Battle of Berlin: Facts About the World War II Conflict

Here are some facts about the Battle of Berlin.

  • The Battle of Berlin took place during the last days of World War II, from April 16th to May 2nd, 1945. It was the last major battle in Europe during the war.

  • The Russian leader Stalin was anxious to reach Berlin before the British and American soldiers. He wanted to make sure Russia gained land and also wanted control of a nuclear research site.
  • Stalin’s plan was to completely surround Berlin and then attack it. Once the city was surrounded, the bunker in which Adolf Hitler and the other German leaders were hiding could be attacked.
  • About 2.25 million men were in the Russian armies that marched on Berlin. The Russians also had over 6,000 tanks, over 7,000 aircraft, and 95,000 vehicles.
  • During the battle, large areas of Berlin were destroyed. A million residents were made homeless, many of them existing on about 60 percent of their recommended daily calorie intake.
  • One of the heaviest bombings of Berlin took place on April 20th, which was Adolf Hitler’s birthday. More explosives were dropped on Berlin during the battle by the Allies than any other point during World War 2.

Battle of Berlin

  • About 81,000 Russian soldiers died during the Battle of Berlin, with about 280,000 wounded. The number of German casualties is estimated at between 100,000 to 450,000, and thousands of civilians also lost their lives.
  • The Battle of Berlin led to the German leader, Adolf Hitler, committing suicide. Germany surrendered on May 7th, a few days after the battle had ended.
  • Over a million Russian soldiers were awarded a medal commemorating the capture of Berlin.

Battle of Berlin - WW2

  • Each year on May 2nd, Poland commemorates the Polish soldiers who fought in the battle.
  • Berlin has several monuments and memorials to the soldiers who died during the battle. Some houses in the city still have bullet holes from the battle, which are never repaired.

Charge of the Light Brigade: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Charge of the Light Brigade.

  • The Charge of the Light Brigade was an attack by British light cavalry against Russian troops. It took place in the 1854 Crimean War, during the Battle of Balaclava.

  • The Battle of Balaclava was part of the siege of Sevastopol, which lasted from 1854 to 1855. The objective of the British army was to capture the port of Sevastopol from the Russians.
  • The Light Brigade had been ordered to chase a retreating Russian artillery company. Poor communication meant that they fought a larger and more prepared army, and suffered heavy losses.
  • Lord Raglan, the 7th Earl of Cardigan led the Charge of the Light Brigade. He is generally recognized for his bravery in leading the charge, despite little chance of succeeding.
  • About 107 of the 674 soldiers involved in the charge were killed. Other British troops later died in hospital, and many were taken prisoner by the Russians.

Charge of the Light Brigade

  • After receiving the order to charge, the brigade rode into a valley between two cliffs. This valley was described as the ‘valley of death’ in Alfred Lord Tennyson‘s poem about the event.
  • Tennyson’s famous poem of the same name describes the charge. It was written just a few weeks after the event and praises the men’s bravery, while emphasizing the futility.
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade has been the subject of several paintings and two major films. Errol Flynn starred in the 1936 film, while Trevor Howard played the Earl of Cardigan in a 1968 version.
  • Lord Raglan survived the charge and was called a hero. Soon after the battle, he went to his yacht which was moored nearby, to eat dinner and drink champagne.
  • In 1875, survivors of the charge met in London to celebrate the 21st anniversary, and reunions were held regularly after that. In 2004, a monument to the Crimean War was built near the spot.