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Also available - EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT FOR ORDINARY FOLK
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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
2nd May 1945: The Surrender of Berlin
In Spring 1945, with Allied forces closing in, Adolf Hitler decided to make a final stand in Berlin and ordered it to be defended to the last man.
The Anglo-Americans could have easily reached Berlin before the Red Army, but there were two main reasons Supreme Commander Eisenhower decided not to. The Western Allies, unlike Stalin, were concerned with suffering as few casualties as possible. Secondly, an agreement had already been reached about zones of occupation, and Berlin was deep inside the Soviet zone. The Western Allies therefore halted at the west bank of the River Elbe and left Berlin to the Red Army.
The first German defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly-appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after breaking through German defences at the Seelow Heights and Halbe. During 20 April 1945, the 1st Belorussian Front led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov started shelling Berlin's city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front had pushed from the south through the last shattered formations of German Army Group Centre. The German defences were mainly led by Helmuth Weidling. The units consisted of several depleted, disorganized Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Within the next few days, the Red Army reached the city centre where close-quarters combat raged.
The battle was fierce and bloody, and like Stalingrad conducted room-to room and house-to-house, but the Red Army had overwhelming numbers, firepower and resources. On April 30, with Soviet soldiers fighting for the Reichstag, Hitler committed suicide, shortly followed by propaganda minister Josef Goebbles the following day on May 1.
With Goebbles dead, Commander of the Berlin garrison Helmuth Weidling ordered a breakout overnight. Very few of those who attempted to break out escaped, and most were killed or captured. At 6am on May 2, Weilding personally surrendered, then over the morning ordered the remaining garrison to surrender. A few diehard SS units refused to accept the surrender, so the Soviets simply demolished the buildings the defenders occupied, burying them alive.
The capture of Berlin did not immediately end the war, but with Hitler dead, all remaining German forces surrendered within a week.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Paper Run
Twitter Followers = 2,217 (up 5)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 4
@cornerweave @PMM_band, @1001ptsUK, @JasminWatters
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 1
New Followers followed back = 1
Spammers not followed back = 8
@ohyjomaykaka, @rrpplmustanggt, @Pljjl8181mK, @howogakepizi, @eqadilryeOk, @Galeyrart, @OHoniwastakenNc, @DelanaKreighba6 +1 untraced
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
On the physical front, the problem in my right foot vanished as mysteriously as it arrived, but right knee ligaments continue to complain. There's not much I can do about it, so I'll just keep gently moving the knee.
On Saturday my appetite suddenly went inexplicably berserk and I pigged out all day. Sunday wasn't quite as bad, but the "munchies" continue. I do not have an explanation for this but it's not bothering me - maybe another age thing! Pursuing what interests me and not giving a fuck is my current mindset, and for now at least the result is happiness, making me inclined to continue this course until it no longer does.
Having abandoned logic in favour of intuition as the Supreme Commander of my life has been pivotal in achieving the quiet mind I had sought for so long. That doesn't mean it stays there though. I have to continually keep my attention on a tight leash so it doesn't wander into dark places and become lost. I am however used to doing it as a daily discipline, like washing.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Is fear or courage running your life?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Heavy showers in the morning, brightening up after lunch
1014 millibars and rising slightly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
I saw a woman buying 10 bananas and 2 litres of ice-cream - her pet monkey had a bad breakup :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Russell Peters - interacts with his Dutch audience
A giraffe's tongue is 21 inches long
9. ZEN WISDOM
A person fully awakened to the jewel-like dignity of their own life is capable of truly respecting that same treasure in others.