From 1943 to 1945 there were massive air battles over Berlin as the US Air Force, RAF, and Red Air Force bombed the city relentlessly and the Germans fought hard to defend it with fighters and flak guns. Things came to head in April of 1945. The final Battle of Berlin was a strategic offensive operation launched by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. It was one of the last major battles of World War II which took place on European soil. The Red Army of the Soviet Union surrounded Berlin from the north, south and east with approximately 2.3 million soldiers, 6,250 tanks and 7,500 aircraft that pummeled what remained of the city into rubble. After encircling the city, the Red Army attacked on April 16th. The infantry pushed their way into the perimeter of the city while Russian artillery bombarded the city center. The Red Army steadily took control of Berlin with the surviving Nazi forces surrendering or fleeing west. This devastating loss made it clear to the Nazis that they were losing the war. Several weeks later as Soviet forces were approaching Hitler’s bunker in Berlin, Hitler and his wife committed suicide. The defeat of Nazi Germany eventually brought World War II to a dramatic close.