Battle Of Berlin Essay

644 WordsMar 8, 20123 Pages
Battle of berlin 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. 45,000 of Berlin's defenders were either children or old age pensioners. Joseph Stalin had effectively ordered his two leading generals - Zhukov and Konev - to race to the German capital. With such a huge advantage in manpower and equipment, getting to the actual capital was relatively easy in that the Germans were constantly retreating whereas the Russians had the advantage of forward momentum. However, both Zhukov and Konev knew that the battle for the actual city would be very difficult. Despite the obvious hopelessness of the situation, Hitler still planned to direct the defence of the city himself putting his faith in the German 12th Army that had withdrawn from the western front. Over two million artillery shells were fired into Berlin and the surrounding area in three weeks and 1 million Russian infantry troops took part in the assault on the city. Russia's vast tank superiority counted for little in the debris ridden streets of Berlin. The Germans who fought there were issued with portable anti-tank weaponry and could use hit-and-run tactics against Russian tanks. Areas had to be taken street by street and building by building. Casualty figures on both sides were high. The Russians simply destroyed a complete building if they had been fired on from somewhere within that building. However, the city could not last out for long and on May 2nd 1945, Berlin surrendered to the Russians and the war in Europe all but ended. Germany unconditionally surrendered on May 7th. The Russians lost 80,000 men killed and 275,000 wounded or missing in the lead

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