World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF GERMANY (East): Thunder & Silence

West of Shavh, a rail-junction town in northern Lithuania, Red Army guns thundered. By the Berlin radio's account, the Russians "launched a new offensive with armored and battle formations after subjecting the main German defense line to a drumfire barrage of heaviest caliber." Berlin added that the penetrations achieved were "temporary."

Berlin was mistaken. Moscow kept mum for four days, then broke the news with a victory salute from 224 guns: the Red armies had jammed through for gains up to 60 miles on a 175-mile front. This week they had sent the Germans reeling back to within twelve miles of...

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