1945: Final Soviet Attack on Berlin Begins

1945: Final Soviet Attack on Berlin Begins
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-H27779,_Berlin,_Flakturm_am_Zoo.jpg

The Soviet forces that attacked Germany from the east consisted of 26 armies and 2.5 million soldiers.


The final Soviet attack on Berlin began on this day in 1945. The Soviets prepared a huge number of troops for the offensive, including some 2.5 million soldiers, 6250 tanks and armored vehicles, and 41,600 artillery pieces. These were organized into three fronts (a front was the largest strategic military unit in the Red Army, equivalent to an Army Group in western armed forces).

The three fronts that attacked Germany from the east were commanded by three marshals: Zhukov, Rokossovsky, and Konev. Rokkosovsky had six armies under his command, Konev nine, while Zhukov had as many as 11. Therefore, the remnants of the Third Reich were attacked by an enormous force of 26 enemy armies, leaving the defenders massively outnumbered.

Stalin allegedly organized a sort of competition between Zhukov and Konev regarding who would be the first to reach Berlin. Namely, there was no firm dividing line between the areas under their command, which allowed both of them to move their forces towards central Berlin.

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