a base of operations on the west bank of the Vistula River, near the city of Puławy, Poland. The bridgehead was captured by the troops of the First Byelorussian Front in the concluding phase of the Byelorussian Operation of 1944, during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45).
Advance units of the Sixty-ninth Army, commanded by General V. la. Kolpakchi, reached the Vistula on July 28 and forced it and by August 1 captured three small bridgeheads along a front of about 25 km. Fierce battles were fought over the bridgeheads until August 8. Duringthe fighting, units of the Sixty-ninth Army, jointly with the XI Tank Corps and in coordination with the Polish First Army, repulsed enemy counterattacks and consolidated the captured sectors into two bridgeheads of up to 4–6 km wide. After erecting bridges and moving the main forces across the river, the Sixty-ninth Army on August 15 undertook to expand the bridgeheads. During stubborn ghting, by August 28 a single bridgehead was finally formed, with a front of 30 km and a depth of as much as 10 km.
In late 1944 the Puławy bridgehead was organized as an attack position for an offensive. In early January 1945 the Thirty-third Army, commanded by General V. D. Tsvetaev, was also deployed at the bridgehead. The two armies, reinforced by the IX and XI tank corps, formed one of the striking forces of the First Byelorussian Front in the Vistula-Oder Operation of 1945. On January 14 the striking force passed to the offensive on the Lodz axis.
V. N. KISELEV