The penultimate fight against fascism: the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops

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In April 1945, the Soviet army carried out the offensive, coming close to the capital of the Third Reich - Berlin.Excellence is felt throughout.In the sky dominated Krasnozvezdnaya aviation, "Luftwaffe" practically nothing to refuel aircraft, armored columns filled German roads, the density of the gunfire did not know historical precedent, it has no equal today.Flywheel defense industry has reached titanic revolutions, lack of technical support to the military was not observed.The capture of Berlin by Soviet troops was a foregone conclusion, the question was only at the price of victory, expressed in human lives.


Almost all that remains of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS (at the beginning of April, about half a million soldiers, of whom about 200 thousand - in the city), were concentrated in the capital of the Reich and its suburbs.Inability to keep the borders and the lack of hope of success does not interfere with Adolf Hitler hard deterrent to issue orders of detention, the death penalty for anyone who does not wish to continue the fight until the last bullet.The operational environment in the meantime evolved more and more catastrophic.3rd Panzer Army, which counted on the German High Command was firmly blocked by troops of the 2nd Byelorussian Front crossed the Oder fought.

Krugovykh had three lines of defense, the outermost of which is in the band of 30-40 kilometers from the city center.At its organization was taken into account the nature of the natural water obstacles and terrain.Middle line repeated outlines bypass railway, playing the role of a belt road along which could theoretically carry supplies, practice problematic because of the lack of defense resources.The extension has been held on the margins and is considered basic.Inside the city has been divided into nine defensive areas.In general, the command of the Wehrmacht did everything possible to obstruct the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops.Briefly, these measures can be described as useless.Hopes reflection attacks, and the transition to the offensive did not have any.

overall strategic plan and environment

April 2nd rate is set with the question of who will perform the direct management of the operation.Stalin decided that the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops will coordinate the general headquarters, and to lead them appointed Marshal Zhukov, who immediately flew by plane to the operational area of ​​Moscow.Of the two options for mastery of the German capital (the siege and storming) was selected the one that best accelerates its decline.April 16 started a general offensive.City, suburbs and defense under artillery fire and powerful air force bombed.April 20 stormed, and the 21st Panzer blow carried the capture of the southern suburbs.The most stubborn resistance in the waiting area of ​​the Seelow Heights, where to intimidate opponents of the Soviet forces used sound sirens and searchlights (140 pieces) in combination with two shock tank armies.April 25 general environment of the city has become a fact, there were more Germans to retreat ever.

Fighting in the city

mobilization of all possible resources only increased the number of casualties on both sides.Unprepared militias Volkssturm and Hitler Youth were killed in the first battle with the experienced Soviet soldiers;House turned into supporting pillboxes, demolished under the foundation of artillery and attack aircraft.Converging wedges came to the city of the 2nd Byelorussian, Ukrainian first and second edges.The resistance, however, was resistant.Between 26 and 28 April, there was another disaster, virtually disorganized forces garrison town was cut into three parts, trapped in isolation.There was a communication breakdown between them, carried out previously on telephone lines, laid in tunnels.Coordination was made possible, while in wells hatches communication Red Army did not throw a bunch of grenades.

capture of Berlin by Soviet troops occurred in stages, they moved to the center, carrying huge losses, but to stop them was impossible.The widely used practice of assault groups, clears the block by block.April 28 3rd Shock Army of the 1st Byelorussian Front went to the Reichstag.

Reichstag building German Parliament defended a total of five thousand people, of which a thousand makeshift garrison was directed there in April, and the rest were there as a result of constant updating and strengthening.By the evening of April 30 Soviet soldiers managed to break inside, and began the most dramatic battle of the war, reminiscent of the agony of a mortally wounded, but still reluctant monster.This lasted until the morning on May 1 until the dome is not zareyal red flag means that the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops actually completed.Some pockets of resistance were suppressed about another day.After the fall of the Reichstag immediately capitulated garrisons of two other powerful fortified areas - Spandau Zoobunker.Thus, the date of the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops - May 2, 1945.

Results and sacrifices

only during an attempted defense of the Reichstag pointless laid their heads more than two thousand of its defenders.125 thousand civilians have been victims of the Berlin street fighting.During the operation completely destroyed seventy infantry and 23 mechanized divisions.Of the half a million the number of troops involved in the defense of the city, survived a little more than 134 thousand were captured.

Berlin was almost completely destroyed.In particular:

  • completely demolished - 30 thousand buildings;
  • half-ruined - 150 thousand houses;
  • Receive an average damage - 150 thousand buildings;
  • the defending exploded while trying to keep the Soviet offensive of 225 bridges;
  • third of the metro stations on Hitler's orders were flooded with hid there from attacks by people.

In the battle of Berlin killed more than 78 thousand Soviet soldiers.

accomplished a feat worthy of the title of Hero, more than six hundred soldiers of the Red Army, of which 13 - again.

war after Berlin

After the capture of Berlin, Soviet troops liberated Prague, in which the remaining part of the SS tried to arrange last "bloodbath" rebellious citizens.Lightning throw tank stopped the last European seat of the fire of war.It's a shame, perhaps, were killed and mutilated in her last days and hours, but such is the fate of the soldier.

Czechoslovakia - the last country, liberated by Soviet troops after the capture of Berlin, but the war was still going on, and the soldiers, sometimes driving past their homes, went to the Far East.There they waited for the fighting against the Japanese.But that's another story ...