The fall of the bastion of the German spirit

Actions at Konigsberg can be divided into 5 stages, of which the assault itself was just ending.

The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
German positions on the approaches to Koenigsberg. The inscription says: "We will defend Königsberg." Propaganda photos

Stage 1

Russian troops came to the borders of East Prussia at the end of August 1944. The troops were exhausted, and as lying in front of one of the most fortified German provinces, commanders decided not to continue the offensive. At this time, the Germans began to intensively prepare for defense. Constructed different fences, minefields, flooded area, trenches, bunkers and anti-tank obstacles, nicknamed "dragon's teeth". In Konigsberg had entire underground factories, warehouses and stockpiles. It was prepared by three defensive positions. First ring in six to eight kilometers from the town center included fifteen forts with cannons, trenches associated with anti-tank ditches, minefields and barbed wire. Each fort appears to represent a fortress with a garrison of three hundred people. On each side of the town was the second position, supported by stone buildings, concrete pillboxes, hastily constructed barricades. Third line of defense in the central part of the town consisted of an old fortress built around it. Basements of most homes linked by underground tunnels, and the windows have been altered under the loopholes.

Goebbels publicly announced Kenigsberg impregnable fortress. He wrote that "the Bolsheviks themselves to the teeth broken off its granite."

Stage 2

C 25 to 27 January reddish army marched 50 km from the district to the village Tapiau Louth, western margin of Koenigsberg. And in the south of the town 11 Guards Army braked on the banks of the Gulf of Frisches-Huff. This allowed the fortress cut off from the field troops of the Fourth German army and cut off the main supply routes. Konigsberg could repeat the fate of Leningrad. Because January 27 10s of thousands of peaceful inhabitants rushed out of the town. Despite the bitter cold, they left the port of Pilau to try to escape from there by ship. But by January 30, all roads were blocked.

The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Koenigsberg, the German bunker in the Horst Wessel Park
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Konigsberg, anti-tank obstacles

Step 3

By early February, Koenigsberg was surrounded. But from the south along the edge of the coast of the German Panzer Division was able to break through a narrow passage, a typical version of the "road of life." Every day the Russian troops stormed going to Konigsberg baggage.

General Alexander Gorbatov so describes the situation: "What has been done on the bay! 3-4 kilometers from the water it was filled up with cars, wagons, loaded with military equipment, food, household items. Early in the afternoon, I beheld on the banks of hundreds of bags of coffee, thousands of boxes of canned goods, lying on the parapet of the trenches … ".

Yet, hunger Koenigsberg not threatened. The sea was in the hands of the Nazis, and the only Russian aircraft in the afternoon prevented haul. Refugees who got to the port Pilau almost felt sorry for the departure of Koenigsberg. Space for everyone in the small town of hell is not enough, and the evacuation of the sea flowed slowly. Also in the area is constantly on duty Russian submarine. In the north, where the 39 army, Russian limited to that position was secured.

Step 4

Maybe the Germans in Königsberg would not touch until the end of the war. The forces were needed on other fronts. But on February 18 troops Samland group and the garrison Kenisberga decided to make a breakthrough. It was a very stupid operation, because even united, both groups still remain in the environment. The action failed, and then came a lull. But now the Council is ready assault. On the enemy's terrain was sent more than a dozen of subversive groups, of which almost no one survived. In the middle of agents met and German deserters. Saboteurs brought on the strengthening of Koenigsberg. He was later made a great layout of the town, an area greater than 30 square meters with all the houses, streets and fortifications. According to it, the commanders plan practiced storming of the fortress.

It was decided to knock on Koenigsberg immediately to the north and the south. Also needed was a chilling blow to the Samland group of fascists and town Pilau. The operation was led by Marshal AM Wasilewski. Personally managed by the Air Force A. Novikov — Air Chief Marshal. At the head of the German troops was the commandant of the town, a descendant Germanize nobles of Upper Silesia, Infantry General Otto von Lasch. Its garrison consisted of four divisions of infantry, a guard regiments and battalions Volkssturm. Just a little more than 130 thousand people, four thousand guns and mortars, some hundreds of tanks and assault guns, and 170 aircraft. For the coming of the Russian forces lured more than 5 thousand guns and mortars, 413 self-propelled guns, 125 tanks. The aircraft was overwhelming advantage — 2400 pieces. Especially for the attack fortifications were formed assault groups and units, consisting of archers and gunners, small caliber artillery pieces, a pair of tanks or self-propelled guns, mortars, engineers and flamethrower. Painstakingly prepared for the impending surgery Baltic Fleet. By rail to the river Pregel armored boats were delivered. Submarines and torpedo boats had to isolate Konigsberg garrison, preventing its evacuation by sea. Engineer troops was entrusted to create passages for tanks, artillery and other equipment, defuse the streets of the town and build the crossing of the Pregel, and numerous other channels.

The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Koenigsberg, the German trenches
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Konigsberg, Friedrichsburg gate after the assault. On the front are visible in the barricades
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
The German machine-gun positions on the fortress wall in front of a water moat. In the background the tower of "Don". Breech gun MG-34 fighters disassembled for cleaning

Stage 5

Russian commanders issued a lesson from the bloody breakout band Mannerheim, as, of course, watch the Yankees, who all come fully converted to dust, before you start driving. Because the assault was preceded by a four Konigsberg destruction facilities opponent.

April 6, 1945, after 3 hours of artillery fire began storming the infantry and tanks. Heavy artillery concentrated on the forts located in the directions of attack. That morning, the enemy was issued more than 1,300 cars artillery shells. The main forces bypassed Russian forts party. They were engaged in infantry battalions supported by self-propelled guns and combat engineers, who used explosives. German troops had stubborn resistance. In a counterattack went German 5th Panzer Division, with the support of individual infantry and anti-tank connections. The weather conditions were not given the ability to take part in the battle on the day of aviation, though the evening Russian troops broke through the front fortifications and reached the outskirts of Koenigsberg.

April 7th fled heavy fighting in the city itself. Russian assertiveness made their way to the center. These battles were some of the worst in the entire Russian majestically. The Germans were fighting not for Hitler, but in his native city, for loved ones.

Many homes were posters with slogans: "We will never capitulate!".

With the dawn of Russian aviation began intense action. Has undergone a massive air strikes city-Pilau port, where they were placed and military transport ships of the enemy. During the day Russian planes took off in 1658 tons of bombs. But the bloody fighting did not abate even with the coming of the night.

During the April 8 troops defenders Konigsberg were broken up into pieces and surrounded by, the relationship between them is absent. Beats Russian pilots have gained the greatest force, exceeding 2000 tons of bombs of various caliber.

April 9, German troops continued to the last effort to delay the center and east of the town.

"The city was on fire. Solid smoke. And it was still resistance. There are so many more of our dead, "- the words of the 1st of participants in the events.

In the evening, when it was captured by the Imperial Castle, Otto von Lasch signed the instrument of surrender. It was stupid, because the broken troops surrendered without orders. When German headquarters out of the bunker, all were stunned, because the majestic town was no more.

April 10 destroyed the last pockets of resistance, and the tower Der Don unfurled the banner of victory. In the prisoner was captured 93 thousand German soldiers and officers, about 40 thousand killed. In the hands of favorites got more than 2-thousand guns, 1,500 mortars and 128 aircraft. Dearly cost the storm Konigsberg and Russian troops. The losses amounted to about 60 thousand people were killed and wounded. Great damage Russian army suffered in the technique.

That's it for the day or three assault fell of strongest fortress in Germany. But the Germans were experienced, battle-hardened officers, energetic and obedient soldiers. But in a fierce duel in the ruins of the city, when you do not take orders from anyone, when every man for himself the owner, German Russian fighter is very inferior. And it's in almost everything is dependent on our national character. The Germans were not able to defeat us in Stalingrad, although the Volga was 100 meters. They were not able to defend the long any of your castle or a big city. Danzig, Poznan, Kohlberg — proof. This town fell in the fierce but little fighting.

As a result of the operation was to break the back resistance of the Germans in East Prussia. Samland group was defeated on April 25. Hitler was furious. After Königsberg was the beloved city of Frederick majestically in front of which the Führer was in awe and worshiped.

When the operation took place in Moscow superb fireworks. All participants were awarded the medal fight "for the capture of Koenigsberg", 98 military units have gained the title of "Königsberg", and 216 soldiers were awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Konigsberg, a barricade on the street
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Russian soldiers pass through a German town on the outskirts of Konigsberg
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Russian infantry supported by SPG SU-76 stormed the German positions near Konigsberg
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Russian soldiers conduct house-to-house fighting on the outskirts of Koenigsberg. 3rd Belorussian Front
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Russian ISU-152 self-propelled guns, "St. John's" on the street taken Koenigsberg. Right in the column — Russian self-propelled guns SU-76
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Padded in Konigsberg German assault gun StuG III. On the frontal plane killed a German soldier
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
After a battle in Koenigsberg. Broken German technology, the dead horse
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
German soldiers and officers taken prisoner during the storming of Koenigsberg
The fall of the bastion of the German spirit
Russian troops participating storming of Koenigsberg — before heading home

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