One of the most tragic and at the same time heroic pages in the history of the Great Patriotic War was the defense of the Brest Fortress in the summer of 1941.
Heroism from the first minutes of the war
On the very first day of the Great Patriotic War, June 22, 2941, the Brest Fortress was attacked, in which there were about 3, 5 thousand people. Despite the fact that the forces were clearly unequal, the garrison of the Brest Fortress defended with honor for a month - until July 23, 1941. Although there is no consensus regarding the question of the duration of the defense of the Brest Fortress.
Some historians believe that the defense ended at the end of June. The reason for the rapid seizure of the fortress was the surprise attack by the German army on the Soviet garrison. This was not expected, therefore they did not prepare, the Russian soldiers and officers who were on the territory of the fortress were taken by surprise.
The Germans, on the contrary, were carefully preparing for the seizure of the ancient fortress. They practiced every movement on a mock-up created from aerial photography. The German leadership understood that the fortification could not be captured with the help of tanks, therefore the main emphasis was placed on the infantry.
Reasons for defeat
By June 29-30, the enemy had captured almost all of the battle fortifications, battles were fought throughout the garrison. Nevertheless, the defenders of the Brest Fortress bravely continued to defend themselves, although they had practically no water and food.
And it is not surprising that forces fell upon the Brest Fortress, many times superior to those that were in it. The infantry and two armored divisions delivered frontal and flank attacks on all entrances to the fortress. Warehouses with ammunition, medicines and foodstuffs were shelled. German shock assault groups followed.
Already by 12 noon on June 22, the enemy broke communications and broke through to the Citadel, but Soviet troops managed to repulse the Germans. In the future, the buildings of the Citadel were repeatedly transferred from the Russians to the Germans.
On June 29-30, the Germans undertook a two-day continuous assault on the Citadel, as a result of which Soviet military commanders were captured. Thus, June 30 is called the day of the end of the organized resistance of the Brest Fortress. However, isolated pockets of resistance, surprisingly to the Germans, appeared, according to some sources, until August 1941. It was not for nothing that Hitler brought Mussolini to the Brest Fortress to show what a serious enemy he had to fight.
Some Soviet soldiers and officers managed to break through to the partisans in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, others were captured, where the officers were immediately shot. Most of the defenders simply died, for them this war ended in the first hours and days of the great war.
Despite the defeat suffered by the defenders of the Brest Fortress, during the month they held the defense, the country managed to prepare for war.