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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States. Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945
(1945)

III. The Yalta Conference,   pp. [547]-996 PDF (155.3 MB)


Page 581


MINUTES AND RELATED DOCUMENTS
we all are engaged. There was much that required discussion, the
whole map in Europe in fact. Today, however, the conversations by
common agreement would be concerned with Germany. In this con-
nection he felt sure that the British and American people were viewing
with a satisfaction as deep as must be that of the Soviet people them-
selves the successful advances of the Soviet armies against the common
enemy.
  MARSHAL STALIN said that Colonel General Antonov, Deputy Chief
of the Russian General Staff, would outline the situation existing on
the Eastern Front.
  GENERAL ANTONOV made the following statement:
  Soviet forces from the 12th to the 15th of January went into attack
on the front from the Niemen River to the Carpathians, a distance of
700 kilometers. Forces of General Cherniakhovsky advanced towards
Koenigsberg; forces of Marshal Rokossovsky, along the north bank
of the Vistula cutting off East Prussia from central Germany;
forces of Marshal Zhukov, south of the Vistula against Poznan;
forces of Marshal Konev, against Chenstokhov-Breslau; forces of
General Petrov, in the area of the Carpathians against Novo Targ.
The greatest blow was delivered by the army groups of Rokossovsky,
Zhukov, and Konev on the Ostrolenka-Crakow front, 300 kilometers.
  Because of the unfavorable weather conditions, this operation was
to commence at the end of January when weather conditions were
expected to improve. Since the operation was planned and prepared
as an operation in full strength, it was hoped to carry it out under the
most favorable conditions possible. Nevertheless, in view of the diffi-
cult circumstances on the Western Front in connection with the
German attack in the Ardennes, the High Command of the Soviet
Army gave an order to commence the attack not later than the middle
of January, not waiting for improvement in weather.
  The enemy grouping, after the Soviet forces reached the Narev and
Vistula Rivers, was the most concentrated on the central sector of the
front, since striking from this sector led our troops out along the short-
est route to the vital centers of Germany. In order to create for our-
selves more advantageous conditions for attack, the Supreme Soviet
Command decided to extend it to the central group of the energy.
For this purpose this operation was conducted as a subsidiary against
East Prussia, and the advance in Hungary toward Budapest was con-
tinued. Both of these attacks were for the Germans very painful,
and they quickly reacted to our attack by a swift transfer of power
onto the flank at the expense of the central sector of our front; thus,
out of 24 tank divisions on our front, representing the principal Ger-
man striking power, 11 tank divisions were drawn in to the Budapest
sector, 6 tank divisions on the East Prussian (3 tank divisions were
located in Courland), and thus on the central part of the front there
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