Battle of Berlin - World War II: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly HistoryBattle of Berlin - World War II
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The Battle of Berlin was a monumental battle between two adversaries who despised one another. For the Russians who had endured the horrific suffering and loss of lives in defending their nation against the Nazi invasion, the opportunity for vengeance seemed as if fate was on their side. For the German civilians who remained in Berlin, the approach of the Red Army invoked terror. The Germans hoped that the Americans would reach them first; they would have preferred to surrender to the Americans. But the Russians were advancing swiftly from the east, and by April of 1945, the Battle of Berlin was underway.
Inside you will read about...
? From Stalingrad to Berlin
? The Battle of the Oder-Neisse
? The Russians Enter Berlin
? The Last Days of Adolf Hitler
? The Rape of Berlin
And much more!
Hitler died by his own hand on April 30, and the Third Reich was crumbling. The loss of life on both sizes was catastrophic, but the Germans had no way of replacing the defenders of the city, and on May 2, Berlin surrendered to the Soviet forces intent on retaliation. The Russians attempted to provide services and food to the starving Germans, but not all of the Russian soldiers were inspired by compassion or altruism. Looting and rape replaced law in the city, and more than 100,000 women of Berlin were raped by Allied soldiers. By the time the Americans and British arrived, the scars of the Russian occupation were seared upon the memories of the German people. The country and its capital would be divided, and the Soviet presence would remain in the country for decades, a bitter reminder that Adolf Hitler’s grand promises of glory had brought Germany to defeat. World War II came to an end in 1945, but for the Germans, their nation became a sacrifice to the Cold War which took its place.
Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo
Nearly a year after the beaches of Normandy were stormed, the Allied push across western Europe was nearly complete. American troops had helped to liberate Paris, win the brutal Battle of the Bulge and press the fight into Nazi Germany through a bitter winter. After the Allies had crossed the last major geographic barrier—the Rhine River—in March , the war in Europe was all but over.
World War II: Battle of Berlin
Having driven across Poland and into Germany, Soviet forces began planning for an offensive against Berlin. Though supported by American and British aircraft, the campaign would be entirely conducted by the Red Army on the ground. General Dwight D. Eisenhower saw no reason to sustain losses for an objective that would ultimately fall into the Soviet occupation zone after the war. One of Germany's premier defensive generals, Heinrici elected not to defend along the Oder River and instead heavily fortified the Seelow Heights east of Berlin.
The battle in Berlin was an end phase of the Battle of Berlin. While the Battle of Berlin encompassed the attack by three Soviet Army Groups to capture not only Berlin but the territory of Germany east of the River Elbe still under German control, the battle in Berlin details the fighting and German capitulation that took place within the city. The outcome of the battle to capture the capital of the Third Reich was decided during the initial phases of the Battle of Berlin that took place outside the city. As the Soviets invested Berlin and the German forces placed to stop them were destroyed or forced back, the city's fate was sealed. Nevertheless, there was heavy fighting within the city as the Red Army fought its way, street by street, into the centre.
As the Red Army pushed across Poland to the River Oder they could muster a very strong fighting force — and completely outnumbered the Germans in terms of men and equipment. Alex Popov, 5th Shock Army By the time the Red Army reached Berlin these forces had markedly increased on both sides. The fear of the Russians in Berlin was such that both young and old were put into the front line. Nazi propaganda had demonised the Russians and many Berliners saw the forthcoming battle as simply a fight to the death.
The war that had proceeded from Berlin returned to the city. Many soldiers and civilians died in widespread house-to-house fighting. On 22 June , two weeks after the Allied landings in Normandy, the Soviet army initiated its campaign against the German forces. On 16 October Soviet troops crossed the German border. He wanted above all to demonstrate Soviet military might and achieve a favourable post-war negotiating position. However, U.
Joseph Stalin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz. The first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula , General Gotthard Heinrici. When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts army groups attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army gradually took the entire city.