the Berlin offensive operation, also known as the final chord of the great Patriotic war, began on 16 April 1945. The purpose of this strategic operation was the defeat of the main forces of German army group “Vistula” and “Center” the capture of Berlin, entrance to the river Elbe and the connection with the allied forces.
the Beginning of the assault on the lair of the fascist Germany was scheduled for April 20. Operation on capture of Berlin held the 1st Belorussian front commanded by Soviet Union Marshal Georgy Zhukov, and the 1st Ukrainian front commanded by Marshal Ivan Konev.
On the website of the Ministry of defense published military reports, which make clear some fierce resistance had to be overcome soldiers of the red army. So, on April 28, 1945, part of the 5th shock army under the command of Colonel-General Nikolai Berzarin on the streets engaged in heavy fighting and took 27 city blocks, including taking the building of the state printing office and Two station. On April 29 began the battle for the Reichstag, which was tasked to capture the 79 th infantry corps of the 3rd shock army.
the Ministry of defence website published combat report of the 1st Belorussian front. In particular it says that the especially stubborn resistance to the Nazis exerted in the area of the Reichstag. “On the stairs and in the room of the main building of the Reichstag the struggle often passed in the melee. The area of the Reichstag was defended by elite units of the SS. To strengthen the defense of this district the enemy on the night of 28 April was thrown by parachute battalion of Marines”, – stated in the message.
the Nazis turned the Reichstag into a real citadel. The building was one of the most important objects in the system of defense of the city. Around the Reichstag had dug deep trenches, arranged barricades, equipped with machine-gun and artillery emplacements. The garrison of the Reichstag consisted of about 1,000 people and was armed with a large number of guns, machine guns and bazookas.
“by Continuing the attack and breaking the enemy’s resistance, part of the 3rd shock army occupied the main building of the Reichstag and 14:25 on 30 April it raised the Soviet flag. The offensive in Berlin goes on…” reported the commander of the troops of the 1st Belorussian front Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, the Supreme Commander of Joseph Stalin. Heavy fighting inside the Reichstag went up to 1 may. Separate groups of Germans who were entrenched in the basement, surrendered only on may 2.
In a combat report to the commander of troops of the 1st Ukrainian front Marshal Ivan Konev, States that “the troops of the 1st Ukrainian front today, 2 may 1945, after a nine-day street fighting …together with troops of the 1st Belorussian front captured the city of Berlin… Only one day – may 2, 1945, saguache��about 34 thousand soldiers and officers… 37 tanks, over 150 guns and a large quantity of other arms and property. Among the captured officers, the commander of the 286th infantry division major-General von Robin”.
Also on the website of the Ministry of defense issued an order to the commander of the defense and the last commandant of Berlin, General of artillery Helmuth of Weidling. In this document it calls upon the German troops defending the city, immediately stop the resistance. In particular, the order says that “30 April 1945, the führer committed suicide. We, who have sworn loyalty to him left alone. …The lack of heavy weapons, ammunition and your position make this fight pointless… extend the terrible suffering of the civil population of Berlin and of our wounded.” Referring to the German soldiers, Wanting stressed that anyone who falls in the fight for Berlin will bring in vain the victim and demanded immediately to stop the fight.
the Soviet command tried to provide food for the population of Berlin. In the city were more than 2 million people civil, you need to feed. The aid of civilians was even when the city saw fierce fighting. So, officers were sent instructions about the organization of personal responsibility for the availability of food, grain, livestock and potatoes. In addition, the Soviet command has determined the entitlement for different categories of citizens, introduced a card system. To supply the population of Berlin was allocated 105 thousand tons of grain, 18 thousand tons of meat, and 4.5 thousand tons of fat and 6 thousand tons of sugar.
the Military Council of the 1st Belorussian front decided to one resident of Berlin in a week to allocate up to 3 kg of grain, 0.5 kg of meat, almost 1.5 kg of sugar, 350 grams of organic coffee, vegetables and dairy products. Medical supplies were provided to pharmacies and hospitals in the city.
in addition to Berlin, the Soviet command helped provided the civilian population of other German cities – Dresden, Chemnitz, Stettin.
the Military commandant’s office was created in Berlin, when the war was still in full swing. So, the commander of the 5th shock army, Colonel-General Nikolai Berzarin on 25 April 1945 was appointed military commandant of the city. April 28, he issued order No. 1, which guaranteed civilian population to safety and life.
the Military commandant’s office were promptly decided in Berlin is very difficult and important task of establishing peaceful life. The city was burning, most of the buildings were mined, infrastructure Berlin and utilities was almost completely destroyed.
Commandant decide the issues on the organization of warehouses and restoration of the most important enterprises of the food industry. The Soviet command was sent to Berlin as PERWAY aid 96 thousand tons of grain, 60 thousand tons of potatoes, about 50 thousand head of cattle, as well as sugar, fats and other products.
“as a result of all of these activities were not only eliminated the threat of famine for the population, but also created a solid base to ensure the normal supply of the city for the future… the Soviet command has saved from starvation many thousands of Berliners – it was a manifestation of genuine humanity inherent in our people”, – such words are in one of the declassified documents.
Helped the Red army and German prisoners. In particular the declassified decision of the Military Council of the 1st Byelorussian front about the organization of medical care to wounded and sick prisoners of war States that among the captured soldiers and officers a large number of wounded, malnourished and sick. In the hospitals front has accumulated more than 12 thousand German soldiers. “The front military Council decided to organize three hospital-manifold 5 thousand people each”, – says the resolution.
With the support of the military commandant of the newly established governments started to rebuild the city. Soviet engineers built on the main thoroughfares of Berlin 34 road bridge, had a clearance of multiple buildings and entire neighborhoods.
All significant cultural heritage objects were taken under protection to ensure their safety. Soviet soldiers guarded the archive, house in the Park and the house-Museum of Johann Goethe, the cell of Martin Luther in the Augustinian monastery.
the Soviet military was looking for paintings by famous artists. Thanks to the hard work were found paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, van Dyck and other great masters.
Numerous award documents published on the website of the Ministry of defence testify to the bravery and courage of soldiers of the red Army.
In particular declassified archives describes senior Sergeant Ilya Chanove. His company part of the composition of the 756 th infantry regiment first broke into the Reichstag building. The Germans during the day, tried to knock the soldier out of the building – set fire to the house, threw their grenades. On Syanova flashed a few times clothes, could hardly breathe. In this battle company Sergeant major killed 150 of the Nazis and 300 captured.
the document Also tells of a 15-year-old soldier Ivan Nikolaev, who participated in street fighting. In premium sheet under which he was awarded the medal “For military merit”, read: “Taken as an orphan.”
At the defense Ministry told about the medical instructor of the 2nd tank battalion of the 1st guards tank brigade Raisa Kolinko. The girl had given first aid to a Soviet tank during the fierce fighting in Berlin. Raisa Kolinko, risk�� himself, to save the wounded, pulling them from the burning tanks. Only 18 of April in the area of Diedersdorf medical assisted 28 wounded colleagues. During their evacuation, she noticed tanks and self-propelled guns of the enemy who were in ambush. Notifying command, it enabled the tanks to destroy two tanks, two artillery, and four guns.
In the fighting for the capture of Berlin was attended by thousands of Soviet soldiers and officers. Many of them died and were buried in Germany and Poland. In order to perpetuate their memory in June 1945 it was decided to establish fraternal cemetery, in the cities of Seelow, Berlin, Brandenburg, Rathenow, Saliba, Schönhausen, Warsaw, Kustrin and of Navarre. The graves were erected monuments. This involved the military-construction units, as well as workers and architects from the local population.