The Battle of Berlin represents the last major military campaign of WWII in Europe, it marked both the end of Hitler’s 1000 year Reich and the beginning of a new conflict, which would later be known as the Cold War.
The Battle of Berlin also marks the final major clash between 2 authoritarian ideologies of the 20th century: nazism and communism. We all know today who won.
For many German high commanders and officers, it was clear since the failure of Operation Barbarossa that the war could not be won by Germany.
After the Battle of Kursk, the tide of the war turned completely against the Wehrmacht, but instead of surrendering, Hitler remained inflexible and refused to listen to his more experienced commanders.
Until the end of the war, the Fuhrer believed that his own simple-minded strategy, fighting till the last soldier and the last bullet would save The Third Reich from complete disaster.
Even when the Red Army soldiers and tanks were advancing through the streets of Berlin, Hitler believed that like Frederick the Great of Prussia, who was saved by the Brandenburg Miracle, another miracle will also save his Third Reich.
Germany in 1945, didn’t have the means to stop the massive Soviet offensive, it was only a matter of time until the Capital city of Nazi Germany would fall. The question was, who would grab the great prize?
For Stalin, Berlin had become his ultimate goal and pressured the Soviet commanders like Jukov and Konev to speed up the offensive preparations.
For Stalin, the Battle of Berlin represented the payback time for all German atrocities committed against the Soviet people during the 3 years of occupation of the European territories of the Soviet Union.
According to another research, done by historian Anthony Beevor, Stalin also had a secret agenda behind the official propaganda of avenging the Soviet people.
By conquering Berlin, Stalin hoped to gain access to the documents about the German Nuclear program from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, which was located on the southeast side of the city.
The documents would’ve been later used for the USSR nuclear program.
Since the Battle of Berlin ended with a great victory for the Soviet Union, the secret operation for acquiring intelligence about the German Nuclear programme had also a good result.
Even if the war had a clear conclusion, this didn’t mean that the Wehrmacht would simply give up and surrender without a fight.
Through a combination of nationalism, terror, and propaganda, the Wehrmacht, SS, and loyal elements from within the Nazi party continued the fight until the end.
Hitler’s last stand against the USSR as a consequence meant the death in vain of more hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians.
The Battle of Berlin was in one word epic, both through its scale and by its ending.
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