This week in the War, 3–9 July 1944: Liberation of Minsk
Soviet T34 tank entering Minsk, early July 1944 [Public domain]
This week in the war, on 3 July 1944, troops of Marshal Rokossovsky’s 1st and General Chernyakhovsky’s 3rd Belorussian fronts entered Minsk, the capital city of Belorussia. The German occupation of Minsk, which had lasted for three years, was finally over.
Most of the 40 divisions of Germany’s Army Group Centre were encircled. Army Group North, located in the Baltic states, was at risk of being cut off.
Faced with the collapse of his armies on the Eastern Front, Hitler would soon leave the Berghof near Berchtesgaden and fly to his Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia, which was nearer to the centre of the action.
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