World Battlefronts: Into East Prussia

For a week Berlin radio jittered with its strongest superlatives. "One of the war's bloodiest struggles," "mammoth offensive," "grand assault," "unheard-of numerical superiority," "monstrous force."

For six days Moscow was officially silent, permitted correspondents to cable that "when the news is finally released it is expected to be ... sensational. . . ." But it was clear that three years and four months after Germany had invaded Russia, the Russians had invaded Germany. The battle for East Prussia — Germany's "bowels of iron and heart of steel" — had begun.

So far, history was repeating itself. Thirty years before, the Russians...

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