The Normandy Landings is likely one of the most hyped battles of World War Two but the least praiseworthy. How does the scale of time and loss of life compare with the Battle for Courland? These last great battles of World War Two continued even after the armies of the Reich capitulated on May 8, 1945.
By October 1944, the Red Army, equipped by the United States and Britain, trapped 200,000 Reich troops in what became known as the Courland Bridgehead. This seven-month titanic struggle began on October 15, 1944. This period lasted longer than did the Reich’s pre-emptive strike on Bolshevik Russia in June 1941. This had brought the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS to the gates of Moscow in just four months.
The Courland Peninsula, upon which these battles were fought, is largely that of today’s Latvia. Dubbed the Canada of Europe, Courland is heavily forested. This epic struggle to assault the Reich from the East militarily should have been a walk in the park. The vastly superior manpower of Stalin’s Red Army was backed by the awesome and inexhaustible power of America and the British Empire’s industrial might.
The Soviet land, air and sea forces provided by Britain and the United States were to wage six titanic battles before the Reich’s 200,000 defenders were finally overwhelmed. In each confrontation, the British and U.S. sponsored Red Army was mauled.
Malbork castle after WW II
In just one of the one-sided battles the Red Army lost 70,000 dead and wounded. The Soviets also lost 608 tanks and 178 aircraft most of which were British or American made. This David and Goliath clash gained the Soviets just a few isolated farmhouses.
In the last battle, the sixth of the battles, the Red Army suffered 74,000 casualties and the loss of 263 tanks. The Red Army’s final death toll over the last two battles numbered 161,000 men. Of the Reich 200,000 defenders, 180,000 were subsequently taken into captivity. These figures speak for themselves.
In total, the Soviet forces lost 320,000 troops in this small rural community of farms and forests. The Red Army also lost their U.S. supplied mechanised equipment. A wrecked U.S. manufactured Studebaker truck can be seen in the video. Stalin’s Organs, truck-mounted artillery, notorious for the terrifying carnage they inflicted, were mounted on the U.S. supplied Studebaker trucks.
Total Soviet losses consisted of 2,388 tanks, 659 aircraft, 900 artillery pieces and 1,440 machine-guns. By comparison, the heroism of the much smaller Reich armies makes insignificant the Battle of Thermopylae (Greece 480 BC).
Source: The Ethnic European