Victory Day. Russian Glory Day Weapons. A day washed with the blood of almost 27 of millions of Soviet people. The only holiday that still unites all residents of Great Russia. 9 May we remember our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, who were able to crush the dark force that carries death and slavery to the peoples of the planet.
In the troubled years of “perestroika” and “democratic” reforms of various kinds, traitors from small-town nationalists to liberal cosmopolitans tried to steal Victory Day from our people. Tarnish historical memory, to put on one level the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, Stalin and Hitler, the Soviet warrior-liberator and Nazi invaders. Nevertheless, victory cannot be stolen from us. Eternal Glory to the Generation of Winners! A low bow to all front-line soldiers and rear workers! Your Victory is not forgotten and a bright star disperses the darkness even now. Reminds all of us of eternal human concepts - Homeland, Truth and Labor.
The end of the war and the surrender of Germany
The last battles of the Great Patriotic War were the Bratislava-Brnovskaya offensive operation (March 25 - 5 May 1945), the Grazko-Amstettine operation (April 15 - 9 May 1945), the Berlin offensive operation (April 16 - 8 May 1945) and Berlin, the Offensive operation (April 6 - 11 May 1945) and Berlin, an offensive operation (April 2 - 3 May 8) and Berlin, an offensive operation (April 1945 - 9 May 1945) and Berlin, an offensive operation (April 17 - 1945, XNUMX) XNUMX May XNUMX). In the course of the Bratislava-Brno operation, the troops of the XNUMX of the Ukrainian Front, commanded by Rodion Malinovsky, liberated Slovakia and captured the Bratislava and Brno industrial regions. Conditions were created for an attack on Prague. The Grazko-Amstetta offensive operation ended in that parts of the XNUMX of the Ukrainian Front, under the command of Fyodor Tolbukhin, liberated most of the territory of Austria. XNUMX May XNUMX, after a powerful air strike Amstetten was taken by storm. It must be said that the last foci of resistance of the Hitler units were crushed by the Soviet troops after XNUMX in May of XNUMX. The capitulation of the troops of the army group "Austria" ended only XNUMX May XNUMX.
The main battle of the final stage of the Great Patriotic War was the Berlin offensive operation. It was conducted by the troops of the 1st Belorussian Front under the command of Georgy Zhukov, the 1st Ukrainian Front - Ivan Konev, the 2nd Belorussian Front - Konstantin Rokossovsky. The 2nd, 4th, 16th and 18th Air Armies, the Baltic Fleet and the Dnieper Military also took part in the operation flotilla. About 2 million soldiers and officers were involved in this grand operation, 6250 tanks, more than 41 thousand guns and mortars and more than 7,5 thousand aircraft.
The area of Berlin was defended by units of the Vistula Army Group under the command of Colonel-General Gotthard Heinrici (he was replaced by General Kurt Student from 28 April), and the Army Group Center under the direction of Field Marshal Ferdinand Scherner. 4 and 6 air fleets, Reich air fleet supported them from the air. On April 24, the German 12, under the command of infantry general V. Wenk, who had previously defended the Western Front, entered the battle for Berlin. Total Berlin defended about 1 million people, 1,5 thousand tanks and assault guns, more than 10 thousand guns and mortars, 3,3 thousand aircraft.
The battle for Berlin was very bitter, many German units fought with the despair of the doomed. Therefore, the losses on both sides were huge. According to official figures, the Soviet troops lost more than 352 thousand people killed and wounded, Polish troops lost about 9 thousand people. The loss of German troops - about 400 thousand people, about the same was captured.
In 11 hours 30 April began the storming of the Reichstag. The first attacks of the German garrison repelled. 14 hours 25 min. assault units under the command of battalion commanders S. A. Neustroev, K. Ya. Samsonov and V. I. Davydov broke into the building. The battles were for each room, for each corridor and floor. The Reichstag and the Reich Chancellery were defended by selected SS units. Only on the night of May 2 did the remnants of the Reichstag garrison lay down their arms. At the same time, there were fights in other quarters of the German capital, as well as north and west of Berlin.
April 30 committed suicide by the German leader Adolf Hitler. He wrote a will in which he handed over power to the new government headed by Grand Admiral Denitz (appointed Reich President), Goebbels was given the post of Reich Chancellor, Borman - Party Minister, Zeiss-Inquart - Foreign Minister, Hanke - Minister of Internal Affairs. The head of the armed forces became Field Marshal Scherner, Colonel-General Jodl headed the High Command headquarters, and General Krebs became the headquarters of the ground forces.
Krebs on the night of May 1 came into contact with the Soviet side and, on behalf of Goebbels and Bormann, offered the command of the Red Army to temporarily cease fire in order to create conditions for holding peace talks between Germany and the USSR. This was reported to Zhukov, and then to Stalin. Krebs was told that the German command was demanded immediate and unconditional surrender. Realizing the futility of further delaying the time and the futility of recognizing the new German government on a Nazi basis, Goebbels committed suicide. Bormann made a breakthrough attempt from surrounded Berlin and, being wounded, committed suicide. Krebs shot himself.
The battle continued. On the morning of May 2 crossed the front line and General Weidling, the commander of Berlin’s defense, surrendered. By 15 hours the remnants of the Berlin garrison laid down their arms. The victory of the Soviet troops in the Berlin operation was the decisive factor in the completion of the military defeat of the Third Reich. Moscow in honor of this historic event saluted 324 guns.
The last strategic operation of the Soviet troops in the Great Patriotic War was the Prague operation. By early May, after the fall of Berlin, Grand Admiral Doenitz was still trying to save the remnants of the German Empire. The new German government wanted to withdraw the remaining troops to the west, hand them over to the western allies of the USSR, and feverishly searched for opportunities to conclude an agreement with the United States and Britain, directed against the Soviet Union. In the diary of the OKW (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) of 2 May, it was written: “For the high command, from today, the main line of action was the principle: Saving the greatest possible number of Germans from capture by the Soviet troops and negotiations with Western allies ...”.
After the defeat of the German troops in the Berlin area, the Nazi government and the OKW had significant groups in the north and south of Germany, in Italy. In fact, German troops ceased hostilities against the Anglo-American forces on the Western Front. The situation was different with quite large groups of German troops on the Eastern Front. Their main forces were in the south of Czechoslovakia, in Austria and Yugoslavia. Army groups "Center" and "Austria" under the leadership of Scherner and Rendulich on the territory of Czechoslovakia totaled 1 million, to 10 thousand guns and mortars, 1,9 thousand tanks and 1 thousand aircraft. They continued to hold back the advance of the 1, 4 and 2 of the Ukrainian fronts. Scherner was ordered to turn Prague "into a second Berlin" and gain time for possible political combinations.
In principle, the German leadership correctly considered the moods of the British and American ruling circles, they closely followed the situation and were ready to break off allied relations with the USSR in order to get all the fruits of victory in World War II. It was at this time that Churchill instructed Field Marshal Montgomery to painstakingly assemble the weapons of the German army and store them so that they could, if necessary, arm German prisoners. A plan of Operation Unthinkable is being born - the plan of the war of the Allied forces against the Soviet Union, with the participation of the remnants of the German armed forces.
5 May in Prague began an uprising. Hitler’s Minister for the Protectorate of the Czech Republic and Moravia, Frank, with the aim of gaining time, began negotiations with representatives of the rebels. At the same time, the commander of the Army Group Center gave the order to suppress the uprising "by all means." Communications went through the district of Prague, through which the Germans were going to retreat to the west, it was impossible to lose the city. From the north and east, the Reich and Viking armored divisions were deployed to the Czech capital, and the Reich division was reinforced from the south. The air force was ordered to bomb the neighborhoods occupied by the rebels. We received orders to crush the uprising and the formations located directly in the city. On May 6, the head of the Czechoslovak military mission in Moscow, General Pika, handed over to the Soviet leadership an official request for help.
The Soviet command was already preparing an offensive to complete the liberation of Czechoslovakia, but now it was necessary to speed up its beginning somewhat. For the operation were involved troops 1-th. 2-th and 4-th Ukrainian fronts. Directly Prague had to release the troops of the 1 of the Ukrainian Front, commanded by Konev. In total, the composition of the three fronts were more than 2 million people, more than 30 thousand guns and mortars, more than 2,1 thousand tanks and SPG, over 4 thousand aircraft. May 9 The 1945 of the 3 and 4 of the Guards Tank Armies of the 1 of the Ukrainian Front entered the capital of Czechoslovakia. Behind them, units of the 13 and 3 Guards armies and the mobile group of the 4 of the Ukrainian Front entered Prague. In 13 hours, troops and 2 of the Ukrainian Front approached the city. The remnants of the defeated German troops laid down arms east of Prague. In total, during the Prague operation by three Soviet fronts, about 40 thousand people were killed and wounded, about 860 thousand German soldiers and officers were captured. 10 May, Soviet troops came in contact with US forces. The Red Army during the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1944-1945. lost more than 140 thous. soldiers and officers. The soldiers of the 1 Czechoslovak Corps, who lost 4 thousand people, fought along with the Soviet troops.
Surrender. The Germans until the last maneuvered, entered into negotiations with the command of British and American troops on the one-sided capitulation in the West. 5 May with the morning 8 in agreement with Field Marshal Montgomery came a truce in Holland, in the north-west of Germany, as well as in Denmark, including the coastal islands. The truce was extended to ships and vessels of the navy and merchant navy. At the same time, the Germans continued to resist on the Eastern Front. 6 May with the command of the Anglo-American forces was reached a truce in Italy.
Colonel-General Jodl flew to Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims to conclude an armistice on all fronts. In the second half of the day, Jodl held talks with the chief of the supreme headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces of Europe, US General Lieutenant Smith. However, the negotiations were unsuccessful. The war for Germany was lost, the Nazi leadership of the United States and Britain were no longer taken into account. An attempt by the German command to delay the date for the surrender of the surrender until the second half of the day 10 May was rejected.
Eisenhower demanded immediate surrender from the German leadership, and its entry into force on 9 May in 0 hours 00 minutes. After receiving agreement from Doenitz, Jodl in 7 on May at 2: the nights in Reims signed the act of unconditional surrender of the German Empire. The document was signed in the presence of General Smith - on behalf of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, General Susloparov - on behalf of the Soviet High Command (he had no authority from Moscow) and the French General of Sevez as a witness. In 41 hours 12 minutes, the Imperial Minister Count Schwerin von Krosig reported through the Flensburg radio station to the Germans about the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich.
The Soviet Union insisted on the signing of another act, so as not to have the impression that Germany capitulated only to the United States and the British Empire. The act signed in Reims began to be considered preliminary. Stalin believed that the act of surrender should be signed in Berlin, the center of Nazi aggression, in front of the High Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not just before the High Command of the allied forces. The allies were forced to agree with the opinion of Stalin. So the Soviet leader showed that the main burden of the war was borne by the Soviet people, not the allies, and the USSR had the decisive word on the capitulation of the Third Reich.
The act of unconditional surrender of all German armed forces was signed in the eastern suburbs of Berlin Karlhorst on May 8 in 22: 43 Central European Time (in 00: 43, May 9 Moscow time). On the part of the Third Reich, the document was signed by Keitel - the commander of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Colonel-General Stumpf - a representative of the Air Force, Admiral von Friedeburg - a representative of the fleet. Zhukov and Marshal Tedder, deputy commander-in-chief of the allied expeditionary forces, accepted the surrender. The witnesses were General Spaats from the United States and General de Tassigny from France. At 10 Moscow time, Levitan informed the Soviet people about the capitulation of the Reich.
The German troops, who had not yet laid down their arms, should have capitulated. On the night of May 9, 180-th did not resist. Army Group Kurland - 16-I and 18-I German armies, Latvian Legion. The Kurland grouping, remnants of Army Group North (about about part-time 30 divisions), was cut off from the main German forces in October 1944 of the year, but could not be destroyed. The final grouping ceased to exist on May 15.
At the mouth of the Vistula River, east of Danzig and on the Baltic Spit, in the region of Gdynia, the resistance around 75 of thousands of German soldiers and commanders ceased. On May 9, units of the 2 of the Belorussian Front landed from the Baltic Fleet ships on Bornholm Island, where 12 thousands of German soldiers laid down their arms. In northern Norway, the Narvik group surrendered. In all, from 9 to 13 in May in the south-western sector of the former Soviet-German front, more than 780 thousand enemy soldiers and officers and 35 generals surrendered to Soviet troops. On the Austrian and Czechoslovak territory, separate small groups of German troops tried to resist until May 19. In all, from 9 to 17 in May, Soviet troops captured about 1,4 million German soldiers and officers and the 101 general.
The German Empire and the German armed forces ceased to exist. On the initiative and pressure of the Soviet side of 24 in May of 1945, the government of Doenitz ceased to exist, and its members were arrested. The same measure was taken in respect of the leaders of the supreme command bodies, the Wehrmacht Supreme Command (OKV) and the Army High Command (OKH). The top military-political leadership of Germany was regarded as war criminals who were to be brought before the International Military Court. All power in Germany passed to the governments of the four victorious powers - the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France. Legally, this was formalized in the Declaration of the Defeat of Germany on 5 June 1945. In the future, questions of the future of Germany were decided at the Potsdam Conference by the leaders of the three great powers - the USSR, the USA and Great Britain.
The victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany and its European allies was of great historical importance. The USSR persevered in the struggle against the forces of evil and won, giving hope for a bright future to all mankind. The Soviet capital celebrated Victory Day with 30 festive salute with artillery volleys from 1 thousand guns. June 24 on Red Square, the famous Victory Parade.