26 April

The Battle of Bautzen is the last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.

The battle was one of the last battles of the Eastern Front during World War II. It was fought on the extreme southern flank of the Spremberg-Torgau Offensive, seeing days of pitched street fighting between forces of the Polish Second Army and elements of the Soviet 52nd Army and 5th Guards Army on one side and elements of German Army Group Center in the form of the remnants of the 4th Panzer and 17th armies on the other.

The battle took place during Ivan Konev’s 1st Ukrainian Front’s push toward Berlin, which was part of the larger Soviet Berlin Offensive. The battle was fought in the town of Bautzen and the rural areas to the northeast situated primarily along the Bautzen–Niesky line. Major combat began on 21 April 1945 and continued until 26 April although isolated engagements continued to take place until 30 April. The Polish Second Army under Karol Świerczewski suffered heavy losses, but, with the aid of Soviet reinforcements, prevented the German forces from breaking through to their rear. According to one historian, the Battle of Bautzen was one of the Polish Army’s bloodiest battles.