World War Ii

Berlin 1945: The Final Reckoning by Karl Bahm

By Karl Bahm

A finished background of the final conflict of Nazi Germany, this e-book starts with a research of the historical past to the conflict and an outline of occasions at the japanese and western fronts ahead of the Soviet forces reached Berlin. The strategic value of the town to the German warfare attempt and morale is taken into account, and the explanations why the Western allies halted their increase at the Elbe instead of race the Soviet troops to the Reichstag.

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They claimed further that two Allied airborne divisions were being prepared for an assault on Berlin, and that Montgomery was developing plans to enable his 21st Army Group to race across northern Germany to take Berlin. These reports were, of course, strictly speaking, true, and the Soviet leaders were justifiably wary of Allied, and particularly British, intentions. But the Soviets also had other reasons for wanting to get to Berlin. The Russians and other peoples of the Soviet Union had suffered grievously at the hands of the Germans, and the lust for revenge was understandably strong.

Never was the dilettantism and military incompetence of the Third Reich's highest leadership as apparent and disastrous as in this last phase of the war. Hitler, who had assumed overall command of the army in November 1941, liked to think of himself as a genius of the bold tactical thrust. In military studies, he spurned the professionals' and Below: Marshal Ivan Konev, seated, had been one ofthe heroes in the routing ofthe German Sixth Army at Stalingrad in 1943. His First Ukrainian Front was one ofthe two key army groups closing in on Berlin.

The Humboldthain tower was connected to the U-Bahn (subway) system; together, the tower and the subway station could hold up to 21,000 people during air-raids. 6m (8ft) thick, reinforced concrete walls with their steel-shuttered windows, that the 100-man Wehrmacht garrisons stationed in each one thought they could hold out for a year, whatever happened to the rest of Berlin. Indeed, after the war the Allies found the towers very difficult to destroy; the French tried, and failed, three times to blow up the tower in their sector.

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