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Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945, Richard Hargreaves

Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945, Richard Hargreaves


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Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945, Richard Hargreaves

Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945, Richard Hargreaves

In 1945 Breslau held out for longer than any other German city. The siege began on 13 February when the Soviets first encircled the city the city finally surrendered on 6 May, four days after the fall of Berlin. Hargreaves does an excellent job of putting the siege in its wider context. The city isn't encircled until page 116, and the siege takes up the next hundred pages or so. We start with a brief history of Breslau, with more detail as we approach the Nazi years. This is followed by an account of the campaign that brought the Red Army to the Oder, the battles that were fought around Breslau and the experiences of the city's inhabitants and the Soviet noose tightened around them. This included a ghastly 'death march' which took place during a chaotic attempt to evacuate the city's women and children.

The siege itself is covered in great detail, with eyewitness accounts from the civilian inhabitants, the German defenders (from experienced troops to newly recruited novices) and the Red Army attackers. Both sides suffered during the fighting, but life within 'Fortress Breslau' was particularly terrible, and the first-hand accounts of civilian life and the experiences of the city's defenders make this very clear. Their situation was made worse by a realisation their suffering was almost certainly in vain with only a few of the more dedicated Nazis believing that the war could still be won.

The suffering continued after the fighting was over. Breslau suffered a similar sack to other German cities taken by the Red Army, but even after this phase ended the suffering continued. Stalin had decided to move Poland to the west, keeping those parts of eastern Poland he gained as an ally of Nazi Germany and giving the new Poland parts of eastern Germany. German Breslau was to become Polish Wroclaw. The German civilian population was deported in terrible conditions, and were replaced with a new Polish population many of whom had been deported from their own homes further east. The new Polish city was then neglected for a decade after the war, and life only began to improve in the late 1950s.

This is a superb study of a bitter siege, giving a very clear image of the dreadful nature of the war on the Eastern Front and the cost suffered by the civilian population as the war flowed around them.

Chapters
1 - The Happy Fusion
2 - The Bridgehead
3 - God Has Washed His Hands of this World
4 - The Reckoning Has Begun
5 - In Defiance of Death and the Devil
6 - The Breslau Method
7 - The Old Breslau Is No More
8 - Any Further Sacrifice Is a Crime
9 - The Land of the Dead
10 - Quiet Flows the Oder

Author: Richard Hargreaves
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 268
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011



Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945, Richard Hargreaves - History

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&rsquos 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, 50.00,000 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&rsquos Final Fortress.


Review: Hitler's Final Fortress Breslau 1945 by R Hargreaves

Post by Dutto1 » 03 Dec 2012, 13:45

This is Richard Hargreaves's third book.His first book was The Germans in Normandy which was very good,the second was Blitzkr ie g Unleashed which covered the Polish Campaign in September 1939,in which there is very litte available in English.

The latest book Hitler's Final Fortress Breslau 1945,is another gem of a book in which very little information is available in English,until now.The author has used many German sources most notably Horst Gleiss's 10 volume Breslauer Apokalypse 1945 to tell the story of the terrible siege that occured January 1945- May 1945,and ended four days after the surrender of Berlin.The book is crammed with first-hand accounts from civillans to German soldiers and Russain soldiers.The human aspect of the book is enthralling and at times horrific and provides the reader with an excellent insight into the horror of war.At the end of the book the fate of the many carachters is discussed on how they made their way in the post-war world.The book has an brilliant biblography at the back and is backed up by good photos and maps.

The book is an 5 star book based on content and presentation and excellent research, probably my best book of 2012


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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 cityA*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 armoured 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, 25,000 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 HitlerA*s Final Fortress.
show more


A dramatic account of how the Nazis were driven out of Breslau, drawing on the words of those who witnessed it.

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 their 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, tens of thousands of 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 postwar 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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Об авторе

Dr Richard Hargreaves was educated as an engineer and conducted research in materials science before entering the world of venture capital with the 3i, as it now called. After ten years of making investments in unquoted companies, he left to start Baronsmead plc which he developed over 13 years until its sale in 1995. During this period Richard was involved in the development of the venture capital industry through the BVCA (the leading industry body and public policy advocate for the private equity and venture capital industry in the UK), where he became chairman. After its sale, he managed Baronsmead for two years before he started Classic Fund Management Ltd. He sold that company in 2004 and co-founded Endeavour Ventures Ltd, which invests in young technology companies for its client base of high net worth individuals. He retired from Endeavour in 2018 to focus on being a professional business angel investing only in B2B software driven opportunities. He has nearly 50 years experience investing in young companies and helping them grow. He is an experienced non-executive director and professional business angel with significant understanding of the US market.


A dramatic account of how the Nazis were driven out of Breslau, drawing on the words of those who witnessed it.

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 their 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, tens of thousands of 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 postwar Poland.

Based on official documents, newspapers, letters, diaries, and personal testimonies, this is the bitter story of Hitler’s final fortress.


Watch the video: Αναζητώντας τον Χίτλερ, στο History! (June 2022).


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