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 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’s Final Fortress.
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Richard Hargreaves is a journalist. His previously published books include The Germans in Normandy and Blitzkrieg Unleashed. He lives at Gosport near Portsmouth. "I've been a journalist since 1994, specialising in naval affairs for the past decade, travelling the globe courtesy of the Royal Navy and reporting on the 2003 invasion of Iraq aboard HMS Ark Royal. The day job funds my passion: writing German history. I've been researching the Second and Third Reichs for the past 20 years, amassing a large library (and an even larger debt...) and delving into the archives of the world. Although I'm labelled as a 'military historian', the emphasis in all my work is on the human element - I'm more interested in the fates of individuals than the movements of regiments, divisions and armies." --Richard HargreavesReview:
Had I been nominating a Second World War book as my Editor's choice this month then this would have been it. This full-length account is the story of the notorious siege of Breslau. Based on official documents, newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and scores of personal testimonials, this is the siege told by the men and women who witnessed it first-hand. - Great War Magazine
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