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Mukaan mahtuu noin 60 afilaista.
The 75th Guards Tank Division continues moving deeper into enemy occupied territory, slowed only by some small pockets of determined German resistance. After suffering initial casualties inflicted by air attacks and artillery, the large, heavily armored formation is finally losing speed because of fuel and supply problems caused by strategic strikes in the rear.
Constant enemy ambushes and maneuvers have reduced the division’s combat strength significantly. This most recent setback and supply delays mean that the division must be held in combat with very little fresh food, ammunition or fuel.
The situation on the front is developing quickly and those in charge realize that they must make a decisive maneuver while they still have the capability to act with all of their forces.
NATO formations that had been previously broken by brute force and firepower have begun reforming around the city of Frankfurt, the primary target of the 6th Guards Army which the 75th division is subordinated to. To facilitate taking the city key road junctions around it must first be secured. With just a few more kilometers to go, army commanders commit to the attack.
The first of these crossroads to fall is the Bad Homburger highway intersection, taken on the evening of the 8th of April by forces from the 17th Guards tank division. The next will be Oberstedten, allowing for further maneuvers to the west.
It is now the morning of the 9th of April.
Exhausted soldiers from the I and II companies of a battalion from the 358. Guards Motor Rifles are amalgamated together into an improvised combat group and ordered west along Highway 661. It is a beautiful sunny Tuesday, sullied only by a rotten war.
They are greeted on their way to their step-off area by the burning and mangled remnants of the 17th Guards at the Bad Homburger crossing. Soldiers dart from cover to cover as they construct improvised combat positions, shielding the movement of the column with their fire.
The vehicles rock from the occasional close artillery strike and some are forced to stop due to mechanical damage. An anti-tank missile shrieks past, detonating against the embankment.
“Two kilometers” says the company sergeant over the radio as the column passes the gutted wreck of a burning BMP, the men strewn across the road like puppets. Power lines above sag from the weight of a corpse trapped between them, blown there by the force of the blast.
They begin to wonder if they’ll even make it that far.