Because the main defensive forces of the German Army were close together, they were easily targeted for Artillery Strikes.
German Intelligence gathered information that Soviet forces had 3 times more fire power…. The Soviets actually had 5 times the firepower of the Germans.</li></li></ul><li>Soviets on the Offensive<br />The Soviets Began their Offensive On the Vistula River<br />The Vistula is the biggest river in Poland<br />First Battle took place at 04:35 on January 12, 1945<br />Soviets 1stUkrainian front attacked 48th Panzer Corps<br />Attacked from Baranow Bridgehead with Heavy Artillery Barrages followed by infantry attack.<br />At 10:00 second wave of Artillery strikes began and four hours later another infantry attack began, overwhelming the Germans and created many gaps.<br />Soviets Pressed forward quickly because of boosted morale and overwhelming numbers.<br />Germans did not give up and even after losing continuously, they drafted more and more soldiers.<br />
Hitler Retaliates (sort of)<br /><ul><li>Hitler finally intervenes on January 15 1945.
Hitler Orders PanzerkorpsGrossdeutschland to counter attack from East Prussia towards 4th Panzer Army. (Against the advice of General Heinz Guderian).
The Counter attack is quickly met by the 1st Belorussian Front and is pushed back to the Southwest.</li></li></ul><li>Nazis Retreat<br /><ul><li>On the Evening of January 16th German Troops Evacuated Kielce.
On January 17th Warsaw(Capital of Poland) was captured by Soviets.
Hitler was furious. He ordered the stationed forces there to fight till the very last man dies.
Head of the Operations Branch of the German Army High Command, Colonel Bogislaw von Bonin, was arrested
General Smilo von Luttwitz and General Theodor Busse are fired.</li></li></ul><li>Soviets Conquer<br /><ul><li>On January 17th Konev is ordered to capture the industrial region of Upper Silesia
By January 18th the Soviet troops reached Lodz (3rd biggest city in Poland) They captured it the next day.
Hitler upset with the failure of Colonel General Josef Harpe and replaces him with Colonel General Ferdinand Shorner.</li></li></ul><li>Soviets Begin to Reach Oder and Urban Warfare Begins <br />On January 22nd Soviet troops begin to reach the Oder River a several locations.<br />Several bridgeheads are established in preparation for upcoming battles.<br />On January 25th Posen, Germany (Present day Poznan, Poland) becomes the target of brutal street fighting. <br />This occurs as a result of the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army and 8th Guards Army attack<br />
Germans Retreat out of Poland and Auschwitz Concentration Camp is Captured<br /><ul><li>January 25th: General Schulz of German 17th Army requests for his remaining 100,000 troops to withdraw from Katowice, Poland.
His pleas are authorized by Shorner the second time he begs for the evascuation.
The Evacuation is completed the night of January 27.
January 27th: Soviet troops reached the Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Germany as they further their advance.</li></li></ul><li>Final Captures and Offensive is Complete<br /><ul><li>January 31st: Soviet troops capture Kienitz, Germany on the West bank of the Oder River.
Allowed Ukrainian First established two bridgeheads.
February 1st: Kustrin, Germany is surrounded by Soviets and is declared a Fortress City.
February 2nd: First Belorussian Front reaches Oder River near Frankfurt, Germany.
Soviet Stavka(Military Headquarters) in Moscow declare the Vistula-Oder Offensive Complete </li></li></ul><li>The Aftermath<br />Soviets suffered 44,000 deaths and 150,000 troops wounded.<br />150,000 Nazi’s were killed and 70,000 were captured<br />When the Stavka announced the operation as complete there were conflicting ideas.<br />Zhukov believed that it was for the best that the forces should secure East Prussia and Pomerania because if they continued towards Berlin they would be outflanked in the North.<br />Chuikov argued that the forces were only 70 kilometers (40 miles) to the west and Berlin’s defenses were weak at this point.<br />
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