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Battle of Berlin

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Battle of Berlin, Reichstag 1945

A soldier raising the Soviet flag atop Reichstag

The Battle of Berlin was the last major battle of the Eastern Front.

DescriptionEdit

The Wehrmacht, with about 1 million soldiers, the Hitler Youth, and "Volkssturm" soldiers, who consisted of children ten to sixteen years old and old men, fought for Berlin for two weeks against approximately 2,500,000 Soviet soldiers. It was debated as to who was going to be the ones to lead the battle of Berlin. It was originally a "race" to Berlin between the Western allies and the Soviets although eventually the Soviets would be granted the invasion, as Berlin was to be in the designated soviet controlled zone after the war ended. The battle started on April 14, 1945, and ended May 2, 1945.

History of the BattleEdit

On 16 April 1945, the Russians, whose gunners had to keep their mouths open when they fired, in order to stop their eardrums from bursting, used 22,000 guns and mortars to fire enough shells to fill 2,450 frieght cars, while simultanously blinding the defenders with searchlights.[1]

On 29 April Soviet forces, traveling up Alt-Moabit street, passed the Lehrter Stadtbahnhof and crossed the Moltke Bridge and advanced up the road to the Reichstag, fighting building by building, where the vicious fighting took a turn for the worse for the defenders of the German Parliament building. Soviet artillery, 152 and 207mm guns, opend up a barrage of fire before the troops attempted to capture the building. This task took all day up until roughly 22:00 hours when two soldiers of the Soviet Red Army raised up a flag on the second story of the building, signaling the end of the fighting and that the seige had been victorious.

On 8 May 1945, 23:01 hours, Field Marshal Keitel, Admiral H. G. von Friedeburg and Hans-Jurgen Stumpff signed the unconditional surrender documents, ending the war in Europe.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Roberts, Andrew. The Storm of War - A new history of the Second World War. Penguin Books. ISBN 978 0 141 02928 3. (2010). Page 552

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