East Pomeranian Offensive, 1945: Destruction of German Forces in Pomerania and West Prussia

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Author: IAN BAXTER

Category: Humanities

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Casemate

ISBN: 9781636243887

RRP: $62.99

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In early 1945, the Red Army marched into East Prussia. Having advanced across Poland, relentlessly pushing back German forces, the Red Army built up forces along the Oder River, preparing for the final push towards Berlin. But before that battle could take place, it was necessary to clear and destroy German forces in Pomerania and West Prussia. In February 1945, the 2nd Byelorussian Front was advanced west north of the Vistula River toward Pomerania and the major port city of Danzig, with the primary aim of protecting the right flank of Zhukov’s 1st Byelorussian Front, which was pushing towards Berlin. The opening of the offensive saw a series of heavy attacks east of Neustettin against the towns of Kontiz and Koslin. The fighting was bitter, resulting in the entire left wing of the 3rd Panzer Army being cut off. Forward Soviet tank units reached the Baltic, and the German forces in Pomerania became trapped in a series of encirclements. Russian troops then pushed on to Danzig-strategic location and the last German stronghold in the region-reaching it in early March and putting it under siege. A third stage was the operation to take the Arnswalde and Kolberg areas. Kolberg was one of the key German positions in the Pomeranian wall, the vital link between Pomerania and Prussia. The German high command had planned to use the port facilities for the logistical supply of nearby German forces, and hoped that the presence of this stronghold would lure Soviet forces away from the main thrust toward Berlin. The ensuing battle was brutal, with Soviet troops eventually seizing Kolberg. Finally, spearheads of the 1st Byelorussian Front advanced against the German Eleventh SS Panzer Army, which was being assembled in Pomerania. What followed was a bitter and bloody battle for the town of Altdamm. The offensive successfully cleared the remnants of German forces northeast of Berlin, allowing Zhukov’s forces to finally launch the battle of Berlin from the Seelow Heights on the Oder on April 16, 1945. AUTHOR: Ian Baxter is a military historian who specialises in German twentieth-century military history. He has written more than fifty books. He has also reviewed numerous military studies for publication, supplied thousands of photographs and important documents to various publishers and film production companies worldwide, and lectures to various schools, colleges and universities throughout the United Kingdom and Southern Ireland.

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