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"Fortress Berlin" Topic

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©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2021 3:58 p.m. PST

"By early April the situation for Army Group North, now renamed Army of East Prussia, deteriorated further. Its forces were now hemmed in around the Bay of Danzig from Samland and Konigsberg to the mouth of the Vistula. The remnants of two corps were given the task of holding positions north of Gotenhafen on the Hel peninsula. Hitler demanded that it be held and all costs. He instructed all forces in the Army of East Prussia and Army Group Kurland, to stay in the front, and then hold in order to draw the maximum enemy forces toward itself and hopefully away from the main Soviet drive on Berlin.

In the first two weeks of April as German forces tried to maintain their unstable position in the north the Red Army pulled together its forces into three powerful fronts with the main front being directed against Berlin. In the north the 2nd Belorussian Front was to cross the Oder north of Schwedt and strike toward Neustrelitz. Its thrust was intended to drive out the defending 3rd Panzer Army back against the coast and cover the advance toward Berlin on the north. German forces, however, were determined to try and hold their positions for as long as possible and prevent the Russians from taking possession of German territory. But in spite of dogged resistance in many places the Germans no longer had the man power, war plant or transportation to defend their positions effectively. The 3rd Panzer Army had 11 remaining divisions, whilst the 2nd Belorussian Front had 8 armies totalling 33 rifle divisions, 4 tank and mechanized corps, and 3 artillery divisions plus a mixture of artillery and rocket launcher brigades and regiments. The Germans were dwarfed by enemy superiority but continued to fight from one fixed position to another…"
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Part II here


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