Battle of Konigsberg
The former East Prussian capital of Konigsberg had been a military stronghold for centuries. The city was a heavily fortified and held strategic and symbolic importance for both sides. Soviet forces arrived in the area in late January 1945. The RAF had destroyed most of the perimeter defenses in a bombing campaign in 1944, allowing the Red Army to surround Konigsberg and prepare an assault with little opposition.
One of Konigsberg’s medieval fortresses burns during an allied bomb campaign
The attack began on April 6th 1945. Heavy shelling allowed Soviet ground troops to overwhelm the German forces. The fighting lasted for two more days until April 9th, when The Red Army had taken control of most of the city and were constantly shelling what remained of The Nazi forces. On the morning of April 10, the Germans did surrender. Large portions of the city were destroyed in the air raids and later in battle, while the remainder of the city’s core was razed after the war. Capturing Konigsberg along with the rest of East Prussia provided The Red Army with a staging ground for the Berlin Offensive.
Fighting in Konigsberg’s ruins