Military Review

"Spring Awakening." The last blow of the Reich

"Spring Awakening." The last blow of the Reich

German captured by Soviet troops in Szekesfehervar Tanks and self-propelled guns abandoned due to lack of fuel. March 1945

The Agony of the Third Reich. 75 years ago, on March 6, 1945, the Wehrmacht offensive began near Balaton. The last major offensive by the German army in World War II. The last defensive operation of the Soviet troops.

The situation before the operation

The offensive of the Red Army on the southern wing of the Soviet-German front led to the liberation of Southeast and Central Europe from the Nazis and local Nazis. The offensive operations of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ukrainian fronts (2nd, 3rd and 4th UV) in Hungary and Czechoslovakia pulled significant Wehrmacht forces from the main Berlin direction. Also, the Soviet army went to the southern borders of Germany.

On February 17, 1945, after the capture of the Hungarian capital, the Soviet Headquarters ordered the troops of the 2nd and 3rd UVs to launch an offensive in order to defeat the Army Group South and liberate the area of ​​Bratislava, Brno and Vienna. The troops of the 2nd UV under the command of Rodion Malinovsky were supposed to conduct an offensive from the area north of Budapest to Bratislava and Vienna. The 3rd UV under the command of Fedor Tolbukhin was to launch an offensive from the area south of Budapest and north of Lake Balaton, bypassing the capital of Austria from the south. The operation was scheduled for March 15, 1945.

The troops of the 2nd UV stood north of the Danube, at the turn of the river Gron. In mid-February 1945, the Malinowski armies fought in the southeastern part of Czechoslovakia and occupied part of Slovakia. On February 17, the Wehrmacht attack group (1st SS Panzer Corps) dealt a strong blow to Shumilov’s 7th Guards Army. Soviet troops occupied a bridgehead on the west bank of the Gron River. During a fierce battle, our troops suffered heavy losses and were forced out onto the east bank of the river. The front command had to transfer additional forces to this sector to stabilize the situation. The German blow fended off. The troops of the 3rd UV and the 46th Army of the 2nd UV were fighting in the western part of Hungary at the turn east of Esztergom, Lake Velenz, Lake Balaton and the northern shore of Drava. On the southern flank of the Tolbukhin front were the troops of the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia.

In the second half of February 1945, Soviet intelligence discovered that in Western Hungary there was a concentration of a powerful enemy armored group. Initially, these data were met with disbelief by the supreme command. It was strange that at a time when Soviet troops in the central direction were 60-70 km from Berlin and were preparing an attack on the German capital, and the German Headquarters removed the 6th SS Panzer Army from the Western Front and transferred it not to the Berlin area, and to Hungary. However, this information soon received confirmation. The Nazis were preparing a major offensive in the area of ​​Lake Balaton. Therefore, the troops of Malinovsky and Tolbukhin were instructed to go on the defensive, exhaust the enemy in defensive battles, and then defeat the Wehrmacht strike group. At the same time, our troops continued preparations for the Vienna operation.

Intelligence revealed the direction of the enemy’s main attack. The troops of the 3rd UV, following the example of the Battle of Kursk, prepared a defense in depth. In some places, its depth reached 25-30 km. The main attention was paid to anti-tank defense, the creation of various barriers. 66 anti-tank areas were prepared in this area and 2/3 of the front artillery were concentrated. In some places, the density of guns and mortars reached 60-70 units per 1 km. Reserves were prepared. Great attention was paid to the possibilities of maneuver by forces both on the front and from the depths.

On the site where they were waiting for the main blow of the enemy, our troops were located in two echelons. The first was the 4th Guards Army of Zakhvatayev and the 26th Army of Hagen; in the second - Trofimenko’s 27th army (it was transferred from the 2nd UV). In a secondary direction to the south were the orders of the 57th Sharokhin Army, and the 1st Bulgarian Stoichev Army adjoined it. Then she occupied the positions of the troops of the 3rd Yugoslav army. In the reserve of the front were the 18th and 23rd Panzer, 1st Guards Mechanized and 5th Guards Cavalry Corps, separate artillery and other units. Also, the 9th Guards Army remained in reserve, it was intended for the Vienna operation, but in extreme cases it could enter the battle.

Grenadiers of the 4th SS Panzer Corps on the StuG III assault gun near Lake Balaton

Damaged and completely burned down German medium tank Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H from the 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen. The number of the Soviet trophy team is "88". Lake Balaton Area

The German heavy tank Pz.Kpfw abandoned in the offensive zone of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. VI "The Royal Tiger". Lake Balaton Area

German Command Plans

The order to conduct an offensive in Western Hungary was given by Adolf Hitler. In mid-January 1945, the German Headquarters ordered the deployment of the 6th SS Panzer Army from the Western Front to Hungary. Also, troops for the upcoming operation were transferred from Italy. The Führer believed that the last oil resources located in Hungary were of paramount importance to the Reich. At that time, this region accounted for up to 80% of all German oil production. Without these sources it was impossible to continue the war for a long time, there was no fuel left for aviation and armored vehicles. Under the control of the Third Reich there were only two oil sources - in Zittersdorf (Austria) and in the area of ​​Lake Balaton (Hungary). Therefore, the high command decided to transfer the last large mobile units to Hungary, and not to Pomerania, where they originally planned to transfer tanks from the West. With the success of the offensive, the Nazis hoped to push the Russians over the Danube, restore the defensive line along this river, eliminate the threat of the enemy reaching the borders of Southern Germany, and defeat in Austria and Czechoslovakia. A major victory on the southern flank of the strategic front could tie the forces of the Red Army and postpone the strike on Berlin.

As a result, Hitler's command still attached paramount importance to the retention of Hungary. The Hungarian strategic foothold was necessary for the defense of Czechoslovakia, Austria and southern Germany. Here were the last sources of oil and oil refineries, without the production of which the Air Force and mobile units could not fight. Austria was also important as a powerful industrial region (steel, engineering, automotive and military industries). Also, these areas were suppliers of soldiers for the army. Therefore, Hitler demanded at all costs to keep West Hungary and Austria.

The Germans prepared a plan for Operation Spring Awakening. The Nazis planned to inflict three dissecting strikes. The main blow from the Velenz area and the northeastern part of Lake Balaton was dealt by the 6th SS Panzer Army Joseph Dietrich and the 6th Field Army Balck. The same group included the 3rd Hungarian army of Hezleni. In some areas, the concentration of tanks and self-propelled guns reached 50-70 vehicles per 1 km. The Germans were about to break through to the Danube in the Dunaföldvar area. The Germans planned a second strike south of Lake Balaton in the direction of Kaposvar. Here the troops of the 2nd Panzer Army Maximilian de Angelis attacked. The Nazis struck the third blow from the Donji-Mikholyats region to the north, to Pecs and to Mohacs. It was applied by the 91st Army Corps from the Army Group E (fought in the Balkans). The troops of the 2nd Panzer Army and the 91st Corps were to break through to meet the 6th SS Panzer Army.

As a result, three powerful blows were supposed to destroy the front of the 3rd UV and destroy the Soviet military formations in Hungary. After the Wehrmacht broke through to the Danube, part of the strike force was to turn north and liberate the Hungarian capital, part of the forces to develop an offensive to the south. This led to the encirclement and defeat of the main forces of the 3rd UV, the creation of a large gap in the Russian front, the restoration of the defensive line along the Danube and the stabilization of the entire southern flank of the Eastern Front. After the success of Operation Spring Awakening, the Nazis could strike the 3rd flank with a blow to the left flank. This completely stabilized the situation on the southern section of the Soviet-German front and allowed the transfer of tank formations to defend Berlin.

German soldiers on the march during the offensive operation "Spring Awakening" ("Frühlingserwachen"). March 1945

German tank Pz. Kfpw. V ausf. G "Panther" 3rd SS Panzer Division "Dead Head", knocked out by troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. March 1945

The German tank Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J was following in the convoy, destroyed by a bomb during a Soviet attack aircraft of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. March 1945

German self-propelled artillery installation of the class of tank destroyers "Jagdpanzer", destroyed near Lake Balaton. The cabin was disrupted by an internal explosion of ammunition

The forces of the parties

The front of Tolbukhin included: the 4th Guards, 26th, 27th and 57th armies.

The front forces totaled 40 rifle and cavalry divisions, 6 Bulgarian infantry divisions, 1 fortified area, 2 tank and 1 mechanized corps. Plus the 17th Air Army and part of the forces of the 5th Air Army. In total, more than 400 thousand people, about 7 thousand guns and mortars, 400 tanks and self-propelled guns, about 1 thousand aircraft.

Our forces were opposed by Army Group South under the command of Otto Wöhler: 6th SS Panzer Army, Balk Army Group (6th Field Army, remnants of the 1st and 3rd Hungarian armies), 2nd Panzer Army; part of the forces of Army Group "E". From the air, the Germans supported the 4th Air Fleet and the Hungarian Air Force. These troops totaled 31 divisions (including 11 tank), 5 battle groups and 1 motorized brigade. In total, more than 430 thousand people, more than 5,6 thousand guns and mortars, about 900 tanks and self-propelled guns, 900 armored personnel carriers and 850 combat aircraft. That is, the Hitlerites had a slight advantage in manpower, and the Soviet troops had an advantage in artillery and aircraft. In the main striking force - in armored vehicles, the Germans had a double superiority. It was precisely on the powerful armored fist that the Hitler generals had the highest hopes.

Light self-propelled artillery installation of the class of tank destroyers Hetzer (Jagdpanzer 38 (t)), captured by Soviet troops in good condition at the Sharviz Canal in Hungary. Board number T-038, which was characteristic of the Hungarian units. March 1945

"Forest Devil"

March 6, 1945 German troops went on the offensive. The first attacks were carried out on the southern flank. At night, the positions of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav troops were attacked. In the morning they hit the 57th Army. On the site of the Sharokhin army, the Nazis conducted artillery preparation for an hour, then went on the offensive and were able to wedge themselves into our defense at the cost of heavy losses. The command of the army brought into battle second-tier troops, reserves, including artillery, and was able to stop the further advancement of the enemy. As a result, in the southern section, the Nazis advanced only 6-8 kilometers.

On the defense site of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav armies, the Nazis were able to force Drava and seized two bridgeheads. But further German forces failed to break through to Pech and Mohach. The Soviet command transferred the 133rd Rifle Corps and additional artillery to help the Slav brothers. The Soviet aircraft intensified their actions. As a result, the front stabilized. The Slavs, with the support of the Red Army, repelled an enemy strike, and then launched a counterattack. Enemy bridgeheads were eliminated. The fighting in this direction continued until March 22. As a result, the operation of the German army (Forest Devil) in the area south of Lake Balaton did not lead to success.

"Spring Awakening"

At 8 hours and 40 minutes after a 30-minute artillery preparation, the troops of the 6th Tank and 6th Field Armies launched an attack on the northern section. The battle immediately took on a fierce character. The Germans actively used their advantage in tanks. Used heavy tanks "Tiger-2" and medium tanks "Panther". By the end of the day, the Nazis advanced 4 km, took the stronghold of Sheregeies. The Soviet command, to strengthen the defense, began to introduce the 18th Panzer Corps into battle. Also, the 3rd Airborne Division of the 35th Guards Rifle Corps from the 27th Army began to be transferred to a dangerous section. On the same day, stubborn fights were in the defense zone of the 1st Guards fortified area from the 4th Guards Army.

On March 7, 1945, German troops with the active support of aviation resumed attacks. A particularly dangerous situation developed in the defense zone of the 26th Army. Here the Germans gathered an armored fist of 200 tanks and self-propelled guns. The Nazis constantly changed the direction of attacks, searched for weak spots in the enemy’s defense. The Soviet command transferred anti-tank reserves here. The 26th Hagen Army was strengthened by the 5th Guards Cavalry Corps and self-propelled gun brigade. Also, to strengthen the battle formations of the armies of the first echelon, the troops of the 27th army began to put forward defenses on the second lane. In addition, a large role in repelling the enemy’s armored masses was played by the strong blows of the Soviet 17th Air Army. As a result, in two days of fierce fighting, the Germans were able to break into the Soviet defense by only 4-7 km. The Nazis could not break through the tactical defense zone of the Soviet army. The timely determination of the direction of the main attack, the creation of a strong defense, the stubborn and skillful resistance of our troops prevented the enemy from breaking through.

On March 8, Hitler's command threw the main forces into battle. The Germans were still looking for weak spots in the defense, throwing large masses of tanks into battle. 250 tanks and assault guns marched forward in the direction of the main strike. Trying to reduce the effectiveness of artillery and enemy aircraft, the Germans attacked at night. On March 9, the Nazis threw new forces into battle, building up the power of the shock group. Up to 320 military vehicles piled on the Hagen army. The German army was able to gnaw through the main and second defense lines of our troops and wedged 10-24 km in the main direction. However, the Nazis had not yet broken through the rear army and front line of defense. At the same time, the main forces were already thrown into the battle, and they suffered heavy losses in manpower and equipment. Since March 10, the 5th Air Army, which supported the troops of the 2nd UV, began to participate in repelling the advance of Army Group South. In addition, the 3rd UF had at its disposal the 9th Guards Army (transferred by order of the Stavka), which was deployed southeast of Budapest and could join the battle if the situation worsened. Also, the command of the 2nd UV began to transfer troops of the 6th Guards Tank Army to the area of ​​the Hungarian capital. That is, they had large reserves in case of an enemy breakthrough.

On March 10, the Germans brought their armored vehicles in the area between the lakes Velenets and Balaton to 450 tanks and self-propelled guns. Fierce fighting continued. On March 14, the German command threw the last reserve into the battle - the 6th Panzer Division. Two days of the position of the 27th Soviet Army, Trofimenko stormed over 300 German tanks and self-propelled guns. Hitlerites wedged into our defense up to 30 km. This was the last success. The combat power of the German divisions was exhausted, the equipment was knocked out. There were no new reserves for the development of the offensive.

Thus, the German armored fist never penetrated the Soviet defense, although the situation was difficult. By the end of March 15, many German units, including the selected SS men, had lost their fighting spirit, had broken down, and began to refuse to attack. The offensive of the German troops stifled. Under the cover of mobile units, which were still fighting fiercely, the Nazis began to retreat to their original positions and went on the defensive. The Führer was furious, but nothing could be done. Hitler ordered the personnel of the SS tank army to tear off the honorary sleeve bands from the uniform.

The last major offensive of the Wehrmacht in World War II ended in defeat. The Germans could not break through to the Danube and defeat the main forces of the Tolbukhin front. Russian troops exhausted the enemy with stubborn defense, actively used artillery and aircraft. A great role was played by Soviet intelligence, in time to discover the preparation of the enemy for the offensive. In another case, the Germans could achieve short-term success and cause great damage to our troops. During the Battle of Balaton, the Wehrmacht lost about 40 thousand people (our losses - about 33 thousand people), about 500 tanks and self-propelled guns, about 200 aircraft.

The fighting spirit of the Wehrmacht and selected parts of the SS was broken. The fighting forces of the Nazis in Western Hungary were seriously weakened. SS tank divisions lost most of their combat vehicles. Almost without a pause, on March 16, 1945, troops of the 2nd and 3rd UV began the Vienna offensive operation.

Soviet officers visiting the destroyed heavy tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B “Royal Tiger” from an unidentified unit. The right officer holds a cavalry Hungarian saber in his hands. Balashnodi Road - Armat, Hungary. March 1945

German heavy tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B “Royal Tiger” from the Feldhernhalle heavy tank battalion, blown up by a mine and thrown into a ditch. Hungary. March 1945

A column of medium German tanks Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf.J, shot from an ambush by Soviet artillery in between the lakes of Velenz and Balaton. In the background - the car Dodge WC-51 of the Soviet trophy team

A column of Hungarian soldiers captured by units of the Red Army in the Lake Balaton area. Photo taken in Balatonalmedi. March 1945

A column of German captured soldiers passes by the skeleton of the destroyed Soviet tank IS-2. Hungary, Lake Balaton
Photos used:
Articles from this series:
The agony of the Third Reich

The Agony of the Third Reich. 75 years of the Vistula-Oder operation
The assault on the East Prussian fortress of the Reich
How Soviet troops liberated Warsaw
How Stalin created the foundations of a new world
The fierce battle for the Slavic Pomerania
75 years ago, Soviet troops stormed Budapest
The stubborn battle for Silesia
The Miracle of Breslau. How they stormed Hitler’s last fortress
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  1. polpot
    polpot 6 March 2020 06: 30
    Thank you for the article, the eternal memory of the fallen fighters.
  2. Vinnibuh
    Vinnibuh 6 March 2020 07: 13
    thank you so much for the article
  3. Dmitry Potapov
    Dmitry Potapov 6 March 2020 07: 14
    Thanks to the author. Liberasts and others who believe that the United States and England won the war would like to ask how many troops were withdrawn by the Germans from the Western Front and transferred to the Eastern, and how many from the Eastern to the Western? The answer will be very unpleasant (for them)
    1. Varyag_0711
      Varyag_0711 6 March 2020 09: 15
      And for one, ask the liberals where the German mob reserve had gone in 1945, that you already had to send the Volkssturm and the Hitler Youth to the front. And then they are very fond of saying that we won the war exclusively throwing Germans trkpami.
      1. 210ox
        210ox 6 March 2020 13: 02
        Yes, judging by the minus to you, someone from the local crystal bakers is frowning ...
        1. Varyag_0711
          Varyag_0711 6 March 2020 13: 09
          Dmitry. hi Yes, I do not get used to the minuses, I do not bother with this. But apparently someone really pokes. I understand when they put a minus for disagreeing with my position, but for no reason, this is a diagnosis.
      2. Octopus
        Octopus 6 March 2020 19: 09
        Quote: Varyag_0711
        where in 1945 did the German mob reserve

        In Germany, the mobilization system was poorly thought out and organized. For too long, almost until the 44th year, they tried to ride a long-dead blitzkrieg horse. What is the question?
        1. Dmitry Potapov
          Dmitry Potapov 6 March 2020 20: 22
          You are mistaken! He all remained on the Eastern Front. In the graves.
          1. Octopus
            Octopus 6 March 2020 20: 59
            Quote: Dmitry Potapov
            He all remained on the Eastern Front. In the graves

            The comrade writes that not all.
            Quote: Varyag_0711
            I had to send Volkssturm and the Hitler Youth to the front

            To the front, however, they were not particularly sent, more to the "fortresses". But on the other hand, if you scrape across all sorts of Italia-Norwegian-Czech Republic, then the people in the Wehrmacht, even in the spring, are not so small.
        2. mat-vey
          mat-vey 7 March 2020 10: 25
          Quote: Octopus
          For too long, almost until the 44th year, they tried to ride a long-dead blitzkrieg horse.

          "In order to withstand the prolonged war and achieve decisive strategic successes in the summer of 1943, on January 13, 1943, Hitler introduced a total mobilization of all Germans."
          1. Octopus
            Octopus 7 March 2020 10: 47
            First, quoting Kirsanov, you set a certain level of discussion.
            Secondly, the surroundings of your quote say labor mobilization. As for the Wehrmacht, then
            military mobilization hundreds of thousands of people

            This is ridiculous.
            to achieve decisive strategic success in the summer of 1943, on January 13, 1943, Hitler introduced

            If something is introduced in Germany in the winter of the 43rd, then the result near Kursk may be in the 44th, but not in the summer of the 43rd. Strictly speaking, the efforts of the 43rd year yielded results in the summer of the 44th, when the disasters in the West and East, however, did not cause a collapse of the fronts.
            1. mat-vey
              mat-vey 7 March 2020 10: 51
              You are always at the same level ... There is no desire whatsoever.
      3. EvilLion
        EvilLion 10 March 2020 15: 46
        He was killed. We have reached the call of 17-year-olds without sending them directly to the frontline, and reached the summer of the 44th. The Germans had boys, if not with the Faustpatrons, then the shells of the anti-aircraft gunners were already full at the beginning of the 45th.
    2. 210ox
      210ox 6 March 2020 12: 07
      Thanks to Samsonov, of course .. Only again this is .. These are the Nazis, not the Germans. And the Red Army, and not the Russian troops. Are you copying from non-nashen sources?
    3. Octopus
      Octopus 6 March 2020 19: 06
      Even Samsonov restrained himself, instructing the Russian troops everywhere instead of the Soviet, but at least without the Anglo-Saxons.

      So no, people who cannot live without Americans came to comment.
  4. igordok
    igordok 6 March 2020 07: 29
    Thank you for the article.
    Used heavy tanks "Tiger-2" ... heavy tank Pz.Kpfw. VI "Royal Tiger" .... heavy tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B "Royal Tiger"

    But as a rule, one should not name the same technique in the article in different ways.
  5. knn54
    knn54 6 March 2020 08: 13
    Killed 2000 Bulgarians and more than 1000 Yugoslavs.
    And the BASIC reason for the offensive is oil. After the destruction of the synthetic oil production allies by the allies and the loss of Romanian oil, the Nazis had only hope for the Austrian and Hungarian (Balaton districts) fields and oil refineries.
    Under Balaton, the Germans first used night vision devices with infrared night sights. They provided firing at a distance of up to 400 meters. Therefore, German tanks and assault guns fired very accurately at night. To reduce the effect of using infrared sights, the Red Army burned bonfires in front of their positions.
    1. mat-vey
      mat-vey 7 March 2020 10: 17
      Quote: knn54
      Near Balaton, the Germans first used night vision devices with infrared night sights,

      There is no exact information about tank sights, there are data on successful tests. And 55-60 tanks were equipped with night vision devices.
      Crews of Panther having night vision devices were armed with MP44 rifles with Vampir IR sights.
    2. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
      Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 11 March 2020 15: 56
      Just the other day, I read in another source that the Germans lit artillery fire at home and haystacks behind ours to illuminate at night or in the evening. You write differently. Who is right?
  6. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 6 March 2020 08: 40
    I join in gratitude for the article. I read with interest.
  7. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 6 March 2020 08: 43
    It is worth mentioning that it was in these battles that the 100-mm BS-3 gun designed by Vasily Grabin showed itself perfectly
    1. Yamato1980
      Yamato1980 6 March 2020 19: 42
      There, the Su-100 brigade at Tolbukhin through the channel did more business by firing on the right flank of Dietrich.
  8. BAI
    BAI 6 March 2020 08: 48
    Yes, looking at what remains of the ISs and the Royal Tigers, you understand that there is no invulnerable equipment.
  9. Olgovich
    Olgovich 6 March 2020 09: 32
    It was last a large defensive operation of our army in the Second World War.

    It’s already 45 g, and the Nazis are still strong and are advancing, and even how: in the breakthrough areas, they threw only heavy tanks 1 km to STA! Hungarians fought fiercely.

    And still they were defeated - skill and strength were on our side.
    1. iouris
      iouris 6 March 2020 13: 05
      Quote: Olgovich
      Hungarians fought fiercely.

      ... until 1956.
    2. 210ox
      210ox 6 March 2020 13: 05
      Yes, and notice on the side of the Red Army. And the communists so hated by you.
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 6 March 2020 13: 26
        Quote: 210ox
        Yes, and notice on the side of the Red Army. And the communists so hated by you.

        On the side army of our country. As it was on the Kulikovo field, near Poltava, Borodino, Shipka, in Galicia, etc.

        Those. as always: as it was, during thousands years.
      2. Okolotochny
        Okolotochny 9 March 2020 08: 40
        Well, are you happy about the victories of Rumyantsev, Suvorov, Kutuzov? And they had serfs, if that.
  10. valdissumy
    valdissumy 6 March 2020 10: 21
    Thanks so much for the article.
    But, to be more precise, the last major counter-offensive operation of the Wehrmacht was from April 21 to April 30, 1945 in the Bautzen area. It took place on the southern flank of the Strömberg-Torgauska offensive operation. The battles took place between the forces of the Polish Second Army and units of the 52nd Army and the 5th Guards Army on the one hand and parts of the German Army Group Center in the form of the remnants of the 4th Panzer and 17th armies on the other under the command of F. Schörner
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 6 March 2020 10: 36
      Quote: valdissumy
      But, to be more precise, the last major counter-offensive operation of the Wehrmacht was from April 21 to April 30, 1945 in the Bautzen area.

      But what about Wenck and Steiner? wink
      1. valdissumy
        valdissumy 6 March 2020 13: 59
        To receive an order to attack the positions of the troops of the 1st Belorussian Front does not mean to attack.
        Felix Steiner simply refused to do so. Instead, he retreated, fleeing the environment and total annihilation. And the Wenck Army, recently formed, made an unexpected turn and, in general turmoil, surprised the Red Army units surrounding Berlin with an unexpected attack. Walter Wenck's troops were not prepared in the best way, and their attacks quickly stopped on the outskirts of Potsdam due to the strong opposition of the Soviet troops. After crossing the army and refugees through the Elbe, May 7, Wenck surrendered to the Americans.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 6 March 2020 17: 52
          Quote: valdissumy
          Felix Steiner simply refused to do so. Instead, he retreated, fleeing the environment and total annihilation.

          In fact, Steiner tried to advance from April 23 to 25. But he had so little strength that his attacks were repulsed even by the Poles. Steiner’s offensive was put to an end by the 61st Army, which on April 27 launched an offensive that threatened the rear of his group.
    2. demiurg
      demiurg 6 March 2020 16: 02
      These were not strategic operations, not for goals, not for means. Near Balaton there was a number of troops comparable to Kursk or Stalingrad (although less, yes).
  11. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 6 March 2020 10: 53
    My relative, Colonel Nikola Botev, commanded 31 Silistren regiments on Drava in March 1945. German tanks passed through the positions of the regiment but they managed to cut off the German infantry from the tanks and the attack drowned. For these battles, he received the Soviet Order of Alexander Nevsky. Then he taught at the Military Academy in Sofia.
    1. Cetron
      Cetron 6 March 2020 18: 58
      Glory and eternal honor to your relative, Nicole Botev! When the Slavs are together, they are invincible !!!
      1. thekhohol
        thekhohol 8 March 2020 10: 25
        Bulgarians are not Slavs.
        But this is so, a technical moment.
  12. Alien From
    Alien From 6 March 2020 11: 51
    Thanks to the author! Very interesting and informative!
  13. hohol95
    hohol95 6 March 2020 12: 36
    Perhaps you should first describe the previous events a bit?
    Operations under the general name "Conrad"!
  14. iouris
    iouris 6 March 2020 13: 06
    Such a question: did American and British aviation help in any way?
    1. Octopus
      Octopus 6 March 2020 19: 16
      Quote: iouris
      Such a question: did American and British aviation help in any way?

      How so?
      By cutting the Reich’s fuel balance - yes, of course.
      Specifically, on the battlefield - there was no NPL, they didn’t call. Allies at that time stick out south of Florence, not dipped.

      Why do you need them there?
  15. demiurg
    demiurg 6 March 2020 15: 59
    After Balaton, Zep Dietrich said that the sixth TA is called the sixth, since there are six tanks left in it.

    Interestingly, already during Bagration’s operation, the average daily offensive speeds were higher than that of the Wehrmacht in the summer of 1941.
  16. Doliva63
    Doliva63 6 March 2020 19: 08
    If my father remembered the war, it was these battles at Balaton most willingly. His favorite book was Friesner's Lost Victories, if I'm not mistaken. He said something like this: after Balaton, we realized that no one could stop us.
  17. Yamato1980
    Yamato1980 6 March 2020 19: 18
    Dietrich himself is to blame for losing his advantage in surprise. He climbed to eliminate the bridgehead on the Grona and burst into flames, our fools of the killed Germans searched our house for ausweis and realized that they had to dig into the ground urgently because they heard about the 6 TA SS from the Allies. And further along the thumb, we burn the tanks or let them pass, we cut off the infantry.
  18. Konatantin 1992
    Konatantin 1992 8 March 2020 13: 23
    My grandfather participated in the operation near Lake Balaton as part of 272 zenap 3 of the Ukrainian Front, received a medal for military merit. Thank you for the article
  19. Bulrumeb
    Bulrumeb 8 March 2020 20: 07
    My grandfather's brother was just there and received "For Courage"
  20. EvilLion
    EvilLion 10 March 2020 15: 43
    In the conditions of the 45th year, of course, it is possible to build layered defenses ...