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> "Spring Awakening" - 60 years since then, The last large German offensive of WWII
Florin
Posted: March 11, 2005 06:13 am
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History records that the offensive around Lake Balaton started on March 6th 1945 as "Operation Spring Awakening" and it was the last large German offensive operation of WW II. The goal was to protect the oil reserves located south of Lake Balaton and to destroy the Red Army west of the Danube and to protect the supply lines and the war production in western Hungary. In addition to the 6 SS Panzer Army, the 1, 3, 6, 13 and 24 Panzer Divisions were participants in the operation.

I introduced this topic under "WW2 in General", and not under "Western Front", because as far as I know there was no involvement of any Romanian forces during that battle.

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mabadesc
Posted: March 11, 2005 06:21 am
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Can you give some details about the offensive? How long did it last? Did the Germans have any success initially or were they crushed from the start?

Thanks.
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Florin
Posted: March 12, 2005 01:07 am
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Some things, at a glance and in a rush:

An unusual mild weather for the beginning of March, considering Europe during 1940...1945, made the soil to end its status of being frozen. This meant the earth became soft, or even muddy. This was a catastrophe for the German armor.
For example, a Tiger II has a pressure in tracks of 1.1 kg / square centimeter.
Tens of Tiger II's and other heavy armor simply sunk in the earth.

Even though in the offensive took part some of the best and famous elite German units, they were already worn and torn by the battles they sustained on the Western Front, during the offensive in Ardennes (the Battle of the Bulge).

Each officer and NCO from "Leibstandarte" had as component of uniform a strip with "Adolf Hitler" printed on it. They carried the strip on one of the sleeves. After the failure of the offensive, Hitler told to the officers and NCO's of "Leibstandarte" that they will not have granted the "honor" to carry the strip on the sleeve any more, because he (i.e. Hitler) was bitterly disappointed by them. In response, the officers and NCO put their war medals in a box, and sent the box to Hitler, with the message: "This is your gratitude, after all we did for you?"

The last paragraph is not quite an official story, but it was mentioned in a documentary dedicated to "Leibstandarte" on "Discovery Europe".

This post has been edited by Florin on March 12, 2005 01:08 am
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Dénes
Posted: March 12, 2005 02:37 am
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Here is an excerpt from a book manuscript under work:
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In the meantime, Hitler decided for a last stance in Southwestern Hungary, in early March. The Axis counter-attack between Velence Lake and the Balaton Sea, known as Operation ‘Spring Awakening’, was to be the last large Axis offensive and the last major tank battle of the war. A total of 140,000 German and Hungarian soldiers, supported by 700 tanks and assault guns, 3,200 cannons and mortars, as well as around 850 airplanes, were amassed for Hitler’s last large-scale offensive. However, after a promising start for the Axis, the operation proved to be a failure in less than two weeks. It was followed by a hasty retreat beyond the Reich’s borders. Hungary’s second largest city, Györ, fell on March 28. A day earlier, the last Crown Council was held on Hungarian soil. The Minister of Home Defense, Beregfy, was still optimistic, although his troops controlled only a fraction of the country. Next day, Szálasi and his Government abandoned the headquarters and moved it into German-held Austria. On April 12, 1945, the last shots were fired in Hungary proper. Hungary was completely overrun by the Red Army.


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Indrid
Posted: March 12, 2005 10:13 am
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u are the author, Denes? i am a little slow this morning...
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Florin
Posted: March 12, 2005 04:57 pm
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QUOTE (Indrid @ Mar 12 2005, 05:13 AM)
u are the author, Denes? i am a little slow this morning...

Come on, Indrid... This is not nice.

This post has been edited by Florin on March 12, 2005 07:06 pm
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Indrid
Posted: March 12, 2005 05:09 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ Mar 12 2005, 06:57 PM)
QUOTE (Indrid @ Mar 12 2005, 05:13 AM)
u are the author, Denes? i am a little slow this morning...

Common, Indrid... This is not nice.

man i really wanted to know if Denes wrote or is writing the book, no pun intended. what the.... :o :huh:
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Florin
Posted: March 12, 2005 05:17 pm
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In www.feldgrau.net, under "Operations and Battles", there is a topic with 48 replies dedicated for "Spring Awakening".
The title is "Battle of Lake Balaton", and the link is:

http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4081
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Dénes
Posted: March 12, 2005 05:53 pm
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QUOTE (Indrid @ Mar 12 2005, 11:09 PM)
man i really wanted to know if Denes wrote or is writing the book, no pun intended.

Yes, I am the co-author of the manuscript currently under work.

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mabadesc
Posted: March 13, 2005 09:51 am
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Thanks to Florin and Denes for providing some details on the German/Hungarian offensive.
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