The Soviet Union and its Red Army captured Berlin in 1945. The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, was the final major offensive of the European theater of World War II. Only the Soviet Red Army and, to a much more lesser extent, Polish soldiers, took down and captured Berlin, the citadel of Nazism. Sole credit for Berlin's capture is now given to the Soviet Union. Later in time American, British and French zones of occupation were added.

The final chapter in the destruction of Hitler's Third Reich began on April 16, 1945 when Stalin unleashed the brutal power of 20 armies, 6,300 tanks and 8,500 aircraft with the objective of crushing German resistance and capturing Berlin. By prior agreement, the Allied armies (positioned approximately 60 miles to the west) halted their advance on the city in order to give the Soviets a free hand. The depleted German forces put up a stiff defense, initially repelling the attacking Russians, but ultimately succumbing to overwhelming force on or about April 23, 1945.

Before the Battle of Berlin was over, German Führer Adolf Hitler and some of his followers committed suicide. The city's defenders surrendered on May 2, 1945 but fighting continued to the north west, west, and south west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on May 8 as German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets.

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