Brest Fortress Belarus 28 September 2005
A group of armoured vehicles at the memorial complex. The left hand vehicle is an SU-100 SP, the right hand one is what appears to be a T-54 chassis with a T-34 turret ?! and the right hand one is a T-34.
On 22 June 1941, Nazi forces numbering about 20,000, as part of Operation Barbarossa, fell without warning on the 3,500 combatant defenders of the Brest Fortress on the Polish Border; with non combatant troops and civilians, there were a total of 7-8,000 personnel in the fortress, including service dependents. Although the fortress was deemed captured on 30 June 1941, sporadic resistance continued amongst the ruins and cellars with the final defenders drowned in the cellars by water brought from the river Bug in August. Inscriptions were carved with bayonets in the cellar walls, such as "We'll die but we'll not leave the fortress" and "I'm dying but I won't surrender. Farewell, Motherland. 20.VII.41." Although the defence made little difference to the initial assault of the Soviet Union (when the fortress fell, it was already 300 miles (480 kms) behind German lines), it did impress on the Soviet High command, the impact of defending towns and villages. Although a shining beacon in a period of ignominy for the Red Army which generally suffered a total collapse in the face of the German invasion, its role was not made public until 1957. The Memorial Complex was opened in 1971. The fortress was awarded the honorific title "Hero Fortress" (Krepost' geroi) on 8 May 1965 , the twentieth anniversary of the German capitulation in WWII. Ironically, survivors captured at Brest who were repatriated after the war were sent to gulags as collaborators and spies.
Picture added on 23 December 2010 at 08:24
This picture is in the following groupsMemorials