Eastern Front (Russian Front) Second World War: 1945: The Last Months Of the War

The Russians dismissed the much hyped allied landings on Normandy on D-Day as of little consequence. Which is true to a great extent. If the Russians had not dug in at Moscow in the winter of 1941 and stubbornly stopped all German assaults, there would have been no D-Day. If the Russians had not taken heavy losses at Stalingrad and defeated the Germans there would have been Britain from where the Americans launched D-Day.

The Eastern Front in WW2 was a harsh place which saw some of the most brutal and inhuman fighting between two great proud peoples, the world has ever seen.

Below are some images of the last months of the war on the Ostfront. The Russians with lot of men and arms are moving inexorably towards Germany... to Berlin. A desperate Nazi regime is exhorting its men to fight till the end. The German defence was fierce, born out of desperation. They knew the Russians would take no prisoners. And deservedly, after what the Germans did in Russia...

Old men from the Volkssturm being taught how to use the panzerfaust, the weapon of choice of the Germans in the last days of the war

Russians examine the guillotine at the death cell in Poznan, Poland. March 1945

The Soviet forces move towards Warsaw. January 1945

The Russian-backed Polish army enters Warsaw in January 1945

Parade by Polish soldiers after they enter their homeland again

Polish people in Krakow welcome Soviet soldiers

Russian guns fire at Poznan Fortress. February 1945

Soviet soldiers pour in towards the front

"Dragon's Teeth". German defences to deter the approaching Soviet army

Russians fire rockets at German defences

Soviet heavy artillery fires at Danzig

Street fighting in Koenigsburg

The Russians cross the border into Austria. April 1945

Street fighting in Vienna. April 1945

Russian bombers over the skies of Berlin. April 1945

Soviet soldiers storm the Reichstag

The war is over for these German soldiers. They file past triumphant Russians in silence.

German defenders of Berlin lay down arms

The end of the Third Reich

The victorious march. Russian soldiers march past the reichstag, once the symbol of the might of Hitlerite germany

Berliners return home after the guns fell silent

Russian soldiers feed the people of Berlin. May 1945

Berliners rebuild their life from the ruins

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians