the duration of the operation amounted to 31 days. The width of the front of the fighting – 230 km. the depth of the advancing Soviet troops – 150-250 km, and the Average daily rate of advance – 5-8 km In operation from both sides participated more than 1 million 150 thousand people, about 18 thousand guns and mortars, more than 2 thousand tanks and self-propelled artillery installations, about 1,700 aircraft.
the defense Ministry has declassified documents about the release of 75 years ago Bratislava
Recall that Hitler ordered the invasion of the German army into Austria on 12 March 1938. It was the “Anschluss”, the incorporation of Austria into Germany. The protest against this violent act expressed in fact, only the Soviet Union, leading Western powers chose to remain silent. In the end, may 24, 1938, the country was divided into seven districts (Gau), and soon the name of Austria have disappeared from the political map of the world: it was replaced by Ostmark, 1942 – Alpine and Danube districts. In 1939, the province established special courts for killings of anti-fascists. Austria’s economy has become part of the economy of the Reich. Most Austrian companies passed into the hands of the Germans. After the outbreak of the Second World war in the ranks of the Wehrmacht called for more than half a million Austrians.
Directly in front of the Soviet operation on 6 March 1945, the Germans launched their last during the war, the offensive near lake Balaton forces of the 6th SS Panzer army, 6th field army and 2nd Panzer army.
the German command planned to restore the front line along the river Danube. However, the German attack was firmly stopped by the Soviet troops, the German divisions suffered heavy losses, losing much of its combat capability, which changed the correlation of forces in favor of Cuthe Ura Army.
the German leadership gave the defense the Vienna direction of great importance. The Germans were hoping to keep the red Army in the mountain-woody area on the border of Hungary and Austria, winning time for a political solution. The Wehrmacht had three main defensive zone and some intermediate borders. A large part of the settlements were prepared for circular defense. Numerous water boundaries – the Danube, the Hron, Nitra, váh, Morava, Drava, Rawa, Pink, Leith, Mürz and Mur, were serious obstacles. It is worth Recalling that on 6 April 1945, Hitler said that the oil field in the area of Vienna is of crucial importance for the further conduct of the war. The Nazis promised him to preserve the Austrian capital under the control of the Wehrmacht.
the operation Began on 16 March 1945 with the transition to the offensive shock troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front, for the enemy appeared suddenly. Breaking through the defense to the North of Székesfehérvár, troops of the 9th and 4th guards armies began to move into Western and South-Western directions. March 29, South of lake Balaton went on the offensive, troops of the left wing of the 3rd Ukrainian front. The enemy, using numerous defiles, narrow mountain passages, rivers, offered stubborn resistance to the advancing Soviet troops. However, the enemy’s defense was broken through on all depth.
the Fighting on the approaches to Vienna and in the city took place from 5 to 13 April and was fierce.
Defending Vienna group consisted of 9 divisions, 8 of which were armored, including such elite units as the 2nd SS Panzer division “das Reich”, 3rd SS Panzer division “Totenkopf” and 232-Panzer division “Tatra”. Also on the defensive was connected to a teaching unit of the Volkssturm and police. Previously, almost all the male population of Vienna in the age from 16 to 60, were rounded up in squads of Volkssturm and armed with bazookas.
the Whole city was blocked by barricades and mined the rubble, mining alsoe were all the bridges over the Danube and the Danube canal. In the dilapidated brick and stone buildings, was a carefully camouflaged ambush self-propelled artillery and heavy tanks. Preparing vein for the defense, the Germans least thought about what will be destroyed a beautiful city, destroyed the world-famous monuments.
on the night of 11 April, we began crossing the Danube canal by Soviet troops. Turned last, the final battle for Vienna. Heroic efforts were planted tactical landing of the Danube military flotilla for the capture of the strategically important terminal in Vienna – the Imperial bridge. The paratroopers quickly seized the bridge and defused mines planted by the Germans. In the composition of troops was attended by the future people’s artist of the RSFSR Georgy Yumatov (played a major role in the film “Officers”).
Red army 75 years ago, stormed Konigsberg
“…We were armored. Were Romania, Hungary… It was already April, the end of the war – the Vienna operation. Come to the last bridge, all the bridges are blown up through a vein… the Fog… the aircraft “doesn’t work”… We buried her face in the bull, that is stood in the middle of the bridge on which at this time was retreating Panzer division SS “Dead head”. Both banks of the Germans. Approached, the sailors threw the “cat” and the rope got up there. Boys of nineteen or twenty years old, the oldest I think was twenty-five years. Snuck in there, took the grenade bundles and under tanks! Panic… the Turmoil… the radio Operator had the boat to tap out: “the Sailors seized the bridge.” And our people in the fog threw a landing and took the bridge completely. Thus, they were taken Vienna…”, – wrote in the memoirs Yumatov.
The 19-year-old Georgi Yumatov had multiple injuries in this battle, the body had a terrible Wframe – from shrapnel and bullets. Plus trauma to the skull. Yumatov awarded medals “For the capture of Budapest”, “For capture of Vienna” medal of Ushakov. This rare naval reward corresponds to land medal “For courage” and was intended to reward sailors, sergeants, soldiers and sergeants of the fleet.
the resistance of the enemy in Vienna was broken on the night of 12 on April 13, when engaged by the enemy quarters to the Imperial bridge broke airborne battalion of the 7th guards airborne division. The vanguard battalion discreetly under the bridge deck was moved to the other side of the Danube, destroying the defensive line of the enemy held the bridge with the approaching armored until the main forces of the Soviet troops.
on the Morning of April 13, a combined assault force under the command of Lieutenant Kochkina from the Maritime corps of the Danube fleet broke through the enemy defenses near the bridge, the breakthrough was introduced infantry regiment 80th guards rifle division. With large losses, this group was able to break through to the bridge and connect with the troops. 16 Soviet self-propelled guns at high speed, crossed a bridge and took a defensive perimeter on the West Bank, and the mechanized brigade bomb squad removed the explosives from the bridge (over 100 charges). This time the battle was crucial in the storming of Vienna. Lost unified management and interaction, part of Eastern group to the end of the day, were destroyed or surrendered, and the troops of the enemy from the Western areas of the city began a hasty retreat.
the Battle for the Imperial bridge from night 12 to morning of 13 April was one of the most significant in the Vienna offensive operation. In the ensuing heavy fighting, Soviet troops in early may 1945, liberated the Eastern part of Austria with a population of over 4.5 million people. The Western part of Austria was liberated by allied troops.
the Successful attack on Vienna direction and the exit of troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front in the Eastern regions of Austria have accelerated the liberation of Yugoslavia. In effect there is a German army group “E” hadcamping in isolation and was forced to start a quick retreat.
it is Worth noting that Soviet soldiers prevented the destruction of many valuable architectural works, prepared to explode or set on fire by the Nazis during the retreat, among them St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna city hall, and others. The red Army command tried to use on the streets of Vienna heavy guns for the sake of the civilians and architecture of the city.
Irrevocable losses of the red army during the Vienna strategic offensive operation has made more than 38 thousand soldiers and officers.Accurate data on the losses of the German and Hungarian troops suffered during the liberation of the Eastern part of Austria and the liberation of Vienna – no. It is known, however, that the Soviet troops defeated the 32 divisions of the enemy, captured more than 130 thousand enemy soldiers and officers, was captured and destroyed over 1.3 thousand tanks and assault guns, more than 2 thousand field guns.
End of the citadel: 75 years ago Soviet troops took Kenigsberg
By the way, during the battle for Vienna (9 April 1945) the Soviet government issued a statement which stated, that the USSR does not claim any part of Austrian territory and a change in the social system of Austria.
“In Vienna as a result of heavy fighting were required to put away a few thousand dead bodies, – told “RG” the Professor of the Military University of the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation, doctor of historical Sciences Yuri Rubtsov. The population was starving. Without the help of the red army command, the crowns would not have survived. Therefore, even before the complete liberation of the city was appointed military commandant – Lieutenant-General A. V. Grace, Vreede commander of the 6th guards rifle corps of the 3rd Ukrainian front. Were adopted effective measures to restore order in the city that hardly abated the shots, the protection of life and property of the Austrians, to provide the population with food.”
1 may 1945, according to the historian, the Soviet military administration has allocated resources from the army and 800 tons of flour, 7 thousand tons of grain, 1 thousand tons of beans, 300 tons of meat, 200 tons of sugar and butter, 1 thousand tons of sunflower seeds and other products.
“food and other assistance in large amounts continued to be in the future. Is to ask the Western politicians and media who claim that the Red army was carried to Europe the occupation, not liberation: “occupiers” behave this way? And it gave no surplus, and vital, knowing that his own country is in ruins, and its people live from hand to mouth, on the cards,” – said Scar.
On Poklonnaya hill in Moscow on Monday 13 April will be given a salute in honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Austrian capital.