"White 235" blown from bridge during air attack
T-34/85 Medium Tank
Standard turret, 85mm S-53 gun
Built at Zavod No112 "Krasnoye Sormovo", Gorkiy, mid 1944
The Gumbinnen Operation, also known as the Goldap Operation (or Goldap-Gumbinnen Operation), was a Soviet offensive on the Eastern Front late in 1944, in which forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front attempted to penetrate the borders of East Prussia.
On 16 October, 1944, the 5th and 11th Guards Armies went onto the offensive and initially penetrated some 11 km into the German defensive belt.
The flanking armies commenced operations the next day, by which time units of the 11th Guards Army had crossed the East Prussian border.
The Soviet troops ran into extremely strong resistance, however.
It took them four days to penetrate the initial tactical defences, while the second defence line was so strong that the commander of the 3rd Belorussian Front, Ivan D. Chernyakhovsky, was compelled to commit the 2nd Guards Tank Corps to break it.
Casualties were extremely heavy.
On 20 October, the second line was ruptured by the 11th Guards Army and 2nd Guards Tank Corps east of Gumbinnen, defended by the guns of the 18th Anti-Aircraft Division and the Fallschirm-Panzerdivision "Hermann Göring", which had been redeployed in the area to counter the Soviet advance.
After destroying no less than 10 75mm Pak 40 AT guns, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 25th Guards Tank Brigade, belonging to the 2nd Guards Tank Corps of the 11th Guards Army, crossed the undestroyed Angerapp bridge at Nemmersdorf and established a bridgehead on the western bank of the river.
German forces tried to retake the bridge, but several attacks were repelled by the Soviet tanks and the supporting infantry.
Fierce fighting followed on the whole 22th of October, resulting in several tank losses on the Russian side.
During the night of 22nd to 23rd of October , the Soviet 25th Tank Brigade was finally ordered to retreat back across the Angerapp river and take defensive positions along the Rominter Heide.