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Second World War History > Battle to the Oder River Timeline

Battle to the Oder River Timeline

The Soviet Army takes the fight to German soil as Hitler's Empire collapses around him.

Authored By Staff Writer

By now, the German Empire was fully embroiled along two front - against the Allies in the West and against the Soviet Army in the East. Germany was fighting an all-out defensive war for its very survival and Hitler was growing evermore fanatical. In early January of 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had sent a telegram to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to begin a combined offensive along the two fronts and crush Hitler once and for all - the final stroke in the years long war. The assault was set to being on the 20th of the month but Stalin renegotiated a January 12th start.


On the 12th, the Red Army unleashed hell against the defensive German positions in the east. Rocket trucks, artillery batteries and air attacks preceded the massive land invasion of man and tanks. The assault became the largest such action in all of World War 2. Soviet forces concentrated against the Germans in East Prussia and Poland. The front line encompassed the Lithuanian coast down to the Balkans.'


In response to the growing Soviet advance, Hitler commits some much needed defenders to a futile flanking manuever against the Soviet Army near Poznan in Poland, opening up East Prussia for the taking. On January 17th, the all-important strategic Polish capital city of Warsaw is taken by the Soviets. Once again in response, Hitler commits his battle hardened 6th SS Panzer Army away from the Ardennes forest (Battle of the Bulge), opening up his West front for Allied actions, and onto Budapest, Hungary.


On January 22nd, Soviet forces have reached the Oder River and begin crossing it into German territory. Hitler reorganizes his armies in an attempt to stem the bleeding but all is for naught. While stalling Soviet forces at Kustrin, the Red Army claims some 50 miles as the war front in February. Poznan falls to the Soviets on the 22nd and Lower Silesia falls two days later. The Soviets then begin a new offensive through Hungary into Austria.


Now firmly in German territory, final preparations are begun by Soviet generals for the ultimate taking of Berlin - capital to Hitler's perceived empire.

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Total Battle to the Oder River Events: 21

1945
Saturday
January 6th

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the west coordinates via telegram with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the east on launching a combined January offensive. Churchill plans on the 20th as the target date.

1945
Sunday
January 7th

Stalin moves the offensive launch date forward to January 12th.

1945
Friday
January 12th

The Red Army enacts a massive offensive against German foes along the East Front. His targets are German Army Group A and Army Group Center located in East Prussia and Poland. The battle line is a long running front from the Lithuanian coast down to the Balkans region.

1945
Friday
January 12th

The Red Army offensive is spear-headed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Belorussian Fronts as well as the 1st Baltic Front joined by the 1st Ukrainian Front.

1945
Sunday
January 14th

Initial thrusts by the Soviet Army prove positive against the German defense.

1945
Tuesday
January 16th

Adoph Hitler reorders his forces, weakening key areas of defense, to attempt a flanking manuever against the Red Army near Poznan.

1945
Wednesday
January 17th

The Polish capital city of Warsaw officially falls to the advancing Soviet Army.

1945
Wednesday
January 17th

Soviet forces engage German foes in East Prussia with gains being made towards Danzig and Konigsberg.

1945
Saturday
January 20th

Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forrest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.

1945
Monday
January 22nd

Soviet General Konev and his 1st Ukranian Front cross the Oder River at Steinau.

1945
Thursday
January 25th

Hitler reorganizes his forces under the new names of Army Group North, Army Group Center and Army Group Vistula.

1945
Thursday
February 1st

German forces at Kustrin derail any further Soviet advance towards Berlin. General Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front is halted.

1945
Saturday
February 3rd

General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian Front combine forces with General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front along the Oder River near Kustrin.

1945
Saturday
February 3rd

The Soviet front lines total some 50 miles along the Oder River by this time.

1945
Monday
February 5th

Soviet Army forces begin to cross the Oder River into Germany.

1945
Thursday
February 15th

The German city of Breslau is surrounded by Soviet troops.

1945
Thursday
February 22nd

Poznan falls to the Soviet Army after the defending German troops surrender.

1945
Saturday
February 24th

General Konev's 1st Ukranian Front claims Lower Silesia.

1945
Friday
March 16th

From Hungary, Soviet Army groups begin their offensive into Austria along the Danube River. The target is Vienna.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

The Soviet Front gains tremendous ground since the start of the offensive back in January. Forces are a mere 50 miles from Berlin.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

Preparations for the final battle of Berlin are made.
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