The Battle of the Dukla Pass saw heavy fighting as Soviet forces attempted to push into Czechoslovakia in order to provide assistance to the Slovak uprising, which began on 29 August 1944. The Germans had built heavy fortifications in the Carpathian Mountains along the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia, which became known as the Carpathian Fortress. The Soviets expected that the operation to break into Czechoslovakia could be achieved relatively quickly but underestimated the defensive fortifications and the determination of the German troops after being pushed out of Russia and the Ukraine. The fighting northwest of the town of Dukla was especially fierce and saw a lengthy engagement between Soviet and German tank forces to seize control of high ground to the northwest of Dukla known as ‘Hill 534’. The pass was not fully taken by the Soviet and Czechoslovak troops until 10 October, by which time the uprising had been crushed.
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