The Balaton Defensive Operation:Lake Balaton is the sixth Battle in the Soviet campaign.


With the failure of the Ardennes counterattack, the German war effort was in dire need of oil, and Hitler deemed the oil fields at Nagykanizsa, near Lake Balaton, the most valuable strategic resource to defend. Thus, the last offensive action initiated by Germany on the Eastern Front, Operation Spring Awakening, started on 6 March 1945, as a preemptive strike towards the Red Army on the east side of the lake. Due to spring floods, however, the German advance was slowed down and they lost a lot of tanks to the swamps that formed between Lake Balaton and the Danube River. Also, the Germans were unsuccessful in keeping their preparations secret, so the Soviet forces were expecting the attack. Outnumbered, stuck, and outmaneuvered, the Germans could not reach the river to initiate the second part of the offensive plan. The Red Army held out, and on 16thMarch, the Soviets counterattacked, and drove the enemy back beyond the positions they had held before Operation Spring