HITLER’S FINAL FORTRESS – BRESLAU 1945

Richard Hargreaves

In January 1945, the Red Army unleashed its long-awaited thrust into Germany with terrible fury. One by one the provinces and great cities of the German East were captured by the Soviet troops. Breslau, capital of Silesia, a city of 600,000 people stood firm and was declared a fortress by Hitler.A bitter struggle raged as the Red Army encircled Breslau, then tried to pummel it into submission while the city’s Nazi leadership used brutal methods to keep the scratch German troops fighting and maintain order. Aided by supplies flown in nightly and building improvised weapons from torpedoes mounted on trolleys to an armored train, the men of Fortress Breslau held out against superior Soviet forces for three months. The price was fearful. By the time Breslau surrendered on May 6, 1945, four days after Berlin had fallen, 50,000 soldiers and civilians were dead, the city a wasteland. Breslau was pillaged, its women raped and every German inhabitant driven out of the city which became Wroclaw in post-war Poland. Based on official documents, newspapers, letters, diaries and personal testimonies, this is the bitter story of Hitler’s Final Fortress.

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