When the 9th Rifle Corps of the 5th Shock Army finally reached the Spree on April 22, 1945, they spotted a 300m wide river with both shores
consisting of vertical concrete walls of 5m height regarded impassable by the Germans.
The 1st Brigade of the Dniepr Flotilla with 10 poluglisser and 29 sailors were ordered from Küstrin/Oder to the Spree and in the night to April 23 began
to unload their boats from their Studebaker transport trucks.
From the start, an angry enemy tried to prevent any crossing by spreading all kinds of bullets over the sailors.
However, from April 23-25 the poluglissers managed to move no less than 16.000 soldiers and 27 tanks on pontoons to the other side, albeit at very high costs.
Several boats were damaged by panzerfaust ("faustpatron") and all but 2 commanders killed in action.
9 out of ten commanders were awarded "Hero of the Soviet Union", the remaining one left out probably due to his jewish (!) origine.