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German Army Defense of Berlin, 1945
256 pages; 12 chapters, 4 appendices, and 1 battle report
Fortress Berlin is the story of the last major defensive effort of the Third
Reich in World War II. It is an e-book that teaches the reader how to
organize and fight from fortress cities in modern war. By 1945, Soviet
hordes had pushed the valiant German landser and panzer troops back into
Fortress Berlin. There they dug in with the valiant Volksturm, Hitler
Jugend and a large number of foreign volunteers for the Reich’s last
Wagnerian effort in the Battle of Berlin. Although the German people
knew that the situation was hopeless, they refused to surrender Fortress
Berlin. No Soviet-style secret police or blocking detachments forced them
to fight. Neither did they deploy hundreds of battalions of Soviet-style slave
soldiers known as penal battalions in the Battle of Berlin. Any other army
in the world would have surrendered when the last center of gravity of their
nation was doomed, but not the men in Fortress Berlin. They were heroes
who killed hundreds of thousands of fanatic communists in the streets of
Berlin and thousands of communist tanks, as they fought from the last ditch.
Many of them fought to their last drop of blood, and we who know Fortress
Berlin’s heroes spit in the face of the pathetically soft leftists who slander
them as anything less. If you want to share the pain and share the glory of
the Battle of Berlin, read Fortress Berlin.
"During the war, both the Red Army, and later the Germans, generally found it impossible to stem an offensive tide that
had breached the first operational echelon of the defense." Both armies came to that conclusion because they observed
how momentum built up by forces that converged on and flowed through the first echelon breakthrough areas. The Soviet
concluded that, "...an advance that achieves a momentum of 30-50 kilometers per day is virtually unstoppable, and that
the best way to deny that momentum is to conduct a firm positional defense of the tactical echelon."
The Russian Army believed that aktivnost (activity), a great deal of maneuver activity, must occur in a successful
defensive effort. "Maneuver lies at the root of defense...Troops that defend passively in modern warfare run the risk of
instant destruction, since the attacker’s reconnaissance means will rapidly detect their dispositions and his powerful
weapons will rapidly dispose of them. To avoid disaster, the defenders combat formation must be arranged in a variety of
patterns, avoiding stereotypes, and dispersed in width and depth."
According to the Red Army, the counter stroke or counterattack must be launched as the enemy offensive is halted or
begins to run out of steam. When the advancing enemy still has momentum and the correlation of forces does not favor
the counterattacking force, a counterattack must not be undertaken. The enemy should be hit while still grouped and
deployed for offensive action. If he has dug in, the battle will be risky. A Soviet analysis of "...eleven operational defensive
engagements from Stalingrad (1942) to Lake Balaton (1945) revealed that only two were successful, five were partially
successful and four were complete failures." "
Excerpt from Fortress Berlin
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