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By the early spring of 1945 on the Soviet-German front opponents reminded boxers at the end of a long and heavy combat. It seems to be already clear winner, but still kept the rival forces to retaliate – maybe not zubodrobitelnyh, but very painful.

One of these attacks was the March German offensive in Hungary. The operation “Spring Awakening” was the encirclement and destruction of all Soviet forces in the area of ​​the rivers Danube, Drava and Lake Balaton. In fact, in the spring of 1945 Hitler should be careful to build their dreams. The Wehrmacht was already far not the same as at the beginning of the war. But to understand the intentions of the leader of the Reich can: Germany has remained relatively the last major source of oil – Hungarian oil wells.

Strategic adventurism

Arrange the Red Army “pot” were 6- I SS Panzer Army and 2nd Panzer Army. However, the name of the last few corresponded to its actual composition. By the time the offensive began, it consisted of the 71st Infantry Division, the 1st People’s Grenadier, the 118th Jaeger and 16th pantsergrenaderskoy SS division “Reichsführer”. As can be seen from the list, with the panzer divisions in the 2nd Panzer Army there was a slight deficit. Yes, and SS units were pretty shabby after the winter trying to relieve Budapest.

“We get a refill more than 50 non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the company, the former personnel of the Luftwaffe, although they were dressed in our form. None of them had any experience of service in the infantry “. Memories of a soldier of the 6th SS Panzer Army.

Offensive plans did not please even the fanatical SS. Command of the 6th SS Panzer Army, not without reason to believe that in this embodiment, they will bear the main burden. In this case, the flanks of the army will be poorly protected because of the general lack of strength, and supply lines will be stretched. In general, a strong counterattack on the part of Budapest – and would have been surrounded by the main forces of the Germans themselves.

Soviet troops after the capture of Budapest and the January fights also were not in the best shape. Not enough people, technology, and lack of artillery guns become even more aggravated the shortage of vehicles, seriously hampers the maneuver and supply. In tankers fared no better: for example, 23 Panzer Corps while on statewide population of 207 tanks and self-propelled guns had a 63 by 6 March 1945, 21 tanks and self-propelled guns 7.

Start ” Awakening “


The last major German offensive in World War II began March 6, 1945. The main forces of the Germans sent between lakes and Velencze Balaton. They played into the hands of bad weather: fog and snowfall. In a situation where the German tanks appeared out of nowhere just a few hundred meters from the Soviet positions, to stop them was very difficult.

In some areas, the Germans managed to crush infantry, anti-tank guns to hide behind. But the Soviet protivotankisty continued to defend, holding the enemy as they could, until suitable reserves. Here and there could be limited to daylight the enemy advance to 3-4 kilometers.

Worst of all the battles on March 6-7 had the Soviet 68th Guards Division, was hit by the SS Panzer Army. For two days she was left without any of their anti-tank guns, suffered heavy losses and was forced to withdraw from the western to the eastern bank of the canal Shavriz.

It is noteworthy that on the eve of the offensive in the 6th SS Panzer Army acted company “Panther” equipped with night vision devices. Accurate data on how some of their successful application is not – on the contrary, there is evidence that due to snow and illumination optics device efficiency was almost zero. Thus, the “Panthers” were used as a conventional linear tanks. In general, both sides relied on traditional means: flares and missiles, as well as the burning of buildings and prefabricated haystacks to illuminate the battlefield.

During the battle for Balaton used tanks “Panther” equipped with night vision devices, but their effectiveness was almost zero

Germans tried hard to break into the triangle formed by the cities of Ball Egresh – Simontornya – Tsetse, at the junction channels Sárvíz and galoshes. Knocking bridgehead Soviet divisions, the enemy began to erupt in the south-east. But we can not say that it was a victory march. German command had to be thrown into the fight all that remained in reserve. And had they, frankly, a little bit. For example, in service of the 23rd Panzer Division, transmitted to gain consisted of about 50 tanks and self-propelled guns.

By “our” front line it was too far from rosy. By the evening of March 9 commander of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, Marshal F. Tolbukhin to repel the German offensive was forced to use the basic provisions of the front. However, there were still a whole Guards Army in reserve. But in response to a request to allow its use in the defense of Deposit Rates answered like this: “It is too early!”

The predictable failure of the Wehrmacht


Of course, all without the help of 3rd Ukrainian Front, came under attack German tank hammer, have left. To the best of him moving troops, including a brigade self-propelled guns SU-100, which can be used as an ambush, and the reflection of the tank attacks. The benefit of power tools “hundreds” allowed beat German tanks from a distance of more than 1500 meters.

self-propelled guns proved to be excellent. For example, in the battles for the ball Egresh Simontornya and two regiments of the SU-100 (about 40 cars) for three days and destroyed 29 German tanks knocked out.

March 12 parts of the SS still managed to squeeze the Soviet troops from the northern part of Simontornya and then cross the channel galoshes, capturing a small bridgehead on the south bank. But Panzer Division attacked the ball Egresh, has achieved much less success. After the first attack on March 11, its commander tried to insist that we should not beat his forehead right in the anti-Soviet area. His odёrnuli from the headquarters, so the city Germans with difficulty, but still took. But the important bridge over the canal Shavriz appeared previously blown up by Soviet troops.

By March 15, the last German offensive finally ran out of steam – the last half-hearted attempts to expand the bridgehead at Simontornya were relatively easy to reflect. Tolbukhin finally allowed to send into battle not only his back Guards Army, and yet the whole Guards Tank transmitted from the neighboring front. Thus began the offensive, which is now known as the Vienna Offensive. Just a month completed its Soviet tanks on the streets of the Austrian capital.

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The authors of the text – Andrey Ulanov and Alexander Toms .


  • Documents TsAMO the Russian Federation on the 3rd Ukrainian Front.
  • Documents NARA (USA) Army Group “South”.
  • Isaev Kolomiets M. defeat of the 6th SS Panzer Army. Tomb Panzerwaffe.

  • T. Miller Agony of the 1st SS Panzer Corps.

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