What prevented the allies to attack Berlin 1944

History 26/03/20 Which prevented the allies stormed Berlin 1944

the Surrender of the Berlin garrison on 2 may 1945, the culmination of the defeat of Nazi Germany. The significance of the fall of Berlin, for the final victory was understood by the allies. Why they wouldn’t take him first, although he had the opportunity?

Emergency stop

After the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 the Anglo-American troops in three months conducted a series of successful offensive operations, and ended with the liberation of France, Belgium and Holland. By mid-September the allies came to the Rhine, intending to enter the territory of Germany to defeat the remnants of the German troops entrenched on the “Siegfried Line”.

However, suddenly the advance of allied armies came to a halt. Started to affect a huge stretch communications that led to the disruption of the supply of troops with food, fuel and ammunition. Seriously complicated the situation destroyed in the bombing of a railroad: everything had to be transported on trucks. Given that at the disposal of the allies was the only port – channel Cherbourg, this for front service is clearly not enough.

on top of the British and American generals could not come to a joint decision on the further conduct of offensive operations. Because well-planned operation depended the fate of the Second front.

From the fair for the Germans,

the Key to overcome the German defensive line along the Rhine was to be operation Market Garden (the”Garden fair”), which the allies intended to hold the territory of Holland. In the course of which began on 17 September the offensive was carried out the largest-ever landing of paratroopers – 35 thousand people.

Plan of operation developed by British field Marshal Bernardo Montgomery and approved by the commander of the joint forces, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was to capture a few airborne divisions of the bridges across the Rhine, followed by a rapid breakthrough into the territory of the enemy. The main aim of the strike is to establish control over the largest industrial region of Germany – the Ruhr region.

And then, as I thought the allied command, the mass surrender of German soldiers and officers will lead to the surrender of Germany. If the resistance and it would be continued, the allies received a direct route to Berlin that nothing could stop. The German capital they hoped to capture up to the end of the year.

Is the desire of the allied commanders fully supported the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who understood, who was the first to occupy the capital of the Reich, he will receive a carte Blanche for the negotiations with Stalin on the postwar Europe.


However, from the outset the operation went according to plan, and blundered in the first place the British. The main British force landed away from the target of the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem, which resulted in the loss of much-needed time and deprived the allies main advantage – surprise. The situation was exacerbated by unexpected problems with the radio.

Subsequently, the Western historians drew attention to the fact that the allied command had ignored intelligence reports according to which in the landing area were the tank units of the Wehrmacht was not adequately addressed and the secrecy of operation which the enemy were known operational plans of the allies, including the landing.

the Successful reflection of the Anglo-American attack was in the expected failure of operation Market Garden. The Germans though could not hold back a counterattack, but the main strategic objective of the allies — opening the way for the invasion of Germany through Northwest — they managed to thwart.

Crushing failure weighed heavily on the entire Anglo-American General staff. After seeming so close to final victory was uncertain lines. Many historians believe that the English and American generals then for a time abandoned plans March on Berlin, not having confidence in the fact that after the further advance will not be followed by another failure. Next time the allies will move in the direction of the German capital in April 1945.

Unique chance

Even in the autumn of 1944 the head of the USSR, USA and great Britain reached an agreement under which the Soviet zone of occupation needs to be 150 kilometers West of Berlin. This plan was approved at the Yalta conference in February 1945. Contrary to popular belief, no agreement about whose troops will storm Berlin, was not.

While the allies pondered how to approach the Berlin Soviet troops at the result of the Vistula-Oder operation on 2 February crossed the Oder and entrenched on the West Bank of the river. From the capital city of Germany were separated by some 60 miles. However, the forces on the final push of our soldiers had already left.

In April 12, advancing from the West, American troops reached the Elbe, and captured several important bridgeheads on the Eastern Bank. The 9th U.S. army two months earlier, troops of the 1st Byelorussian and 1st Ukrainian fronts, was 60 kilometers from Berlin. Learning of this, Churchill unhesitatingly called on Americans to go to the German capital.

All this was favoured ahead stretched convenient to promote tanks of lower Saxony the plain, and partially suitable for moving machinery highway Ruhr area – Magdeburg – Potsdam. But what is most important to the allies the Germans did not built such a powerful defensive redoubts, which included detachments of the militia, as it was in the Eastern direction. The case remained for small.

An April fools joke

Many of you knew that on the eve of the anticipated offensive on 28 March 1945, Eisenhower sent Stalin a telegram in which he informed the Soviet leader that it attaches to the Berlin key strategic importance and is not going to attack him. It is more important for him to conduct an offensive in the South-East of the line Erfurt – Leipzig – Dresden to join up with the advancing units of the red Army, thus cutting Germany into two halves.

in addition, Panah American commander was an attack on the South, where according to him Hitler wanted to organize the last Bastion of the Reich – the “Alpine fortress”, and also to the North to seize the most important German ports Bremen, Hamburg and lübeck. The British historian John fuller the pile, the decision of the commander of the allied forces to abandon the capture of Berlin, one of the most strange military history.

April 1 was the answer of Stalin. The commander in chief, ironically, agreed with the arguments Eisenhower that the German capital has lost strategic importance. He said that Soviet troops will be concentrated South of Berlin for a meeting with the Americans, and only then begin the attack, which was scheduled for the second half of may.

historians believe that it was a tricky game Soviet leader to divert Eisenhower from the already planned Rate Berlin offensive. According to English military writer Anthony Beevor, Stalin’s telegram – the biggest April fools joke in modern history.

don’t want to risk

it is Known that on the eve of victory over Germany, Churchill was planning the creation of the anti-Soviet bloc, which not only could restrain the growing influence of the Soviet Union, but also to resist the red Army. So the telegram Eisenhower became for him a real shock, and the captain became almost a traitor to the common interests.

However, the study of the circumstances that influenced the decision of the commander of the Union forces, suggest that Eisenhower was not motivated by personal ambition and not political short-sightedness. Before to inform Stalin about the change of plans of the allied command Eisenhower consulted with the chief of staff U.S. army General George Marshall and received his approval.

Here is what Eisenhower wrote Marshall: “If the joint chiefs of staff decide that the need to capture the allies of Berlin outweighs purely military considerations in this theater, I will gladly change my plans and start to think about how to implement the new operation.” Reply Marshall meant consent: “I would not want to risk American lives for political purposes”.

Save a relationship

Churchill, hatching plans to circumvent the Union pursued the interests of the British Empire, but he did not listen to public opinion, according to Professor of MGIMO, Mikhail Myagkov. According to the historian, it was that in the United States of America and great Britain for that period are for friendly relations with the Soviet Union were more than 75 percent of the population.

unlike the British Prime Minister’s dialogue with the Soviet Union was going to support the President of the USA Franklin Roosevelt. He believed that without such a powerful state as the Soviet Union in the postwar world is not enough. “Roosevelt did not want to lose influence on Stalin and those quite warm relations that have developed in the war years”, – said Mikhail Myagkov.

during the Yalta conference, Stalin promised Roosevelt that after defeating Germany, the Soviet Union would enter the war with Japan. The us military desperately needed in the Pacific front in aid of such a powerful ally as the Soviet Union. Perhaps this fact was one of the reasons for the collapse of the offensive on Berlin, which could affect the final decision of Stalin.

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