Battle of Slivice

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Battle of Slivice
Part of World War II
Památník Milín (1).jpg
Memorial near Slivice
Date 11–12 May 1945
Location Slivice near Čimelice, Bohemia
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
 Soviet Union
 Czechoslovakia[1][2]
 United States
 Germany
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Sergei Serjogin
United States LeRoy Irwin
Nazi Germany Carl Friedrich von Pückler-Burghauss
Strength
Unknown Approx 7,000
Casualties and losses
Soviet Union: ~60 dead
13 partisans
~1,000 dead
~6,000 captured

The Battle of Slivice was the last large World War II battle in the area of the Czech lands. During 11–12 May 1945, German troops, trying to surrender to nearby American troops, defended themselves against local partisans and the Soviet Army. The Germans eventually capitulated during early hours of May 12. About 6,000 men were captured by the Soviet troops.

Background[edit]

On 7 May 1945, all German forces were ordered to remain in their positions and surrender. Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner, however, the commander of the Army Group Centre deployed in Bohemia, ordered his units to force their way westwards in order to surrender to American forces. The units reached the agreed demarcation line in western Bohemia and stopped there. Since the Soviet Army was still days away from the demarcation line, the partisans tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to stop the Germans, who responded with reprisals against the local population. On several occasions, Russian Liberation Army units – also trying to reach the Americans – skirmished with the Germans.

On 9 May, a large formation of German troops reached the area between villages Milín, Slivice and Čimelice, near the demarcation line. Among them were parts of Kampfgruppe Wallenstein.[3] The formation was commanded by SS-Gruppenführer Carl Friedrich von Pückler-Burghauss. The soldiers were accompanied by fleeing German civilians. Because the road toward the Americans was blocked by local resistance units, Pückler-Burghauss ordered the establishment of defensive lines. After May 8, the Americans returned any soldiers attempting to surrender to the Soviet side.

Battle[edit]

On 11 May, partisan groups led by Soviet officer Yevgeniy Antonovich Olesenski[4] attempted to storm the Germans, but were driven back. Soviet Army units arrived that afternoon and attacked the German positions.

The attack started with a heavy artillery and rocket bombardment. The Soviet bombardment was supported by 4th Armored Division of the U.S. Third Army's XII Corps. Later, troops from the 1st, 2nd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts attacked the German positions. During the night, the defense collapsed and, at around 03:00 of 12 May in the Rakovice Mill, Pückler-Burghauss signed the capitulation which was then countersigned by American and Soviet representatives. Following the capitulation, general returned to his accommodation villa where he shot himself. About 6,000 soldiers and a large number of vehicles were captured.

Commemoration[edit]

In 1970, a memorial to the battle, designed by Václav Hilský, was unveiled in Slivice. Czech military history clubs, the Museum in Příbram and the Army of the Czech Republic have organized reenactments of the battle since 2001. Near to the villa (acros the road) in Čimelice, where Pückler-Burghauss committed suicide, is another memorial with the inscription: In this place on 9 May 1945 the American Army stopped the retreat of German Army. At the presence of American, Soviet a German military representants the last military surrender of Second World War in Europe was signed here on 12 May 1945.[5][6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-09-19.  in czech
  2. ^ http://zpravy.idnes.cz/vybuch-amputoval-dlan-ucastnikovi-rekonstrukce-bitvy-u-slivice-pxq-/krimi.asp?c=A090509_124113_krimi_jte in Czech
  3. ^ Kampfgruppe Wallenstein was formed to suppress the Prague Uprising: overview in Czech Archived March 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine..
  4. ^ Captain Olesenski was parachuted into the area to organize the resistance: details in Czech.
  5. ^ "Slivice. Pomník konce 2. světové války". Spolek pro vojenská pietní místa (in Czech). Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Čimelice. Pomník konce 2. světové války". Spolek pro vojenská pietní místa (in Czech). Retrieved 21 May 2017. 

Literature[edit]

  • Josef Velfl, Jiří Vostarek: Slivice 1945 - Poslední události 2. světové války na Příbramsku (Slivice 1945 - the last events of World War II in Příbram region), 1995, published by local authorities and the Mining Museum in Příbram (details).
  • Tomáš Jakl: Květen 1945 v českých zemích - Pozemní operace vojsk Osy a Spojenců (May 1945 in the Czech lands - ground campaigns of the Axis and the Allies), 2004, ISBN 80-86524-07-8.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°38′36″N 14°02′50″E / 49.64333°N 14.04722°E / 49.64333; 14.04722