The Soviet soldiers-liberators 75 years ago embarked on the Austrian land

Hitler kaput

1.5 years before the Second world war, Hitler had called the Anschluss (German – “Union” or “merger”). Formally this was a voluntary occurrence, but in fact, the annexation of Austria.

Germany behaved arrogantly. From the Austrian army issued an ultimatum demanding not to provide counter-invasion. Austrian generals humbly saluted.

the Anschluss was a lot purely pragmatic aspects. And one psychological: in his native Austria, the young Hitler was a nobody. In Vienna wandering hungry and angry unclaimed teenage artist. And in the spring of 1938 in Austria pompously entered the 48-year-old Hitler-triumfator.

Photo: photo ITAR-TASS “RG” exposed the damaging myths about the Second world war

In the vein first came Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler. Adolf Hitler a little late: he amused personal psychonomics. Namely: traveled by car to the places of his childhood and adolescence. Visited the town of Braunau where he was born. Moved to Linz, where he spent his youth and where his parents are buried. The Austrians took the Fuhrer enthusiastically. In the centre of Linz’s main square was instantly renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz.

In mid-March, the führer finally reached Vienna, where he spoke to a huge crowd from the balcony of the historic residence of the Habsburgs – Hofburg Palace. As always, hysteria, sputtered. But the crowd was in ecstasy. For which Austria had to pay a high price. 1.2 million Austrians fought in Hitler’s side. The SS immigrants from Austria has been 14%, although the share of Austrians in the population of “greater Germany” 8%. And in the spring of 1945, Hitler ordered the Austrians to fight to the death.

Crossed the line

Today, if you try to find some information on the Internet about the liberation of Austria, you will find that Sovetskth command “did not spare the soldiers in the storming of Vienna”. To save her architecture, the decision was made not to use heavy artillery and aviation. The result: we are in the storming of Vienna lost 38 thousand soldiers.

And now – the real story. Imagine: Vienna bombed! We and the allies. But only our air force did in the beginning of the war until enough range bombers PE-8. But the Anglo-American squadron ironed Austria and beyond. The loss of the Americans amounted to 5972 people, including 1846 victims. Of them 5413 – a pilots. But in the U.S. no one blames the generals that they took care of the pilots.

in February and March 1945 to Vienna with American and British aircraft dropped 80 tons of bombs destroyed more than 12 thousand buildings.

Yes, but what was dropped at Vienna with Soviet aircraft? A million leaflets! Where black and white was said: “the Red army entered Austria not to seize Austrian territory, and to liberate Austria from German dependence.”

Many of the crowns we heard. And believe. 130 thousand soldiers, mostly Austrian, surrendered to the red Army in captivity.

I’m to the dilemma that is not always best to air-drop bombs. Sometimes you can and leaflets. If it saves the lives of his soldiers.

Soviet pilots in Vienna. Left – Alexander Koldunov, the future Marshal. Photo: RGAKFD ARCHITECT. No 0-82579Помнит Vienna

– I was in Vienna before the war – says Vladimir M. Zakharov. When I was 7 years old, in the spring of 1945 came to the father with the mother and the chauffeur.

the Father of Vladimir Matveevich held the position of chief of staff of the 2nd Ukrainian front (in the story of Matvei Zakharov will go down as a hero of the Soviet Union, Marshal of the Soviet Union (1959) and one of the founding fathers of the Main intelligence Directorate of the General staff. – Approx. ed). Children’s memory is fragmented. Volodya remembered the badly damaged survivors Budapest and Vienna. POByval he then liberated Prague, but at the insistence of his father from Czechoslovakia had to leave. In Prague intensified aspiring Nazis and Vlasov. In contrast, in the liberated Vienna in the spring of 1945 was safe.

– With the German language we have, of course, was the problem, – continues the story Vladimir Zakharov. – Explained as I could, including gestures. Local were not afraid of us, people willing to engage in communication. Always smiling.

Photo: GETTYIMAGES December 5, 1941, the Red army launched a counteroffensive near Moscow

Vladimir Zakharov again came to Austria. The country has varied, but has remained a tradition: the Soviet people (and later: the Russians), the Austrians, remembering the war, were treated well.

We did in 1945, they were promised not only life and liberty. Historical fact: on 9 April, in the midst of the battle for Vienna, the Soviet government announced that the USSR does not claim any change in the social system of Austria.

in fact, war propaganda – a matter thin. The fate of Austria was decided, of course, not officers of the departments of special propaganda. It was decided personally by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. It is the policy. But whatever it was, we kept his word: Austria got independence, we did not change its socio-economic system.

never lost the historical memory of the Austrians we are still grateful.

Our soldiers at the grave of Johann Strauss at the Central cemetery of Vienna. Photo: RGAKFD ARCHITECT. No 0-256471КонкретноВ the shadow of the other battles

According to the chief of the scientific Department of the Russian military historical society of Yuri Nikiforov, the Vienna offensive of the red army – one of the most outstanding and brilliant operations in 1945, which of netblogJongno is located in the shadow of more famous battles.


– In the battle of Vienna, the Nazis massively used night-vision equipment.

In 1945, we have identified populations of liberated Vienna 45 thousand tons, 4 thousand tons of meat, 1.8 tons of salt, 2,7 thousand tons of sugar and 225 tons of coffee.

– In the town of Braunau-am-Inn has preserved the house where Hitler was born. In 2017, the Austrian government bought it for 310 thousand euros, to prevent the pilgrimage of neo-Nazis.