They all died but no one surrendered

They all died but no one surrendered
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A bright page in the history of the Great Patriotic War for all Russian people was the heroic defense of the Brest fortress, which was the first to meet the Nazi enemy.

Hitler planned to take full control of the fortress on Sunday morning, June 22, 1941. The selected German 45th infantry division was supported by artillery, tanks, and aircraft. As a result of a sudden attack, the garrison of the Brest fortress was cut off from the main units of the Red Army, but that was the place where the fascists met the most fierce resistance.

The fortress was defended by the units of the 6th and 42nd rifle divisions, the 17th border detachment and the 132nd separate battalion of the NKVD troops - a total of 3,500 people. With a desperate shortage of ammunition, food, water, and medicine, the garrison was able to hold off the increased onslaught of the enemy despite the occupation of a large part of the fortress.

Small groups of soldiers continued to persistently resist the Nazis. They steadfastly and selflessly defended every structure, every underground passage. The Red Army men suffered huge losses, but for a month, they stopped the advance of an entire Nazi division.

The defenders of the Brest fortress continued to fight even when the Nazi German tanks were already entering Minsk, and did not accept the enemy's offer of surrender when the front moved all the way to the Berezina. A month later, the German-fascist troops were already at Smolensk, and the survivors still continued their unparalleled struggle in the fortress.

Until the defenders exhausted their forces, they not only defended, but also counterattacked the enemy. Most of the defenders of the fortress were killed. Only small groups managed to break out of the enemy encirclement and make their way to the front line. Many of the wounded were captured.

Only a few managed to escape. The last inscription on the bricks of one of the casemates - the most famous autograph of the last century “I am dying, but I do not give up! Goodbye, Motherland” - scratched on July 20, 1941.

The Brest fortress was liberated three years later, on July 28, 1944. It became a symbol of indomitable fortitude and courage of Soviet soldiers. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR on May 8, 1965, the Brest fortress was awarded the honorary title “Hero-Fortress” and the Gold Star Medal.

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