During this first day of assault, bad weather prevented the Soviet troops from using precision bombing with as much effect as they would have liked. Additionally, even fortified, the terrain conquered by the Soviet troops during this day was not so densely populated as the central city would be, reducing problems associated with urban warfare. During the night, the German troops attempted several counterattacks, using their last reserves.
Despite the bitter engagements and heavy losses on both sides, the counterattacks were driven off. The worst part of the front was still the one facing the Samland group, where a dozen such counterattacks were attempted. The better weather conditions allowed the Red Army to make a profitable use of daylight precision bombing.
Several hundred bombers belonging to 1st, 3rd and 15th Air Armies, supported with Baltic Fleet aviation, bombarded the downtown and the Samland group's bridgeheads. Meanwhile, fort eight, blocked by Soviet troops, was still a strong pocket of resistance. After several unsuccessful attacks, a more cunning plan was developed. Using both smoke screens to conceal their approach and flamethrowers to weaken the defense positions, several hundred men managed to cross the moat and enter the fortress, where bitter close combat began.
Once the outer defenses were weakened, a massive frontal assault began. Finally, the assault succeeded and the remainder of the garrison surrendered. During the day, the 11th Guards Army sought to reach the Pregel river, eliminating all resistance on the southern side. However, their advance was slowed in the central area of the city, where every building had to be literally taken apart along with its defenders.
The Battle of Konigsberg: The Struggle for the East Prussian Capital, October 1944 to April 1945
A particularly bitter skirmish took place in the main railway station and its platforms, where almost every railcar was transformed into a firing point, and Soviet troops had to use armour and gun support to advance, taking losses. Only by dusk was the territory completely neutralized, allowing the attackers to approach the third inner defence perimeter, protecting the entrance to the city centre itself.
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In the north, fort five proved to be a strong pocket of resistance as well. Soviet sappers finally managed to place explosives at the base of the walls, breaching them and allowing for a direct assault. As with the assault on fort eight, bitter close combat began in the fort, lasting all night and ceasing only in the morning when the last troops surrendered. At the end of the day, seeing that further resistance was pointless, General Otto Lasch radioed Adolf Hitler 's headquarters and asked for permission to surrender. Hitler's answer was "fight to the last soldier".
During the night, the Pregel was crossed by the 11th Guards Army and despite enemy fire by dawn a full bridgehead was established on the opposite bank. Continuing their advance northwards, they linked up with the northern troops, completing the encirclement and cutting off the Samland group from the city.
The Battle of Konigsberg : MR Brian Taylor :
In the afternoon, Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky once again asked the defenders to surrender. This offer was refused and the German forces attempted to break out of the encirclement, attacking both from the city centre and the Samland bridgehead.
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The latter managed to advance several kilometres before being stopped. Although another attack was prepared, the Germans' lack of air defenses allowed Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft to destroy a large number of troops.
During this campaign, Soviet aviation generally proved very effective. By the end of the day, it was clear that any attempt by the Samland group to break out of the encirclement would be pointless. However, victory was nowhere near, as almost 40, men were garrisoned in the city centre, which was regularly subjected to heavy shelling. Chapter Three. Chapter Seven.
Chapter Eight. Chapter Nine. Chapter Ten. Chapter Eleven. Chapter Five. Reinforcement to Sambians came from Herkus Monte of Natangians. The Knights decided to fight in an open battle and succeeded in wounding Herkus. The Natangians retreated. Sambians also withdrew because they could neither stop supplies and reinforcement reaching the castle nor capture it. The siege proved the weakness of the Prussians and the strength of the Knights.
The reliance upon fortified castles allowed the Knights to regroup and eventually subdue the uprising. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem - Mariens in Jerusalem. Membership of the Teutonic Order Email: kontakt deutscherorden.