By Otto Heidkämper, Linden Lyons
Town of Vitebsk in Belarus used to be of strategic significance throughout the scuffling with at the jap entrance, because it managed the path to Minsk. A salient within the German strains, Vitebsk have been declared a Festerplatz―a citadel town―meaning that it has to be held in any respect charges. a job passed to third Panzer military in 1943. Otto Heidkämper was once leader of employees of Georg-Hans Reinhardt's third Panzer military, military crew middle, which was once stationed round Vitebsk and Smolensk from early 1942 till June 1944. His unique account of the safeguard of Vitebsk throughout the wintry weather of 1943 into 1944, correct as much as the Soviet summer time offensive, is a necessary firsthand account of ways the operations round Vitebsk performed out. Twenty maps accompany the narrative. in this time, third Panzer military undertook various army operations to shield the world opposed to the Soviets; in addition they engaged in anti-partisan operations within the quarter, deporting civilians accused of aiding partisans and destroying estate. ultimately, in June 1944, the Soviets collected 4 armies to take Vitebsk, which was once then held via 38,000 males of 53rd Corps. inside 3 days, Vitebsk used to be encircled, with 53rd Corps trapped inside of. makes an attempt to damage the encirclement failed, and resistance within the pocket broke down over the following couple of days. On June 27, the ultimate destruction of German resistance in Vitebsk used to be accomplished. Twenty thousand Germans have been lifeless and one other 10,000 were captured.
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