Operation: Unthinkable was the code name for the operation to remove the Red Army's presence within former Nazi Germany. It was ordered to be created by British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. This plan was soon approved following the defeat of the Empire of Japan by American President Harry S. Truman and French President Charles de Gaulle. Unthinkable consisted of two phases, the first was to push the Red Army out of Germany by using strategic and technological superiority.The second phase would comprise of entrenched positions in Germany until demands were set upon Stalin to agree to the future of Central Europe. 1 July, 1945 was to be the operation's initial hypothetical start date, but had been allocated a later start date due to the persistence of the Japanese forces still engaging the allies.
Much of the second plan was abandoned after it was seen that the land captured could not be properly defended. This was due to the Red Army's numerical superiority of 4:1 in men and 2:1 in tanks. To counteract this, 100,000 imprisoned Wehrmacht soldiers were released and ordered to fight for the Allies. However after the surrender of Japan, thousands of Allied troops were soon relocated to Europe. Captured generals such as Heinz Guderian, Erich von Manstein and Albert Kesselring took command of reformed Wehrmacht divisions. Several months into the operation, the nation of the Federal Republic of Germany was declared by the Allied forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. Theodor Heuss was then voted in as President of Germany and Konrad Adenauer was voted in as Chancellor. Following the creation of Federal Republic, recruitment of more troops for the Wehrmacht began, as well as the reintroduction of the manufacturing of high grade vehicles such as the Panther(Panzer V), the Tiger(Ppanzer VI), the Jagdpanther tank destroyer, the Arado Ar 232 jet bomber and the ME-262 multi-purpose fighter.
By the end of Operation: Unthinkable, everything west to the Oder was soon retaken and occupied by Allied forces. After seven months of slowly retaking Germany the Red Army has lost its foothold within in Germany, which was occupied by four million troops, 750,000 of which were Wehrmacht. This then lead to the three year long Continuation War.
With an estimate of 2.5 million troops within Central Europe, the Western Allies sent a declaration of war to the Soviet Union. Strategic bombing raids have caught Red Army divisions by surprise, nearly shattering several battalions. Three days into the operation hundreds of thousands of Allied forces have crossed the Elbe River and began initial land assaults. Air superiority was a key factor in a majority of these engagements. American strategic bombers and fighters along with the RAF were able to pacify the Soviet Air Forces and eliminate key supply depots for the Red Army across Germany. By the end of October, 100,000 Wehrmacht prisoners were soon rearmed and fought alongside Allied forces.
Although the Allies were able to maintain dominance in the skies, the Red Army still heavily outnumbered the Allied Forces in troops and tanks which played a vital role. Soviet T-34s were actually able claim victory in several battles on the east of the Elbe. To counter this threat, Allied forces agreed to restore German factories and begin the reproduction of tanks such as the Panzer IV, the Tiger, and the Panther. As well as this, the British also began production of the Centurion which proved effective in countering the T-34 threat. Berlin was soon liberated as Allied ground troops surrounded the city and eliminated Red Army divisions stationed inside the metropolis.
By the end of 1945 and into the beginning of 1946, the Allied forces have rounded up German politicians from and created the Federal German Republic, which temporarily held its capital in Bonn due to Berlin state in ruin. The Federal Republic of Germany was created on the 22nd of January, 1946. After its initial creation, President Theodor Heuss has ordered all German divisions in still occupied regions such as Norway and Netherlands to come back to help in removing the Red Army's presence. About 90,000 troops from Norway and 75,000 from Denmark soon abandoned their positions to return to Germany. This resulted in Norway's and Denmark's military aid in Operation: Unthinkable. By March, the Red Army in Germany has completely shattered and retreated across the Oder into Poland, or south to Czechoslovakia.
After the Red Army's retreat in March, fortifications were constructed extensively across Germany. Terms have been sent to Stalin regarding the recognition of German and Austrian independence. This was later declined by the STAVKA which replied by preparing four million troops across the Oder. With Allied air superiority, extensive naval capabilities,recruitment of new German troops and now the introduction of troops fighting in Asia, around 3.7 million troops have been stationed in Germany. Cities such as Berlin, Cottbus and Luckenwalde were soon refortified. Air superiority allowed the Allies to continuously strike Red Army positions across the Oder without the risk of sustaining large amounts of casualties. Fabrication of advanced German weapons such as the Sturmgewehr 44 continue.
On March 25th, 1946, the Red Army attempted to retake the regions between the Elbe and the Oder by crossing the river with four million troops which would soon be known as the Battle of the Oder. Approximately four million Soviet troops cross the river in makeshift rafts, boats and other means of improvising to engage the two million Allied troops guarding the river. With several weeks to prepare undisturbed, the Allied Forces were able to construct large amounts of defensive structures, minefields and fortifications; along with air supremacy, thousands of Soviet soldiers were killed before even crossing the river or boarding. Mines that were placed on the riverbeds soon destroyed tightly packed squads whole.
After several weeks of attempting to cross the Oder River and sustaining several hundred thousand casualties, Soviet generals George Zhukov and Vasily Chuikov agreed to retreat with the 1st Belorussian Front back to Poland in order to resupply and tend to the wounded. With no support from the 1st Belorussian Front the 2nd Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front has sustained heavy casualties and resulted in the death of Konstantin Rokossovsky. George Zhukov was soon placed in charge of the 2nd Belorussian Front. The Battle of the Oder marked the victory for the Allied forces and began the Continuation War.
Due to the 1st Belorussian Front's retreat the 2nd Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front has sustained heavy casualties, with thousands taken as prisoner as they were not able to properly retreat across the Oder. Furious by this decisive defeat, General Secretary Iosef Stalin threatened any general who retreats in any future engagement with the penalty of death. With the Soviet Union running out of manpower, the legal age to join the Red Army was soon lowered to 16 in order to have acquire a larger conscription pool. Cossacks within the USSR were also forced to join the Red Army. Thousands of reservists from Siberia and the Soviet puppet state of Mongolia were called into active service. The aftermath of Operation: Unthinkable soon led to The Continuation War.