Battle of Budapest
Soviet and Romanian forces placed the city under siege on December 24th 1944 while marching towards Berlin. This was one of the war’s deadliest sieges, with 70,000 dead, over 202,000 wounded and 8,000 prisoners captured, for a total of 280,000 Red Army and Romanian casualties. More than 48,000 Germans and Hungarians were killed, 26,000 wounded and 63,000 captured for a total of 137,000 casualties. Approximately 38,000 civilians also lost their lives. German and Hungarian forces made three unsuccessful attempts to break the siege in January 1945.
Red Army soldiers during the Siege of Budapest
The situation got worse for civilians when the Danube River froze at the end of January, closing their only supply channel. A final breakout attempt was made on February 11th 1945, which initially surprised The Red Army but was also unsuccessful and left many civilians caught in the crossfire. The Germans surrendered 2 days later on February 13th, after most of Budapest had been destroyed. Capturing the city gave The Red Army control of a strategic road way to Vienna, which they would liberate 2 months after Budapest.
A Red Army soldier writes the city’s name in Russian after the battle