Battle of Berlin

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Battle of Berlin
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
1945-05-01GerWW2BattlefrontAtlas.jpg
Front lines 1 May 1945.
Date 16 April – 8 May 1945
Location Berlin, Germany
Result Decisive Allied victory
Participants
 Soviet Union
 Poland
 Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany Alfred Jodl

Nazi Germany Gotthard Heinrici

Nazi Germany Helmuth Reymann

Nazi Germany Helmuth Weidling

Strength
2,500,000 soldiers, 6,250 armoured vehicles, 7,500 airplanes, 41,600 artillery guns. 850,000 soldiers, 1,500 armoured vehicles, 3,500 airplanes, 9,300 artillery guns.
Casualties and losses
81,116 killed, 280,281 injured. 458,080 killed, 479,298 captured.

The Battle of Berlin was one of the last big battles of Second World War. The Battle took place in Berlin from 16 April to 3 May 1945. During the battle the Red Army, along with Polish forces, captured the city of Berlin, Germany. When they captured the Reichstag, Adolf Hitler committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Background[change | change source]

On 12 January 1945 the Soviet-Polish forces began attacking Berlin. In the end of that attack, their forces stood on the Oder River, 60 kilometres east of Berlin. In 1945 the Wehrmacht suffered from low quality of airplanes and tanks (lower quality from 1944).

Despite his advisors' opinion, Hitler decided to stay in the city. He heard about the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the radio and he hoped the city will be saved.

The Battle of Seelow Heights[change | change source]

The battle on the city began in the Seelow Heights. The Seelow Heights are 17 kilometers west of the Oder and 45 kilometres east of Berlin. They were well defended by the Wehrmacht. On 16 April, the Red Army and Polish Army attacked Seelow Heights. Almost 1,000,000 allies with 20,000 artillery pieces were fighting against 100,000 Germans with 1,200 tanks. Despite this, the German defenders managed to hold the allies for four days.

On 20 April, Hitler's birthday, the allies began to bombard the centre of the city with rockets and artillery. They did not stop until the city surrendered. On 22 April, Hitler, when he knew the Germans plans were interrupted, cried in anger. He knew the war was as good as lost. One of his generals, Alfred Jodl, thought it would be possible to form a linkup between the army in Berlin, and the soldiers commanded by Walther Wenck that were fighting the U.S. Army. Hitler agreed to this idea, but 10 German troops remained in the city.

Fall of Berlin[change | change source]

Hitler remained in the Führerbunker until his death. He knew that escape was nearly impossible. Other soldiers knew that too and wanted to get out. Since there was no hope of winning, Hitler gave orders to his generals and allowed a breakout plan on April 28th. However, this plan went bad, as only a small amount of the expected amount of soldiers managed to get through Soviet lines. Hitler authorized another one on April 29th to break out May 1st.

However, on April 30th the Red Army captured the Reichstag. They were just 500 yards from the Führerbunker. Hitler killed himself by shooting himself in the head with a pistol. Eva Braun, his mistress, killed herself by biting on a capsule of cyanide, a very toxic chemical. On May 1st, Helmuth Weidling ordered a break out. However, only one division, named the Nordland Division, made it through.

Finally, on May 2, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered.