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Seelow Heights on Google Earth

Article about: I rediscovered this screengrab today which I made at the time of reading Tony Le Tissier's excellent book 'Death Was Our Companion'. It's of part of the last major German defence line before

  1. #1

    Default Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    I rediscovered this screengrab today which I made at the time of reading Tony Le Tissier's excellent book 'Death Was Our Companion'.

    It's of part of the last major German defence line before Berlin and clearly shows the positions of the Muncheberg and the 20th Panzergrenadier divisons in mid-April 1945. It shows east of the town of Seelow and the marshy approaches to the river Oder which was the border with Poland and the advancing Red Army.

    It was also the site of one of the earliest uses of infrared technology in combat (on Panthers) and the battle cost the defenders up to 12,000 dead over a few days as the Russians broke through to Berlin approx 70km to the west.

    I was struck by how clear the German positions remain almost sixty-five years later and can only wonder what lies beneath the scarred surface.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    This is somewhere I would like to visit. Great pic!

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    Very interesting indeed , very clear trenchlines still , as Ade says i place i must visit in the future
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  4. #4

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    The line running from the right through the centre of the picture towards Seelow was the old Reichsstrasse 1 and is now the Bundesstrasse 1. There's a video on YouTube by Alan Heath of him driving up the road towards the Heights along the axis of the Soviet advance. He's posted other videos from the area and inside the musuem at Seelow and a comment under one of his videos is by a Polish digger who says he's recovered a hundred weapons from the site.

    The zig-zag of trees bottom right of the picture marks the cobbled road used by the Soviet tanks to make the first breach of the Seelow Heights.

    While it looks green and pleasant now any pictures or video I've seen from spring 1945 give the impression of a mud-caked lunar landscape. I wonder if the reason the trenches appear visible from the air is because the 'debris' they contain means crops struggle to grow properly on top of them?

  5. #5
    HVK
    HVK is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    There is still something to be found in the Seelow Heigths. Many of the old fox holes are clearly visible and last year I know that in the bottom of a hole 6 boxes of MG ammo was found. It is possible to find cannon shells, MG boxes, grenades on the surface.

    I have found helmets, gas mask containers, flare cartridges, 23mm casings from Sturmovik, and some verye short canon shells from a german mountain gun (?)....

    It is an extremely exciting position if you are interested in tactics... But the locals are not that glad for diggers - so please do not dig without permission... :-) Or dont get caugth.... :-)

    Here are some pictures of things found in 2008 in the Seelow area...
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 75mm_hylster.JPG   Artilleri%20granat.JPG  

    GEVRGR~1.JPG   Hylstre.JPG  


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    OMG this Mg box is beautiful.

    This ammo-tube is from KWK or Pak 40??

  7. #7
    HVK
    HVK is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    I thougth it was from the 75mm casings you can see behind the MG Box ? We kneled down to look at the MG box - and there behind was the three casings standing up the tree....

    The MG box, the tree casings and the holster was found on the surface. The artillery shell is a russian dud - so I carefully left it alone...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    I've spent tons of time out there with my school kids.
    I'm amazed how much shrapnel is still lying around and or buried deep in all the old wood in some of the older houses and barns.
    If you ever get the opportunity, check out some of the open country just south of Kienitz. one of the smaller sand dunes out there is full of relics which are also pretty easy to find because of the rust stains on the sand. Our kids found cartridges, canteens, ammo boxes... even a shattered p08.Soberingly, some bone as well but I wasn't too sure if it was human.

    Letchin's a hot spot too. Local neonazis are kind of a drag though...

  9. #9
    infin1ty92
    ?

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    Where do you think its possible to find most exciting stuff? Seelow Heights or Halbe? thank you!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Seelow Heights on Google Earth

    I'd donate my eyeballs to medical science NOW, just to dig that area!

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