Soviet soldier equipped with a PPSH-41 during the intense street fighting in Budapest, winter of 1945.
The Siege of Budapest was one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles of WWII. The Soviet Red Army and Romanian Army encircled the city trapping about 80,000 German and Hungarian forces and 800,000 civilians between late December 1944 and early February 1945.
Hitler forbade the German military to abandon the city or to try to escape before the total encirclement of Budapest took place. On February 11, Pfeffer-Wilderbruch, the German commander, finally decided to try to break through the enemy lines.
Soviet artillery and rocket batteries bracketed the escape area, with deadly results that killed thousands and the German commander was captured by the Soviets. Only 700 German soldiers managed to reach the main German lines from Budapest.