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What happened to the soldiers of the Courland Pocket?

What happened to the soldiers of the Courland Pocket?

Renamed Army Group Courland on 25 January, the Army Group in the Courland Pocket remained isolated until the end of the war. When they were ordered to surrender to the Soviet command on 8 May, they were in “blackout” and did not get the official order before 10 May, two days after the capitulation of Germany.

How many men were in the Courland Pocket?

Approximately 200,000 German troops in 26 divisions were in what was to become known as the Courland Pocket, pushed against the Baltic Sea in the West, the Irbe Strait in the North and the Gulf of Riga in the East.

What country is Courland in?


Courland Kurzeme Kurland
Coordinates: 57°0′0″N 22°0′0″E
Country Latvia
First mention 6th century
Capital Kuldīga

Why did the Germans take the Courland Pocket?

This would allow German forces to focus on the Eastern Front, using the Courland Pocket as a springboard for a new offensive. Hitler’s refusal to evacuate the Army Group resulted in the entrenchment of more than 200,000 German troops largely of the 16th Army and 18th Army, in what was to become known to the Germans as the “Courland Bridgehead”.

How far did the Soviet Union advance in the Courland Pocket?

The Soviets launched six offensives to defeat the German Army Group Courland. Throughout the campaign against the Courland pocket, Soviet forces did not advance more than 25 miles anywhere along the front, ending no more than a few kilometers forward of their original positions after seven months of conflict.

Where was fortress Kurland?

To the east and the south was the Soviet army, to the north and the west — the Baltic Sea. The Latvians called it Kurzemes katls, the Kurland kettle; the Germans called it Festung Kurland, Fortress Kurland.

What happened to the German Army Group Kurland?

Equally unsuccessful were the final attempts of the First and Second Baltic Front Armies to liquidate the German Army Group “Kurland” in December of 1944 and February and April of 1945. Soviet documents show that Stalin threw division after division into the Kurland inferno, disregarding the appallingly high losses.