World War 2 Turning Points

Battle of Berlin

The Battle of Berlin lasted from April 16, 1945 to May 2, 1945. The battle was between the dwindling Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. By the time of April 16, 1945 the Allied powers of the U.S, U.K, and the Soviet Union were closing in on Germany and were poised to end the war by next month's time. The only city that was standing in the way of peace was the city of Berlin. The Soviets were determined to take the capital of their former invader. From April 16 to April 19 the Soviets broke through the Oder-Neisse Line, the last line of defense before the Soviets reached Berlin. On April 20 Hitler's 56 birthday the Soviets encircled the city and conducted a large artillery strike on the city. The Soviets battled building by building until reaching the Reichstag (the German Capital Building) on April 29 and took the building on April 30 raising the Soviet flag on the top of the capital building signaling the defeat of Nazi Germany. The battle ended in May 2, 1945 with Germany surrendering two days later, ending the war in Europe.


The Battle of Berlin was a very important part in ending World War 2 in europe because Berlin was the last major city needed to be taken in order to get Germany to surrender. The battle's outcome also marked the undoubtable defeat of Germany because Berlin was the most important city still held by Germany and held most of the German military and most of the German leaders at the time. After the city was taken the Germans had very few options other than surrender which is why only 2 days after the city was taken Germany officially surrendered to the Allied powers.

Soviet Japanese War (1945)

The Soviet Japanese War of 1945 from August 9 to September 2 1945 was the name given to the invasion of Japanese held territory by the U.S.S.R. The territory that was invaded was inner Mongolia, Manchuria (north-eastern part of China) which was the largest part of land to be invaded, south Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and northern Korea. The most important of these invasions is the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria which lasted from August 9, 1945 the day of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb dropping to August 20, 1945. Manchuria was of great importance to Japan because it was the last area with heavy industry that had remained largely intact throughout the war producing vital war materials for Japan to keep the war going. Also Manchuria held the mighty Kwantung Army which was one of the strongest army's Japan still had left by 1945. However the Kwantung Army was a shell of what it once was back at the start of the war and stood little chance against the highly skilled 1.5 million men of the Soviet Red Army. The Invasion of Manchuria was a swift invasion covering 3 sides of the area. By August 16th most of Manchuria was invaded by the Soviets and by August 18 the Soviets moved into northern Korea taking it by the 20th.


The battle or war was very significant in ending the war as soon as it did. The Japanese were not exactly the type to surrender rationally. After the 2 Atomic bomb droppings the invasion was a major factor in getting Japan to surrender when they did. According to some historians like Tsuyoshi Hasegawa the Soviet Japanese War was more important to ending the war than the 2 Atomic Bomb droppings. After all the U.S. destroyed only 2 cities while the Soviets took over a very large part of China, most of Japan's heavy industry which was vital to the Japanese war effort in 1945. If the soviets didn't invade Manchuria Japan would still refuse to surrender and the war would continue well into early 1946.


Comparing the 2 major turning points of the war, even though both events ended the war in one front the Soviet Japanese War had a bigger impact than the Battle of Berlin. The reason for this is because even though the Battle of Berlin ended the war on one front it didn't end the war completely while the Soviet Japanese war did end world war 2 completely. Also the Soviet Japanese war was a turning point beyond World War 2 because it helped the Chinese Communists win the Chinese Civil War, a major event during the Cold War. After world war 2 ended the Soviets gave all of Manchuria to the Chinese Communists with industrial facilities in working order. The Soviets decision one of the most important decisions in getting the Chinese Communists to win the Chinese Civil War. Lastly if the Soviets didn't invade Japanese territory the war probably would have still continued after the droppings of the Atomic Bombs.


"Battle of Berlin." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017."Military History Online -The Soviet Invasion of Manchuria and the Kwangtung Army." Military History Online - The Soviet Invasion of Manchuria and the Kwangtung Army. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017."Redirect Notice." Redirect Notice. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017."Redirect Notice." Redirect Notice. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017."Soviet invasion of Manchuria." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Mar. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017."The Fall of Berlin, 1945." The Fall of Berlin, 1945. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

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