May 2, 1945: Berlin falls to Soviet forces.
The next day, General Wilding, the commander of the German troops in Berlin, finally surrendered the entire city to the Soviet army. There was no radio or newspaper, so vans with loudspeakers drove through the streets ordering us to cease all resistance. Suddenly, the shooting and bombing stopped and the unreal silence meant that one ordeal was over for us and another was about to begin. Our nightmare had become a reality. The entire three hundred square miles of what was left of Berlin were now completely under control of the Red Army. The last days of savage house to house fighting and street battles had been a human slaughter, with no prisoners being taken on either side. These final days were hell. Our last remaining and exhausted troops, primarily children and old men, stumbled into imprisonment. We were a city in ruins; almost no house remained intact.
On this day, 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide while held up in his Berlin bunker with the Soviets on his door step. Soon after his death, the last surviving piece of the Axis in Europe surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. The Third Reich, which was meant to last a thousand years, had only lasted twelve, but cost millions of lives.
Russian lancers of Chuguevskii regiment
1 - officer
2,3 - privates
According to the “Institution of the management of big armies” which came in power in the early 1812, the soldiers who were serving in the Convoy of the Headquaters were meant to wear a green twig ( the sort of tree was not specified) as a part of their uniform. In the autumn of 1812 the commander of Chuguevski regiment was in the Convoy Headquaters of the 3rd Western army so his officers and soldiers had green twigs on their schapkas.
The second private (3) is wearing the pre-1812 uniform.
The painting is made by Averyanov.
Japanese pilots get instructions aboard an aircraft carrier before the attack on Pearl Harbor, in this scene from a Japanese newsreel. It was obtained by the U.S. War Department and released to U.S. newsreels. (AP Photo)
On the anniversary of the 1945 suicides of Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda, and the murder of their six children, we recall a chilling photo of the Nazi propaganda minister from 1933.
(Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
May 1, 1931: President Hoover Dedicates the Empire State Building
On this day in 1931, President Hoover dedicated the Empire State Building by “turning on the lights” from Washington, D.C. In reality, the action was purely symbolic and someone in New York City actually turned on the lights.
Throughout its construction, the Empire State Building was in a constant race with the Chrysler Building to become the tallest building. At completion, the Empire State Building won the title of the tallest skyscraper with 102 floors and a height of 1,250 feet.
In 1972, the World Trade Center towers stole the title as the tallest skyscrapers. Today, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai holds that title.
Bottom Image: 1932 View from the Empire State Building, New York City (Library of Congress).
The 140th and 146th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments, charging into The Battle of The Wilderness - 1864.
The 140th NYVIR was composed of men from Monroe County, NY, and in particular the city of Rochester. At the time The Wilderness took place, the 140th had just been outfitted as a Zouave unit, as recognition for their exemplary service in the war.
The Overland Campaign, of which The Battle of The Wilderness was a part, and which eventually assured an end to the war, would be significantly damaging in troop strength for the 140th; they would lose nearly 400 men in two months, and their second commander in one year.