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Push to the Oder River Timeline (January 12th - March 31st, 1945)


The Soviet Army took the fight to German soil as Hitler's Empire continued to collapse around him.

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-projecting 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.

There are a total of (21) Push to the Oder River Timeline (January 12th - March 31st, 1945) events in the SecondWorldWarHistory.com database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective. ©www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com

January 6th
1945
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.

January 7th
1945
Stalin moves the offensive launch date forward to January 12th.

January 12th
1945
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.

January 12th
1945
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.

January 14th
1945
Initial thrusts by the Soviet Army prove positive against the German defense.

January 16th
1945
Adolf Hitler reorders his forces, weakening key areas of defense, to attempt a flanking manuever against the Red Army near Poznan.

January 17th
1945
The Polish capital city of Warsaw officially falls to the advancing Soviet Army.

January 17th
1945
Soviet forces engage German foes in East Prussia with gains being made towards Danzig and Konigsberg.

January 20th
1945
Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forrest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.

January 22nd
1945
Soviet General Konev and his 1st Ukranian Front cross the Oder River at Steinau.

January 25th
1945
Hitler reorganizes his forces under the new names of Army Group North, Army Group Center and Army Group Vistula.

February 1st
1945
German forces at Kustrin derail any further Soviet advance towards Berlin. General Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front is halted.

February 3rd
1945
General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian Front combine forces with General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front along the Oder River near Kustrin.

February 3rd
1945
The Soviet front lines total some 50 miles along the Oder River by this time.

February 5th
1945
Soviet Army forces begin to cross the Oder River into Germany.

February 15th
1945
The German city of Breslau is surrounded by Soviet troops.

February 22nd
1945
Poznan falls to the Soviet Army after the defending German troops surrender.

February 24th
1945
General Konev's 1st Ukranian Front claims Lower Silesia.

March 16th
1945
From Hungary, Soviet Army groups begin their offensive into Austria along the Danube River. The target is Vienna.

March 31st
1945
The Soviet Front gains tremendous ground since the start of the offensive back in January. Forces are a mere 50 miles from Berlin.

March 31st
1945
Preparations for the final battle of Berlin are made.