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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 5:13:41 AM

Following Stalin's complete deception of Eissenhower as to his real intention vis a vis Berlin--he wanted the whole city

Zhukov's 1st Byeloru Berlinssian Front attacked at 05.00 on the 16th April and Koniev's 1st Ukrainian Front at 06.15. Although Koniev's attack across the River Neisse went well, Zhuvok's forces soon ran into trouble. The battle just west of the River Oder proved to be no walkover as the Seelöw Heights were a critical defensive position in Army Group Vistula's sector, and the Germans, under no illusions as to what a Soviet breakthrough would mean, fought desperately.

The Army Group had been under Col Gen G. Heinrici since the end of March after Hitler replaced Himmler with Heinrici, a veteran of the Eastern Front and expert on defensive tactics.


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
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BWilson

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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 5:51:31 AM

Berlin Operation.

Cheers

BW
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anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 6:30:19 AM
Crikey Bill your great map-for which my thanks- looks bloody ominous.
It looks to swallow the whole of Northern Europe; and excuse me for asking,
was that Stalin's real intention.Given the the AEF occupied much of this territory-was the intention to drive the Allies out???

Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 8:16:50 AM

Stalin's reply to Eisenhower broadly agreed with the Supreme Allied Commander's plan, with the exception of the use of liaison officers, in that:
Firstly, the Red Army and Western Allies should meet on the line of Erfurt – Leipzig – Dresden.
Secondly, Berlin had lost its strategic importance and only secondary forces would be allotted to its capture.
Thirdly, the main thrust by Soviet forces would begin in the second half of May.
Fourthly, the Germans were reinforcing the eastern front with the 6th SS Panzer Army, as well as three divisions from Italy and two from Norway.
It is obvious that the second and third points were in fact deliberate falsifications by Stalin to try and hide what he was really planning – to enhance Soviet prestige and establish the Communist domination of Eastern and Central Europe by the Soviet Union by entering Berlin first' target='blank'>[Read More]
.

Ewgards

Jim
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BWilson

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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 11:16:02 AM

Quote:
Crikey Bill your great map-for which my thanks- looks bloody ominous.
It looks to swallow the whole of Northern Europe; and excuse me for asking,
was that Stalin's real intention.Given the the AEF occupied much of this territory-was the intention to drive the Allies out???

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

 Not sure. Further south, U.S. units penetrated deeply into what would ultimately become postwar East Germany, and into Czechoslovakia as well. But I am fairly confident that Stalin believed in having military presence as far west as he could at war's end. I think what the map shows the Soviets occupying is what was the north half of postwar East Germany. Yeah, it was a large offensive.

Cheers

BW
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anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 11:31:29 AM

Quote:
While the 12th U.S. Army Group made its eastward thrust, General Devers′ 6th U.S. Army Group to the south had the dual mission of protecting the 12th U.S. Army Group's right flank and eliminating any German attempt to make a last stand in the Alps of southern Germany and western Austria.

To accomplish both objectives, Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch's 7th Army on Devers′ left was to make a great arc, first driving northeastward alongside Bradley's flank, then turning south with the 3rd Army to take Nuremberg and Munich, ultimately continuing into Austria.

The French 1st Army—under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny—was to attack to the south and southeast, taking Stuttgart before moving to the Swiss border and into Austria.


Regards

Jim
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richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 11:34:10 AM

Quote:

Following Stalin's complete deception of Eissenhower as to his real intention vis a vis Berlin--he wanted the whole city


Posting nonsense three times does not make it sense.

anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 12:37:58 PM
I am not going to be as rude as you are above; but I would be most interested to learn what nonsense you are referring to as being three times posted-should you be so kind
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Richto90
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/9/2017 1:35:23 PM
Jim, it's not rudeness, it is a simple statement of fact. You posted the same nonsensical introductory post three times. The statement you made about Eisenhower, while misspelling Eisenhower, is nonsense.

anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 4:07:03 AM
OK Rich-due to my failing eyesight I loused up the first intro I admit ang was unable tp eradicate this first attempt--try as I might.So far as i am aware Eisenhower was duped by Stalin but I am aware that revisionist history can easily erase that piece of action and yes I did spell Eisenhower's name wrongly-does that merit a nonsense remark ? I did hope that would have set me straight; and allowed the the thread to flow.

Regards

Jim
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 8:35:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Following Stalin's complete deception of Eissenhower as to his real intention vis a vis Berlin--he wanted the whole city


Posting nonsense three times does not make it sense.

--richto90



richto,

What do you want good history or good spelling? Besides I also am a notoriously bad speller,

I was told it's hereditary!?

Not our fault!
Regards,
MD


BTW; Bill nice map it does seem to lend itself to point out the Soviets had quite a push at the end of the war to occupy as much of Europe as they could!

Jim good thread, I'm not sure most of the Allies knew Stalin's intentions yet!?
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richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Posts: 403

Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 10:24:36 AM

Quote:
OK Rich-due to my failing eyesight I loused up the first intro I admit ang was unable tp eradicate this first attempt--try as I might.So far as i am aware Eisenhower was duped by Stalin but I am aware that revisionist history can easily erase that piece of action and yes I did spell Eisenhower's name wrongly-does that merit a nonsense remark ? I did hope that would have set me straight; and allowed the the thread to flow.


Dupe/duped is to deceive or trick someone.

What did Stalin "dupe" him about? How was Eisenhower deceived or tricked with regards to Berlin? Did he send him a tricksy message telling him he was only wanting "part of the city"? Or did they meet in person?

What "revisionist history" erased what "piece of action"? The only "revisionist history" I see going on his the fiction being promoted by you. If Stalin "wanted the whole city" he did a damned poor job of it since half of it remained in the American, British, and French zones long after his death.





George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 11:24:53 AM
Did the Soviets not push beyond the negotiated demarcation lines between them and the allies pushing from the west?

I don't mean Berlin but several places along the long front.

Did the Soviets enter Austria in violation of the agreements?

They were pushing as far as they could along the Baltic Sea coast and British troops were rushed to Wismer to stop them which they did. However, I think that the Soviets actually got Wismer in the end.

Was there ever any fear that the Soviets would not comply with the agreement (Potsdam ??) to create the division of German and the zones of occupation in Germany?

Did the Soviets require any encouragement to comply?

Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 1:10:16 PM

Quote:
Churchill had already seen, not only the ending of the current great conflict, but the beginnings of the next, with the Soviets already going back on things that had been agreed at Yalta – the Allied Armies had to meet the Soviets as far east as they could get, and if possible take Berlin, as it was very likely that the Soviets would take Vienna. Eisenhower however, remained steadfast, supported by both Bradley and the US Combined Chiefs of Staff. Writing later, Bradley comments "We were less concerned with postwar political alignments than destruction of what remained of the German Army . . . . As soldiers we looked naively on this British inclination to complicate the war with political foresight and non military objectives." (Strawson, p. 111) Naivety indeed - so much for Clausewitz's dictum.
Stalin's Deception

Stalin's reply to Eisenhower broadly agreed with the Supreme Allied Commander's plan, with the exception of the use of liaison officers, in that:
Firstly, the Red Army and Western Allies should meet on the line of Erfurt – Leipzig – Dresden.
Secondly, Berlin had lost its strategic importance and only secondary forces would be allotted to its capture.
Thirdly, the main thrust by Soviet forces would begin in the second half of May.
Fourthly, the Germans were reinforcing the eastern front with the 6th SS Panzer Army, as well as three divisions from Italy and two from Norway.


PS Apologies for my previous misinterpretation

Regards

Jim
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BWilson

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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 1:29:53 PM
Did the Soviets enter Austria in violation of the agreements?

 I don't think the moves of either the Western Allies or the Soviets were per se violations; I expect there was some kind of agreement that once the shooting stopped, the agreed-upon zones of occupation would be instituted. If the Soviets were unhappy about "falling back" into their zone, the Western Allies were not thrilled about giving up parts of E Germany and Czechoslovakia ... the locals were unhappy to go under Soviet control. That said, there was a level of distrust ... else why did 21st Army Group "race" to Wismar to forestall any Soviet move into Denmark?

 From what I understand of the immediate postwar era, the cooperation with the Soviets was better than by 1946-47.

Cheers

BW
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George
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 2:33:05 PM
I recall that Cossacks who finished the war in Austria were forcibly repatriated to the Soviets as they left Austria.

We discussed the Cossacks before and other posters were not too sympathetic to their plight.


You are correct that the trip to Wismar was a race. I know that the 1st Canadian Paras were ordered to get to Wismar ASAP and they travelled by motorized transport, passing armed German soldiers waiting in the ditches.

They beat the Red Army to Wismar by a few hours and the people were pleased with that.

I cannot confirm but I read that it was Churchill who did not trust the Soviets to stay where they were supposed to stay when hostilities ceased.

So yes, there was considerable distrust at least on the part of WSC. He was convinced that the Soviets would continue to roll until they controlled Denmark and northern Germany.

The initial contact by the paras and the Red Army was initially pleasant on May 2. A para sergeant in a jeep met a Soviet counterpart. The Russian brought out a bottle of vodka.

It was after the Canadian CO met with the Red Army Co that things got tense. The Red Army unit was an armoured unit.

The Russian told Lt. Col. Eadie to withdraw and that his unit was headed for Lubeck, near Denmark.

Eadie told his troops to prepare for combat and they took up positions. This surprised the Russians who assumed that the paras had air and armoured support. They had none.

The Canadians watched the Russians dig in and prepare for a fight.

I don't believe that there was any shooting between the two sides.

The conflict passed up the line with the British general of 6th Para in discussion with a Russian general who also demanded that the Canadians withdraw.

The British general Bols dug in his heels and eventually it was Monty and Rokossovsky, a pair of Field Marshalls who hashed it out. Bols had actually bluffed the Soviets by telling them that he had a full division of paras in Wismar and 5 regiments of artillery. The Soviet bought it.

Monty determined that Wismar was in the Soviet zone and eventually they got the place but a lot of German soldiers and civilians fled west during the negotiations.

Trust the Soviets? No. The Wismar affair showed that they were untrustworthy though it seems that they were on firm ground in their claim to Wismar.

I just wondered whether they pushed the envelope in any other places, including Berlin.


Cheers,

George

John R. Price
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 5:14:11 PM
BW,

Could the moves into different parts of the former Reich that was outside the planned occupation zones be a attempt to capture key equipment, personal or resources and remove them before they could fall in the hands of the Soviets? Or the art and treasure the Nazi's looted from all over Europe. I don't think it was any secret that the Soviets were taking anything that wasn't nailed down, I've seen accounts of whole towns being cleaned out of the modern toilets for example, and sending the loot back to Russia. Isn't there still a major problem with art the Nazi's looted which was then looted by the Soviets in that its on open display in modern Russia but they won't recognize claims from the owners who the Nazi's stole it from?
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redcoat
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/10/2017 9:55:45 PM

Quote:

Following Stalin's complete deception of Eissenhower as to his real intention vis a vis Berlin--he wanted the whole city


Berlin was deep in the agreed post-war Soviet occupation zone. Eisenhower didn't think trying to take it was worth the cost of his soldiers blood, especially seeing they would have to return most of it to the Soviets post-war

anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 3:53:20 AM
Stalin to Eisenhower

"Secondly, Berlin had lost its strategic importance and only secondary forces would be allotted to its capture."

This of course was a deliberate lie--particularly regarding the the Soviet forces deployed ie Zhukov's and Koniev's Fronts. Nothing secondary about that number of troops.

Regards

Jim

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Phil andrade
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 4:47:05 AM
Didn't Stalin play one general off against another ?

Those different fronts commanded by generals who were encouraged to outdo their counterparts....a form of divide and rule ?

More than just rivalry ; it was toxic, born of terror and suspicion.

We are now marking the centennial of the Russian Revolution, and many media commentators are inviting discussion as to the legacy of the Soviet Union.

My view is that it was an abysmal influence, born in terror and sustained by terror.

I have always qualified that, though, with acknowledging the immense achievement of the Soviet Union in tearing the guts out of the German enemy : this monstrous battle leaves me stupefied with a kind of grudging admiration for the effort that was made, and the unimaginable price that was paid.

Regards, Phil
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BWilson

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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 5:14:05 AM

Quote:
BW,

Could the moves into different parts of the former Reich that was outside the planned occupation zones be a attempt to capture key equipment, personal or resources and remove them before they could fall in the hands of the Soviets?
--John R. Price


John,

 There were teams tasked with recovery of specific technological items and placing persons of interest in custody. How much that affected movement of large forces is unclear (for me). The myth of the 'Alpine Redoubt' caused some unusual movement of forces at the end of the war, as did Eisenhower's decision to not press onto Berlin. That said, Patton's Third Army did enter Czechoslovakia, occupying the grounds of the Skoda armaments works in doing so. By accident or design? I don't know, but that movement of forces had little to do with the Alpine Redoubt or the Berlin decision.

Cheers

BW
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anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 5:19:19 AM
It has been reported that in the process of subduing Berlin the two Soviet Fronts intentionally fired on one another. Why? Perhaps these two marshals were keenly aware that failure would not be tolerated.

The commander who lagged behind his rival might well face Stalin’s wrath. In the fighting for Berlin, the Soviets lost 80,000 killed and wounded along with 2,000 tanks, while the Germans suffered an estimated 150,000 casualties.This would appear to have been pert of Stalin'a game of playing one marshal off against the other --typical of Stalin the monster.

Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 8:38:14 AM

Quote:
It has been reported that in the process of subduing Berlin the two Soviet Fronts intentionally fired on one another. Why? Perhaps these two marshals were keenly aware that failure would not be tolerated.

The commander who lagged behind his rival might well face Stalin’s wrath. In the fighting for Berlin, the Soviets lost 80,000 killed and wounded along with 2,000 tanks, while the Germans suffered an estimated 150,000 casualties.This would appear to have been pert of Stalin'a game of playing one marshal off against the other --typical of Stalin the monster.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


The soviets lost 80,000 killed and wounded ? No. Incredible to contemplate, they lost 80,000 killed . Maybe a quarter of a million wounded in addition .

Perhaps close to a third of a million casualties all told : twenty thousand casualties per day, on average, in a sixteen day period.

A bit mind boggling.

Some of the sternest resistance came not from Germans, but from foreign contingents of the SS : the Charlemagne Division comes to mind. When I read about ISIL fighters in Raqa or Mosul, the same thing's apparent.

Editing : Jim, for the record, official soviet archives give losses for the Berlin Offensive, 16 April - 8 May 1945 : 81,116 killed or missing ; 280,251 wounded ( including evacuated sick ) : total.... 361,367. Allowing for sick , I reckon my third of a million battle casualties is about right.

Astonishing to contemplate, Berlin was not the be all and end all of the soviet offensives : there were several others going on at the same time : Morava- Ostrava, 10 March - 5 May ; 112,621 casualties . Bratislava - Brno , 25 March -5 May ; 79,596 casualties. Prague , 6-11 May, 52,498 casualties. Just before the Berlin operation, the offensive to take Vienna, 16 March - 15 April, had cost the soviets 177,745 casualties.

Regards, Phil
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anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 9:34:52 AM
Phil-believe me I have hunted for an hour for Soviet losses and cannot come anywhere near your estimates.Below is the best I can come up with

According to Grigoriy Krivosheev's work based on declassified archival data, Soviet forces sustained 81,116 dead for the entire operation, which included the battles of Seelow Heights and the Halbe;

Another 280,251 were reported wounded or sick during the operational period The operation also cost the Soviets about 1,997 tanks and SPGs. Krivosheev noted: "All losses of arms and equipment are counted as irrecoverable losses, i.e. beyond economic repair or no longer serviceable".

Initial Soviet estimates based on kill claims placed German losses at 458,080 killed and 479,298 captured, but German research puts the number of dead at approximately 92,000 – 100,000. The number of civilian casualties is unknown,

125,000 are estimated to have perished during the entire operation.

Tegards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 9:51:52 AM
But Jim, you're citing exactly the same source for Berlin that I used !

We're in complete agreement.

Regards, Phil
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 10:31:44 AM
JHC!!! I guess I must have misread you; because I too thought
that Soviet losses would have been through the roof-so profligate
were they about human life.

Regards

Jim
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 11:09:37 AM
THE REICHSTAG

The wild enthusiasm with which the report of the sighting of a red flag atop the Reichstag--- resulted in Zhukov issuing Operation Order No. 6 of that that read "Units of the 3rd Shock Army . . . having broken the resistance of the enemy, have captured the Reichstag and hoisted our Soviet Flag on it today, April 30th, 1945, at 14.25 hours." (Le Tissier, p. 168)

This false report was sent to Moscow and abroad but when war correspondents converged on the Reichstag, they found Soviet infantry had only advanced halfway across Königsplatz.

Aware of his error, Shatilov ordered his division to raise a flag or pennant on the building, whatever the cost.

Rehards

Jim
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/11/2017 11:29:26 AM
BW,

I've read accounts of the US and GB cleaning out specific points of certain equipment before handing over to the Soviets. Specifically a factory with rocket components and a airfield were ME 262's were based. Then there is the case of von Braun and the rocket scientists, wasn't their base in Soviet territory and didn't they go into captivity bearing gifts. I also remember seeing a TV show in which a test pilot from GB talked about ferrying ME 262's out of Soviet territory before handing it over to them while convoys took all the spare parts and non operationals. Claimed to be the first Allied pilot to fly one.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
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Re: Operation Berlin--Apr/May 1945
Posted on: 11/12/2017 4:22:32 AM
THE REICHSTAG 2

Soviet troops broke in, close quarters fighting spread out over the whole building with the Germans putting up very stiff resistance, using every weapon they could lay their hands on and the Soviets trying to find their way in the darkened, unfamiliar rooms.

Finally, the special banner party with Red Banner No. 5 containing Sergeants M. A. Yegorov and M. V. Kantaria managed to find their way around to the rear of the building where there was a stairway up to the roof.

Finding a mounted statue, they wedged the staff of their banner into a convenient crevice and thus the Red Flag, at 22.50 on 30 April 1945, finally flew over the Reichstag (Red Army Target No. 105), and therefore Berlin.

Bitter German resistance continued however, and it would not be until the morning of 2 May that fighting finally ceased in the Reichstag, with the remaining 2,500 defenders surrendering to Soviet forces

Regards

Jim.
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