The End of the War

The Soviet victory at Stalingrad ended Germany’s advance in Eastern Europe. In the following years, the Soviet army received supplies from Great Britain and the United States and started moving westward.

Soon after the Normandy invasion, Stalin’s armies attacked along a 700 km front. In July 1944 Soviet troops reached Warsaw and in the following months drove the Germans out of most of Eastern Europe.

The final attack on Germany began in early 1945. Soviet soldiers reached the Oder River, about 65 km east of Berlin, and Allied forces set themselves up along the Rhine River by March.

By this time, it was clear that Germany could not fight much longer, even though Hitler ordered his men to fight to their deaths. A large number of German soldiers surrendered to the Allies every day.

The Allied leaders– U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin—met in Russia for the Yalta conference. There they planned Germany’s defeat and the occupation of the country.

Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference


Meanwhile the Soviet army pushed on through Germany and by April 25, 1945 they had surrounded Berlin. Adolf Hitler realized that the war was over and committed suicide in his bunker on April 30. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.

As they marched on through Germany, Allied soldiers discovered terrifying evidence of Nazi brutality. Even though they freed death camps, thousands died of starvation after Germany's surrender.

German commander surrenders

  • advance = march forward
  • Allied forces = soldiers belonging to the countries that fought against Germany and Japan in World War II
  • attack = an act of using weapons against an enemy in a war
  • bunker = a strong underground building that is built for soldiers and officers
  • defeat = to win against someone
  • death camp = place where a large number of prisoners are killed or die
  • discover = to find something 
  • even though = while
  • evidence = facts that show that something exists or is true
  • front = line that separates you from your enemy
  • invasion= when an army of a country enters another country and takes control of it
  • meanwhile = in the time between two events
  • Nazi = short word for National Socialist
  • occupation, occupy = when soldiers and other people enter a country and take control of it
  • realize = to begin to understand something
  • receive = get
  • soldier = person who fights for their country in a war
  • starvation = suffer or die because you do not get any food
  • supplies = things that are necessary for daily life , like food, clothes, medicine etc..
  • surrender = give up
  • surround = to be around something, from all sides
  • terrifying = horrible, scary
  • victory = to win against someone
  • Yalta = city in southern Ukraine