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World War II

Battle of Berlin

The Battle of Berlin was the last major battle in Europe during World War II. It resulted in the surrender of the German army and an end to Adolf Hitler's rule.

When did the Battle of Berlin take place?

The battle began on April 16, 1945 and lasted until May 2, 1945.

Who fought in the Battle of Berlin?

The battle was primarily fought between the German Army and the Soviet Army. The Soviet army vastly outnumbered the Germans. The Soviets had over 2,500,000 soldiers, 7,500 aircraft, and 6,250 tanks. The Germans had around 1,000,000 soldiers, 2,200 aircraft, and 1,500 tanks.

What was left of the German army was ill-equipped for the battle. Many of the German soldiers were sick, wounded, or starving. Desperate for soldiers, the German army included young boys and old men.

Who were the commanders?

The supreme commander of the Soviet army was Georgy Zhukov. Commanders under him included Vasily Chuikov and Ivan Konev. On the German side was Adolf Hitler, who remained in Berlin to help command and lead the defense of the city, as well as military commanders Gotthard Heinrici and Helmuth Reymann.

The Soviets Attack

The battle began on April 16 when the Soviets attacked along the Oder River near Berlin. They quickly defeated the German forces outside Berlin and advanced on the city.

The Battle

By April 20th the Soviets began bombing Berlin. They worked their way around the city and had it completely surrounded in a few days. At this point, Hitler began to realize that he was going to lose the battle. He desperately tried to move a German army from western Germany to Berlin in order to save the city.

Once the Soviets entered the city, the fighting became fierce. With the city in ruins and the streets full of rubble, tanks were of little use and much of the fighting was hand-to-hand and building-to-building. By April 30, the Soviets were approaching the center of the city and the Germans were running out of ammunition. At this point, Hitler admitted defeat and committed suicide along with his new wife, Eva Braun.

The Germans Surrender

On the night of May 1st, most of the remaining German soldiers attempted to break out of the city and escape to the western front. Few of them made it out. The next day, May 2nd, the German generals inside Berlin surrendered to the Soviet army. Only a few days later, on May 7, 1945 the remaining leaders of Nazi Germany signed an unconditional surrender to the Allies and the war in Europe was over.

Rubble in streets of Berlin
Ruined buildings in Berlin
Source: Army Film & Photographic Unit

Results

The Battle of Berlin resulted in the surrender of the German army and the death of Adolf Hitler (by suicide). It was a resounding victory for the Soviet Union and the Allies. The battle took its toll on both sides, however. Around 81,000 Soviet Union soldiers were killed and another 280,000 were wounded. Around 92,000 German soldiers were killed with another 220,000 wounded. The city of Berlin was reduced to rubble and around 22,000 German civilians were killed.

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  • Learn More about World War II:

    Overview:
    World War II Timeline
    Allied Powers and Leaders
    Axis Powers and Leaders
    Causes of WW2
    War in Europe
    War in the Pacific
    After the War

    Battles:
    Battle of Britain
    Battle of the Atlantic
    Pearl Harbor
    Battle of Stalingrad
    D-Day (Invasion of Normandy)
    Battle of the Bulge
    Battle of Berlin
    Battle of Midway
    Battle of Guadalcanal
    Battle of Iwo Jima

    Events:
    The Holocaust
    Japanese Internment Camps
    Bataan Death March
    Fireside Chats
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic Bomb)
    War Crimes Trials
    Recovery and the Marshall Plan
    Leaders:
    Winston Churchill
    Charles de Gaulle
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Harry S. Truman
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Douglas MacArthur
    George Patton
    Adolf Hitler
    Joseph Stalin
    Benito Mussolini
    Hirohito
    Anne Frank
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Other:
    The US Home Front
    Women of World War II
    African Americans in WW2
    Spies and Secret Agents
    Aircraft
    Aircraft Carriers
    Technology
    World War II Glossary and Terms

    Works Cited

    History >> World War 2 for Kids





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