April 23rd, 1945 - On this day in World War Two history, the Soviet Red Army enter Berlin proper.
The actual battle of Berlin was fought from April 16th to May 2nd of 1945, and was the last desperate fight made by the German forces against the Red Army.
The Soviets first attacked the north, south, and eastern flanks of the city, making sure an encirclement would be 100% ensured.
By April 23rd, the city itself was being attacked in force, and by then the German forces were little more than depleted Wehrmacht and Waffen SS forces along with Volkssturm and Hitler Youth units.
The nearly 2.5 million Soviet troops went up against the fatigued Germans, and the German people truly fought until the end.
Even after they surrendered, the still fought on, this time westward. The idea behind this was to break the Soviet encirclement and drive west to the western allies.
This was because German troops feared being captured by Red Army soldiers, as their treatment would have been horrendous and many would have died.
On the Western Front though, American, British, and Canadian troops were often much more tame in their treatment of German troops because they had to be.
So, since the Germans knew they would be captured either way, decided the better of their two options as their Reich collapsed into history.
It was supposed to last 1,000 years, according to Hitler, but it ended up only lasting 12, 6 in a time of war. This picture shows a Soviet Red Army soldier helping a wounded German POW during that battle.
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