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Road to Berlin. Events of March 29th 1945 relived in Peterhof

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The key date. 70 years ago the Red Army reached the border with Austria and opened the road to Berlin. Those battles have been relived in Peterhof to mark the anniversary.

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This weekend, one of the key events in world history was relived in Peterhof. 70 years ago the Red Army reached the border with Austria.

Statistics suggested that in just 2 days – March 28th and 29th – the frontline army captured more than 18 thousand enemy soldiers, seized 1145 planes and 71 tank. Alexander Odintsov reports from the reconstructed battlefield.

The site in Peterhof was made ready in just 3 days. Explosions, gunshots and fireworks. Those were the events of March 29th 1945. 70 years ago the East-Prussian group of the German army was encircled by the Soviet forces. Long-going fights and huge casualties from both sides, but eventually the enemy was beaten. It’s a key date, because on this day the road to Berlin was opened. 

Pavel Baranenko, chairman of inter-regional patriotic organization “Krasnaya Zvezda”: “The Germans had an order to protect every bit of land to the very end. Konigsberg was very well defended. Today the road to Berlin was opened. This fact is very important” 

Soviet media reported the losses of the German army: more than 50 thousand captured, 80 thousand killed. That’s from March 13th to March 29th. A female artillery battalion was fighting alongside Soviet male soldiers on the frontline – against the elite of the SS troops. And despite those are replica weapons, participants of the reconstructed battle admit – it is hard to operate those. Even in this short imitation.

Tatyana Kalinina, reconstructor: “It’s physically hard. We had to manually push it. Nothing was made to suit women – starting from the uniforms, which were in shortage. Large-sized and uncomfortable”

Certainly, both weapons and uniforms are exactly as they were back then. Even German tanks - Panzer II D and Marder II D. The latter was built in just three months.  

Alexander Loginov, reconstructor: “We found donors, like this one – swamp tow truck. We applied the ready-made base to it and started equipping it”

Twenty military-patriotic clubs have been involved in this imitation. Some were involved in recreating the armor, some even had to put on German uniforms. They say it is not offensive – it expands the knowledge of how it was back then.

Events of those days have been recreated for the 1st time ever. Those who participated say that there had not been a single irrelevant month - or even a day - during that war. 

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