Assault on Vienna

Article

July 6, 2022

The assault on Vienna is one of the offensive operations ending the Great Patriotic War. It was part of the Vienna offensive operation of 1945, during which Soviet troops captured the capital of Austria, clearing it of Nazi troops. The operation lasted 8 days - from April 5 to April 13, 1945.

Background

Vienna was defended by 8 tank, 1 infantry divisions and up to 15 separate infantry battalions. The German command on the outskirts of the city and in the city itself prepared numerous defensive structures in advance. Anti-tank ditches were dug along the outer perimeter of tank-prone areas and anti-tank and anti-personnel obstacles and barriers were installed. The streets were blocked by barricades and blockages. Many buildings were equipped with firing points. The German command sought to turn Vienna into an impregnable fortress. The command of the Wehrmacht attached great importance to the retention of Vienna and its economic region. On April 6, 1945, Hitler wrote: "The oil field in the Vienna region is of decisive importance for the further conduct of the war." Vienna was the last bastion in the Nazi defense on the outskirts of the southern regions of Germany. Therefore, the battles for the city were very stubborn. According to the plan of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command, the liberation of Vienna was to be carried out by the troops of the right wing of the 3rd Ukrainian Front (4th, 9th Guards and 6th Guards Tank Armies, 1st Guards Mechanized and 18th Tank Corps) and the left wing 2nd Ukrainian Front (46th Army, 23rd Tank and 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps). Air support was provided by units of the 5th and 17th air armies. In the battles for Vienna, the Danube military flotilla was also to be used. Wishing to preserve the city, its historical monuments and prevent unnecessary sacrifices, on April 6, 1945, Tolbukhin appealed to the inhabitants of Vienna with an appeal to remain in place, in every possible way to prevent the Nazis from destroying the city and to provide assistance to Soviet troops. But only a certain part of the inhabitants of Vienna responded to the call.

Assault on Vienna

On the morning of April 6, the troops of the 4th and 9th Guards. armies from the east and south launched an assault on Vienna. At the same time, the connections of the 6th Guards. tank army bypassed the city from the west, trying to prevent the retreat