Germany in Ruins (Episode 2)
March 6, 1945. Cologne is the first major city to fall to the Allies. Shortly after, US troops occupy the only surviving bridge over the Rhine in Remagen. Stalin orders planning for his offensive on Berlin to start immediately. He wants to avoid Berlin falling into the hands of his allies. Goebbels does everything to encourage the Germans – the final ‘Wochenschau’ newsreels in German cinemas stoke up fear of the Red Army. Hitler no longer leaves his Reich Chancellery. He has hundreds of opponents of the regime murdered, and orders the destruction of industrial sites and infrastructure in embattled areas. Only a few fanatical Nazis comply. The British and Americans successfully cross the Rhine. It’s the turning point on the Western Front. The Red Army conquers the ‘fortresses’ of Poznań and Königsberg. Their next objective is Berlin.