Battle for Berlin, 1945

This week marks VE Day, commemorating the Victory in Europe over Hitler’s Third Reich.  The last and perhaps the most savage battle was for the German capital of Berlin.   This from the Battlefield series, which was aired weekly on Far East Network (“Forced Entertainment Network”) when I had an artillery battery in Okinawa in 1996.   The entire series is superb, and if you look, you can find most of them on line.  They are also available on DVD.   They contain a pretty good description of the higher tactical through the strategic picture, and have enough detail and technical stuff, but not too much.


Since the series was made, Russian archives have been explored more completely, and the number of Soviet casualties have been scaled up more than two-fold, from the 305,000 quoted in this episode, to nearly 700,000.   Note the ever-present use of artillery and mortars, rockets, and field guns, even in an urban environment.   The episode is 116 minutes, roughly the time one spends clicking on all of Mav’s aviation links and cool pictures and videos and stuff.   So get your Eastern Front geek on, and watch it.  You know you wanna.

5 thoughts on “Battle for Berlin, 1945”

  1. DAT 8 inch doorknocker at 1,40,53
    Soviets at the Fulda Gap would come knocking down with similar guns, tanks and the kitchen sink attitude. Good that it never went live.

    1. Truly. Some believe we overestimated the Red Army of the 1970s and early 80s, and perhaps we did to an extent, but I do believe that those who did not witness the toughness of the individual Soviet soldier very much underestimated our opponents at the tactical level.

    2. In my opinion, the only reason Ivan did not decide to visit Oktoberfest was he was in worse shape than we were. As individual soldiers, however, Ivan may not have been the best in the world, but he could embrace the suck quite well, since that was all that was available to him. The Soviet grunt was a tough SOB to deal with during the eastern front festivities, and I would not have wanted him to come knocking, and most glad he did not.

  2. When I was at UW Madison starting in ’79, Channel 3 had a program, The Unknown War, on at Midnight on Saturdays. It was a Soviet produced series on the Russian Front. I always thought it was a pity both sides could not lose that one.

  3. When I was TDY as a USAF gnd-FAC in Germany in the early 70s I was sitting one afternoon in a local gasthaus having a beverage with an Army Arty Maj discussing the Fulda Gap thing and the capabilities of the Soviet/WP forces and what miserable shape we were in. “What are you going to do when the brown stuff hits the proverbial fan?” I asked. “See that white Porsche 911 sitting outside that window?” he replied. “I’m going to jump in that sucker and set a new land-speed record to Dunkirk.” LOL!!!

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