tv [untitled] November 12, 2010 7:30pm-8:00pm EST
the. berlin the rushed home to germany's parliament it was right here that the final flight of world war two took place. there are ever fewer surviving witnesses to the events of those days soviet veterans will never forget what happened sixty five years ago show us the gun fire corpses. that's how the reichstag looked by the end of april one thousand nine hundred forty one. german soldiers fought for every piece of land didn't really try to stand to the last man against soviet
troops. more than fifteen thousand soldiers and officers night over russian polish and german each of us fought for our own model and you know for the russians for theirs you get one twenty four hours. battle lasted for two weeks the red flag was raised on the top of the lifestyle game a nine hundred forty five. became the symbol of victory of soviet people over fascism. in one thousand nine hundred five and vassily was an anti-tank gun platoon commander he still keeps a map that he got before assaulting berlin. if. this is a map they gave out before the donkey at them when we were supposed to attack the outskirts of the dawn and before that they gave me
a map. in late january nine hundred forty five the success of the offensive had gained soviet troops a foot deep in german territory. crossing the river they had covered nearly five hundred kilometers in twenty days the germans no longer offered any serious resistance the soviet line is now just a stone's throw away from berlin the ultimate objective of the offensive. by measure the distance with a ruler the sixty one kilometers to the outskirts of berlin is only sixty one kilometers and when the allies bombed the flashes of anti-aircraft shells let the sky like stars. to the plain short. the battle for poland had left the advancing soviet troops with almost no any mission and fuel. the soviet army took two months to prepare for the assault. meanwhile the germans also
took advantage of the delay. yeah reserves around brought up here this was the place where the army's strongest units were concentrated in the wars final weeks the germans also built formidable defenses extending twenty kilometers west ward from the forward positions within six and a half kilometers from. soviet inch german forces were being amassed along the author for the most massive military operation in world history. of three and a half million troops from both sides some ten thousand tanks schools of thousands of assault guns and eleven thousand some of those know all the operation of that scale in world war two you know could there be any building was at stake. meanwhile the leaders of the soviet union the united states and britain had not yet agreed on which army would take the german capital the british prime minister winston
churchill called on the us president franklin d. roosevelt to start the sultan berlin in a letter addressed to roosevelt on april first one thousand nine hundred five churchill wrote the following if the russians also take berlin it will not their impression that they have been the overwhelming contributor to our common victory unduly imprinted on their minds and make us not lead them into a mood which will raise grave and formidable difficulties in the future. britain was aiming to see germany destroyed on the other hand it wanted to the soviet union weakened as much as possible i mean by real concern was to the appearance of a new arrival on the concert of the. continued. in early april the ford most u.s. troops were about one hundred kilometers west of berlin there were almost no battle ready german armies facing them all of them had been moved to the eastern front to repulse the soviet offensive. horizon ours known to have asked
general simpson whether u.s. troops could take berlin was lost as he expected in that case simpson said he expected some thirty thousand an. hour sadler that wouldn't do for us troops were to hold their positions at the russians do the fighting. on april first stalin called a meeting of his supreme command where he decided that the berlin operation should start in mid april. i think that if roosevelt hadn't signed on april the twelfth and would have agreed to the participation of the western allies forces in the assault. as a kind of cool would prevent the allies from stabbing him in the. roosevelt the soviet command to take a resolute action was set for april sixteenth stalin may have had yet another
reason for wanting to take berlin without delay in early april the british prime minister ordered the drafting of operation unthinkable. the british military declassified documents relating to it. received these documents relating to operation unthinkable from a british. twenty nine pages. britain's joint started preparations for hostilities against the soviet union a month before the war. by the british implied an attack on the soviet union without declaring war on july first one thousand nine hundred forty seven british divisions were to deliver a crushing blow to the. say
that russia should be forced to succumb to the will of. the operation. could only be achieved. the occupation of such. a country would be. for the resistance. some credit is certainly due to the british military planners they were clearly aware that the soviet army was nearly twice the size of the western allies combined forces quick success in any such conflict would be impossible. he knew that something was brewing it's hard to say whether he had a clear. lead by kim philby was operating in britain
at the time top officials were doing. son of a german anti-fascist had joined the soviet army in one thousand nine hundred forty two as a volunteer. in one thousand nine hundred five he was a propaganda officer. early hours of april sixteenth he was summoned to headquarters he was told to announce to the germans through the loudspeakers the start of the war's final defense of in a few hours time. general with this isn't possible with we can't possibly give away military secrets. tenant's we can have an interest in keeping casualties. massive preparatory began at five o'clock in the morning of april sixteenth.
thousands of artillery pieces shelled german positions for half an hour. were the first to start up the pounding. somebody show. schneider was a corporal in the opposing army. tune of heavy machine guns was under his command when they were defending a small railway station near the sea heights at the very outset his platoon lost three out of four machine guns. i thought could we do in that situation got absolutely nothing a quarter of this or that artillery had overwhelming superiority and if we were gripped with blind fear all we wanted was to hide somewhere from that ferocious fire does it go for. everything was ablaze a logs were flying all around at last for something like thirty five minutes the
north the northern tanks rolled forward and we followed in behind me as a commute then commuter were anti-personnel mines all religiously and they do no harm to tanks or to what i had to follow the tank in its tracks void the mines so that they didn't blow my legs off. to achieve greater effect one hundred forty high powered search lights illuminate the german positions. marshall through cos idea was to blind the germans to hinder their return fire. as you had to fire you didn't know where to look because you were blinded by searchlight and we couldn't see any detail as if all we saw was a blazing bank of the river distancing. through the germans cielo was the last defensive line before berlin so the german soldiers defended the highlands with
deadly determination petri tism aside the german army had still other reasons to keep finding to the bitter end despite the desperate situation. that any soldier fleeing his position might be shot in killed by an officer on the spot so many soldiers hanged on poles for attempting to leave their position are propaganda and hammered into our heads that we must avoid being taken prisoner by the soviets at all cost and. the soviet forces expected to overrun the seal heights in a matter of hours. the germans clung to their defenses for nearly three days and nights. after a head on thrust failed to take the heights soviet troops flank of the german defenses only vended the defending army led by general boo say fall back now nothing stood in the way of the red army's advance towards berlin.
the cost of the assault was a very high. the soviet forces lost tens of thousands of men in a tiny center near the author. of the it's going i've never seen so many dead bodies as i sold the sailor heights thousands and thousands of men died in a very small plot of land the most terrifying thing of old was that people dying venue of the war would be over in a couple of weeks they were no seconds. after the fall of the seal hides the germans never again offered any organized resistance. some elements of the german army were still trying to fight as advancing soviet army simply swept them away. as though we didn't stay to defend berlin because there was nobody who could protect. because many people died many flat to the west the given to the americans
a meeting caught it in. one of the biggest a german soon a terrace is situated not far from berlin in a small town of hama it occupies a few square kilometers. more than twenty thousand german soldiers are buried here most of them were in an s.s. division called nord lands. from seal heights was retreating with the rest of the ninth army led by general who say. he was running from the advancing soviet army with just one gun in his hands. when his column was entering the town of hall but it came under heavy fire. right here the furniture factory was here as us soldiers with they took us for a soviet column and they opened fire on it so the crossing was covered with dead bodies and despite the fact the fight was going on between two german divisions and
. when the germans realized they were shooting their own people they stopped the fire but by that time the soviet troops had already approached the town of how about a. private ship again his german column turned out to be in a circle of fire on the one side of the street the soviet soldiers were shooting. and on the other side v.s.s. soldiers were fighting back. so when eights were flying from both sides the fighting was intense there where the bakery is now where anti tank fortifications apart they prevented soviet tanks from entering the territory from here but also they prohibited the germans from running from the battlefield on this street we lost hundreds and hundreds of oil men from. the remains of bush his army managed to leave the circle and fled to the west but during those three days and held up more than sixty thousand german soldiers died and one hundred twenty thousand were taken
prisoner. there was just one day left before the capitulation of germany. for the full story we've got it first the biggest issues get a human voice face to face with the news makers on the. the typical german. the el the river like in many provincial cities the pace of life is slow here. to the world for the events of april
twenty fifth one thousand nine hundred forty five. day an american patrol came to. a sixteenth century castle on their bridge over the alamo river it was blown up by the german. soldiers on the eastern. the commander lieutenant william robertson. drew an american flag on it he climbed to the castle. through the flag out of the window and that very moment he heard the whistle of a shell coming from the east far someone trying to shoot the window that was a shell from the soviet. that's how it was a group of people including women was approaching the river. we knew the german army officers were hiding on the other bank so it was necessary for us to understand the situation we need to shoot or find an alternative way.
finally the soviet soldiers realized that the mysterious men on the far bank were actually their american allies what followed would become an iconic moment in the world war two history the meeting at the end. it happened when the bulk of the soviet forces encircled berlin and some elements of the red army reached the yellow river. the allies from both sides had decided to celebrate the meeting. the americans. and the soviet lieutenant alexander soon became friends the picture of the two men husband became a symbol of the end of the second world war. we were both grinning and i was grinning and happy to meet each other. we were happy to know that we were the victors. the first link up of american and soviet troops
could have taken place much earlier had the british and americans opened the second front in one thousand nine hundred four but when they first agreed back in one thousand nine hundred two. talks on the establishment of an anti hitler coalition began on june twenty seventh one thousand nine hundred forty one a year later the soviet union the united states and great britain signed a declaration on the opening of the second front in europe. but one thousand nine hundred two one thousand nine hundred three passed with no second front to relieve pressure on the soviet union in the east. plans to open a second front were made but churchill and roosevelt agreed that it would be only when it became clear that the russians would cave in. on the contrary that they would gain by crossing the nineteen thirty nine borders and entering europe.
the british and american response had a significant impact on the balance of forces in. many in the west are upset about stalin's power to shape the post-war arrangement it makes me want to say. it was with should have gone in the foot sooner who scored the goods by the way with another bullet. on april twenty eighth soviet troops encircled the city center and began an assault on the way stop. the building was protected by bands in the spring river and the bridge crossings had been blown up. troops crossed the sprit aboard tiny dinghies from one bank to the other a distance of several dozen meters. they face continuous german fire half of the sailors who were there to secure the crossing died in the shadow of the white stuff . in the seven sailors were given the titles of heroes of the soviet union the last summer slain the then one of them was nikolai. manzer files
a rocket snapped a control gave him a zero so there was nothing left for him to do the movement gripped the two ends of the cable with his teasing you thirty donning new in that position. the race dog was defended by remnants of elite s.s. units hitler's personal bodyguards. there were also french volunteers from the charlemagne division of the scandinavian division nordland and the levin battalion of the fifteenth s.s. deficient. i mean i'm pretty sure they were crying out from the basements hey yvonne surrender you where many you are a fool knows the rules cup lot but in the evening of the first of may they changed their tune yvonne we want to surrender they shouted. on april thirtieth hitler committed suicide in the reich chancellery but some s.s. units continued resistance. in the evening soviet troops captured to the right
stocks top floors for the first time the red flag was hoyer. it didn't go on. but. on the morning of may second general. commander of the defense area arrived at the soviet headquarters to sign a cease fire order. was the first to read and type out that order. frankly i thought it. exact quote from the initial. considering the situation of the civilian population in. considering the situation
. and surrender with the consent of. said to myself. as long as the war. soon after the ceasefire order silence fell over central berlin soviet troops took the city under control the soldiers knew that was the end of the war. at ten am there was complete silence be that that's the end of it. but a white sheet. scrambling. to get out into the open. a surrendering. evening of the second of may civilians were out in the streets of berlin.
many. but the adults stayed at home the russians had. heard many stories about. what if they were treated in the same way the kids had pill faces they were wearing shorts some had small bowls on their hand when they were given some poor and they rushed home with. skipping something else or the part i found out that the people who were doing for the food what access from the local theater. hungry they stood with. the russians. they were afraid of us they thought russians were constant acts with a long mustache they were looking us all over thinking where the russians mustaches were your first hand they wanted to know we were wearing field caps we were just a young boy is authentic. on the evening of may eighth marshals you called
and representatives of great britain france and the united states signed the act of germany's unconditional surrender at the headquarters of the soviet fifth army in berlin. on the ninth of may we were losing to our hearts content of lead found a big bottle containing ten liters of apple why suddenly because there was a deafening noise. they were firing from all sides that anybody was a german break room you know when we rushed out we saw fireworks going up in celebration of victory i don't need to tell you that we finished off that bottle. the berlin operation lasted for sixteen days the soviet troops lost up to two
hundred thousand men according to various estimates of the soviet army lost from eight to eleven million men between nine hundred forty one and nine hundred forty five. including civilians a total of twenty seven million soviet people died in the war with germany the combined losses of the usa and great britain came to nine hundred thousand people. who thought the way it was outcome was a result of all casualties and the heroism of off fathers and grandfathers it was the result of self-sacrifice and heroic deeds. of force in europe not just in africa. nine hundred thousand victims come to compared to twenty million lives what's. the bloodiest war in the history of mankind was over sixty five years have passed since now. those who survived still.
leaders of the g twenty group of nations agreed to try and avoid deliberate currency devaluations an all out trade war era but doubts remain over whether they'll stay true to their word washington has accused beijing of artificially keeping the long weekend to gain a global trade imagine a stronger chinese currency would shrink the u.s. trade deficit with china. a leading russian newspaper names
a senior russian intelligence chief who says it blew the cover of eleven agents involved in the biggest spy scandal since the end of the cold war and the publication claims the man was a double agent to help washington with intelligence gathering according to the source president medvedev is to review russia's entire intelligence operation. for a palestinian charities are forced underground after an israeli watchdog uses a number of them of having links to terrorists the israeli interior ministry stopped issuing permits to many activists forcing them to work to legally and critics say the organizations are suffering or simply doing their job and. those are the headlines up next spotlight with allan chernoff this time around he interviews alexander pawn in the man with one of the most difficult jobs in russia as the envoy a presidential envoy for that our north caucasus his job is to try and figure out how to make the me region more stable and more profitable it's coming your way next .