the slow advance of troops of the 1st Belorussian front of Zhukov, ordered I. S. Konev to  turn the 3rd and 4th guards tank army of the 1st Ukrainian front on Berlin from the South.
During the Moravian-Ostrava offensive, troops of the 4th Ukrainian crossed the Opava and seized a bridgehead North of Stetin  to 15 km wide and 5 km deep. Its further extension was prevented long-term defensive line, held on the Northern heights of the mountain range, along the former border between Czechoslovakia and Germany.
On 18 April 1945. Berlin offensive operation. On the right flank  the 61st army of the 1st Belorussian front had expanded the bridgehead on the Oder, 47th army was advancing South of Briana and went out on the highway Urizen — Sulzdorf, 3rd shock army in the middle of the day went to Meglino, and in the second half of the day broke the enemy's defenses at the turn of Sulzdorf — Maglin.
In the center of the 5th shock army and 2nd guards tank army was advancing in the conditions of forest and chain of lakes, advanced 4 km and reached the area of Ringenwalde on the outskirts of Baclava. 1st guards tank army, advancing in a South-westerly direction, took Markdorf and deeply embraced the German troops, the defenders in front of the 8th guards army and the 69th army. 8th guards army to the end of the day came to the Trebnitz.
On the left flank  the 69th army and 33rd army bypassed the Frankfurt fortified area and a threat to his environment. The German command decided to evacuate the garrison from Frankfurt on the Oder and strengthening parts of defense in the West Bank.
By the end of April 18, the 3rd guards tank army of the 1st Ukrainian front went over the Spree to 30 kilometers, and the 4th guards tank army advanced by 45 kilometers. 13th army crossed the Spree and started to move in a North-westerly direction. 3rd guards army and 5th guards army fought fierce battles on the flanks of the breakthrough.
North of Görlitz  the 2nd Polish army, 52nd army crossed the river Neisse, broke through the tactical zone of the German defense and by the end of April 18, came to the third lane.
On 19 April 1945. Berlin offensive operation. On the right flank  the 61st army of the 1st Belorussian front had continued fighting on expanding the bridgehead on the West Bank of the Oder and moved the day at 1-km 47-army, 3rd shock army and 2nd guards tank army was advancing on Berlin from the East. 2nd guards tank army, breaking the enemy's resistance on "position Wotan", successfully moved in a westerly direction, having fought to 30 km 5th shock army was moving to the German capital along "Reichsstrasse No. 1". 8th guards army and the 1st guards tank army broke through enemy defenses in the area of Muncheberg. On the left flank  the 69th army and 33rd army occupied an abandoned enemy bridgehead on the East Bank of the Oder at Frankfurt and had gone for the day at 3 – 4 km.
3rd guards tank army of P. S. Rybalko the 1st Ukrainian front continued its assault on Berlin and was 30-35 km 4th guards tank army to the evening moved up to 50 km 13th army moved for tank armies to the West. 3rd guards army and 5th guards army expanded the breakthrough towards the flanks and prepared to eliminate the threat which had arisen in the North and in the South, in the district of Cottbus and Spremberg.

Destroyed German tank Pz-V Panther

German armored car was destroyed together with  its crew

On 20 April 1945 the command of the 3rd Belorussian front in order to have the port of Pillau introduced in the battle  the 11th guards army of K. N. Galitsky. With great difficulty the army advanced deeper into the enemy's defensive positions at 1 km.

The attack on the port of Pillau
On the same day, troops of the 2nd Belorussian front of  Rokossovsky went on the offensive on Berlin's direction. In 6 hours 30 minutes 65th army of P. I. Batov under cover of smoke screens crossed the river West of the Oder, broke through the first position of the main line of defense and established a small bridgehead. 70th army V. S. Popov took a bridgehead on the West Bank West of the Oder and moved forward slightly. 49th army I. T. Grishina without success. All attempts to overcome West of the Oder were reflected by the enemy. 61st army of the 1st Belorussian front crossed the Alte Oder.

Marshal of the Soviet Union, Konstantin Rokossovsky

2nd guards tank army, escaping from the forest Pretzler Forst, took Bernau. At 21.50 on 20 April Zhukov demanded that the commander of the 2nd guards tank army of S. I. Bogdanov as quickly as possible had  to go to Berlin.
Other parts of the 1st Belorussian front successfully attacked from different sides, covering Berlin in the encirclement.
On April 21, 1945, troops of the 2nd Belarussian front continued fighting on the expansion of the bridgehead at the Oder, successfully beating off counter-attacks of the German troops.

Crossing the Oder


Part of the 1st Belorussian front, overcoming resistance the parts of the enemy, slowly moved forward. By the end of 47th army, 3rd shock army, 2nd guards tank army  cut  the Berlin ring motorway and burst on the Northern outskirts of Berlin. Simultaneously, the 5th shock army had reached the North-Eastern outskirts of the city.
At the same time, units of the 3rd guards tank army of the 1st Ukrainian front reached the approaches to Berlin from the South. Thus, the German group was surrounded by the Soviet Army. The remaining parts of the front expanded break the enemy's defense, not allowing him to counter the attack.
On April 22, 1945 troops of the three fronts continued successful fighting in Berlin's direction, expanding break and fighting surrounded by enemy troops in Berlin and South of it.
On 22 April, Hitler ordered the 12th army of the General Wenk, taken from the Western front, to go on the offensive on Berlin from the West and southwest. Thus, Hitler had  illusions to rescue hopeless situation to save surrounded  Berlin group.
The next day 11 German army of Steiner struck from the North, but had no success. A few days later a group of Steiner, in fact, ceased to exist.
Part of the 2nd Ukrainian front took to the immediate approaches to the Czech city of Brno.
On 24 April 1945, part of the 3rd Belorussian front surrounded the remnants of the German forces in the fortress of Pillau, which retreated from Koenigsberg.
At the same time at the Berlin direction red Army troops since fighting reached the inner perimeter of Berlin, forcing water barriers that were in the city limits of the capital of Germany.
Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front  surrounded the units of the 9th German army, deciding the fate of Berlin finally.
On the same day, troops of the 3rd Belorussian front captured the city of Pillau, completing the defeat of the enemy on the Samland Peninsula. The remains of German troops took refuge in the Western part of the spit Rises Nerung and in the vast swamps of the mouth of the Vistula river wetland. Capture Pillau ended the East-Prussian operation.
On 25 April 1945 the troops of the three fronts were heavy fighting on the capture of Berlin by grinding the enemy's manpower.
On the same day in the area of the Arrow and Torgau, on the Elbe river, part of the 58th guards rifle division of the 5th guards army met with the scout group of the 69th infantry division of the 5th army corps of the 1st American army.
On April 26, 1945, troops of the 2nd Belorussian front during the Berlin offensive operation storm captured the town of Stettin.
Heavy fighting in Berlin did not allow Nazi army to change events. On this day, there were released a few areas of cities. Parts of the German 9th army suffered heavy losses during an attempted breakout from the encirclement in the Gubben area.
During the Bratislava-Bronowski offensive part of the 53rd army of the 2nd Ukrainian front in conjunction with the 1st guards cavalry-mechanized group released the Czech city of Brno.

Troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, to the east of the city of Brno fought and occupied large settlements: Luzhny, Pozdehov, Asenna, Vizovice, Slushovitse, Luzhkovitse

The Last Days of the Great Patriotic War.

On May 4 – American troops, coming from southern Germany and Italy, met at the Brenner pass.

This year the Saratov together with the entire country will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic war.
On the eve of the anniversary of the great event IA "View-info" reminds readers about the important milestones in our shared history.
Every day we talk about the significant dates of the great Patriotic war, about the events that became turning point in the destinies of individuals and of entire countries.
During the May 4, 1945, troops of the 2nd Belarussian front continued to advance. North of the town of Stettin Soviet troops crossed the Strait of Devenow and seized a bridgehead on the island of Wollin.

The Germans, trying to drop the Soviet units  had taken eleven counterattacks. Red Army repelled the enemy attack and after heavy fighting captured the railway station and the city Wollin.

To the South of the city of Brandenburg troops of the 1st Belorussian front led the offensive. Soviet troops crossed the forest and, having moved 20 kilometers marshes, rugged rivers area, captured the city of Belzig — node railroads and highways. The group of infantry and tanks of the enemy tried to resist, but were scattered. Continuing the offensive, Soviet troops drove the Nazis out of town Wiesenburg.
The troops of the 4th Ukrainian front continued the offensive. The enemy, entrenched in the mountains, put up a stubborn resistance. Breaking interim defensive line of the Germans, Soviet troops as a result of the rapid attack, captured the city of Vistaril (Turns). Soviet troops fighting advanced 15 kilometers and drove the Germans out of the village Mountain Becva, turned them into a fortified strong point.
East of Brno Red Army troops fighting took several settlements. The Nazis had a strong fire resistance and  often passed in counterattack. Soviet troops advancing on both sides of the Morava river, made a concentrate maneuver, captured the village Krzanowice and pinned the enemy to the river. As a result of the battle the most of the Nazis was destroyed.

Fire in Berlin

On May 6 – General Eisenhower issued an ultimatum for the cessation of all hostilities and movements on all fronts to the 24 hours of may 8.
1415-th day of the Great Patriotic war.
On May 6 the Prague offensive operation of Soviet troops of the 1st, 4th and 2nd Ukrainian fronts began, which lasted until May 11. The main forces of the armies rushed to the aid of the rebels of Czech people. It was required to encircle and destroy the German-fascist groups on the territory of Czechoslovakia, to liberate its capital, Prague.

 

6-11 may – Prague offensive operation of the 1, 2, and 4th Ukrainian fronts.
On  May 7 in Reims was signed the act of unconditional surrender of Germany, duplicated the next day the Soviet side in Karlshorst, Berlin. May 9 was the day of the cessation of hostilities on all fronts.
May 7 – deadline for transition to 12-th German army across the Elbe to the location of American troops.
May 7 at 2 hours 41 minutes in Reims in the rate of the Supreme commander of the Allied forces General Eisenhower, took place the signing of the German surrender. The German high command undertook to cease active operations at midnight on 8 May. German army and Navy were to remain in positions occupied by this time.

 

View of the burning of the Reichstag

 

On May 8 – Signed the Act of unconditional surrender of Germany in Karlshorst, Berlin.
On May 8 at 22: 43 according to Central European time, in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst in the former dining room of the German military engineering school, representatives of the German command signed the Act of unconditional surrender of Germany. The signing was attended by the Marshal of Soviet Union Zhukov, Marshal of Aviation of Great Britain, Tedder, commander of United States Strategic air forces, General Spaatz and commander-in-chief of the French army, General Lattre de Tassigny.

 

the Representative of the USSR K. N. Derevyanko puts his signature to the act of surrender.

 

 On May 9 – the Soviet troops with the support of the rebellious people of Prague was liberated Prague.

1418-th day of the Great Patriotic war.

Supreme commander of the Armed forces of the USSR Joseph Stalin congratulated the Soviet people with Victory.


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