Advance to the Baltic

26/03/1945 - 16/05/1945

The airborne soldiers were well suited to exploit the fluid situation that occurred following the collapse of the Rhine barrier defence. Short fierce actions were fought from the tanks of the 4th Tank Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and whatever transport could be purloined.

They advanced past Osnabrück, Minden, Celle and crossed the Elbe. The 3rd Parachute Brigade reached Wismar on 2nd May, racing just ahead of the Russians. Many soldiers had completed the 350 miles on foot. The Russians were deterred from entering Lubeck. On the 8 May 1945 the war in Europe ended.

Three days before, the 1st Parachute Brigade landed at Copenhagen in Denmark to preserve law and order after outbreaks of fighting between Danish civilians and German troops. The last German garrison surrendered in Denmark on 16 May.

At the end of May the 6th Airborne Division returned to its bases at Wiltshire in England.

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