This is the End: The Battle of Berlin

By: Nathan Chandler

This is the End: The Battle of Berlin
Image: Shuttestock

About This Quiz

The Third Reich was collapsing and the Nazis scurried for cover in their home capital, where they planned to kill anyone who dared to approach. How much do you know about the Battle of Berlin?
When did the Battle of Berlin begin?
in July 1945
in October 1944
in April 1945
In April 1945, America and its allies pushed the Nazis in the West. The Soviets were pressing the Nazis from the East and closing on Berlin, forcing the Germans to fight for their city.

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Which force initiated the Battle of Berlin?
Germans
Soviets
The Battle of Berlin was the last true major offensive on the Eastern Front of World War II. The Soviets descended on the city determined to punish the Nazis for their aggression.
Americans

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Before attacking the main city, the Soviets completely surrounded Berlin.
true
The Soviets first encircled the city to bring German forces to their knees. Then they moved deep into the city to crush the Nazis once and for all.
false

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Soldiers from which countries took part in the assault on Berlin?
Soviet Union and Poland
Hitler started World War II by invading Poland. So it was fitting that the Polish joined with Soviet forces in attacking Berlin.
Soviet Union and America
Soviet Union and France

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How many Soviet and Polish soldiers gathered for the attack on the Nazi capital?
1.3 million
2.5 million
By today's standards, the number of soldiers involved in World War II battles is hard to imagine. Around 2.5 million troops were on hand to take the fight to Hitler's final lair.
3.1 million

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What was the name of the operation meant to defend Berlin from the Soviets?
Operation Fenceline
Operation Clausewitz
The Germans initiated Operation Clausewitz in defense of the Nazi capital. Hitler wanted soldiers and civilians alike to defend this stronghold to the death.
Operation Adolf

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Operation Clausewitz divided Berlin into how many different defensive zones?
three
five
nine
German officials divided the city into nine different defensive zones. Zone Z was the city center, to be defended at any cost.

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The Nazis used child soldiers in defense of Berlin.
true
The Germans resorted to rounding up children in defense of Berlin. Some received just a few hours of training before being shoved onto the front lines to face hardened Soviet soldiers.
false

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About how many Polish troops joined in the attack?
roughly 80,000
roughly 160,000
roughly 200,000
Soviet service personnel made up the vast majority of the attacking armies. There were about 200,000 Polish troops on hand to take part in the assault.

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How did Soviet troops respond to the sight of children fighting for the Nazis?
They withdrew rather than kill children.
They shot them.
The Soviets had witnessed years of despair and the deaths of millions of their own citizens. They had no mercy for the Nazi children. Thousands of them died by Soviet bullets and bombs.
They forced them to surrender.

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When did the Soviets begin raining artillery fire on the city?
on April 1
on April 10
on April 20
The Soviets began an enormous artillery attack starting April 20. That date also happened to be Adolf Hitler's birthday. He turned 56 that year.

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How long was the Battle of Berlin?
about two weeks
Soviet and Polish soldiers wasted no time in exploiting Nazi weaknesses. They pushed into Berlin and the battle was over in about two weeks.
about 1 month
about 2 months

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What was the F├╝hrerbunker?
Hitler's hideout
The F├╝hrerbunker was an air raid bunker where Hitler hid during the battle's final hours. The bunker was nearly 30 feet deep and heavily fortified to protect its occupants.
a line of machine gun nests in Berlin
rooftop sniper's nests

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What was the Volkssturm?
German booby traps
German anti-tank groups
German militia
The Volkssturm was a German militia that gathered together the country's few remaining men. These militias often supported regular army forces.

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As the Soviets approached Berlin, what did Hitler do?
He fled.
He had his top generals executed.
He stayed to lead his army.
Top German officials did their best to convince Hitler to flee the city. Instead, Hitler opted to remain in place in the hopes that his forces could beat back the invaders.

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Many child soldiers ran away in panic at the sight of Soviet invaders. How did German officers respond to the children's behavior?
They tried to persuade them to stay and fight.
They let them return to their families.
They shot them.
The Nazis were far beyond desperate -- they knew the Soviets were coming for them. Still, when children ran from the front lines, German officers often simply shot them as an example to the others.

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How did the Western Allies plan to take part in the offensive?
They didn't plan to take part.
The Western Allies were still far from Berlin when the Soviets began their attack. They never planned to storm the city, in part because it would have been too difficult and in part because the Soviets were the ones in charge in that region.
They provided close air support.
They provided artillery support.

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Why was German commander Gotthard Heinrici relieved of his command in late April?
He accidentally killed his own troops.
He retreated.
Heinrici disobeyed his command to stand and fight no matter the situation. He ordered his beleaguered troops to withdraw at one point, causing Hitler to remove Heinrici from his command.
He couldn't control his panicked men.

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As the Soviets moved into the city proper, how did German troops respond?
They immediately surrendered.
They fought to the death.
The Germans, driven by their fanatic beliefs (and fear of death), fought the Soviets for every house on every block. The Soviets still made progress, but at great cost to their forces.
They continually retreated.

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Which German commander was in charge of the Berlin Defense Area?
Heinrich Himmler
Gotthard Heinrici
Helmuth Reymann
Hitler decided to place the defense of Berlin in the hands of Helmuth Reymann, who had previously commanded Nazi troops that were driven out of Leningrad.

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How many tanks did the attackers lose during the battle?
about 2,000
It was a battle of monumental proportions and the Germans refused to go quietly -- they managed to destroy about 2,000 tanks driven by the attackers.
about 700
about 300

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The Western Allies did offer one major effort during the battle. What did they do?
They provided food.
They provided ammunition.
They bombed Berlin.
The Western Allies weren't interested in sending ground troops to Berlin. They did, however, initiate a massive bombing campaign that blasted the city for more than month.

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Why did the Soviets want to capture the Reichstag, a building in downtown Berlin?
It was the center of Nazi power.
It was full of bombs.
They figured it was important.
The Reichstag was a symbol of Germany but wasn't really used much for Nazi Party activities. But the Soviets figured it was of symbolic importance, so they launched an attack to capture it.

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How many Germans were holed up in the Reichstag determined to fight the Soviets to the death?
about 100
about 400
about 1,000
About 1,000 Nazis were inside, having hastily constructed a series of defensive measures to keep the Soviets at bay. Some of the defenders were young people from the Hitler Youth organization.

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What was the condition of the Reichstag building as the Soviets pushed towards the interior?
It had no standing walls.
It was rubble.
The building was still standing but the interior was a jumble of rubble, which the Nazis used as shelter from Soviet fire. Eventually, the Soviets took control of the building and then waved a flag from the top, an act made famous by a rooftop photograph.
It was remarkably intact.

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How many Nazi troops were killed during the battle?
perhaps 100,000
No one knows the exact number, but Nazi losses were very high. As many as 100,000 troops were killed during their futile last stand.
perhaps 150,000
perhaps 200,000

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After the war, into how many sections was Berlin divided?
two
three
four
Once the war was over, the city was divided into four sections. Eventually, those zones dwindled to two -- East and West Berlin, separated by the ominous Berlin Wall.

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What happened to Hitler at the battle's end?
He disappeared.
He was executed.
He committed suicide.
As the Third Reich literally crumbled all around him, Hitler and other Nazi Party leaders decided to take their own lives. It was a dark end to the Axis nightmare.

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What did Hitler do just before committing suicide?
gave his possessions to charity
got married
Hitler, the madman who caused more human suffering than anyone in history, decided to get married to Eva Braun. The two tied the knot and then a short while later they both committed suicide.
killed his girlfriend

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What happened to the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun?
They were cremated.
They were quickly buried.
The Nazis didn't want their enemies to take possession of the bodies, which were cremated. Their ashes were symbolic of the fall of the Nazi empire.
They were smuggled out of the city.

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