Author(s): Peter Antill
By mid-April 1945, Hitler's Third Reich was staring into the abyss. Less than 60 miles to the east, the Red Army was poised to seize the German capital. On 16 April, Stalin unleashed his forces, and days later, Berlin was surrounded. The Soviet soldiers fought their way into the devastated German capital, and on the morning of 30 April, the men of MajGen Perevertkin's 79th Rifle Corps began their attack on the Reichstag, the symbolic heart of the Reich. Despite fanatical resistance and close-quarter fighting in every room, that evening the Red Banner was raised over the Reichstag and Berlin; Hitler had committed suicide the same day. Berlin surrendered unconditionally and Germany surrendered to the Allies on 7 May - the war in Europe was at an end.