A rather vague question, but I seem to recall a documentary mentioning the construction of a landing strip in a besieged town. More specifically, located in a town occupied by the Axis powers and surrounded by Soviet troops. Apparently the strip was constructed for the escape of an officer at the costs of thousands of lives. In the end it was never used. Was such a landing strip ever constructed?

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    Welcome to History.SE, Levon! Please take the tour and read the help center. This is quite vague. From where do you remember it? What has your research shown you so far? Where have you already searched? Please help us to help you. You may improve your question to better comply with site guidelines with an edit and the help of How to Ask. Thanks! May 21, 2018 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


The besieged town in question is most probably Breslau, and the officer in question is most probably Karl Hanke, who was governor (Gauleiter) during the Siege of Breslau.

The English Wikipedia is a bit slim on this matter, however, the German articles, states that after the loss of the last air field, the defending general, Hermann Niehoff, ordered an airstrip to be constructed within the city of 300 by 1000 meters. The German article on the Siege of Breslau goes on, that the airstrip did not make a difference, and it was said, that the Gauleiter's plane was the only one that started from this air strip.

Sorry for the rather slim sources, however, there may be people with a deeper knowledge of the Siege of Breslau, who might be able to provide better sources for this specific episode, i.e. the landing strip being constructed by demolishing builings within the city.

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    You might use these and other and a newspaper May 21, 2018 at 13:53
  • Thank you, that must be it. Still not sure which documentary mentioned it, possibly a netflix offering. Peculiarly, though I used the some of the keywords used in the English entry on Breslau, the article never popped up in Google.
    – Levon
    May 21, 2018 at 14:22
  • I heard about this episode, I think, in various documentaries, as it highlights the fanatism and the futility with regard to the defense from the Soviets on the Eastern Front as it was approaching and entering the Reich.
    – Dohn Joe
    May 22, 2018 at 7:04

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