Brest Fortress

Brest Fortress, formerly known as Brest-Litovsk Fortress, is a 19th-century Russian fortress in Brest, Belarus. It is one of the most important Soviet World War II war monuments commemorating the Soviet resistance against the German invasion on June 22, 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). Following the war, in 1965 the title Hero-Fortress was given to the Fortress to commemorate the defence of the frontier stronghold during the first weeks of the German-Soviet War. It was then part of the Byelorussian SSR. The title Hero-Fortress corresponds to the title Hero City, that was awarded to an eventual total of twelve Soviet cities. Brest Fortress is situated at an height of 135 meters.

The fortress had little warning when the Axis invaded on 22 June 1941, and became the site of the first major fighting between Soviet frontier guards and the invading German forces of Army Group Centre. German artillery heavily shelled the fortress; the subsequent attempt to quickly take it with infantry failed, however, and the Germans started a lengthy siege. The Brest garrison, although cut off from the outside world and having run out of food, water and ammunition, fought and counter-attacked until the very last minute. The Germans deployed tanks, tear gas and flame throwers. After the Germans had taken most of the ruined fortifications, taking heavy casualties, bloody fighting continued underground. The fighting ended only in late July. The actual front had by then already moved hundreds of kilometres further east. Even after the fortress was officially taken, the few surviving defenders continued to hide in the basements and to harass the Germans for several months.

Автор : btamedia