On Tuesday 5 April 2011 Robert Long, Chairman of Maldon District Council, will meet Mrs Larisa Bibik, Deputy Director of the Brest Fortress Museum and Memorial Complex in Brest (Brest-Litovsk) Belarus, together with Mrs Irina Kotsuba, the Museum's Chief Guide and Translator at the Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon. They are in the UK in connection with an exhibition of photographs telling the history of the fortress, which had it first showing in the UK in September 2009 at the Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon. The exhibition was subsequently shown around the UK in Bristol, Durham, Newcastle, Jersey, Glasgow, Inverness, South Wales, Yorkshire and Nottingham, and now London. Brest Fortress in Belarus, which is perhaps better known in the UK as Brest-Litovsk was designated the 'Hero Fortress of the Soviet Union' after World War II, thus ranking alongside more well-known places similarly honoured, such as Stalingrad and Leningrad.
In 1914 the Fortress was the largest and most modern in the whole of Europe, and at dawn on Sunday 22 June 1941 became the first place in the Soviet Union to be attacked by the Germans, and held out for 6 weeks, upsetting the German plans who had expected it to fall in a matter of hours. This year sees the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and of Britain's wartaime alliance with the Russians. The visitors will also be visiting Mr John Mulcahy of Tolleshunt Knights who served on the Arctic Convoys to Russia during World War 2 on the Escort Corvette 'Bamborough Castle' which sank the German U Boat U387 off the Russian coast on 9 Dec 1944. He has been awarded two medals by the Russian Federation.
A new 2 hour film about the battle was made in Russia last year, and a BBC Camera Crew visited the fortress last week in connection witha BBC documentary to be released in the Summer.
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