Thursday 7 November 2019
BERLIN 1945 - THE DOWNFALL
A talk by Dr John Greenacre
In April 1945 the Soviet Union’s Red Army reached Berlin. Under the command of Marshal Georgy Zhukov its progress was irresistible. As Soviet shells crashed into Potsdamer Platz Hitler’s Nazi regime collapsed and disintegrated. General Helmuth Weidling attempted to improvise a defence but it was futile; Berlin’s downfall was inevitable. Dr John Greenacre is a military historian and a frequently guides tours in Berlin. He will weave together the accounts of those that were in Berlin during the final days of the Third Reich; the final occupants of the Reich Chancellery bunker, senior officers in command of the Red Army, ordinary soldiers on the front line and civilians desperate to survive.
John Greenacre spent twenty four years in the British Army as a logistician, reconnaissance helicopter pilot and staff officer before retiring in 2011. He deployed on operations to Iraq and Kuwait, Bosnia and Northern Ireland and also worked in Germany, the Falkland Islands, Canada and Kenya. He is a graduate of the Joint Services Advanced Command and Staff Course and has an MA in Military Studies from Cranfield (2004). In 2009 John graduated from the University of Leeds with a PhD in History with his thesis, ‘The Capability Development of British Airborne Forces during the Second World War’. John is currently a lecturer in history at the University of Suffolk covering the Twentieth Century World Wars and the Cold War and heads up the university’s First World War Centenary activities. He is also an active battlefield and historical tour guide working across Europe with a variety of groups including British and NATO units and formations.