The defense of Berlin sent most elements of the German Army into a frenzied, last ditch defense of small arms, artillery, and panzershreks. What follows is the account of less well known measures taken to defend the shrinking Reich, as documented by one Nordmann Apfel, a corporal attached to the 3rd Home Defense Battalion.
Translated from the original German:
“We were lined up and given our orders. Hans, the rest of Platoon B, and I were [issued] each a Stielhandel Grenade, some rounds for our rifles, and one Enigma Machine. Many of us had found the devices particularly effective when attacking tanks. Two or three Enigmas hurled at the gas tank would cause the [Russian] armor to explode in a most spectacular fashion.
In a small counter-offensive up 53rd Avenue in the East of the City, we happened upon a wrecked 163, fallen from a failed anti-bomber run above. The airframe was still intact, and being that we heard the fucking [Russians] several blocks away at closest, Roland (the smallest among us) climbed into the cockpit while Gunter, Helmut, Otto, and I lifted and ‘flew’ plane around the square. This was the most fun we had during the whole of the war, including that time in Holland when we Aüßgeilfücklung those Dutch [whores].
Anyway, we were simulating a flat spin when thirty [Russians] turned the corner with assault rifles. In a moment, we hurled the airframe upon them, with Roland still inside. I saw him desperately pressing the fire control, but it just made the frame catch fire. In the ensuing melee, I managed to get away.
Shortly thereafter, our unit was compromised, and I would only return to my home after five months being held by the [Allies].”