The assault was carried out by three Soviet Fronts, (more than 2 million men). Preparations for the battle took two weeks; following days of bombardment by thousands of guns and rocket launchers.
The main German defenders were the 12th Army, withdrawn from the western front by Hitler specifically to defend the city. However children and old-age pensioners were also pressed into the defence of the city.
As the Soviet forces fought their way into the centre of Berlin, the German leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30th April 1945. He appointed Admiral Karl Dönitz as the new Führer, who negotiated a surrender to the Allies on 8 May 1945.