Relics from the Front Since 2010
  • Russian 76.2mm ZIS 3 anti-tank gun brass shell case dated 1943 in nice relic condition recovered on the battlefield around Breslau in Lower Silesia from the siege and battle of February to May 1945

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    This is a Russian 76.2mm brass shell case dated 1943 fired by Zis 3 ant-tank gun it is missing its primer .The case is complete but with some small amount of damage around the neck from being fired it does not retain its shiny original brass colour it has discoloured and has a slightly rougher finish from being buried it still has some of its stamps and markings on the bottom including the date 1943 not very clear to see but they are there it is in nice condition for a battlefield recovered case not the best i have had but good. The case was recovered on the battlefield around Breslau in Lower Silesia from the siege and battle of February to May 1945.

    Breslau was declared a Fortress City by Adolf Hitler in Aug 1944. The German forces garrisoned at Breslau fielded an impressive number of 200 artillery pieces, 7 tanks, and 8 self-propelled guns in early 1945, but this strength could easily turn into an illusion as the garrison had little ammunition, thus requiring major efforts of resupply by land and air in order to keep fighting. In Jan 1945, as Soviet troops neared, the Germans began evacuating civilians from the city; thousands of evacuees from Breslau would die in bitter cold before reaching their destinations. The Soviet encirclement attempts began on 13 Feb 1945, and by 15 Feb, Soviet 3rd Guards Tank Army and Soviet 4th Tank Army linked up and completed the effort. German Luftwaffe wing Kampfgeschwader (KG) 4 and its He 111 aircraft became the only way the city could receive supplies; the first KG 4 supply mission was a success, but subsequent flights were plagued by Soviet and US fighter interceptions and even downings by Breslau's own anti-aircraft guns due to mis-identification. While Konev's main forces moved on with the offensive campaign elsewhere in Silesia, units of Soviet 6th Army were left behind to lay siege on Breslau. Fighting between the two sides lasted until the end of the war, destroying about 80% to 90% of the city, much of it at the hands of Soviet artillery fire but part of the destruction was also done as the result of German sabotage. Although the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) was able to complete 2,000 sorties in the following three months to bring in supplies and evacuate the wounded, most of the 50,000 to 80,000 German troops found themselves fighting with minimal food and ammunition. German General of the Infantry Hermann Niehoff, commanding the Fortress City since 2 Mar 1945, finally surrendered on 6 May at the Villa Colonia at Kaiser-Friedrich-Strasse 14 (now named Rapacki Street); Hanke fled by air to Prague, Czechoslovakia on 5 May and would be killed a month later when he attempted to escape from captivity. According to Soviet sources, the Germans suffered 40,000 troops killed and 14,000 captured during the siege, while the Soviets suffered 6,000 killed; as many as 30,000 civilians might had been killed during the siege.

    ZiS-3 (M1942)

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