Battle of Berlin

The Great Patriotic War: Germany at Bay

Russia 1945.0502

Battle of Berlin

World War II: The Eastern Front from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (2 May 1945)

Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union

In April, the Soviets surrounded and attacked Berlin. On the 30th, Adolf Hitler committed suicide and by May 2, resistance had been crushed. At the same time, the Western and Eastern Fronts met up on the Elbe. A few days later, the remaining German forces surrendered.

At the cost of perhaps 40 million dead, over half of them Soviet, the Second World War in Europe was over.

Main Events

Soviet Union denounces Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941

Battle of Berlin

Three Soviet fronts, comprising some 2.5 million men, converged on Berlin from the east, south, and north, facing a little over 766 thousand German defenders. On 20 April - Hitler's birthday - they began bombarding the city, with the fronts completing its encirclement on the 25th. German attempts to break the siege failed and on 2 May the advancing Soviets captured the Reichstag at Berlin's heart. Over 80,000 Soviet troops died in the offensive for German losses of up to 100,000 (including Adolf Hitler, who committed suicide on 30 April).

Elbe Day

Death of Hitler

By 26 April 1945, the Soviet Army had surrounded Berlin, and large sectors of the German military were surrendering to the Allies. Having retreated to his underground bunker in January, and reportedly suffering a mental breakdown, Hitler committed suicide on 30 April, along with his wife Eva Braun. Hitler was succeeded as President by Naval commander Karl Dönitz and as Chancellor by Joseph Goebbels (who himself committed suicide the following day).

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