Today we crossed into Poland and had a look at the battlefields along the river Oder on what was known as the Oderfront. This marks the old boundary between Brandenburg and Prussia and today the border between Germany and Poland. Soviet forces reached this area in January 1945 have pushed the Germans back since Operation Bagration the previous June. It marked the final approach to Berlin and the start of the final battles of the Second World War in the west.
The battlefields today in this area cannot be casually visited; being able to speak at least German helps as there are so few English sources, and finding locations really means taking time to look around, read the landscape and find the scars of battle. For example in one area today we look at what the possible Soviet positions were and found a whole system of front line positions including foxholes, tank pits and an anti-tank ditch.
The battlefields are now in Poland and much of the area we visited today was connected with the troops of the 1st Polish Army who had been fighting for the Soviets since 1944. They crossed the Oder on the northern part of the battlefield and took part in the final assault on Berlin. It is a fascinating battlefield area and there are more posts on locations here coming soon.