By the end of 1944, the Soviet summer offensive led to the German troops around Pzevsk being completely cut off. They were isolated from both the retreating forces of Army Group Center to the south and the remnants of Army Group North which had been trapped on the Courland Peninsula in Latvia.

All told, about 10,000 Germans were trapped around Pzevsk. The Soviets, preoccupied both by the much larger Courland pocket to the north and the continuing offensives to the west, were content to blockade Pzevsk in order to starve their opponents out. Pzevsk was a city of modest size with no natural resources, and there were not enough supplies to sustain a large group of soldiers without resupply. Naturally, the German command refused to evacuate or surrender Pzevsk; the last orders sent to the pocket in April 1945 called for it to resist.

After the surrender in Europe, the Courland pocket was surrendered to the Soviets but the much smaller Pzevsk pocket did not respond to demands for surrender. A belated Soviet attack on May 10 met no resistance, and rapidly overtook the position.

This was because every last soldier in the pocket was already dead.

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