Germany 3rd Reich, East Prussia, Königsberg 12th February 1945
The great Soviet Winteroffensive westwards brought the Red Army to the East Prussia Capital Königsberg. The town was declared as Festung Königsberg at the end of January. Now the Red Army closed in on the city, so it was cut off from the rest of the Reich. Otto Lasch, the Military Governor of Königsberg had the will to hold the city. Volksturm and some Wehrmacht divisions were left to do so.
With the Red Army closing in more and more, thousands of civilians were unable to flee. On the 19th/20th February 1945, the Wehrmacht was able to decamp the Soviet siege ring around Königsberg in the west to give the civilians the chance to get to Danzig for a sea evacuation by the Kriegsmarine. But after this small gleam of hope, there was the end of all.
Brutal street and house-to-house fighting led to high casualties on both sides. No civilian was preserved. Otto Lasch was sure of winning the Battle for Königsberg, on the 9th April 1945 the Fortress of Königsberg surrendered to the Red Army forces, when Lasch came out of his bunker the russian troops were already standing on the square beneath the bunker was. With the surrender of Königsberg the civilians now felt the deliverance by the Soviets: mass executations, German women and girls being raped and tortures were the daily life in Königsberg. Especially in the night one could hear screaming for help, contemporary witness report, they paid a high price to be free of fascism.
This map is based on the cold morning of the 12th February, where the Red Army encountered the Wehrmacht in the town park at the egde of the industrial area.
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