This week marks VE Day, commemorating the Victory in Europe over Hitler’s Third Reich. The last and perhaps the most savage battle was for the German capital of Berlin. This from the Battlefield series, which was aired weekly on Far East Network (“Forced Entertainment Network”) when I had an artillery battery in Okinawa in 1996. The entire series is superb, and if you look, you can find most of them on line. They are also available on DVD. They contain a pretty good description of the higher tactical through the strategic picture, and have enough detail and technical stuff, but not too much.
Since the series was made, Russian archives have been explored more completely, and the number of Soviet casualties have been scaled up more than two-fold, from the 305,000 quoted in this episode, to nearly 700,000. Note the ever-present use of artillery and mortars, rockets, and field guns, even in an urban environment. The episode is 116 minutes, roughly the time one spends clicking on all of Mav’s aviation links and cool pictures and videos and stuff. So get your Eastern Front geek on, and watch it. You know you wanna.