Even the battle for Stalingrad inferior battles for Berlin on the main quantitative and high-quality indicators: the number of troops involved in the fighting, the number of participating military equipment, as well as the size of the town and the liking of its building.
In a certain extent comparable with the storming of Berlin assault Budapest in January-February and Königsberg in April 1945. Contractions of modernity, such as the battle for Beirut in 1982, are the white shadow of excellent fights the 2nd World War.
The preparation of the defense of Berlin from the Germans was 2.5 months, during which the front was on the Oder, 70 km from the town. This training does not wear temper improvisation. The Germans developed a system of reincarnation own and other cities in the "festungi" — the fortress. This is the strategy advocated by Hitler during the second half of the war. Cities "fortress" had to defend in isolation, supplied with the air. Their goal — to keep the road junctions and other fundamental Fri
Berlin strengthening of April and May 1945 are fairly typical for the German "festungov"-massive barricades, and prepared to defend the residential and administrative buildings. The barricades were built in Germany at the industrial level and had nothing to do with the piles of trash that partition off the streets during the revolutionary unrest. Berlin, typically had 2-2.5 m high and 2-2.2 m in thickness. They were constructed of wood, stone, from time to time and shaped iron rail. A similar barricade just withstood shots tank guns and even divisional artillery caliber 76-122 mm.
Part of it is blocked the streets with barricades, not even leaving a passage. Along the main thoroughfares of the barricades still had a three-meter wide passage, cooked to Hassle-covered wagons to the ground, stones and other materials. Approaches to the barricades were mined. It is not that these fortifications were the Berlin engineering masterpiece. Here in Breslau Russian troops faced a truly gigantic barricades completely cast in concrete. These designs allow more moving parts, dropped across the passage. In Berlin, as nothing of the sort occurred. The reason is the Ordinary: German military leaders believed that the fate of the town on the Oder front venture. Accordingly, the main effort of engineering troops were focused specifically there on the Seelow Heights and on the perimeter of Russian Kyustrinskogo bridgehead.
Roth motionless tanks
Approaches to the bridges over canals and bridges outputs also had barricades. The buildings, which were to become the reference Fri defense, laying brick window openings. In laying leaving one or two loopholes for firing of small guns and grenade launchers — bazookas. Obviously, not all houses in Berlin endured a makeover. But the Reichstag, for example, prepared to defend very well: the large windows of the structure of German parliament were immured.
One of the "findings" of the Germans in defense of its own capital has become a tank company "Berlin", gathered from not capable of independent movement of tanks. They dug in on street corners and used as firing points motionless in the west and in the east of the town. In total, the company "Berlin" consisted of 10 tanks "Panther" and 12 tanks Pz.IV.
Except for the special defenses in the town there were air defense facilities applicable for ground combat. Referred to in the first of the so-called flakturmah — thick concrete towers height of about 40 meters, the roof of which were equipped with anti-aircraft guns and 128-mm caliber. In Berlin, built three of these cyclopean structures. This Flakturm I in the zoo, Flakturm II in Friedmann rihskhayne in the east of the town and Flakturm III Gumbolthayne in the north. CO flak towers of the Third Reich "PM" carefully written to number 3 in 2009. — Note. Ed.)
Forces of "Fortress Berlin»
But any engineering facilities are completely worthless if they are certain to defend. This was the largest discrepancy for the Germans. In Russian, the number of defenders of the Reich capital is usually estimated at 200,000 people. But this figure is very high. Indications of the last commandant of Berlin, General Weidling and other captured officers Berlin garrison lead to a figure of 100-120 thousand people and 50-60 tanks at the beginning of the assault. For the defense of the defense of Berlin itself was obviously not enough. The experts say it was from the very beginning. The summary of the generalized combat experience stormed the city of the 8th Guards Army, stated: "To defend such a large town, surrounded on all sides, there was quite a strength to defend every building, as was the case in other cities, because the enemy was defending priemuschestvenno group quarters and the inside of their individual structures and facilities … "Russian troops stormed Berlin, numbered, according to the April 26, 1945, 464,000 men and about 1,500 tanks. In the storming of the town attended the 1st and 2nd Guards Tank Army, 3rd and 5th Shock Army, the 8th Guards Army [all — 1st Belorussian Front), and the 3rd Guards Tank and part of the 28th Army (1st Ukrainian Front). In the last day or two the assault took part in the battles of the 1st Polish Army.
Map Action Russian troops near the Reichstag
One of the mysteries of the battle for Berlin — to preserve the integrity and security of the many bridges over the Spree and the Landwehr Canal. Taking into account that the bank of the Spree in central Berlin were dressed stone bridges crossing of the river outside would be a difficult task. Clue testified General Weidling in Russian captivity. He recalled: "Not one of the bridges was not prepared for the explosion. Goebbels commissioned this organization 'Spur', due to the fact that the explosions of military bridges often cause economic harm to the surrounding estates. It turned out that all the materials for the preparation of bridges to the explosion, as well as pre-made for this ammunition was taken out of Berlin during the evacuation of institutions 'Spur'. It should be noted that this concerned the bridges in the central part of town. On the outskirts of the situation was different. So, for example, all the bridges across the canal Berlin Spandauer-Schiff-Farts in the northern part of the town was blown up. The troops of the 3rd Shock Army and 2nd Guards Tank Army had direct crossing. In general it can be noted that the first days of the struggle for Berlin related to the forcing aqua-bottlenecking in its outskirts.
In the thick of the blocks
By April 27, Russian troops largely overcame the areas with sparse and low-rise buildings and plunged int
o the densely built-up areas of central Berlin. Advancing from different directions Russian tank and field armies were aimed at a single point in the center of the city — the Reichstag. In 1945 he has long lost its political importance and had a notional value as a military target. But specifically exists in the Reichstag as a goal orders coming Russian connections and associations. In any case, moving from the various parties to the Reichstag, the troops of the Red Army made the danger Hitler bunker under the Reich Chancellery.
Frustrated tank Pz-V «Panther" from the company "Berlin" by Bismarck Strasse.
The central figure in street battles began the assault team. Directive Zhukov recommended to include in the storm troopers 8-12 of guns from 45 to 203 mm, 4-6 mm mortars 82-120. In the assault team included engineers and "chemists" with smoke bombs and flamethrowers. The tanks also have become permanent members of these groups. Perfectly clear that their main opponent in urban combat in 1945 was hand antitank gun — bazookas. Shortly before the Berlin operation, the troops conducted experiments on screening tanks. But the good results they have produced: even undermining Panzerfaust grenade on the screen armor tank made its way. But at least some parts of the screen is still installed — faster for mental support to the crew, if for real protection.
Do burned "faustnikov" tank armies?
Loss of tank armies in battles for the city can be assessed as moderate, especially in comparison with the battles in open terrain against tanks and anti-tank artillery. Thus, the 2nd Guards Tank Army Bogdanov lost the battle for the city of about 70 tanks, bazookas. She also acted in isolation from the combined armies, focusing only on his motorized infantry. Shred wrecked "faustnikov" tanks in other armies were less. Altogether during the street fighting in Berlin from April 22 to May 2, Bogdanova army irrevocably lost 104 tanks and self-propelled guns [16% of the number of combat vehicles to the fleet beginning of the operation). 1st Guards Tank Army Katukova during street battles also lost irrevocably broneedinitsy 104 (15% of combat vehicles that were in the line to the beginning of the operation). 3rd Guards Tank Army Fishing in Berlin itself from April 23 to May 2 irretrievably lost 99 tanks and 15 self-propelled guns (23%). General loss of the Red Army from bazookas in Berlin is estimated at 200-250 tanks and self-propelled guns of almost 1800 lost for the operation as a whole. In short, we talk about the fact that Russian tank armies were burned "faustnikov" in Berlin, there is no reason.
"Panzerfaust» (PANZERFAUST] — a family of German anti-tank grenade launchers single implementation. Arson When placed in a tube grenade fires a gun charge. Due to the cumulative effect of it was able to burn through the armor plate up to 200 mm
But in any case, the general introduction of bazookas made more difficult the introduction of tanks, and if Russian troops relied only on armor, fighting for the town would be far more bloody. It should be noted that the Germans used bazookas not only against tanks, but against infantry. Obliged to go in front of armored infantry caught in the hail of shots "faustnikov." Because of invaluable assistance in the assault had a receiver and rocket artillery. The specificity of urban combat forced to put divisional and attached artillery for direct fire. Paradoxically as it sounds, but the gun for direct fire from time to time turned out to be more efficient tanks. The report of the 44th Guards cannon artillery brigade Berlin operation stated: "The use of the enemy 'Panzerfaust' has led to a sharp increase in losses in tanks — limited visibility makes them just vulnerable. Direct fire guns do not suffer this drawback, their loss, as compared with the tanks are small. " This statement was not unfounded: the team lost in the street fighting of two guns, one of them struck the opponent faustpatronom.
On arms brigade consisted of 152-mm gun-howitzer ML-20. Acts gunners can be illustrated by the following example. The battle for the barricade on Sarland Strasse did not start very well. "Faustnikov" shot down two of the JS-2. Then the gun of the 44th Brigade was put on the direct fire 180 meters from the building. Firing 12 shells, artillery struck a barricade pass and killed its garrison. Tools of the brigade were also used for the destruction of strongholds in the converted buildings.
Of "Katyusha" direct fire
We have already mentioned that the Berlin garrison defended only some structure. If that is the reference point is not able to take the assault group, it just destroyed the artillery direct fire. So, from the 1st Fri of the reference to the other attackers walked to the center of town. In the end, for direct fire began to put even the "Katyusha". Rama mnogokalibernyh rockets M-31 installed in the homes on the window sills and fired at the buildings across the street. Good numbers in the range of 100-150 m projectile had time to disperse, crush another wall and exploded already inside the building. This led to the collapse of walls and ceilings and, as a consequence, the death of the garrison. At least distances of the wall did not break and the case was limited to cracks in the facade. Specifically, here lies one of the answers to the question of why the first to the Reichstag came 3rd Shock Army Kuznetsova. Parts of this army paved the way for himself on the streets of Berlin issued 150 direct-fire projectiles M-31UK [improved accuracy). Other Army also shot several 10-s M-31 missiles with direct fire.
To victory — right through!
Another "Demolition" was the languid artillery. As stated in the report on the actions of the artillery of the 1st Belorussian Front, "in the battle for the fortress of Poznan and Berlin operation, both in the course of the operation, and in particular in the battle for the city of Berlin, the big guns and special power was crucial." In total, during the storming of the German capital for direct fire put 38 high-powered guns, that is 203-mm howitzers B-4 standard in 1931. These massive guns on tracks often flicker in a newsreel devoted to fighting for the German capital. Acted calculations B-4 boldly, even brazenly. For example, one of the guns found at the intersection of Liden and Ritter Strasse Strasse 100-150 meters from the enemy. 6 issued by the shells was enough to damage the house prepared for defense. Dovorachivaya weapon, battery commander destroyed three stone buildings.
H 203 mm howitzer D-4 on tracks, put on direct fire overwhelms the Berlin wall Edan. But even for this massive gun tower defense FLAKTURM I was a tough nut …
Fall of Berlin led to the demoralization of the German forces and break their will to resist. Owning a still greater fighting abilities, the Wehrmacht capitulated over the coming weeks after the folded tool Berlin garrison.
In Berlin, found only one structure to withstand shocks B-4 — it was anti-aircraft tower defense Flakturm am Zoo, it also Flakturm I. In the district of Berlin zoo out of the 8th Guards and 1st Guards Tank Army. The tower was tough nut for them. The shelling of its 152-mm artillery was far without result. Then by flaktur th point blank fired 105 shells betonoboy-tion 203-mm caliber. As a result, the angle of the tower was destroyed, but she continued to live right up to the surrender of the garrison. Until recently, it housed the command center Weidling. Tower defense in Gumbolthayne and Freed-riskhayne our troops bypassed, and to surrender these structures remained Germans controlled areas of the town.
Garrison Flakturm am Zoo at least a lucky. The tower was not hit by the fire of Russian artillery special power, 280-mm mortars Br-5 and 305-mm howitzers, Br-18 standard in 1939. These guns for direct fire, no one put. They fought fire from positions in the 7-10 km from the battlefield. 8th Guards Army was given the 34th special separate division of power. His 280-mm mortars in the last days of the assault on Berlin thrashed the Potsdam train station. Two of the projectile struck the asphalt streets, floors, and exploded in the underground halls of the station, who were at a depth of 15 m
Why not "smeared" Hitler?
Division Three 280-mm and 305-mm guns were concentrated in the 5th Shock Army. Berzarina army was advancing to the right of the army Chuikova in the historical center of Berlin. Languid tools used to reduce the strong stone buildings. Division 280-mm mortars thrashed by the Gestapo building, has produced more than hundreds of shells and headed for six straight hits. Division 305-mm howitzers solely on the penultimate day assault, May 1, 110 shot shells. In essence, only the lack of a clear disk imaging the location of the Führer bunker prevent premature termination of fights. In the heavy Russian artillery had technical ability to bury Hitler and his entourage in the bunker or even smear a thin layer of the maze last refuge "Hitler possessed."
Specifically Berzarina army, advancing in the direction of the Reichstag, just came closer to Hitler's bunker. This caused a spike in activity last Luftwaffe in the battle for the city. April 29 ground-attack planes and PV-190 jet fighter Me-262 military formations of troops stormed the 5th Shock Army. Messershmity jet belonged to the group I JG7 squadron of air defense of the Reich, but tangibly influence the course of hostilities, they could not. The next day, April 30, Hitler committed suicide. Happy May 2 Berlin garrison surrendered.
General loss of 2-fronts in the battle of Berlin can be estimated at 50-60 thousand people killed, wounded and missing. As to whether these have been lost? Certainly. Fall of Berlin and Hitler's death meant demoralizing the German army and its capitulation. Be sure that without the active use of various techniques of loss of Russian troops in street battles would have been much higher.
September 7, 1945 in the parade, which was held in Berlin on the occasion of the end of the second world war, assumed the role of languid tanks IS-3. Machines of this new model and has not had time to do some fighting in the capital of the Reich, but now tell their appearance, that the power of victorious army will continue to grow.