The 3rd Army took Pankow, a suburb of Berlin, on 23 April 1945. A week later, two regiments of the 150th Rifle Division, 79th Rifle Corps in the 3rd shock army were responsible for erecting flags over the Reichstag on 30 April 1945, one of which was known as the victory banner.The Red Army crossed Germany's border on the 12th January 1945 and forced the 9th Army to retreat all along the front until it was deployed westward to the river Oder. Three of the 9th Army's formations were tasked with defending the Seelow Heights, which was the last defensible region before Berlin. In total the 9th Army was reduced to 100,000 men and 800 tanks and assault guns against which the Soviets had over 1,000,000 men and 10,000 tanks and assault guns. The Battle of the Seelow Heights started on 16 April 1945 when Marshal Georgy Zhukov’s 1st Belorussian Front attacked across the Oder.
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Russian soldiers PPSH41 machine gun near complete belonging to a soldier of the 3rd Shock Army recovered near district of Pankow in North Berlin captured by them on 23rd April 1945 during the Battle for the city in the last days of the War