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Battle of Seelow Heights - Remains of German Soldiers Recovered 69 Years On.

Article about: Hi Guys, just seen this article in the Daily Mail regarding the recovery of soldiers remains from the Battle of Seelow Heights, a vital crossing point on the Oder and Niesse rivers leading t

  1. #1

    Default Battle of Seelow Heights - Remains of German Soldiers Recovered 69 Years On.

    Hi Guys,

    just seen this article in the Daily Mail regarding the recovery of soldiers remains from the Battle of Seelow Heights, a vital crossing point on the Oder and Niesse rivers leading to what was called "the gates of Berlin" by the attacking Soviets during the 16th-19th April 1945. The excavation was performed by the Association for the Recovery of the Fallen, a volunteer group.

    Recovering the fallen: German soldiers killed during bloody Second World War Brandenburg battle are discovered, still wearing their boots and helmets | Daily Mail Online

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  2. #2

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    Good article on the subject thanks ! timothy

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    Hi Ned, thanks for the link, it is always good to see people considerately and respectfully recovering the war dead from all sides. It may be nearly 70 years ago but there are still many Husbands, Wives, Sons and Daughters out there who yearn to find their loved ones. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  4. #4

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    Fantastic article with some very emotive photos, cheers for sharing Ned!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

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    Thanks Ned.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  6. #6

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    Thanks Ned I would have missed that! Fascinating images

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

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    Good to see they appear to be doing it properly and treating the remains with respect.

    Still wearing their boots and helmets, the Germans who fell fighting Russians at the Gates of Berlin: 70 years on, troops sacrificed in Hitler's doomed last stand are unearthed

    The Battle of the Seelow Heights was part of the Soviet assault on Berlin and lasted three days in April 1945
    Estimates of Russian casualties range from 5,000 to 33,000, with 12,000 Germans killed
    The Association for the Recovery of the Fallen have rescued the remains close to Klessin, Brandenburg

    By Paul Donnelley for MailOnline

    Published: 22:56, 1 October 2014 | Updated: 09:34, 2 October 2014

    212 shares

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    Still wearing their boots and helmets, and carrying their weapons, the bodies of German soldiers who died in the Battle of the Seelow Heights have finally been unearthed.

    A team of archaeologists - the Association for the Recovery of the Fallen - have uncovered the skeletons of men who died defending Berlin from the soldiers of the Red Army in the final days of the Second World War.

    The dig, in Klessin, Brandenburg, brought to the light weapons, helmets, boots and the bones of those fighting to protect the murderous Third Reich.

    Scroll down for video
    A member of the Association for the Recovery of the Fallen uncovers the remains of German soldiers in a Soviet trench close to Klessin (Brandenburg), Germany
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    A member of the Association for the Recovery of the Fallen uncovers the remains of German soldiers in a Soviet trench close to Klessin (Brandenburg), Germany
    The work is painstaking: Human beings are buried below the soil. Gradually skulls are unearthed by the archaeologists
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    The work is painstaking: Human beings are buried below the soil. Gradually skulls are unearthed by the archaeologists
    In many cases the German soldiers are still wearing their helmets and boots, made of more durable material than their battlesdresses which have worn away.
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    In many cases the German soldiers are still wearing their helmets and boots, made of more durable material than their battlesdresses which have worn away.

    In keeping with the spirit of respect the Association fosters, a simple wooden cross was set up at the site, topped with a distinctive 'coal scuttle' German helmet found in the earth.

    The battle was part of the Soviet assault on Berlin, lasting three days in April 1945.

    Almost a million soldiers of the Red Army under the command of Marshal Georgi Zhukov, attacked the position known as the Gates of Berlin.

    More...

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    Defending the German position were110,000 soldiers of the 9th Army.

    Seelow Heights was where some of the most bitter fighting in the overall battle took place. Fighting began in the early hours of April 16 with a massive bombardment by thousands of artillery weapons.

    On the third day the final line of the Seelow Heights was breached leaving nothing but fractured German divisions between the Red Army and the chancellery in Berlin.
    A German soldier lies dead in the street as troops rush forward during the battle to gain control of Berlin
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    A German soldier lies dead in the street as troops rush forward during the battle to gain control of Berlin

    Vision of hell: A convoy of Soviet tanks as they drive through the war-torn streets of Berlin in April 1945
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    Vision of hell: A convoy of Soviet tanks as they drive through the war-torn streets of Berlin in April 1945

    The number of Russian soldiers thought to have died ranges from 5,000 to 33,000, while some 12,000 German troops perished.

    By April 23, the German capital was fully encircled and the Battle of Berlin entered its last stage. Within a fortnight, Adolf Hitler was dead and the war in Europe was effectively over.

    For many of the German soldiers who died in the battle where they fell is where they have remained ever since buried deep in mud and soil - until now.

    The Association for the Recovery of the Fallen, which consists of volunteers from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Holland and Switzerland, was founded in 1992, with some 200 members working as volunteers.
    In memoriam: A cross is planted in the ground above a trench and adorned with a German helmet.
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    In memoriam: A cross is planted in the ground above a trench and adorned with a German helmet.
    World War Two archive footage: The Race To Berlin (related)
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    A German soldier has lain undisturbed for 70 years after falling in the Battle of the Seelow Heights, part of the Soviet assault on Berlin in 1945
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    A German soldier has lain undisturbed for 70 years after falling in the Battle of the Seelow Heights, part of the Soviet assault on Berlin in 1945
    How this soldier met his end is unknown but he fell fighting the Red Army as it advanced on Berlin in the twilight of the Third Reich
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    How this soldier met his end is unknown but he fell fighting the Red Army as it advanced on Berlin in the twilight of the Third Reich
    A German tin helmet, a boot, a gun, a belt and what looks like a thigh bone are all that is left of a German soldier
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    A German tin helmet, a boot, a gun, a belt and what looks like a thigh bone are all that is left of a German soldier
    The bones pile up as more and more German soldiers are uncovered in the trench near Seelow Heights where the bitterest fighting in the overall battle took place
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    The bones pile up as more and more German soldiers are uncovered in the trench near Seelow Heights where the bitterest fighting in the overall battle took place
    Russian soldiers raise a red victory flag over the Reichstag in Berlin after the German capital's capture in May 1945 marking the defeat of Germany in the Second world War
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    Russian soldiers raise a red victory flag over the Reichstag in Berlin after the German capital's capture in May 1945 marking the defeat of Germany in the Second world War
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    The association's mission statement on its website says: 'We are searching for the nameless dead, who lay without commemorative stones in the mass graves of War or were buried somewhere, as individuals and are considered as missing.

    'We want to restore people to their name, which was taken from them over 60 years ago.

    'We are not looking for soldiers of the Wehrmacht, not for U.S. GI's, Marines, soldiers of the red army or Polish Military - not for infantry, soldiers, sailors or airmen - not for Good or Bad.

    'We are looking for people - Sons, Fathers, Brothers.

    'Fallen soldiers are also victims - victims of a gruesome war, which they had not caused and had not wanted.'

    Read more: Recovering the fallen: German soldiers killed during bloody Second World War Brandenburg battle are discovered, still wearing their boots and helmets | Daily Mail Online
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 1412197969158_wps_47_03_Oct_2013_Germany_epa03.jpg   1412199735657_wps_55_epa04426177_Members_of_th.jpg  

    1412200122008_wps_57_epa04426175_Hartmut_Zimme.jpg   1412203344195_wps_2_01_Oct_2014_Germany_Worke.jpg  

    1412203344207_wps_3_01_Oct_2014_Germany_Hartm.jpg   1412235782117_wps_4_epa04426174_Hartmut_Zimme.jpg  

    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    Brilliant Jerry, and thanks Ned. I'm off to Berlin again in November. I've never managed the heights yet, but I think I'll try

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    Thanks Guys, I thought you'd be interested in this article.

    My interpretation of what can be seen is that maybe these men were victims from when the Russians initially started the attack with a massive artillery bombardment. That's just a guess, but the appearance of so many broken and shattered bones leads me to think that, although contrary to some revisionist history written since the time. The Soviet General Zhukov may well have been right when he said the Germans in the frontline trenches were caught by suprise and sustained a great many casualties. Here's a quote from Wiki on this possibility:

    The assault by the 1st Belorussian Front started with an intense artillery bombardment. According to Beevor and Ziemke, Heinrici and Busse had anticipated the attack and withdrew their defenders from the first line of trenches just before the Soviet artillery would have obliterated them. However, this is contradicted by a report to Stalin, in which Zhukov writes that:

    "Considering that the enemy moves its infantry from the first to the second and third lines of trenches in the morning, I used a nightly artillery barrage with a high density of fire for 30 minutes, with the use of searchlights to blind the enemy and light up the terrain ahead of the advancing troops... According to the interrogated prisoners, artillery fire was so sudden and overwhelming that the enemy did not have time to move from the first trench line; the second and third lines were at all times under heavy fire from our artillery. As a result of this, the enemy units in the first line of defense suffered heavy casualties."

    Still, a sobering article and hopefully more precise details of the excavations may arise somewhere on the net. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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    Very nice John, and I thought you were skint. S'pose you'll be at Kassel too?

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