Battle for Berlin

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Battle for Berlin
Ruins of the Reichstag after the battle (June 1945)
Ruins of the Reichstag after the battle (June 1945)
date April 16 to May 2, 1945
place Berlin
output Occupation of Berlin by the Red Army
Parties to the conflict

Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union Soviet Union Poland
Poland 1944Poland 

German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) German Empire


Georgi Zhukov
Ivan Konev
Nikolai Bersarin

Gotthard Heinrici
Helmuth Weidling
Wilhelm Mohnke
Theodor Busse

Troop strength
2.5 million soldiers
6,250 tanks
7,500 aircraft
1 million soldiers
1500 tanks
3300 aircraft

officially 352,475 (78,291 dead, 274,184 wounded), plus 8,892 Poles (2,825 dead, 6,067 wounded), 2,156 tanks, 1,220–2,000 guns, 527–900 aircraft

an estimated 92,000 dead soldiers (incl. Kessel von Halbe and Seelow)
at least 200,000 wounded soldiers
479,298 prisoners
tens of thousands of civilians

The Battle of Berlin was the last major battle of the Second World War in Europe. It lasted from April 16 to May 2, 1945 and resulted in the occupation of Berlin , the capital of the German Empire , by the Red Army of the Soviet Union with the participation of some Polish units . It is estimated that the fighting resulted in over 170,000 dead and 500,000 wounded soldiers and the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.

After the liberation of the areas of Europe occupied by the Wehrmacht , which had already largely taken place , the end of the battle, which was accompanied by the suicide of parts of the politically responsible ruling class of the Nazi regime - in Berlin the suicide of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels - meant for the German Reich complete military defeat.

Almost a week after Berlin was taken, the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht came into force on May 8, 1945 with the signature of Colonel General Alfred Jodl , who had been authorized to sign by Hitler's successor as Reich President , Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz . This ended the Second World War in Europe after almost six years. Germany lost its state sovereignty. The victorious powers took over sovereignty over the German Reich and divided it into four zones of occupation .


In fact, the war defeat of the German Reich was already certain before the beginning of the battle for Berlin . The dimensions of the military campaigns against other countries were in imbalance to the personal and economic reserves of the Reich. As the war lasted, which led to both planned attacks and unexpected military actions against other states (cf. Balkan campaign , Axis case ), German resources melted away. At the same time, however, the area to be administered and supplied became larger and larger. An economic defeat in the war could only be prevented if the war was as short as possible, but this became increasingly unlikely by the summer of 1940 at the latest. Ultimately, the failure of the attack on the Soviet Union from June 1941 and the declaration of war by Germany and Italy on the United States on December 11, 1941 were decisive .

After the defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad (winter 1942/1943) and at the Kursk Bulge (summer 1943), the Wehrmacht was on the Eastern Front in the defensive . The Army Group Africa was in mid-May 1943, after the Tunisia Campaign capitulated. The western allies landed in Sicily on July 10, 1943 (→ Operation Husky ), on the Italian mainland on September 9, 1943 (→ Operation Avalanche ) and opened in France on June 6, 1944 ( D-Day ) with the invasion of the Normandy the " Second Front " long called for by Stalin . That decided the war. Simultaneously with the advancing invasion of Normandy , the German troops in the east suffered a catastrophic defeat by breaking up Army Group Center . The losses in this battle deprived the Wehrmacht of its operational capacity to act on the Eastern Front, so that from the summer of 1944 only slack resistance was possible there.

In the west, after the liberation of Paris on August 25 , the Germans fled most of France and Belgium; on September 12, the VII US Corps crossed the German border near Aachen . At the beginning of October 1944, however, the German defensive front had strengthened again and the lengthy battle for Aachen ensued .

With the defensive success at Arnhem (end of September 1944), the ultimately failed Ardennes offensive in December 1944 and the Nordwind company (December 31, 1944 to January 25, 1945 in Alsace and Lorraine), Hitler succeeded in delaying the defeat further. But the lack of fuel and supplies , the lack of replacements for trained soldiers as well as the incessant air raids and the collapse of weapons production made the troops more and more troublesome from winter 1944/1945. In March 1945 the Western Allies managed to cross the Rhine at Remagen , Oppenheim and Wesel . The Army Group B was in the Ruhr pocket ( Ruhr included) and laid down their weapons on 21 April 1945th After an unsuccessful counterattack on Lake Balaton in Hungary in March 1945 , the Wehrmacht was no longer able to take offensive actions. In quick succession, a large part of the Alpine and Danube Reichsgaue and Austria, including Vienna , fell into the hands of the Soviet Army by mid-April 1945.

Fires after an air raid on Berlin (1944)

US-Americans, British, Canadians and now also French troops had advanced in their land offensives to northern and southern Germany and (with weak forces) to the Elbe by mid-April 1945 . The anti-Hitler coalition was thus faced with a decision on the conquest and occupation of Berlin.

Political situation

At the Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945), the heads of state of the three great Allied powers, Winston Churchill ( Great Britain ), Franklin D. Roosevelt ( USA ) and Josef Stalin ( Soviet Union ) decided, among other things, to divide Germany into four zones of occupation . Each of the Big Three tried to achieve favorable positions in terms of power politics for shaping the post-war order. No agreement had been reached on the occupation of Berlin.

Surrender was out of the question for Hitler and other leading National Socialists ; Among other things, they urged the Germans to continue the hopeless fighting with orders to hold (“fight to the last man”), perseverance slogans (see also Nazi propaganda , final victory , Fester Platz ) as well as violence and terrorist measures against deserters and civilians (see final phase crimes ) . Millions of soldiers and civilians died in the last year of the war. The generals and officers could not evade the most senseless orders until almost the end.

Military starting position

In the east, the Red Army had advanced all the way to the Oder in the Vistula-Oder operation in mid-February 1945 and also occupied parts of Silesia west of the river (with the exception of the County of Glatz ). After preparatory offensives for the conquest of East Prussia (after the battle of Königsberg ) and the Baltic coast from Danzig to the mouth of the Oder and Stettin as well as in the south to the Western Carpathians (only the enclosed Wroclaw held here ), the Soviet Army stood in mid-April after the battle for Küstrin in full strength in several bridgeheads on the west bank ready to attack on the Oder. The US troops stopped on Eisenhower's orders on the Elbe. They were hardly further away from Berlin than the Red Army, but were only present to a limited extent.

Soviet plan of attack

Marshal Zhukov (1941)

On April 1, 1945, Stalin ordered the two most important Supreme Commanders to Moscow: Marshals Zhukov and Konev . Troops of Zhukov's 1st Belarusian Front had won the battle for Küstrin and formed a 44 kilometers wide and up to 20 kilometers deep bridgehead on the western bank of the Oder. From here the main thrust on Berlin was to come. The wings of Zhukov's front were to encompass Berlin to the north and south.

The 1st Ukrainian Front Konev, which joined from Guben to the south, was supposed to attack the defending German 9th Army there after the breakthrough in the rear. Stalin gave his commanders two days to work out a plan of attack on Berlin. The main thrust from Küstrin straight at the imperial capital, favored Zhukov - Konev was supposed to shield the direct attack and the encirclement of the city only by its advance to the southwest. However, Stalin conceded to Konew that if he proceeded quickly, he would be able to penetrate into Berlin from the south.

“(Stalin) drew a dividing line between Zhukov's and Konev's army groups. The line began east of the Oder, crossed the river and continued straight on. It suddenly broke off at Lübben an der Spree, just under 60 km southeast of Berlin. 'Whoever gets there first should conquer Berlin,' he explained. "

- Gosztony : The fight for Berlin in eyewitness reports

On April 3, 1945, the date of the attack was decided on April 16, 1945. A few days later, detailed instructions from the Stawka High Command were sent to Zhukov, Konev and Marshal Rokossovsky . "In total, the three Russian fronts were 1,593,800 men strong."

Battle of the Oder

Soviet artillery off Berlin (April 1945)

The Red Army was preparing a pincer attack to encircle Berlin. To capture the city, the Stawka concentrated around 2.5 million soldiers (including non-combat units), 6,250 tanks and self-propelled guns, 7,500 aircraft and 41,600 artillery pieces.

On the northern Oder section between the Baltic Sea coast via Schwedt to Oderberg , the 2nd Belarusian Front was under Marshal Konstantin Rokossowski . It stood on a section of the river that was difficult to bridge and was only supposed to attack later, after the army groups in the south had breached the Oder. In the western Oder bridgehead from Küstrin to Guben , the 1st Byelorussian Front under Georgi Schukow was concentrated; it was supposed to force a direct advance on Berlin. In the southern section along the Neisse, the 1st Ukrainian Front under Konew prepared its breakthrough between Forst and Muskau in the direction of Cottbus and Spremberg .

Volkssturmmann with rocket armored
rifle ("Panzerschreck") off Berlin (April 1945)

Opposite the Red Army were severely battered units of the German Army Group Vistula under Colonel General Gotthard Heinrici , made up of the 3rd Panzer Army and the 9th Army . In the south, the 4th Panzer Army of Army Group Center was also hit by the Soviet attack. The German army troops were subordinate to large proportions of the Waffen SS and General SS , as well as the “last contingent of Germany” including Volkssturm units, consisting of militarily inexperienced and poorly prepared young people between the ages of 14 and 16 and men up to 60 years. These armed forces, which were extremely heterogeneous in terms of experience and motivation, comprised a total of around one million men. However, they only had around 800 tanks, had to fight virtually without air support (their opponents had control of the air ) and were additionally limited in their effectiveness and flexibility due to the poor supply of fuel and ammunition.

On April 16, the Red Army opened its offensive with the strongest artillery fire of the war; statistically, one gun came along the Oder front to five meters. This bombardment was largely ineffective, however, since Heinrici had withdrawn the front positions in the area of ​​Schukow's main attack on the Seelow Heights ( Hardenberg position ).

On the first day Zhukov, impatient due to the difficulties of his infantry in the Oderbruch , ordered the deployment of his two tank armies still east of the Oder in the middle section and caused even greater confusion by the following mixing of the troops: “As it was the combined forces of all branches of arms failed to keep Zhukov's unrealistic schedule, the violent tank attacks increased the consequences of the fundamental misjudgment. ”It was not until April 19, 1945 that the 1st Belarusian Front succeeded in taking the Seelow Heights after major losses. The Germans were thus pushed back onto the outer defensive lines of Berlin and their reserves were used up.

The attacking 1st Ukrainian Front from the south under Marshal Konew, on the other hand, achieved a rapid breakthrough in the Cottbus-Potsdam operation through the German defense line on the Lusatian Neisse south of Cottbus near Spremberg . With a daring tank attack in the rear of the 9th Army, the 3rd Guards Armored Army of Colonel General Rybalko reached Lübben and Konew received permission from Stalin on April 17th to attack Berlin from the south. Stalin himself informed Zhukov of this.

Outer defense ring

Volkssturm soldiers

The “outer defense ring” was not a continuous line, but mostly only occupied like a base at bridges and important crossroads. The defense was not coordinated, as the issuing of orders in the city was neither regulated, nor were the existing units distributed according to plan. In addition to local commanders, Joseph Goebbels was also active as an organizer.

April 20, 1945

In the northeast, a further breakthrough in the apron of Berlin was achieved with the conquest of Bernau , the 5th shock army stood in front of Strausberg and occupied Altlandsberg at night .

The 3rd shock army (for Hitler's birthday) shot into the city with large calibers:

“The land gains achieved by the Soviet troops on April 20 were sufficient to deploy far-reaching artillery from the 79th Corps of the 3rd Shock Army and the 1st Battalion of the 30th Guards Artillery Brigade of the 47th Army against the outskirts of Berlin . The first volleys on the urban area were more of a defying gesture than a tactical measure. Soviet railway pioneers were used to transport captured heavy German siege artillery (half a tonne grenades) from Küstrin to the apron of Berlin by train in order to use them against the city. "

- Tony Le Tissier

Also justified by Hitler's birthday, “Anglo-American Bomber Salut flew a so-called 1000 bomber attack against Berlin that lasted two hours. The attack level of these units was chosen so that intervention by the German flak was impossible. [...] The bombers left Berlin numb, silent and destroyed. [...] There was only water at the pumps on the street, so that standing in line for water in the open air during the rest of the battle for Berlin became a survival risk. "

The 2nd Byelorussian Front began with its attack north of Schwedt to the mouth of the Oder from the bridgehead of Stettin .

On the night of April 21, Konew drove his tank commanders through the disintegrating German 9th Army in the south of Berlin - regardless of the "vulnerability of his stage" or the connection to the infantry that followed.

April 21, 1945

Landsberger Allee 563 monument
The picture of the April 21st 1945 Memorial was designed by Otto Schack.

In the morning in the middle section of Zhukov, the 2nd Guards Panzer Army (General Bogdanow ) crossed the motorway ring and turned on a broad front against the city area (Hohenschönhausen - Marzahn - Hönow).

Burglary into the city area: A unit of the 5th Shock Army , also part of Zhukov's troops , was the first to cross the city limits in northeast Berlin near Marzahn . Their commander, Colonel-General Nikolai Erastowitsch Bersarin , was assigned the post of city commander according to Russian military tradition. The 3rd shock army reached Weissensee and southwards the 8th Guards Army (General Tschuikow ) and the 1st Guards Armored Army (General Katukow ) swung into the Erkner area .

"Around 11.30 am the Soviets began to bombard the city center with siege guns and heavy artillery". The fire over this distance surprised everyone in the city and there were dramatic scenes: In the city, artillery shells shredded many of the surprised people at lunchtime - as at Hermannplatz in Neukölln. In the meantime, the light, gas and water supplies had failed throughout the city.

The German LVI. Panzer Corps withdrew to the line Marzahn - Köpenick. It lost contact with the 9th Army southeast of the city. Hitler interpreted this withdrawal as arbitrary and ordered Commander Weidling to be shot . During the briefing with Schörner and Wenck, Hitler began to plan a large-scale counterattack.

Konev's surprise success: While Konev's armored spearheads were on their way to the southwest of Berlin on Reichsstrasse 96 , the 3rd and 5th Guard Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front captured the cities of Spremberg (April 21) and Cottbus ( April 22 ), which were far inland . April).

In the evening Rybalko's tanks with the 6th Guards Panzer Corps reached Zossen and raised the Army High Command (OKH) there. Its personnel and material had been taken south in a column of vehicles and shortly afterwards accidentally "successfully" bombed by the German Air Force .

On the evening of April 21, the encirclement of the German 9th Army near Königs Wusterhausen by Konev's 3rd Guards Panzer Army together with troops from the 1st Belarusian Front , who came from the north-east, was completed: “The troops on both fronts still recognized not that they were only separated from each other by the vast watercourses. "

Berlin, which was initially only intended to be pinned down, was now attacked directly in the south due to Konew's success. His goal was the Spreebogen with the central government buildings. Zhukov still had no knowledge of Konev's position in his approach to Berlin.

April 22, 1945

After Konev's advance departments had occupied Zossen, the first units approached the Teltow Canal on the southern city limits near Teltow. On the right wing “troops of the 9th (mech.) Corps crossed the motorway ring around 9:00 am and reached (in the evening) Lichterfelde, Marienfelde and Lankwitz. [...] The tanks crushed any resistance and penetrated the residential areas. "Konev had gotten ahead of Zhukov in the southern suburbs, but on April 23 he was urgently dependent on a concentration of forces -" for the attack on the inner city, which he himself wanted to lead. "

Late in the afternoon of April 22nd, the 8th Guards Army under Schukov's General Tschuikow had taken “the suburbs of Dahlwitz, Schöneiche, Fichtenau, Rahnsdorf, Friedrichshagen and Wendenschloß” in the southeast. ”During the night they reached Grünau and Falkenberg.

Zhukov's troops used the day in preparation for the street fighting or were "led around the northern districts to the sections assigned to them for the containment of the city."

In the night of April 23rd, the 47th Army managed to cross the Havel near Hennigsdorf , which has now been given the task of "finally enclosing the city and pushing a security line as far west as possible."

In the northern arc, Zhukov's armed forces advanced to Reinickendorf and Pankow, in the east they were in Weißensee, Lichtenberg, Karlshorst and Koepenick.

“The night of April 22nd to 23rd was a significant turning point for the progress of the battle. Both sides were forced to rethink how to get the situation under control. The Russians had received a foretaste of what the next phase of the operation would bring [...] The Germans, belatedly, had to prepare for a siege with all its consequences. "

- Tony Le Tissier : The Battle for Berlin 1945

Operations of the 2nd Belarusian Front

Marshal Rokossovsky (1949)

The task of the 2nd Belarusian Front under Marshal Rokossowski in the planning of the High Command was to attack the German lines from the section of Zhukov at Schwedt to the Oder estuary on the Great Lagoon from the second phase of the major attack from the Oder:

“Although Rokossovsky's operation had no direct influence on the battle for Berlin, it still tied up the forces of the 3rd Panzer Army and thus ruled out any shift of forces to other sectors of the front. As a result, it made a significant contribution to the collapse of the German Oder front. "

- Tony Le Tissier : The Battle for Berlin 1945

From April 18, Rokossowski's troops advanced from the Szczecin bridgehead through the flooded marshland and initiated the Szczecin-Rostock operation . From April 20th the attack on the defending 3rd Panzer Army of General Hasso von Manteuffel began . Heinrici had ordered his last tank to the southern section near Eberswalde in order to stop Schukov's advance there. In view of the lack of equipment, Manteuffel described his troops as "the purest army of ghosts". He also had no artillery, only 600 - partly concreted in - anti-aircraft guns.

The attack began with artillery preparation, but only the 65th Army under Colonel General Batow managed a stable bridgehead on the west bank of the western branch of the Oder. The general: “On April 20, the enemy counterattacked twenty times [...] (Since he) brought his reserves out of the movement and, in addition, in individual parts one after the other into the battle [... he] could not form a shock wedge; but their improvised attacks were of little help to them, although they were repeated often and bitterly. ”Batow recorded massive counterattacks, including with tanks, up to April 24th.

As early as April 22, Zhukov learned "that the instruction (from the Stawka) to Rokossowski, according to which the 2nd Byelorussian front should attack from the north to bypass Berlin."

“The 3rd Panzer Army desperately defended its positions on the Oder on April 23rd, despite strong pressure. Colonel-General Heinrici knew that General Manteuffel's troops would not hold out much longer. He therefore planned to take them back to the other side so that they could surrender to the Western Allies. ”On the southern flank, Steiner had been bypassed near Oranienburg and had to go back to the Ruppiner Canal .

On April, 24th

“(Was) of the Vistula Army Group [...] practically only Manteuffel's 3rd Panzer Army left. Manteuffel offered bitter resistance, but the middle section was already giving way dangerously. Worse still, Zhukov's tanks, advancing along the southern flank, could now pivot north and enclose Manteuffel. The only troop that stood in their way was the bunch of SS-Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner . "

- Cornelius Ryan : The last fight

"During the night (from April 26th to 27th) the 3rd Panzer Army withdrew from their positions on the south-north-running Ücker in Prenzlau, giving up the last chance for a unified defense."

Rokossowski's 2nd Byelorussian Front then occupied Western Pomerania (Stralsund - Rostock), Mecklenburg (until shortly before Schwerin) and northern Brandenburg (Wittstock - Wittenberge). On May 5th, units of Rokossowski occupy Peenemünde ; At the end of the war, others encountered troops from the British 21st Army Group , which had advanced across the Elbe in some places.

German planning

To reinforce a tank barrier at the Hermannstrasse S-Bahn station in Neukölln, Volkssturm men dig in steel girders on March 10, 1945

The commander in Berlin, Lieutenant General Hellmuth Reymann , had ordered, at Hitler's instigation, in the basic order of March 9, 1945, to defend Berlin "to the last man and the last cartridge".

Evacuation measures had been prepared for the Reich government, Reich ministries and the security apparatus since February, but they were not implemented until April 1945 so that they would not be admitted to defeat early. On April 20, 1945, Hitler issued the Clausewitz case , with which, in view of the approaching front, among other things, the evacuation of all Berlin buildings and areas in which government, Wehrmacht and SS offices were housed, as well as the destruction of official files, documents and Documents was ordered. The files were immediately destroyed in the offices and large columns of trucks with personnel and valuables were formed. Most of the staffs to be evacuated should move north. Only Hermann Göring went to southern Germany with his staff after Hitler had decided to stay in Berlin on April 22nd.

German defense

After four days of hard fighting, the German Oder front collapsed on April 19, 1945. “There was no point in closing the gaps. The struggle between Army Group and Army High Command for approval to dismantle continued without success. […] In this desperate situation, Hitler's completely absurd order burst,… ”with a combined large-scale attack by 9th Army and 4th Panzer Army,“ cut off the rear connections of the 1st Ukrainian Front and brought its thrust on Berlin to a standstill (bring to. The army ignored this impracticable order and made the decision, now without orders, to initiate all measures for a breakthrough of the southern group to the west. ”With this began the attempts of the German commanders to evade Hitler's orders.

While Hitler was considering leaving or staying in the Reich capital on his birthday on April 20 and was placing his hopes in the 12th Army of Panzer General Walther Wenck , Heinrici consistently tried to lead the remnants of his broken army group in retreat south and north around Berlin . When he wanted to transfer the "takeover of the business of the Commander-in-Chief of the Vistula Army Group" to General von Manteuffel on April 29th - but who refused - Heinrici was replaced by Field Marshal Keitel by the General of the Infantry von Tippelskirch .

Helmuth Weidling, Commandant of the Defense of Berlin (Photo: January 15, 1943)

In Berlin, on April 21, Hitler replaced General Reymann as combat commander of Berlin by Colonel Kaether. When on April 23rd the General of the Artillery Helmuth Weidling , commander of the LVI. Panzer Corps, who appeared at Hitler's office to personally protest against his shooting on the basis of unauthorized actions, he was included in the briefing: “With increasing astonishment I heard the Fiihrer's speeches.” The following day, Hitler became the new “commandant” of the Defense of Berlin '. Weidling said to General Krebs , who informed him of the appointment: "It would be better if you had ordered me to be shot, then this goblet would pass me by!"

Weidling took over the command and the division of Berlin into nine defense sections. He rearranged the distribution of the troops and tried to distribute regular troops, the "divisions of the Volkssturm and all kinds of thrown together formations" in a militarily sensible way.

Participation of troops from other nations

180,000 Polish soldiers also took part in the attack on Berlin and the fighting against Army Group Center . In the north, the Polish 1st Army shielded the outer wing of the 1st Belarusian Front against General von Manteuffel's 3rd Panzer Army and then overcame the Steiner Army Group . The Polish 2nd Army fought in the south against remnants of Army Group Center under General Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner .

“As remnants of the 'European' SS units, representatives of almost all European peoples fought under Hitler's flag. We find Belgians, Dutch, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Estonians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Galicians, Transylvanians, Swiss, French and Spanish. The most numerous were French and Spaniards. ”Among them were the ninety French of the remaining Charlemagne division ,“ who wanted to fight on not for Hitler, but for Europe against the Soviets. ”

- Erich Kuby : The Russians in Berlin 1945

This, as the historian Anthony Beevor commented, "turned the fall of Berlin into a stake for the remnants of the European extreme right."

Location in the city

Ruins of the
Karstadt department store on Hermannplatz

The civilian population of Berlin was estimated by the military authorities at the beginning of the Battle of Berlin to be around 2.7 million. In 1939 4.3 million people were counted; now it was almost 40 percent less. Of the remaining residents, around two thirds were women of all ages. The third of the male civilian population was made up primarily of children and adolescents up to the age of 16 and older men over 60 years of age. A large part of the former residents of Berlin were no longer in the city , if not as soldiers on different sections of the front or in captivity , then due to evacuations or flight - usually to the west - (see also Kinderlandverschickung ). In the eleven weeks prior to the battle, around 200,000 people were also caused to flee or killed by 85 air strikes, mostly by British or US bombers . Even at the beginning of the Red Army's land offensive, Berlin resembled neighborhoods in the center of a landscape of rubble.

In these last days of the war there was extensive destruction of buildings and the transport infrastructure. For example, the Karstadt department store on Hermannplatz and the north-south tunnel of the S-Bahn under the Landwehr Canal were blown up under unexplained circumstances . (→  History of the Berlin subway )

During these April days, fanatical National Socialists and SS leaders used martial arts and execution squads to force the fight to continue to the end. The hopeless defense of Berlin was whipped in propaganda by Goebbels, who, together with the State Secretary of the Propaganda Ministry, Werner Naumann , published the battle sheet for the defenders of Greater Berlin with the title Der Panzerbär . In these communications, allegiance to the “Führer” was demanded and at the same time hope for an ultimate victory was made.

Inner defense ring

April 23, 1945

In addition to the march in the east, the northern encirclement of Berlin by the troops of Zhukov made several attack wedges in the direction of the city center possible. In the south, Konev's units stood in front of the Teltow Canal .


The head of the attack in the northwest on the Havel was the 47th Army, to which the 9th Guards Panzer Corps, the 7th Guards Cavalry Corps and the 1st Polish Mortar Brigade were subordinate. On the evening of April 23, the first units were on the edge of Nauen .

In the Tegel section, three-day battles began on April 23 with a factory security battalion, which then withdrew to Wittler's bread factory in Wedding . However, other Soviet troops bypassed the position to Hermsdorf, Waidmannslust and Wittenau - further east the 12th Guard Corps advanced via Lübars, Blankenfelde, Rosenthal to Reinickendorf and fought for the town hall of Pankow . The 79th Army Corps of the 3rd Shock Army was in Niederschönhausen.


The 5th Shock Army fought in the area of ​​the slaughterhouse at Storkower Strasse (26th Guards Rifle Corps) and on the S-Bahn line around Ostkreuz station (32nd Rifle Corps). The 9th Rifle Corps took Karlshorst with its pioneer school. "Towards the evening of April 23rd, the combat units of the 8th Guard Army had taken the districts of Karlshorst, Uhlenhorst, Schöneweide and Köpenick and fought west of the Dahme".

"In the evening the boats of the Dnieper flotilla also reached the scene to support the troops in the crossing (over the Spree) [...] and to attack Berlin (also) from the south."

Competition Zhukov - Konev

"They were way behind schedule, Stalin pushed, and Zhukov must have been concerned about Konev's progress."

The 3rd Guards Panzer Army of Konev regrouped on this day and closed "to the advance detachments south of the outer defense ring between Stahnsdorf and Lichtenrade." Now Konew overestimated the forces of the defense behind the Teltow Canal considerably and was stopped by his oversized artillery deployment.

The failure caused Stalin to clarify the task of his field marshals:

“From that day on, April 23, so was the order (No. 11074), the border between the 1st Belarusian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front ran from Lübben via Teupitz, Mittenwalde, Mariendorf to Anhalter Bahnhof. Konev was deeply disappointed: Stalin had awarded Zhukov the prize. The border line that ran straight through the city forced Konev and his troops to stop about 140 meters west of the Reichstag, on which the Soviet flag was to be planted. "

- Cornelius Ryan : The last fight

The main task of Konew's Army Group was again the advance south of Berlin. So his troops reached Potsdam, Beelitz, Lehnin and moved in the direction of Torgau on the Elbe. In addition, there was the advance towards Bautzen and Dresden.


April 24, 1945

North East

The 12th Guards Panzer Corps occupied the Jungfernheide area (today Tegel Airport) as far as the Hohenzollern Canal  - at night, however, it suffered heavy losses in the Siemensstadt industrial complex . The 79th Corps was held up by resistance around the Plötzensee prison and at the Westhafen .

“The 12th Guard Corps began to infiltrate the working-class district of Wedding.” At Wedding station, a key position in the inner defensive ring, the breakthrough only came after the use of heavy artillery. The Humboldthain with the flak bunker was bypassed and cordoned off, the crew fought to the end.

The 7th Corps encountered little resistance in Prenzlauer Berg; the inner defensive ring was breached in the direction of Alexanderplatz.

The 5th Shock Army (26th Guard Corps, 32nd Corps) advanced along Frankfurter Allee - stronger resistance took place in the area of ​​action of the Friedrichshain flak tower . The 9th Corps of the 5th Shock Army crossed the Spree near Treptower Park in the early morning hours of April 24th. 16,000 men were crossed by the Dnieper flotilla. On the other hand, resistance formed through the SS volunteer division "Nordland" .

"The 301st Rifle Division took possession of the Rummelsburg power plant - undamaged and ready for operation."


From the southern encirclement of Berlin by Konew, after 55 minutes of artillery bombardment, the attack over the Teltow Canal began in the early morning of April 24th , which despite the inferiority of their forces (in Lankwitz) "after initial successes by the German defense with heavy Soviet losses and under abandonment of the Russian bridgehead (is) repulsed. ”In the center, Konev's troops were more successful at the transition and were able to bring the southern part of Zehlendorf under control by evening. The defenders withdrew to the Wannsee island.

In the south of Berlin, the Red Army reached the eastern suburbs of Potsdam and the line Brandenburg - Wittenberg.

Führerlage (Reich Chancellery)

The German staff officer Gerhard Boldt , who had been posted to Berlin on April 22nd to prepare Hitler's briefing, noted in his memoirs about the day:

“Midday: [airport] Tempelhof under fire, canceled, 5 pm also Gatow, expansion of east-west axis [as runway], reinforcement of shelling center (evening), […] night of April 25th: merger of OKW / OKH, news from the inclusion [of the city]. "

Embrace and advance to the center

April 25, 1945

The 2nd Belarusian Front made a breakthrough against the 3rd Panzer Army south of Szczecin . "Heinrici immediately gave Manteuffel the requested permission to withdraw and explicitly ordered the 'Stettin Fortress' to be evacuated." Then he informed the OKW that "it took forty-eight hours until an indignant Keitel called him."

In Berlin, General Weidling , appointed city commander by Hitler on April 24th, began reorganizing the defense.

Marshal Novikov, the commander of the Soviet air fleet, sat down

“A large-scale aerial operation against Berlin under the name 'Operation Salut' was staged. A first blow was struck by 18th Air Army bombers; It was followed by uninterrupted air strikes by the 16th Air Army all day. All in all, 1368 machines were in use - including 569 dive bombers ( Pe-2 ), which were used on specially defined targets. "

- Novikov : The role of the air force

Also on April 25th, the Russians and the Americans met on the Elbe near Torgau .

Enclosure of Berlin

The southern enclosure by Konev's front with the 4th Guards Panzer Army (General Leljuschenko ) also included Potsdam . On April 25, 1945, west of the Reich capital near Ketzin / Havel , the 6th (mechanical) Guard Corps met the 47th Army (General Perchorowitsch ) from Zhukov's front, which was approaching across the Havel . This closed the ring around Berlin for good. Until recently, however, the western side of Berlin, which was not clearly visible due to lakes and forests, remained incomplete.

In the west, the occupation of Spandau broke out on the night of April 25th towards the city center.

In front of the city center

North: The battle for Siemensstadt took place from April 25th to 28th. The 79th Corps won the Plötzensee prison and was detained on the Westhafen Canal. The 12th Guard Corps took the undestroyed Fennbrücke in Moabit in a stroke of a hand. The Humboldthain flak tower hindered the advance in the northeast. There was also stiff resistance north of Invalidenstrasse, and the 7th Corps reached Alexanderplatz.

East: The 5th Shock Army made slow progress in Friedrichshain. Zhukov later described the conquest of the Silesian Railway Station (today Ostbahnhof) as one of the "most difficult tasks."

South: The 8th Guard Army and the 1st Guard Panzer Army advanced over the Teltow Canal to Tempelhof and west of the Tempelhofer Damm . Soviet troops infiltrated Neukölln in the southeast. Colonel General Rybalko's 3rd Guards Tank Army fought in the south-western suburbs on the S-Bahn ring and advanced via the Botanical Garden to Schmargendorf, Nikolassee and Dahlem to the Grunewald. A wedge penetrated via Steglitz to Schöneberg.

Konew began a concentration of troops with the intention of an advance to Potsdamer Platz .

Führer situation Reich Chancellery

“The artillery use of the Russians increased almost hourly. 6 p.m .: peaks in Zehlendorf and deep in Neukölln. Berlin only 'supply bombs'. [...] Inquiries about the 'morale of the troops'. "

April 26, 1945

Southwest: Colonel General Wenck's 12th Army formed in the direction of Potsdam (instead of Jüterbog ) and reached Beelitz . Konew had to get his 10th Guards Panzer Corps free to oppose Wenck. Street fighting began in the densely built-up areas of the south-west of Berlin.

West: After reaching Heerstrasse , parts of the 3rd Guards Panzer Army “swiveled to the right in the direction of Charlottenburg and slowly began to advance through the residential districts on both sides of this wide thoroughfare. The defense's resistance only increased when their unexpected appearance was noticed. "

Residents dismantle a horse (Tempelhof Airport)

South: After a final counterattack in Neukölln, the Nordland division withdrew to the city ​​center the next morning. After the capture of Tempelhof Airport , Chuikov's troops occupied Viktoriapark (the next day, the Anhalter Bahnhof was shot at from sight). The left wing penetrated via Yorckstrasse to Kleistpark and reached Kurfürstenstrasse through Potsdamer Strasse by evening. On the night of April 27, the right wing stood in front of the Landwehr Canal, whose bridges had been blown up shortly before.

North: With the strong support of Marshal Novikov's air fleet, the Westhafen Canal was overcome and by evening a large part of Moabit was in Soviet hands. The Alexanderplatz was still fiercely contested.

Führer situation (Reich Chancellery) :

"Morning: ammunition situation / use of JU 52 / Teltow canal line overrun [...] Neukölln south edge airport / Weißensee / Reinickendorf / Tegel lost / fighting in Stettin and Görlitz train station / in the evening Charlottenburg [...] telephone book surveys:"

"The large number of them gave a fairly complete picture and the result was much clearer than the sometimes very confused reports from the troops."

- Gerhard Boldt : The last few days in the Reich Chancellery

April 27, 1945


Flak Tower Zoo 1942; the flak was used in ground combat in 1945

Chuikov put in a kind of rest day for his troops in preparation for the canal crossing. The bombardment was also largely stopped. Chuikov's 28th Guard Corps, bypassing German positions on Nollendorfplatz and Lützowplatz, managed to advance to Budapester Strasse: "Some Soviet tanks managed to break through to the zoo and from there to open fire against the flak towers ." Konev's Guard Panzer Army, which was involved in heavy fighting over Fehrbelliner Platz, had practically every possibility of taking the Reichstag before Zhukov's troops.

West: On April 27th, the Gatow airfield was finally lost: the day before, Hanna Reitsch flew from the airfield with Colonel General Robert Ritter von Greim to the Führerbunker in Berlin, which was already completely enclosed.

The Soviet troops conquered the entire west bank of the Havel . The fighting in Charlottenburg intensified, because Weidling had "in order to keep a side gate open to the west, a part of the 18th Panzer Grenadier Division to support the local defense." The 79th Corps in Moabit, which continues to move slowly (also against the Vlasov units ) was already aiming at the Spreebogen with the Reichstag.

The 5th Shock Army fought between the Spree and Alexanderplatz - the 9th Corps on the other side of the river penetrated Kreuzberg and reached Moritzplatz along Oranienstrasse.

After the dissolution of Manteuffel's 3rd Panzer Army in the north and Steiner's renunciation of any offensive movement, “the only realistic hope of the defenders of the city of Berlin [...] was on Wenck's 12th Army , which was able to open an escape route to the west [and ...] only about ten kilometers from Potsdam (was). "

Fight in the center

April 28, 1945

“On April 28, the Russians invaded the city center.” The remains of the occupation of the Spandau Citadel (Volkssturm and civilians) surrendered.

In front of the Landwehr Canal opposite the Anhalter Bahnhof, the Soviet reconnaissance work continued all day. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines under the canal were barricaded and could not be used for the advance.

The 79th Corps in Moabit, followed by the 2nd Guards Panzer Army , reached the Moltkebrücke in front of the Spreebogen and prepared for the assault on the government quarter.

The 32nd Corps of the 5th Shock Army attacked Fischerinsel from the south-east, while the 9th Corps occupied the area around Spittelmarkt .

On April 28, Konew and the 3rd Panzer Guard Army made the last attempt from the west to advance to the 'Citadel' via Savignyplatz and the zoo: “The main attack went as planned, and it was only later that morning that it suddenly turned out that Almost the entire eastern half of the attack front was occupied by Chuikov's units, which Konev's artillery preparations would hardly have welcomed. "

Fight for the Reichstag

For the Soviet side, from Stalin to the simplest of soldiers, the Reichstag embodied Nazi fascism. He was the symbolic target.

On April 28, the commander of the 79th Rifle Corps, which belonged to the 3rd Shock Army, Major General Perevjortkin , received the order to attack the Reichstag. The Russian troops managed to cross the Spreebogen in the night of April 28th to April 29th over the half-destroyed and barricaded Alt-Moabit bridge. In the continuation of the attack, the units succeeded in capturing the Ministry of the Interior, which the Soviet soldiers called "House of Himmler", by the evening of April 29. In the morning of April 30th, the bombardment of the Reichstag began from here and from 2 p.m. the direct attack on Königsplatz. The occupation of the upper floors was successful by evening; The fighting continued in the cellar.

“The pressure that Stalin exerted to see the Red Flag fly at the May festivities at the Reichstag was so great that no one in the chain of command wanted to expose themselves to the suspicion that he was sabotaging this goal. From now on losses played no role anymore. "

- Tony le Tissier : The fight for Berlin 1945

April 29, 1945

Destruction in Berlin-Mitte not far from the street Unter den Linden

Northwest: “On the morning of the 29th, the breakthrough in the section of the 2nd Guards Panzer Army was achieved;” - the ruins of Charlottenburg Palace were occupied, the defense at Jungfernheide S-Bahn station was overcome and the headland at the confluence of the Spree and Landwehr Canal attacked .

North: "The attack of the 79th Corps (during the night) over the Moltke Bridge was a daring and bloody undertaking" - since the Lehrter freight yard had not yet been conquered, there were counter-attacks from there and the bridge was partially destroyed. At dawn, however, a bridgehead had been formed in a block on the other side of the bank: “The 150th Division was preparing to advance via Moltkestrasse to the main entrance of the Ministry of the Interior , 'Himmler's house' as they called it. […] The fighting quickly spread down the main staircase to all floors and continued throughout the day and night. [...] Between 8.30 and 10.00 am there was heavy artillery fire at the positions at the Reichstag. "

North-east: Strong resistance at the fortified Stettiner Bahnhof (today: S-Nordbahnhof), in the city center the Red Town Hall was stormed.

Southwest: The advance in Wilmersdorf, which aimed at the area of ​​the zoological garden and the flak bunker there, turned out to be a "mess" for the Soviet troops, as the front border, which was changed at night, was located here and Konev and Zhukov's units were "entangled" in connection with the fighting. They could not be rearranged until the following night.

On the southern front in the city, the battle for the only partially destroyed Potsdam Bridge was waged. Towards evening the way to Potsdamer Platz was cleared.

City center, at the bottom right the Anhalter Bahnhof

With the attack over the Landwehr Canal, which succeeded in the course of April 29 over the rubble of the Möckernbrücke high station - later tanks could be pulled over a pontoon bridge at Halleschen Tor - the "point of orientation where the two attacking fronts collided" fell into the Hand of Zhukov's troops.

A fight for the Anhalter Bahnhof did not take place - the huge number of refugees there prevented both sides, especially since the defenders and attackers concentrated on the next position around the Aviation Ministry (today Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus ). Dramas took place in the Anhalter bunker and underground in the S-Bahn systems.

On the evening of April 29, Hitler left

"[...] Mohnke, who is responsible for the defense of the 'Citadel' [... he reports:] In the north, the Russian is just before the Weidendammer Bridge . In the east at the Lustgarten . In the south at Potsdamer Platz and at the Ministry of Aviation. To the west in the zoo, 300 to 400 meters from the Reich Chancellery . Hitler further asked: 'How much longer can you hold out?' 'At most 20 to 24 hours, my guide, no longer.' "

- Gosztony : eyewitness accounts

Hopes for relief

Wenck could not and did not want to carry out Hitler's order to break through to Berlin, which Wenck had personally brought to Wenck on April 23rd in the forester's house "Alte Hölle" near Wiesenburg / Mark in Fläming by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel , Chief of the Wehrmacht High Command . Although the German 12th Army under Wenck was able to penetrate again into the Ferch area and at the end of April pick up the remains of the German 9th Army that had broken out of the Halbe pocket and 15,000–20,000 soldiers from the enclosed Potsdam , Wenck's operations ultimately aimed at this to keep the way to American captivity open to the German units encircled at Halbe and then fighting their way towards Beelitz .

The fighting in the city turned out to be a bitter house-to-house battle . Often there was dogged fighting for only a few buildings or for the railway lines. The Soviet units were always exposed to snipers and fighters with bazookas in the urban area . According to Konev, the Red Army lost around 800 tanks in the fighting against the regular troops and the fighters of the Volkssturm and the Hitler Youth, who were armed with anti-tank weapons . The superior strength of the Red Army, however, was too strong, so that the German defenders were often unable to hold their positions for long and had to relentlessly retreat.

Battle for the "Citadel"

According to reports from both sides, the intensity of the fighting in Berlin increased towards the end; on the German side they concentrated on the core of the defense in the Spreebogen and the attempt to keep the way to the west free.

In the citadel “the Soviets [..] faced an estimated 5,000 men, mostly SS units, but not only Waffen SS. Two battalions of the Volkssturm, the 'Großadmiral Dönitz' battalion, set up by the Naval News School, and some smaller units of the 9th Paratrooper Division completed the German defense. These forces were supported by light artillery and field guns, a number of the famous 88 mm anti-aircraft guns and mortars. "

Hans Fritzsche found a much larger cast in the center, which he walked off: “On the night of May 1st I ran to various fighting groups [...] in the small quarter between Gendarmenmarkt, Reichstag, Friedrichstrasse station and the Ministry of Aviation. I had the impression that there were well over 10,000 men standing here, not counting the SS units in the Reich Chancellery, which probably numbered 2,000 to 3,000 too. "

The commandant of the citadel was SS Brigade Leader Wilhelm Mohnke .

Polish division

The only formation besides the Red Army that took part in the storming of the center of Berlin was the 1st Polish Infantry Division "Tadeusz Kościuszko" under General Bewziuk. The unit set up in Lenino in May 1943 was used with General Marian Spychalski in the street fighting in northwest Berlin. She still had special experience in street fighting from fighting in Warsaw and Praga and advanced in association with the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army of General Semyon Bogdanov . The Kościuszko Division succeeded in advancing along Neue Kantstrasse to Karl-August-Platz. She took part in the capture of the Technical University , the Tiergarten S-Bahn station and four other subway stations. She led further fights along Franklinstrasse, Englische Strasse, on Salzufer and in the Tiergarten and at the back of the Reich Chancellery.

April 30, 1945

Fight for the government district and the Reichstag

Battle for the Reichstag: At 4 a.m. the 150th Rifle Division had captured the Ministry of the Interior and the 171st Division occupied the western half of the diplomatic quarter. The first attacks on the Reichstag failed because the surrounding buildings - especially the ruins of the Kroll Opera House  - were still occupied by Germans and their occupation lasted until around noon.

The direct attack via Königsplatz began at 2 p.m. The occupation of the upper floors was successful by evening, and the fighting continued in the basement.

At 10:00 p.m. on the same day, the red flag waved over the dome of the building. The Soviet soldier Mikhail Petrovich Minin was the first Red Army soldier to hoist the Soviet flag on the Reichstag. The famous photo of Yevgeny Ananyevich Chaldei at the Berlin Reichstag on May 2, 1945 was taken later.

The Reichstag building was occupied, but the fighting continued in the cellars.

On the evening of April 30th, it was up to Chuikov to inform his Commander-in-Chief Zhukov that Stalin's wish "to celebrate the 1st of May" would not be fulfilled. It was then up to Zhukov to forward this message to Stalin.

Zoo bunker (flak tower): “Terrible fighting” raged in the streets around the zoo, which the Soviet troops reached via Schloßstraße and Berliner Straße (today Otto-Suhr-Allee): “The infantry losses were dizzying 90% reached, so it was decided to deploy the 1st Polish Division 'Tadeusz Kościuszko' of the 1st Polish Army that night to reinforce the 2nd Guards Panzer Army. ”Other Polish units were divided into combat groups on Soviet brigades.

West: “April 30th brought particularly bitter fighting in the districts of Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf when the 2nd and 3rd Guards Panzer Army met on the S-Bahn, which formed the frontier, and German troops tried to find a way into the western part Keeping part of the city open. [...] The current to the west increased. "(Fights in Westend)

South of the Spreebogen (Landwehr Canal): "Tschuikow reports: After conquering a few smaller bridgeheads over the Landwehr Canal, the units of my army went from the south to storm the Tiergarten."

In the bunker: the diesel engine of the emergency generator

In the Anhalter bunker the power supply failed - the darkness was only softened by candles. Everything in the bunker "with a swastika on it" was destroyed. The standstill of the generator not only led to the failure of the lighting, but above all the ventilation - as a result, the temperatures rose rapidly, and the temperature above was already 60 degrees Celsius. The interior became increasingly unbearable and chaotic. The number of suicides increased. The pump at Askanischer Platz failed due to a shell hit. "In the square in front of the train station, as it were on our doorstep, the Russian tanks are already standing."

German side: A Weidling report confirmed "deep wedges of the enemy [...] in the area of ​​Potsdamer Platz and Anhalter Bahnhof [and] along Wilhelmstrasse almost to the Ministry of Aviation, a wide gap between Spittelmarkt and Alexanderplatz and fighting nearby of the Reichstag building. Both sides of Leipziger Strasse were in the hands of the Russians. "

According to General Krebs during the negotiations on May 1st with General Tschuikow, Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun, who had been married the day before , put an end to their lives on April 30, 1945 at 3:15 p.m.

Goebbels negotiates: After Hitler's death there were disputes among various factions about the continuation of the fighting. In the evening, April 30th: General Krebs wants to negotiate and "ask" for an armistice. [Discussion under the direction of Goebbels took place.] The Propaganda Minister “took the booklet himself” ( Axmann report).

On April 30th, around 4 pm, General Weidling received (according to his own account) a letter from Hitler with the permission to "break out of the encirclement in small groups." The permission was soon revoked by Mohnke. Visiting the Reich Chancellery personally, Weidling learned from Krebs of Hitler's death and of his will with the composition of a new Reich government . An armistice was to be requested until the “new government had met in Berlin; [...] to enter into negotiations with Russia about Germany's surrender. ”Shortly before midnight, a parliamentarian managed to establish contact with Chuikov's troops.

May 1, 1945

"While the Russians partly celebrate May 1st, the fighting in the city center continues with undiminished severity."

Since the Anhalter bunker is viewed as a defensive facility, it is under constant direct fire. In the early morning from five o'clock in the morning, the 10,000 asylum seekers are evacuated via underground passages to the Anhalter Bahnhof S-Bahn station. From there they should be guided through the tunnel shaft to the Szczecin train station in front of the north exit. The underground rail network is overcrowded with people.

“Thousands of wounded soldiers and civilians lie in the shafts and stations of the subway and the S-Bahn. No one will ever know how many they really were. "

First talks: At 3:50 a.m. on May 1st, General Krebs met Colonel von Dufving, Chief of Staff of the LVI. Panzer Corps, and an interpreter with a letter from Goebbels that insisted on legal titles from Hitler's will that were necessary for peace negotiations. After some back and forth, Chuikov was put through to Zhukov, who in turn informed Stalin. Stalin insisted on unconditional surrender and did not want negotiations. If this were not obeyed, Berlin would again be taken under artillery fire from 10.15 a.m. (on May 1st).

Surrender negotiations

At 1 p.m. on May 1st, cancer returned. Axmann reported: Goebbels refused to “put his signature on a document of surrender. [...] Around 8:30 pm I came back to the bunker of the Reich Chancellery. I met Mohnke in the corridor. He said, 'Dr. Goebbels and his wife are dead. '“Generals Krebs and Burgdorf as well as other military officers killed themselves.

Goebbels had also tried further negotiations with the commander of the troops of the 5th Shock Army, which were standing in front of the Reich Chancellery. However, the colonel of the 301st Division was not authorized to conduct negotiations. However, since the matter took up hours during which the truce prevailed in this section, the actually ordered assault on the Reich Chancellery did not take place that day.

General Weidling reported on the situation in the city in the second half of May 1st: “In the hands of the Russians were: the Zoologischer Garten station, the Weidendammbrücke, the Spittelmarkt, the Leipziger Strasse, the Potsdamer Platz, the Potsdamer Brücke and the Bendler Bridge. Resistance in Wilmersdorf smashed, location in the west of the city unknown. "

The new offensive threatened by Stalin began at 6:30 p.m. with heavy artillery and rocket fire. The 29th Guards Corps of the 2nd Guards Panzer Army crossed Budapester Strasse and broke through the Zoomauer. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was conquered and the tower occupied by snipers and artillery observers. Siegesallee has been reached in the eastern zoo . The capture of Potsdamer Bahnhof and Potsdamer Platz was reported. "The 66th Guards Tank Brigade cleared their section north of the Landwehr Canal and took the base at the Tiergarten S-Bahn station." The base at the Technical University was stormed. From the south, the 3rd Panzer Guard Army (Konews) crossed Kurfürstendamm “and at 8:30 the following morning [2. May] the two tank armies met near Savignyplatz. "

The Potsdamer Bridge (in the background, only damaged on the left, repaired here) was still accessible; in front the destroyed emergency cable bridge, as it was in October 1945

At 8 p.m. on May 1, back from another visit to the Reich Chancellery and knowing the failed attempts at negotiation, Weidling had the soldiers at his command post call out to him: “They all agreed with me: there was only one possible way out, and although the surrender [...] At midnight [from May 1st to May 2nd] Colonel von Dufving crossed our line of battle again as a parliamentarian. "

“On May 2nd, shortly before 1 a.m., the 79th Russian Guards Rifle Division intercepted a radio message. It read: 'Here LVI. Panzer Corps . We ask that the fire be stopped. At 12.50 p.m. Berlin time we send parliamentarians to Potsdamer Brücke. ' […] The Russians replied: Understood. Roger that. Send your request to the Chief of Staff. When General Chuikov received the message, he immediately ordered the fire to be stopped. "

- Cornelius Ryan : The last fight

Surrender May 2, 1945

Colonel von Dufving, now commissioned by General Weidling to declare the surrender, met, to his astonishment, at Tschuikov's a civilian delegation under the leadership of Hans Fritzsche , ministerial conductor in the Propaganda Ministry , who offered to announce the surrender of Berlin on the radio. While this was still being negotiated, General Weidling personally met Tschuikow at his headquarters in Schuleburgring  2 in Tempelhof.

Place of surrender of the city on the morning of May 2, 1945

The Soviet troops were thus faced with a military commander who was in fact able to stop the fighting on the German side. According to him, he had already given the order to the troops directly subordinate to him (the LVI. Panzer Corps and affiliated units) at 6 a.m., but due to a lack of connections he could not guarantee the general cessation of the fighting.

On May 2nd, at 7:50 a.m., Weidling began drafting the surrender order. Loudspeaker vans with one Soviet officer and one German each were sent into the city. Weidling spoke the surrender order on tape for reproduction.

The defenders in the cellars of the Reichstag resisted until the order to surrender was obtained on May 2nd at 1 p.m.: "Only then did the 1,500 survivors lay down their arms."

German soldiers delivering weapons

“The end of the hostilities had been set for May 2, 1945 at 1:00 p.m., but it was probably closer to 5:00 p.m. when all fighting in the city ceased. [...] The Russians claim to have taken 134,000 prisoners in Berlin that day, but they also rounded up all men who were fit for work and even women and young people in order to take them to the labor camps of the Soviet Union. ”In his“ Special Daily Order ” on May 2, Stalin named "more than 70,000 German soldiers and officers" as prisoners by 9 p.m.

Over the ruins of the city, on May 2 at 6:55 a.m. Moscow time , the white and red flag of Poland was hoisted on the Brandenburg Gate in addition to the Soviet flag .

Last fights

The history of fighting in the vicinity of the flak tower in Volkspark Humboldthain has been handed down . The handover took place there on May 3rd at 12 noon.

Surrounding Berlin

On the night of April 30th to May 1st, the remnants of Theodor Busses 9th Army managed to fight their way through to the lines of Wenck's 12th Army .

Busse estimated that 40,000 men and several thousand refugees had reached the Elbe. There were also soldiers from General Reymann's Spree Army Department from the Potsdam area. The commander of the 9th US Army on the Elbe was only prepared to take in the soldiers, but not the refugees. The Soviet air raids on the German troops, however, forced the Americans back from the Elbe, so “that the Germans could carry out the crossing, which began on May 4th, unobserved by the Americans. The XX. Army corps shielded the operation, which was not completed until midnight on May 7th. Wenck estimated that approximately one hundred thousand soldiers and three hundred thousand refugees had been successfully evacuated [by then]. "

On May 2, the 2nd Byelorussian Front had advanced as far as the Wittenberge - Parchim - Bad Doberan line. The British 21st Army Group had occupied Lübeck and Wismar, the 9th US Army Ludwigslust and Schwerin, including the remains of the 3rd Panzer Army and the 21st Army . At night, General Hasso von Manteuffel was able to capitulate to US troops and General Kurt von Tippelskirch to British troops.

Attempted escape

On the night of April 30th to May 1st, several units prepared for attempted escape.

A group of 300 soldiers, who on their way also "came across an Austrian tank unit with fifteen 'Tiger' tanks", reached Döberitz with numerous civilian refugees via Heerstraße. There they had to surrender.

A large group led by Major General Sydow managed with the remnants of the Müncheberg Panzer Division and the 18th Panzer Grenadier Division from the zoo via Kantstrasse and, after fierce battles over the Charlottenbrücke, past the Olympiastadion - partly through the underground tunnel - via Ruhleben after Spandau the outbreak. A very large number of refugees had joined here. Some of them reached the Elbe in the next few days.

General Bärenfänger moved over the Humboldthain with some of his units from Alexanderplatz through a gap in the front to the north. The tanks were intercepted about 15 kilometers northwest of Berlin in the early morning of May 2nd. Some teams managed to escape.

The attempt to break out of the Reich Chancellery in various groups ended in a tank battle on the Weidendammer Bridge ( Gustav Krukenberg ) and at the Lehrter station ( Martin Bormann ); others surrendered (e.g. Wilhelm Mohnke ). Individuals like Artur Axmann managed to escape.

The Latvian SS unit in the Aviation Ministry had "been overlooked in the breakout plans." Some of the men were later able to make their way through; many French SS members decided to hand it over.

Weather history

Unlike, for example, depicted in the film Downfall , spring had already arrived in Berlin before the fighting began. After a cold January, the thaw set in at the beginning of February and at the turn of the month of February / March it was already very mild throughout Germany and also in the urban area of ​​Berlin. It was unusually warm from mid-March and also in mid-April, a phase of sunny spring weather followed until the end of the fighting for the Seelow Heights .

With the beginning of the fighting in the urban area, a very rainy phase set in for three days and the maximum daily temperatures only reached around 10 ° C. The sky remained completely covered.

After a clear and cold night on April 25th, there was a short sunny section and on April 26th the temperatures temporarily rose again to 20 ° C before the weather conditions deteriorated again in the final phase of the fighting and the mild air on 27./28. April was completely cleared, accompanied by heavy showers. An unusually cold phase followed until the end of the fighting in Berlin, with little rainfall, maximum values ​​of only around 10 ° C and sometimes even night frosts. During this phase, the sky was almost completely covered again.

Only with the complete surrender on May 8, 1945 did the sky clear again and unusually warm summer weather prevailed up to May 11.

Zhukov - Konev

After Stalin had awarded the conquest of the imperial capital Zhukov, shortly after the start of the attack from the Oder line, he also gave Konev, who was initially more successful, this chance. Zhukov was only informed of this later. After both marshals marched straight to Berlin, it was only a matter of time before Zhukov saw through the situation. His army commander in the south-east of Berlin, Tschuikow, noticed Konev's armored wedges rapidly advancing towards the south of the city during the battle for Schönefeld Airport:

“The associations of the left wing of the XXVIII. Guard rifle corps met with units of Colonel General Rybalko's 3rd Guard Armored Army today at 6 a.m. in the area of ​​Schönefeld Airport. "

Zhukov immediately deployed Bersarin's 5th shock army on Treptow and Kreuzberg in order to relocate his competitor from the south to the center. Since the SS division Nordland stubbornly defended the Görlitzer Bahnhof up to the Neukölln town hall and stopped Zhukov's army, Konew was able to shift his focus to Tempelhof Airport and planned to approach the Anhalter Bahnhof from there. But he was still standing in front of the Teltow Canal, which was part of Berlin's outer defensive ring, and this line slowed his advance. Tschuikow was able to conquer Tempelhof Airport and on April 27 also occupy the line in front of the Landwehr Canal up to the Potsdamer Bridge.

In the further course the Konev 3rd Guards Panzer Army (Rybalko) had to make its way from the south-west to the city center and after a last attempt to advance to Potsdamer Platz, Rybalko met Zhukov's troops advancing from the north and south, far to the west of the zoo Savignyplatz.

Konew in Prague, May 1945

However, the simultaneous action of the two marshals had accelerated the fall of Berlin. Konew had to regroup his troops even before the surrender and tackle his actual task, the conquest of Dresden and later of Prague:

“On May 2, Marshal Konev began withdrawing his troops from the Berlin area in preparation for another major operation together with the 2nd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts against Army Group Center in Czechoslovakia, which will begin on May 6th should."


Devastated street in Berlin

The battle for Berlin symbolizes the brutality of the entire war. Although Germany had long since lost the war, in the end Hitler had ordered that resistance be offered to the last man. With the Volkssturm , thousands of young people and old men were sacrificed in the last weeks of the war. Deserters or civilians who expressed themselves critically were shot by the SS and the field gendarmerie in the last days of the war. Stalin also sacrificed thousands of Soviet soldiers by demanding the conquest of Berlin as soon as possible in order to forestall the Americans and thus also to record a propaganda victory for the Soviet Union. In the early days of the offensive alone, the Red Army lost around 80,000 men and many in urban warfare in Berlin. Viewed as an overview, however, there are no precise figures for the losses on both sides, both among soldiers and civilians. In different sources, the estimated information on the number of people who died as a result of the battle for Berlin vary considerably; According to the latest serious research, the Wehrmacht lost a total of over 100,000 dead in and around Berlin (including the battle for the Seelower Heights and in the Halbe pocket). Even decades after the battle, missing dead bodies were often found by chance during construction work, some of which had been buried in mass graves . The numbers given in this article are only an average of the estimates.

Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signed on 8/9 May 1945 in Berlin-Karlshorst the ratifying document of the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht .
Flight over destroyed Berlin in July 1945
After the collapse of the water supply, German women wash clothes at a hydrant (July 1945)

The military morale of the remaining German troops elsewhere continued to decline. In addition, the German Reich could no longer be ruled and administered from Berlin in the last days of the war. Hitler's successor, Grand Admiral Dönitz, took up his post on May 2, 1945, which as the Dönitz government basically only included the administration of the Nazi state until the surrender, in the “ Mürwik Special Area ” in Flensburg - Mürwik . With the signature authorized by Dönitz on May 7, 1945 at the headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Reims under the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht , the Second World War in Europe came to an end when it came into force on May 8, 1945 at 11:01 p.m.

Out of fear of the Red Army and desperation, especially among staunch National Socialists, there have been many suicides in the past few days; the Pankow district alone recorded 215 suicides.

The leadership of the Red Army feared that the euphoria of victory, fueled by alcohol, would lead to acts of violence against the German civilian population. Marshal Rokossovsky therefore issued a daily order according to which looters and rapists were threatened with court-martial or immediate execution. Although other Red Army officers also tried to prevent acts of revenge by the soldiers, after the capture of Berlin the pain of the numerous Soviet losses and the victims of the ideologically motivated war of annihilation on the part of the German Reich in vengeance through numerous looting and rape discharged . In addition to the feelings of revenge against Germany, the general dulling and brutalization of the soldiers by the brutality of the war as well as the often inconsiderate treatment of the Soviet soldiers by their own leadership (see order no. 227 ) played a role. Karl Bahm, who teaches history at the University of Wisconsin, writes about this: “Of course not everyone behaved like that , but a not too small minority did.” In the sometimes controversial, yet much-discussed documentary Freer and Freed by the feminists Helke Sander and Barbara Johr and their book of the same name from the 1990s, it is assumed that at least 100,000 Berlin women have been raped (sometimes multiple times), although there is a high number of unreported cases. Cornelius Ryan claims in his book The Last Fight that between 20,000 and 100,000 women were estimated to have been raped by doctors he spoke to.

Historical-scientific processing

The end of the war in the East, which is scheduled with the beginning of the Vistula-Oder operation by the Soviet Army on January 12, 1945 and is considered essentially completed with the surrender of the defense of Berlin on May 2, 1945, is increasingly coming to terms with the work that has been done to this day in criticism.

Writes in the preface of 2015 unchanged published new edition of the 1966 published work by Cornelius Ryan: The Last Battle , the historian Johannes Hurter : "As before, however, satisfactory scientific Overviews missing end of the war in the East, the occupation of Berlin and the Berlin society (and City administration) in the last months of the war ”.

J. Hürter also quotes Michael Wildt / Christoph Kreutzmüller: “In the foreword [p. 7] it is stated for the entire Nazi period that it is astonishing how little the history of the city and its society has been dealt with especially for this period. "

Hürter himself notes corresponding omissions in the standard work of the Military History Research Office : "Although it offers a detailed operational history of the battle for Berlin, it dispenses with any detailed analysis of the fate of the civilian population in this inferno."


  • After the American troops had moved into their sector in Berlin, teams from the Special Film Project 186 also filmed in Berlin from July 8th to 14th. The recordings comprise a total of 60 hours of silent color film material on over 260 rolls.


  • Karl Bahm: Berlin 1945. The last battle of the Third Reich. Kaiser Verlag, Klagenfurt 2002, ISBN 3-7043-5032-X .
  • Antony Beevor : Berlin 1945. The end. Goldmann, 2005, ISBN 3-442-15313-1 .
  • Joachim Fest: The Downfall. Hitler and the end of the Third Reich. Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-8286-0172-3 .
  • Peter Gosztony (ed.): The fight for Berlin in eyewitness reports. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1985. First edition: Karl Rauch Verlag, Düsseldorf 1970, ISBN 3-423-02718-5 .
  • Bernd Hildebrandt, Ernst Haiger: End of the war in [Berlin] Tiergarten, [among other things about] the history of the war graveyard in Wilsnacker Strasse. Verlag Lehmanns Media, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86541-312-3 .
  • Guido Knopp : The damned war, the end of 1945. C. Bertelsmann Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-570-12153-4 .
  • Peter Kruse (Ed.): Bombs, Trümmer, Lucky Strikes. The zero hour in previously unknown manuscripts. wjs verlag, Wolf Jobst Siedler, Berlin 2004. ISBN 3-937989-00-5 .
  • Erich Kuby : The Russians in Berlin 1945. Scherz Verlag, Munich 1965.
  • Tony Le Tissier: The fight for Berlin 1945. From the Seelower heights to the Reich Chancellery. Bechtermünz Verlag (Ullstein license), 1997, original edition: Tony Le Tissier: The battle of Berlin 1945. Jonathan Cape, London 1988.
  • Rolf-Dieter Müller : End of the war in 1945. The destruction of the German Empire. Fischer, Frankfurt 1994, ISBN 3-596-10837-3 .
  • Heinz Rein : Final Berlin. Dietz-Verlag Berlin, 1947. New edition, Gutenberg Book Guild 1980.
  • Cornelius Ryan : The final fight. Droemersche Publishing House, Munich / Zurich 1966.
  • Helke Sander, Barbara Johr (Ed.): BeFreier and Liberated. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16305-6 .
  • Waltraut Sweet Milk: In the bunker. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-548-25870-0 .
  • Wilhelm Tieke : The end between Oder and Elbe - The battle for Berlin 1945. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-87943-734-3 .
  • Earl F. Ziemke: The battle for Berlin. Pabel / Moewig, Rastatt 1982, ISBN 3-8118-4318-4 .

Web links

Commons : Battle of Berlin  - Collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Schumann , Olaf Groehler , Wolfgang Bleyer: The smashing of Hitler's fascism and the liberation of the German people (June 1944 to May 8, 1945 ) (= Germany in World War II. Volume 6. ) 2nd edition. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-05-000110-0 , p. 690.
  2. GF Krivosheev: Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century. 2007, p. 219 f.
  3. Retrieved January 28, 2014 . (Russian).
  4. a b (Russian).
  5. a b R.-D. Müller u. a. (Ed.): The German Empire and the Second World War. Volume 10/1, 2008, p. 673.
  6. Gosztony (Ed.): The battle for Berlin in eyewitness reports. 1985, p. 119 f.
  7. Cornelius Ryan: The last fight. 1. German edition, Droemersche Verlagsanstalt, Munich / Zurich 1966, quoted from Fackelverlag, Olten / Stuttgart / Salzburg 1969, original edition: The last battle. Simon and Schuster, New York, p. 156.
  8. ^ Tony Le Tissier: Battle for Berlin. Bechtermünz Verlag, 1997, p. 212, in detail 15,654 field guns, 15,181 mine throwers, 3,255 Katjuschas , 4,520 anti-tank guns and 3,411 anti-aircraft guns.
  9. Tony Le Tissier: The fight for Berlin 1945. Bechtermünz Verlag, Augsburg 1997, p. 50 f.
  10. After Chuikov. The End of the Third Reich. S. 147 ff. In: Tony Le Tissier: Der Kampf um Berlin 1945. Ullstein Verlag, Frankfurt am Main - Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-550-07801-3 , p. 61.
  11. Cornelius Ryan: The last fight. 1st German edition. Droemersche Verlagsanstalt, Munich / Zurich 1966. After the edition Fackelverlag, Olten / Stuttgart / Salzburg 1969, p. 245.
  12. quoted: Zhukov: Memories and Thoughts. P. 595 ff.
  13. T. Le Tissier, 1985, p. 82 f.
  14. Historic building LA 563, accessed on May 15, 2015.
  15. ^ Art in Marzahn ( Memento from April 5, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 7 kB). accessed on May 15, 2015.
  16. T. Le Tissier, p. 88.
  17. T. Le Tissier, 1985, pp. 89-94.
  18. C. Ryan, 1969, p. 258.
  19. T. Le Tissier, 1985, p. 91.
  20. T. Le Tissier, 1985, pp. 97 f.
  21. Tschuikow in: Gosztony: Eyewitness reports. P. 240.
  22. According to Zhukov: Memories and Thoughts. S. 599, in: T. Le Tissier, 1985, pp. 97, 113.
  23. Tony Le Tissier: The fight for Berlin 1945. P. 102.
  24. Tony Le Tissier: The fight for Berlin 1945. P. 70.
  25. C. Ryan, pp. 246 and 134.
  26. Gosztony, 210 f.
  27. T. Le Tissier, p. 113.
  28. Cornelius Ryan : The last fight. P. 297.
  29. T. Le Tissier, p. 143.
  30. Erich Kuby : The Russians in Berlin 1945 . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1965, p. 74 ff., 84 ( online ). The order is printed as Document 390 in: Martin Moll (Ed.): “Führer-Erasse” 1939–1945. Stuttgart 1997, p. 483, as well as with Bengt von zur Mühlen (Ed.): The agony of the Reich capital. Berlin / Kleinmachnow 1994, p. 21.
  31. Stephan Link: "Rattenlinie Nord". War criminals in Flensburg and the surrounding area in May 1945. In: Gerhard Paul, Broder Schwensen (Hrsg.): Mai '45. End of the war in Flensburg. Flensburg 2015, p. 20 f.
  32. ^ Theodor Busse , Commander of the 9th Army in: Peter Gosztony (Ed.): The battle for Berlin in eyewitness reports. 1985, p. 199 f.
  33. ^ Peter Gosztony: Eyewitness reports. P. 319.
  34. Weidling's memories (in Soviet captivity) in: Peter Gosztony: Eyewitness reports. P. 236 ff.
  35. Erich Kuby : The Russians in Berlin 1945. P. 147 f.
  36. Anthony Beevor: Berlin 1945. The end. Goldmann, Munich 2005 (London 2002), p. 352.
  37. T. Le Tissier, p. 114 f.
  38. ^ Gosztony, p. 251.
  39. T. Le Tissier, p. 116.
  40. T. Le Tissier, p. 117.
  41. According to Konev's estimate, there were 15,000 soldiers against whom he deployed 3,000 guns. The line was only weakly manned on the German side. (T. Le Tissier, 117 f. And note 13, p. 275.)
  42. Cornelius Ryan: The last fight. P. 281.
  43. T. Le Tissier, p. 122.
  44. T. Le Tissier, p. 123.
  45. T. Le Tissier, p. 124.
  46. T. Le Tissier, p. 125.
  47. T. Le Tissier, p. 126 f.
  48. T. Le Tissier, p. 127.
  49. ^ Gerhard Boldt: The last days in the Reich Chancellery. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1964, p. 110 ff.
  50. T. le Tissier, p. 131.
  51. ^ Novikov: The role of the air force. P. 94.
  52. C. Ryan, p. 297.
  53. T. Le Tissier, pp. 132-139.
  54. ^ Gerhard Boldt: The last days in the Reich Chancellery. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1964, p. 113 ff.
  55. T. Le Tissier, p. 149.
  56. ^ After T. Le Tissier, pp. 143-149.
  57. ^ Gerhard Boldt: The last days in the Reich Chancellery. 1964, p. 119 ff.
  58. Tschuikow in: Tony Le Tissier, p. 156. Civilian contemporary witnesses also confirmed the relatively quiet day in the south of Berlin.
  59. T. le Tissier, pp. 152-161.
  60. C. Ryan, p. 304.
  61. T. Le Tissier, pp. 163-168.
  62. Peter Gosztony (Ed.): The battle for Berlin in eyewitness reports. Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 1985, p. 339 f.
  63. Tony le Tissier: The fight for Berlin 1945. P. 164.
  64. T. Le Tissier, p. 178 f.
  65. Anthony Beevor: Berlin 1945. The end. Goldmann, Munich 2005 (London 2002), p. 349. Konew only had the option of reaching the zoo from the west.
  66. ^ Gosztony: Eyewitness accounts. P. 330, transmission by Artur Axmann .
  67. T. Le Tissier, p. 166.
  68. ^ Hans Fritzsche in: Gosztony, p. 366.
  69. T. Le Tissier, p. 185.
  70. Gosztony, p. 339 f.
  71. ^ Gosztony, p. 346.
  72. ^ Komornicki: Polish soldiers. Pp. 178-229 in: T. Le Tissier, pp. 188 f.
  73. ^ Gosztony, p. 343.
  74. H. Mellin in: Peter Kruse (Ed.): Bomben, Trümmer, Lucky Strikes. The zero hour in previously unknown manuscripts. wjs verlag, Wolf Jobst Siedler, Berlin 2004, p. 24. / Waltraut Süßmilch: In the bunker. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2004, p. 166 ff. / New Germany in: Kliem / Noack: Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 1984, ISBN 3-550-07964-8 , p. 66.
  75. H. Mellin, p. 28.
  76. ^ Gosztony, p. 348.
  77. Detailed considerations on the circumstances of the suicides, also of the Goebbels family in: Gosztony, pp. 333–337, T. Le Tissier, p. 187 and in the Hitler literature.
  78. ^ Gosztony, p. 349.
  79. ^ Gosztony, p. 347.
  80. Gosztony, p. 365.
  81. ^ Gerhard Boldt: The last days of the Reich Chancellery. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1964, p. 123 f. (Entry as of April 27, 1945).
  82. Gosztony, pp. 347-359.
  83. Gosztony, p. 363 f.
  84. T. Le Tissier, p. 192.
  85. koniev: Year of Victory. P. 191 in: T. Le Tissier, P. 194 f.
  86. Gosztony, p. 370 f.
  87. Cornelius Ryan: The last fight. New edition. 2015, p. 409.
  88. Schuleburgring 2. A house of world historical importance.
  89. Chuikov stated that the Soviet troops had already stopped fighting and that the air force had also been withdrawn. Eyewitnesses generally report that it was "dead quiet" early in the morning on May 2nd in Berlin.
  90. AZ (373) to 377. TLT, 204.
  91. T. Le Tissier, p. 193.
  92. ^ T. Le Tissier, p. 205, with reference to: Willemer: The German Defense of Berlin. P. 46.
  93. ^ Gosztony, p. 392.
  94. ^ Gosztony, p. 386.
  95. ^ Günther W. Gellermann : The Wenck Army. Pp. 105-119 in: T. Le Tissier, pp. 189 and 196.
  96. T. Le Tissier, p. 206.
  97. Tony le Tissier, pp. 197-203.
  98. ↑ Daily highs on April 17, 1945: [1]
  99. Daily low temperature on May 1, 1945: [2]
  100. ^ Message from Chuikov to Zhukov on the evening of April 24, 1945. In: Gosztony: Eyewitness reports. P. 253.
  101. “It became clear that the 3rd Guards Panzer Army was concentrating on an advance to the northeast to Potsdamer Platz in the city center. Konev wanted to be there in the final battle. (April 25) “(Dragunsky: A Soldier's Life, pp. 61 f., 93. In: T. Le Tissier, p. 139 f., Note 22).
  102. ^ T. Le Tissier, p. 206, after Koniev: Year of Victory. P. 190 f., Note 44.
  103. a b Cornelius Ryan: The last fight. P. 419; Licensed edition by the Gutenberg Book Guild in 1968.
  104. Karl BAHM: Berlin 1945. The last battle of the Third Reich. Klagenfurt 2002, p. 160.
  105. AA Maslow: How were the Soviet blocking detachments used? English translation by David M. Glantz (online)
  106. Karl BAHM: Berlin 1945. The last battle of the Third Reich. Klagenfurt 2002, p. 159 f.
  107. Helke Sander, Barbara Johr (ed.): BeFreier and Liberated. Fischer, ISBN 3-596-16305-6 .
  108. Cornelius Ryan : The last fight. New edition with a current foreword by Johannes Hürter. Konrad-Theiss-Verlag (imprint of the WBG, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft), Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-8062-3026-0 , p. XII.
  109. Michael Wildt, Christoph Kreutzmüller (Ed.): Berlin 1933–1945. Munich 2013.
  110. Johannes Hürter in: C. Ryan: The last fight. Foreword, p. XII, to: The German Reich and the Second World War . Edited by Military History Research Office, Volume 10/1, Rolf-Dieter Müller (article by Richard Lakowski), Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-421-04338-2 .
  111. What color is the war? In: Spiegel Online ; Retrieved July 15, 2012. The material has been in the National Archives in Washington since 1972, with the exception of the photos of the Dachau concentration camp , which initially remained in the storage rooms of the US Air Force and have only been accessible since the end of the 20th century. (VHS: What color is the war? Part 2 at 18:50 (audio commentary)).