Tuesday 2 May 2023

The fall of Berlin and the surrender of Axis forces in Italy and Austria

On 2nd May 1945, the Battle of Berlin ended and the Axis forces in Italy and Austria surrendered.

The commander of the Berlin Defence Area, General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov of the Soviet Army. On the same day, the commanders of Army Group Vistula’s two armies (General Kurt von Tippelskirch of the German 21st Army and General Hasso von Manteuffel of 3rd Panzer Army) surrendered to the Western Allies.

Yevgeny Khaldei's famous photograph of the raising of the Soviet flag over the Reichstag.

After begotiations led by SS Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff, a surrender document was signed by General Heinrich von Vietinghoff (the commander of Axis forces in Italy and Austria) and approximately a million Axis troops surrendered unconditionally to Allied forces led by British Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander.

The German representatives (on the left, wearing civilian clothes) preparing to sign the surrender document in Italy.

These events came to mind because I happen to be re-reading Antony Beevor's book BERLIN: THE DOWNFALL 1945 (ISBN 978 0 670 03041 5) at present.


  1. The end of the most horrific war in human history in Europe. Quinn

    1. Glory to Ruritania (Quinn),

      Very true … and we would do well to remember that.

      All the best,



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