World War II Timeline: April 27, 1945-May 3, 1945
The terror caused by Adolf Hitler during World War II was finally over. Knowing his powerful days were finished, Adolf Hitler committed suicide with his new wife on April 30, 1945. The World War II timeline below summarizes important events that occurred during the war from April 27, 1945, to May 3, 1945.
World War II Timeline: April 27-May 3
April 27: Adolf Hitler sends one last message to his ally, Benito Mussolini. Defiant to the end, he asserts that "Bolshevism and the armies of Jewry...join their malignant forces...to precipitate chaos in our continent."
April 28: Italian partisans execute Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci.
April 29: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun exchange wedding vows in Adolf Hitler's underground Berlin bunker.
General Vietinghoff, the German commander of Axis forces in Italy, signs documents surrendering to the Allies.
A U-boat wolf pack attacks Allied convoy RA-66 in the Arctic, in what will be the last convoy attack of the war.
April 30: The newly wed Hitlers commit suicide in the Berlin bunker. Joseph and Magda Goebbels follow suit, murdering their six children before taking their own lives.
Soviet Union forces capture the Reichstag.
The Dachau concentration camp is liberated as the Allies capture the Bavarian capital of Munich.
May 1: Admiral Karl Dönitz, Adolf Hitler's handpicked successor, establishes a government in Flensburg to control Nazi Germany following Adolf Hitler's suicide.
May 2: Some 490,000 German soldiers in Italy lay down their weapons, honoring the terms of the unconditional surrender signed by Vietinghoff three days earlier.
The British 26th Indian Division meets no Japanese resistance during an amphibious invasion of Rangoon, Burma.
May 3: Red Army units link up throughout Berlin as German resistance ends, completing the capture of the capital of the Third Reich.
Hamburg, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria, fall to the Allies.
World War II Headlines
Below are more highlights that outline the events of World War II and show the details of the fall of Berlin in late April 1945.
German pilot Hanna Reitsch flies to Adolf Hitler in April 1945: By 1945 German pilot Hanna Reitsch had received an Iron Cross and was one of the most accomplished fliers in the world. She had become a Luftwaffe test pilot in 1937 and flew several prototype planes and jets. In April 1945, Reitsch was a passenger when General Robert Ritter von Greim flew into beleaguered Berlin to meet with Adolf Hitler. Russian flak injured Greim's ankle, and Reitsch landed the plane in a rubble-strewn Berlin street near the Führer's bunker. When Adolf Hitler refused to fly to safety three days later, the plane, with Reitsch at the controls, took off amid a torrent of small arms and artillery fire. Reitsch was briefly interned after the war, and lived until 1979.
The fall of Berlin takes 12 days, as well as 300,000 Soviet lives: For 12 days, beginning on April 20, Joseph Stalin's troops fought through the streets of Berlin, one neighborhood at a time. Adolf Hitler ordered his Ninth and 12th armies to cut through the Soviet Union line and defend the city. But the Ninth was encircled and eventually decimated, and the 12th lacked the manpower or arms to attack the Soviets after holding up the Americans. The defense of Berlin was left to a disorganized band of soldiers as well as old men and boys of the Hitler Youth. They fought hard, inflicting 300,000 casualties on the Soviets.
Adolf Hitler and his new wife Eva Braun commit suicide: "I myself and my wife..." Adolf Hitler wrote in his last will and testament on April 29, 1945, "choose death." Shortly after midnight on April 29, he married his mistress, Eva Braun. On the 30th, the two committed suicide, Eva from biting into a cyanide capsule and Adolf Hitler from cyanide and a shot under his chin, according to his valet, Heinz Linge. Their bodies were carried out of the bunker, doused with gasoline, partially burned, and then buried in a shallow bomb crater. The bodies were discovered by the Soviets, who performed an autopsy to confirm Adolf Hitler's identity. War correspondents attached to the U.S. military examined blood stains in the bunker.
Nazi Germany signed the formal surrender documents in Reims, France, on May 7, 1945. Continue on to the next page for a detailed timeline highlighting this and other important World War II events that occurred from May 3, 1945, to May 7, 1945.