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Comment: First published version
Coming soon . . .

Operation Radetzky (part 1)

Gerhard Fritz

Just before his 80th birthday in 1995, GenMjr Otto Scholik gave several lectures, one at the ABCAbwS, one at the LVAk, and one at his Catholic student union, as one of Carl Szokoll’s closest associates in Operation Radetzky, reproduced his very personal memories of the last days of the war in 1945. In order to make this document of the time known to a wider readership for another 25 years and later, the ÖMZ has ensured the printing of the lecture in an almost unabridged form, but this is done in two parts due to its length. Even though since 1995, through the opening of many archives, one or the other appears in a more precise light, it is the memories of the immediate contemporary witness who, 50 years after the dramatic and traumatic events, remembered and wrote them down, which can give today’s generation a vivid picture of the impressions of the time. To sum up, the German Wehrmacht had the task of defending Vienna, but the number and moral state of both leadership and troops were bad. In reality, it was only a question of how long and with which sacrifices Vienna had to last. The Wehrmacht could only react - and only to a very limited extent. The Soviets were particularly interested in taking possession of Vienna as soon as possible. The massive troop approach reinforced this. „You can’t overrun houses in cities even with a massive troop approach. If you don’t shoot them down, you have to conquer them floor by floor. But if they are shot down, their cellars will become even more like fortresses and their debris obstructs the lines of movement. However, it was clear to the command of the 3rd Ukrainian Front that the conquest of Vienna would not be a quick walk neither,“ Scholik stressed. Otto Scholik will explain the implementation of Operation Radetzky in the 2nd part in the next issue of the ÖMZ. His most important sentence of his memories right at the beginning will be: Resistance always starts with the fact that you don’t want something!