|"ONE TWO THREE FOUR and a SUITCASE"|
POZNAN- THE FORTRESS TOWN
The Germans had declared Poznan to be a fortress town and to be defended to the end. It took about a month from the first shelling of the town to the final surrender of the last German stronghold.
By 21st January the Russian Army had already passed Gniezno and Wrzesnia, only some 40 km from Poznan. By the following day, Tuesday 22nd, the advance troops had already reached Antoninek, a distance of only 5 km due east of the centre of Poznan. On the same day the Russians had taken Krzesiny a distance of 10 km south of the city. Noon that day saw the first artillery shells hit the centre of the Old Town in the district of Garbary. This was less than 2km from where the Sikorski family lived. By 27th street fighting was taking place in and around the block in which the family had so recently lived. This is how close the Russians were when the family fled West.
The Germans held out for another four weeks within the fortress stronghold, Citadela, just north of the centre of town. This was very heavily defended and after severe fighting the Germans surrendered on 23rd February. Poznan was a ruined city-65% destroyed.
Source:- Poznan 1945- Kronika Wydarzen (Chronicle of Events).
By Tadeusz Switala Pub. Poznan 1986
LIBERATION OF ALTENBURG BY AMERICAN FORCES
The Last Offensive
Charles B MacDonald
US Army in World War II 1973
13th Feb 45
Bombing of Dresden by RAF followed by two days by US- Firestorm.
69th Armoured Division ( First Army) was to come on to the city (Leipzig) from the south and south-east.
(MAP XV Defence Mapping Agency shows situation between 13th and 24th April 45)
Operational boundary between First and Third Army shows Altenburg just within Third Army Sector.
"On 12th April 6th Armoured Division crossed the Wiesse Elster River near Zeitz. (just west of Altenburg)
Combat Record of the 6th Armoured Division
Intro by Major General Robert N Grow
Commanding General 6th Armoured Division
CT 68 (Combat Team) continued its advance to the outskirts of Altenburg and awaited infantry reinforcements to attack the city.
Res Com (Reserve Command?) (Lagrew)
While waiting for the battalion from the 76th Infantry Division to arrive and attack Altenburg the Res Comd sent patrols into the city where it was learned that practically all enemy troops had left. The Burgomaster surrendered the city unconditionally and the Command moved through with no opposition. CT50 advanced without resistance along axis: Rositz- Altenburg- Neuenmorbitz- Penig- Lunzen- Au.
CT68 advanced without resistance along general axis: Windischleuba- Kohren-Rathendorf- Lunzenar- Wiederau- Thalheim.
Source:- Extracts from records held by The Imperial War Museum London.
(6th Armoured Maj Gen Robert W Grow 04621 USA 18 July 4430 April 45 & 31st May 45.
Combat Command B Col Embry d Lagrew 0298494 18 April 45(?) 31 May 45)
After end of war 8th Armoured pulled back into state of Thuringia with HQ at APOLDA. Remained throughout June 45.
Major Royce S Weisenberger cared for 96,698 displaced persons.
On 1st July 45 Russians moved into the area.
There was a prisoner of war camp in (or by) Altenburg.
German Army Group Area IV.
Stalag IVE Altenburg (Thuringen)
Renamed STALAG 384 1.6.42
HUSAG (HASAG?)- Women Assenkommandos
Kdo. Bu (?) (Kommandos Buchenwald?)
Source:- Various documents maps and books at Imperial war Museum London.