Everytime you think that you know everything important about WW2, someone comes up with a seriously interesting discovery or question. What i never quite understood and never thought to ask was just how hard the German forces fought in the last three months of the war.
Of course, i was fooled because we only had western sources that focused on the collapsing german front in the south allowing the allies to largely occupy southern Germany. Yet there was a nasty fight in the north and this informs us of the very nasty fight around Budapest.
At the end of the War most remaining German forces had been largely consumed in the fighting, but real heavy fighting was taking place to the bitter end and actual surrender.
And yes, i would have thought Stalingrad or Kursk. The Germans went all in on both and lost horribly.
Many people will say Stalingrad or the Battle of Berlin, and it's possible the Battle of Berlin was the worst, depending upon when you consider the battle started, but I think we should also consider the Battle for Budapest. The Battle of Budapest went on for quite some time, and it actually drew off many of the forces that would have opposed the Russians in Berlin.
Even though the Americans and the British had bombed them into the earth, the wily Germans were still able to pump and refine oil within the still smoking ruins using scaled down and damaged equipment. Hitler also did not believe his intelligence officer, Gehlen's assessment of the Russian armies and equipment, which happened to be spot on. Both he and Goering believed the Russians outside Berlin were a paper army and would be incapable of actually taking Berlin. As a result, he drew off the only intact Panzer divisions protecting Berlin and moved them by rail to Vienna where the German 6th Army had been reconstituted for Operation Spring Awakening.