Königsberg Capitulates

Posted: August 15, 2010 in World War 2

“Ammunition gone, stores destroyed…”

Under concentrated artillery fire, our breakout attempt failed despite initial successes, & we suffered heavy casualties…

This failure decided the fortress commandant to avoid further senseless losses & to capitulate in the morning of April 9th, by which time it had become clear that there was no prospect of relief from outside. Some of the units had become completely demoralized, & one Regiment of 367th Infantry Division had gone over to the enemy.

Nevertheless the fighting continued throughout the day. At 5:20pm, the Commander broadcast his last message: “Ammunition gone, stores destroyed.” In the evening, General Lasch* succeeded in reestablishing contact with the Russian command. Shortly after midnight, he signed the capitulation of the fortress, & was marched off to a prison camp. The rest of the 61st infantry Division did not lay down arms until 6:30am on April 10th. During the honorable surrender, the Russians at first allowed all officers to retain their arms. According to Russian estimates, more than 27,000 German soldiers were captured in Königsberg.

From Beiträge zur Militär und Kriegsgeschichte (Contributions to Military & War History) Vol. V

*The last commander of Königsberg. Hitler sentenced him to death in absentia & had his family arrested.

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