The Vistula Spit (Polish: Mierzeja Wiślana; Russian: Балтийская коса; German: Frische Nehrung) is an aeolian sand spit, or peninsular stretch of land, which separates Vistula Lagoon from Gdańsk Bay in the Baltic Sea. The border between Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast, an exclave of Russia, bisects it, politically dividing the spit in half between the two countries. The westernmost point of Russia is located on the Vistula Spit. The Polish part contains a number of tourist resorts, incorporated administratively as the town of Krynica Morska.
Until the 13th century, the spit had navigable straits in the middle, which allowed the city of Elbląg, part of the monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, direct access to the Baltic Sea. The natural closing of the straits in the late 13th century reduced Elbląg's status as an important trading seaport. This and the Teutonic takeover of Danzig (Gdańsk) and Polish Pomerania in 1308 led to the increased importance of Gdańsk.
During World War II, it became the last holdout of the remaining German soldiers in East Prussia, although the Soviets simply bypassed the spit after the East Prussian Offensive was decisively concluded, training their sights on the more important goal of capturing Berlin. The last Wehrmacht soldiers only laid down their arms after the German Instrument of Surrender was signed.
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- Kramarska, R Uścinowicz, S Zachowicz J and Kawińska M, Origin and evolution of the Puck Lagoon in Journal of Coastal Research Issue 22, 2005, P187
- Vistula Spit (Polish) (German)
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