In eastern Slovakia you are increasingly aware of the proximity of the Carpathian mountains and the steppes of Russia and the Ukraine to the east. The mountains crowd closer and there are now road signs to Odessa. It was here in October 1944 that the Soviet armies finally broke through the Carpathian chain to take Budapest and turn west across the Hungarian plain towards Germany. One of the hardest fought operations in this campaign was the taking of the Dukla Pass, the key route from southern Poland into Slovakia (Fig. 4.1).
Figure 4.1 The Dukla Pass in relation to the Carpathian frontier between Poland and Slovakia