In 1945 the Soviets launched the largest assault in Military History. They attacked the town of Seelow, just east of Berlin, with everything they had during the Battle of Seelow Heights, opening a path into Berlin.
The battle broke out in the early morning hours of April 16th, around 3:00 a.m. The Soviets battled at Seelow Heights using massive amounts of firepower. They used an estimated 500,000 rounds in 30 minutes.
The Germans only had about 150,000 troops in the city, plus those who were closer to Berlin. The 18.5-mile Soviet front had 9,000 guns and rockets.
However, brute force and sheer firepower were not going to win the Battle for the Soviets. The Russian military clung to their doctrine while the Germans had learned to adapt.
The Germans could predict the moves from the Russians and could respond accordingly. So they moved their first line back and reduced the numbers in the second line.
“As usual, we stuck to the book and by now the Germans know our methods. They pulled back their troops a good eight kilometers. Our artillery hit everything but the enemy.”Russian Commander, Colonel General Vasili Kuznetsov
The Soviets made a mess of the trenches but did not take out very many German troops. While trenches were damaged, the German still had mortars, machine guns, tanks, and artillery.
The Soviet tanks kept hammering on, weakening the Germans. However, their tanks were having trouble moving on the ground near the Ober River. The river had flooded, and the ground had become marshland.
The Germans put their surviving artillery to good use, attacking the German troops. In a couple of days, the Russians lost about 33,000 troops. Conversely, they only took out 12,000 Germans.
The Russians used their planes to fight the Luftwaffe in the air. Then, they moved their way forward with the planes, tanks, and infantry.
Even though their losses were great, the Red Army captured Seelow Heights and marched on toward Berlin, encircling the city and ushering in the end of the Nazi regime. On April 30, Hitler killed himself, and on May 8, the German troops surrendered.