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From the Feb. 12, 1945, issue of TIME

As World War II began to draw to a close in Europe, the Feb. 12, 1945, issue of TIME reported that, “Through the smoke of fires set by R.A.F. and U.S. bombers, overcrowded Berlin could see the lightning and hear the thunder of Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov’s First White Russian Army guns.”

On Feb. 3 — 70 years ago Tuesday — the bombing of Berlin had started. Throughout that month, the air raids, hundreds of them in total, would continue. But, as TIME reported in the same issue, from which the map above is drawn, the stronghold of the Nazis was not yet prepared to surrender:

Read the rest of the story here, in the TIME Vault: The Man Who Can’t Surrender

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Write to Lily Rothman at

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