Germany / Landmark

Moltke Bridge




The Moltke Bridge is a bridge named after the Prussian-German Field Marshal Helmut von Moltke, long term chief-of-staff of the Prussian army. In the last days of April 1945, it became an important bridgehead for the Soviet advance towards the Reichstag. It was completely reconstructed only decades after the war ended.

The Moltke Bridge was erected in 1886–1891 and named after the Prussian Field Marshal Helmut von Moltke, who was a chief of the Prussian General Staff and commander of Prussian troops during the wars against Denmark, Austria and France. In 1942, during the Allied bombings of Berlin, the bronze sculptures and the lamps on the bridge were dismantled and melted for war needs.

During the Battle of Berlin, the bridge was not completely detonated by the retreating Berlin garrison, so that the units of the Soviet 79th Rifle Corps, the 23rd Tank Brigade and the IS-2 tanks from the 88th Separate Guards Heavy Tank Regiment used the bridge as a springboard for their offensive on the Reichstag. That led to an intensive fighting around and on the fortified bridge itself on 28 and 29 April 1945.The fighting led to considerable damage to the bridge, with a southern section of it falling into the Spree, but still leaving enough room for Soviet engineer troops and riflemen to cross it and secure the bridgehead on the other side of the river. Nevertheless, both German defenders and the Soviet troops suffered considerable casualties due to heavy artillery and gunfire from both sides.

Due to the immense damage, removal of the bridge was considered after the war, but instead it was preserved and, in the 1980s, thoroughly restored to its original pre-war look. After the construction of the new federal government block including the new office of the federal chancellor in the 2000s and 2010s, the bridge regained got representative function.