The operation to capture the almost-impregnable fortress city of Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) in military history is usually referred to exclusively with the application of epithets: “brilliant”, “lightning-fast”, and even “unbelievable”. This battle, which took place 75 years ago, is indeed one of the most glorious pages of the Great Patriotic War. And also - an excellent proof of the absolute delirium of the main fabrications of those who are trying, rewriting history, to desecrate the memory of the Victory.
Well, let's recall some moments of this heroic event - both known and not so. Well, and as usual, along the way we’ll dispel a couple of false myths about the war, both old and modern.
“German Stalingrad”, “German Sevastopol” ... German shame!
It should be noted that the Nazis who threatened to set up a "blood bath" in Koenigsberg who dared to invade the "sacred land of the Reich" and approach the "hordes of Bolshevik barbarians" to the capital of East Prussia, as well as claiming that these barbarians would "break their teeth" in attempts to take possession of " the stronghold of the German spirit, "nevertheless had certain grounds for boasting. After all, the defense of this city was not created for months, not years, not even decades - for centuries! It is, first of all, about a colossal ensemble of fortifications located both in the city itself and outside it. The first line of fortifications met the storming in 6-8 kilometers from the city limits. In itself, it included, in addition to trench systems, wire fences, anti-tank ditches and minefields quite familiar to our fighters, a dozen and a half forts built at the end of the 203th century. "Junk!" - someone can say, and will make a huge mistake. In order to get an idea of what these defense lines were, it’s enough to recall that guns from 305 to 12 millimeters were thrown at them to suppress and destroy our command! Basically, these were real "monsters" moving exclusively on rails. So - some forts survived to destruction (partial, but not complete) almost two hundred hits from these monstrous guns. Naturally, in each of the forts there were a couple of hundreds of people in the garrison who were ready to meet attackers with fire from 15-XNUMX artillery pieces. But it was, as already mentioned above, only the first frontier. The second was the outskirts of the city, turned into an impenetrable barrier of barricades, the same minefields and firing points of varying degrees of armament. In fact, each of the German stone solidly and for centuries built stone buildings located on this perimeter, was a stronghold for a long defense. Not forts, of course, but you won’t take them on the fly.
The third protective ring of Koenigsberg, which was considered to be precisely impregnable, was a fortification system located in the city center, supported by 9 ravelins, bastions and real fortress towers. All this was built in general in the knightly era - in the XVII century. But do not think that the ancient walls could withstand only the onslaught of rams and ballista with catapults. Two centuries later, all this medieval fortification was modernized in accordance with the times of gunpowder and siege weapons. Naturally, in the 30s and 40s they were armed in accordance with the requirements of modern warfare - not boilers with boiling tar and arrows. The Konigsberg garrison, commanded by the infantry general Otto von Lyash, who fought since 1939, totaled 130 bayonets. Yes, “second-class fighters” like the local police and Volkssturm were also included in this number, but the core of the group was more than combat-ready troops, armed and equipped at the highest level — there were more than enough arsenals, warehouses and military factories in Koenigsberg. That is why the command of the Wehrmacht boastfully declared that, having sunk into the "main stronghold of East Prussia", the Russians would receive either a new Stalingrad (though mentioning this city in Germany was considered extremely bad form - something like talking about a rope in yourself you know whose house ), or something worse. The funny thing is that as an example for themselves, the Fritzes chose ... the heroic defense of Sevastopol, which had been kept under their blows for 250 days! At the same time, they rested on the similarities - also the base of the Navy, also a city with centuries of history, ancient bastions ... To this, the commander of the assaulting city of the 3rd Belorussian Front, Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky, who replaced Ivan Chernyakhovsky, who died at the military post, calmly replied: “ Yes, we defended Sevastopol for 250 days! But then they took it for four ... ”Marshall knew what he was saying: in Koenigsberg the“ unbending German spirit ”was enough for just four days.
“Thank you” to our “allies” and Dr. Goebbels
At the same time, there’s nothing to think that as soon as our troops approached the outer fortification strip, the whole “Aryan army” began to drop their weapons and together lift up their paws. Not at all! You should never belittle the enemy, even if defeated - thereby we belittle the glory of our ancestral heroes. Fritz fought, we must give them their due, desperately. And just for the fact that until the last minutes neither von Lyash nor the garrison headed by him wanted to think about surrender, it’s worth to thank those who “cheated” the Germans to the point of hatred and confidence that not only themselves, but and their families in the event of the surrender of the city will inevitably die. First of all, the Allies tried here, by their foot and the fence. Knowing full well that Koenigsberg should leave for the USSR as a result of the war (this was decided at the Tehran Conference, despite the indignant squealing of greedy it is unclear for what merits the whole East Prussia Poles can take), the English Lancaster squadrons literally erased in the summer of 1944 city from the face of the earth. Two massive bombardments were carried out - on the night of August 27 and August 30, 1944. At the same time, especially during the second raid, the British "aces" attacked exclusively the residential areas of the city, and even used incendiary napalm bombs for the first time in history. As a result, more than 4 thousand civilians were killed, and another 200 thousand were left without a roof over their heads - after all, English bombs destroyed more than 40% of Koenigsberg's residential buildings. It is especially useful to remember this for those who are trying today to assert that "the Russians destroyed the city with their barbaric assault." One way or another, but such actions only strengthened the determination of the Wehrmacht soldiers to stand to the last. There was another moment, which was already purely propagandistic in nature. It's about hysteria about the "Bolshevik atrocities in East Prussia", with a huge scale swollen infamous office of Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Specifically - about the tragedy of the village of Nemmersdorf.
They just love to remember this episode in the West, especially today. And they really don’t like talking with us. During the Soviet Union, this topic was almost a taboo. But in vain - such fakes just need to be "sorted by the bones", exposing with all care. The essence of the story is that the German village of Nemmersdorf, which was one of the first settlements in East Prussia, taken in battle by our troops, passed from hand to hand several times. The fights for her were fierce. And so, after the temporary abandonment of the Red Army, it suddenly "revealed the evidence of the monstrous atrocities of the Bolsheviks." A whole flock of very high-ranking Nazis, led by Goebbels himself, somehow painfully quickly rushed into place - the Genosse from the NSDAP, representatives of the SS, General Staff and the hell knows who else. Representatives of the "free German press" were also brought in. It was about “dozens of raped women,” whose bodies were found “crucified on carts and crosses, nailed to the doors of houses and gates,” as well as many other horrors and nightmares, from which the exorbitant bloodyness became ill. This topic was immediately picked up and circulated - “documentaries” (as it turned out from the first to the last frame were staged), spun across Germany in a matter of days, and hundreds of thousands of special issues of newspapers and leaflets rehashing the editorial “Völkischer Beobachter” - “ The fury of Soviet beasts ”were sent to the army for agitation. The most remarkable thing is that even an “international commission of inquiry” was created, headed by ... Estonian Nazi Halmara Mäe. Well, comments are redundant here.
The British, for what we are not friends, declared the whole story a fake right in 1945. Many years later, the world saw a whole series of documentary works - from articles to books written not just by Germans, but by direct participants in those events. The conclusion in all cases is unambiguous: the tragedy of Nemmelsdorf is not just a lie from the first to the last word (there weren’t any "raped Germans" in reality!), But a carefully planned provocation. The village’s defense was intentionally weakened, the most combat-ready units (including artillery) were allotted, the only bridge was not blown up. Our fighters were simply lured to this settlement in order to be forced to leave there in a couple of days, and then with lightning speed “to find traces of the crimes of the Russians” - just before our attack. Bernhard Fish, Helmut Hoffmann - those who wish can easily get acquainted with the true recollections of these witnesses, who wore a Nazi uniform in 1945, but who honestly admit that all the charges heaped up by the Goebbels propaganda machine are insolent lies. Victims among the civilian population could well have been - surprisingly, if they had not been, despite the fact that for some days the village was mercilessly ironed by German artillery and aircraft. There were only five air raids! But Gauleiter, one of the most bloody criminals of the Third Reich, Erich Koch, strictly forbade her to evacuate civilians from East Prussia. Attempts by German burghers and peasants to go to the West were not just thwarted, but equated to “sabotage and defeatism.” For this they could easily shoot. By the way, the very same Koch did not allow many residents of Koenigsberg to evacuate - because of his bad obstinacy, Kriegsmarina later had to organize Operation Hannibal to transport Germans from East Prussia by sea. The rest tried to get to Berlin on foot. Not all have reached ...
Steel soldiers of the Red Army
The operation to capture Koenigsberg is, among other things, also a crushing blow to the delusional theories of "overwhelming corpses." Yes, the Nazis were bombarded ... But not with the bodies of our soldiers, but with an absolutely unimaginable number of artillery shells that fell on their heads for three days - from April 2 to 5! Due to difficult weather conditions, aviation was far from immediately able to connect to the "fun", but also contributed. On April 6 they added “for fidelity” including “Katyushami” - and the assault began. Looking ahead, I’ll say - in this colossal in scale and fierce battle, our troops lost 3700 killed! Despite the fact that the Nazis suffered losses of 42 thousand people killed and more than 90 thousand - prisoners. Fantasy? No, military skill worthy of the greatest Suvorov and his "miracle heroes." War is "not by numbers, but by skill." It’s stupid to shout at forts and firing points, “drive battalions to slaughter,” as some of our “historians” write, no one thought. To take the city ahead of time, special assault groups were formed and prepared, initially “sharpened” precisely to knock out the Fritz from the most seemingly impregnable shelters. And also - to smoke. In the most + literal sense of the word - in the battle formations of the stormtroopers, seven separate flamethrower battalions marched on Koenigsberg, 7 companies that had backpack flamethrowers in service, and one high-explosive. We have not forgotten anything - neither the Brest Fortress, nor the Kiev fortified area, nor Stalingrad, whose defenders were burned by the Germans. We studied very well - and now we were going to pay back for the terrible science in full measure ... However, of course, there was no way to take the fire-throwers alone buried in concrete and steel on the ears of the Nazis. The main backbone of the assault groups and detachments consisted of those who could justifiably be called the "super-soldiers" of the Red Army.
First of all, they did not select anyhow anybody, but old-timers, moreover, not just having experience of military operations, but having passed the same Stalingrad, who had learned the terrible "ABCs" of street battles, fights for every house, every room and corridor. At the same time, all future attack aircraft were still trained in a new way, creating special training grounds for this or using settlements abandoned by the Germans. Particular attention was paid to such purely special forces as hand-to-hand combat, combat using any improvised items, primarily sapper blades, throwing knives, offhand shooting at extremely short distances. The commanders, who again had specific combat experience, compiled instructions on how to “clean up” the attacked objects — to “crush” with grenades, and then to finish everything that moves ... We can judge how this tactic was subsequently applied in practice from the award sheet to the Red Army 43rd Army of Alexei Bordunov. This warrior was the first to burst into the Königsberg district of Juditten, turning a machine gun under his arm by “extinguishing” it from an anti-tank rifle, and then walking around. In the very first house that he managed to break into, he single-handedly destroyed 12 Nazis - he threw grenades, and cut the undeveloped ones with a knife. Judging by this episode, with the training of the assault groups, everything was more than in order. Its role in the fact that the number of killed Red Army fighters was unrealistically small was played by the fact that many of them went into battle, reliably protected by bibs CH-42 with a thickness of 2 millimeters, weighing 3,5 kilograms, from specially silicon-manganese-nickel steel. Even the German Mauser carbines, which had more than solid lethal force, were not always stitching this armor, and even the pistol bullets from the MP bounced off them like peas from the wall. According to the memoirs of the war veterans, the demoralizing effect of the “steel Russians” on the Fritz who had stuck up from their invulnerability was simply amazing.
On April 9, 1945, Otto von Lyash, who hastily rejected the offer to surrender the day before, clearly accepted the last ultimatum, after which no one would talk to him and the remnants of his troops. At this point, German women had already begun to pounce on Wehrmacht soldiers, trying to pluck rifles from them shouting: “Surrender! Enough of this nightmare! ” For surrender, Lyash was sentenced to death in absentia by Hitler, but it was somehow violet for him: a Soviet court for war crimes sent him 25 years in camps, not putting him on the wall just in view of the almost voluntary surrender of Koenigsberg. The general served only 10, returned to Germany and began to write all sorts of nasty things about the USSR and the Red Army. Probably in vain they had mercy ... Koenigsberg is the only city that is not a capital, for the capture of which a separate award was established - a medal. In total, 760 thousand people were awarded with it. According to the results of the operation, 216 soldiers and commanders became Heroes of the Soviet Union. Eternal glory to them and our grateful memory!