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In January 1945 when the Red army launched their massive winter offensive, a number of German occupied towns on the path of the Soviet advance were declared fortresses by Hitler. The garrisons were ordered to mount last-ditch stands. Posen in Western Poland was one of them. In German hands and on the main route between Warsaw and Berlin it was a serious obstacle to Soviet re-supply efforts.By mid-January the town was surrounded by the Guards Rifle, troops of General Chuikov's 8th Guards Army. The German troops, from a variety of less than experienced units, fought in bitter combat managing to hold the Red Army at bay for a full month. Three survivors of the battle tell us their stories.
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