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Battle Index: O

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Oak Grove, battle of, 25 June 1862
Ober-Mörlen, combat of, 9 July 1796
Ocaña, battle of, 11 November 1809
Ocaña, combat of, 11 November 1809
Ochenskopf, Operation, 26 February – 19 March 1943
Octodurus, battle of, winter 57/56 B.C.
Odon counterattack, 29 June-1 July 1944
Offheim, combat of, 7 July 1796
Oitabén River, combat of the, 7-8 June 1809
Okinawa, April-June 1945, I: Preparation
Okinawa, April-June 1945, I: The Battle
Öländ, battle of, 12-13 August 1564
Old Fort Wayne, battle of, 22 October 1862
Olive, Operation (25 August-October 1944) - First attack on the Gothic Line
Olivenza, siege of, 11-22 January 1811
Olivenza, siege of, 9 April-15 April 1811
Olpae, battle, 426
Olynthus, battle of, 382 BC
Olynthus, battle of, 381 BC
Olynthus, siege of, early 479 BC
Olynthus, siege of, 348 BC
Omaha Beach, 6 June 1945
Oneglia, combat of, 7 May 1800
Oporto, battle of, 29 March 1809
Oporto, battle of, 12 May 1809
Orchard Knob, battle of, 23 November 1863
Orchomenus, battle of, c.352 BC
Orchomenus, battle of, 86 B.C.
Orchomenos, siege of, 418 BC
Orlau-Frankenau, battle of, 24 August 1914 (East Prussia)
Orleans, siege of, September 1428 to May 1429
Orleans, siege of, 4 February-March 1563
Orontes, battle of the, 28 June 1098 (First Crusade)
Oropesa, siege of, 19 September-11 October 1811
Ortona, battle of, 20-27 December 1943
Oslo, German attack on, 9 April 1940
Ospedaletto, combat of, 11 April 1809
Ostrolenka, combat of, 16 February 1807
Ostrovno, battle of, 25-26 July 1812
Otterburn, battle of, 5 August 1388
Ouche, battle of the, 500
Oudenaarde, battle of, 11 July 1708 (Belgium)
Ourcq River, battle of the, 5-9 September 1914
Ourthe, battle of the, 18 September 1794
Overlord, Operation / Battle of Normandy (6 June to 25 August 1944)

Battle of Saratoga

The Battles of Saratoga are considered, by many historians, to have been the turning point of the American Revolutionary War and one of the most decisive battles in history. A force of roughly 10,000 men&mdashmostly British regulars&mdashunder General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne had advanced from French Canada in the summer of 1777 with the intention of taking Albany, New York and cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies by seizing control of the Hudson River Valley. In the spring of 1777, the British took colonial forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga. The Americans retreated. However, a successful colonial delaying action comprising the systematic blocking of roads, destruction of bridges, and harassment of British troops with sniper fire slowed the British advance beyond the southern ends of Lakes Champlain and George to a few kilometers a day. Burgoyne's force was eventually blocked by colonial regular soldiers and militia under General Horatio Gates in the area north of the Hudson Valley town of Saratoga. Over the course of the summer of 1777, the colonial force grew to roughly 15,000 men.

Battle of the Bulge: Wunderland

It is rare to see a cinematic amalgamation of 1940s war film lingo, 1980s action movie heroics, and the historical reality of one of the most costly battles in world history. This hodgepodge of lightly connected scenes is set against the onset of the Battle of the Bulge and follows a mishmash of fictional characters. Directing himself in the lead role, Steven Luke and his motley crew of miscast bit players (and Tom Berenger) through a slog of almost offensively trite conversations and firefights. While the filmmakers’ fascinations with World War II may be apparent, Battle of the Bulge: Wunderland is a historically inaccurate, overly mannerist tedium through tired genre cliches.

In the winter of 1944, German forces muster to make one last desperate push to turn the tide of the war in Europe. Lieutenant Robert Cappa (Luke) and his battle-hardened platoon have been ordered by Major McCulley (Berenger) to hold a road junction that has specific strategic importance. Though Cappa’s men are drained and need rest, they dig in as the spearhead of the Allied defense, unaware that all hell is about to descend upon them in the thick woods of the Ardennes. At least that is what this film is supposed to be, in theory.

“… they dig in as the spearhead of the Allied defense, unaware that all hell is about to descend…”

Front and center is the overreaching robotic and caricaturistic acting of the entire cast, especially Luke. He relies on default statements of blind flag waving supplemented by Christian plot contrivances to carry an appreciation for his character when there isn’t much character to consider. This Robert Cappa is a fictional character, not to be confused with Robert Capa, a heroic Hungarian photojournalist (which would have made a far more interesting subject), but has little to no characterization beyond the typical whitebred, starry-eyed idealist over here to make the world right. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that kind of character if placed in positions that challenge them in intriguing ways, but as with most American action movie stars of the 1980s, he is a perfect bastion of goodwill, perfect aim, and seeming invincibility to direct hits by bullets (even when standing clearly in the open).

Supporting cast members, like Mikeal Burgin and Apostolos Gliarmis, are there only for the protagonist to have easy opportunities for crazy (yet always effective) heroics, and to spout off 40s-era one-liners (“You crazy son of a bitch!” as the indomitable Cappa rushes an enemy position and takes all soldiers out with singular perfect shots). These performances, coupled with the non-existent continuity (snow will be covering the ground, only to be gone in the very next scene with significantly more foliage in the trees, to then go back again), and endless traveling sequences with no character development make it impossible to take anything that is happening seriously…and the Battle of the Bulge is one of the most serious events in modern history. It’s hard to keep that in your mind when every German soldier can’t even get close to hitting their targets (unless convenient for the plot). The Americans don’t even have to duck, spraying M1 and Thompson fire almost indiscriminately with barely any kind of recoil or disadvantage (again, unless convenient to pull at heartstrings or plant a seed for a justified vengeance).

“… hard to keep that in your mind when every German soldier can’t even get close to hitting their targets…”

What it appears to have happened is that the filmmakers were inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers , yet only took away the continuous meandering sequences with none of either work’s central dynamics or themes. Even with Berenger’s credibility and screen presence, the screenplay makes little use of his talents, while wasting far too much time on our petrified protagonist. With obvious particle computer effects in place of snow, and digitally animated tanks and bullets, the visuals are just appallingly cheap. The Americans are heroes, and there isn’t a solitary moment that the film will let you forget that, with the buffoonery and lackadaisical tactics of the German soldiers to be on par with any classic Schwarzenegger henchmen. The film tries to canonize these characters (by way of The Great Escape ), but because of their hyper-dramatic representation and lack of all things accurate to history, it ends up making a mockery of the whole battle. At times I wanted to root for Battle of the Bulge: Wunderland , but it ultimately impresses as a half-baked film school project over a completely realized movie.

Battle of the Bulge: Wunderland (2018) Directed by Steven Luke. Written by Steven Luke. Starring Steven Luke, Tom Berenger, Mikeal Burgin, Aaron Courteau, Casey Sill.

2 out of 10

Battle Of Philippi Articles From History Net

Account of the Battle Of Philippi

On the morning of May 14, 1861, Confederate Colonel George A. Porterfield of Charles Town, Virginia, stepped off the train from Harpers Ferry at Grafton. He had been ordered to the town by General Robert E. Lee, who assured Porterfield that he would be greeted by 5,000 Virginians who were rushing to enlist in the Confederate Army and by trained militia from nearby counties. With these troops, and the arms and supplies furnished by the War Department in Richmond, he was to capture and hold the railroad north to Wheeling and southwest to Parkersburg, both important points on the Ohio River.

Article On Philippi, the first battle of the civil war.

On the night of June 2, 1861, and into the early hours of the next morning, thunderstorms lashed the mountains of northwestern Virginia and drenched the little town of Philippi&mdashnamed not for the Macedonian city of antiquity, but for Philip Pendleton Barbour&mdasha former Supreme Court justice and states’ rights advocate. Some maps showed it as Phillipa.


Edmure: Tell Father I have gone to make him proud.

Catelyn: He was always proud of you, Edmure. And he loves you fiercely. Believe that.

Edmure: I mean to give him better reason than mere birth. Α]

That was the brush of Lord Tywin's fingertip, my lady. He is probing, feeling for a weak point, an undefended crossing. If he does not find one, he will curl all his fingers into a fist and try and make one. That's what I'd do. Were I him. Α]

They shall not cross, Cat. Lord Tywin is marching to the southeast. A feint perhaps, or full retreat, it matters not. They shall not cross. Α]

Brynden: You were commanded to hold Riverrun, Edmure, no more.

Edmure: I held Riverrun, and I bloodied Lord Tywin's nose—

Robb: So you did. But a bloody nose won't win the war, will it? ⎛]

New York Spanish-American War Name Index

The men listed in these pages are men who served in New York Units during the Spanish-American War of 1898. For each man you will find a name, the regiment he served in, the volume the regiment appears in and the page the man is listed on. The volume refers to New York in the Spanish-American War 1898 (prepared by the New York State Adjutant General's Office. Albany: J.B. Lyon, State printer, 1900). This is a three volume set which typically lists for each person: age, when they enlisted (when they signed up), when they mustered in (when they officially reported for duty), how long they agreed to serve for, their company and when and where they were mustered out of service. If the person died or was wounded this is also mentioned.

A speical thanks to Ariel Reed for helping to create this section.

Index to New York in the Spanish-American War 1898

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Battle of the Wilderness (July 9, 1755)

The Braddock Expedition also called Braddock's Campaign was a failed British attempt to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. The expedition takes its name from General Edward Braddock, who led the British forces and died in the effort. Braddock's defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela was a major setback for the British in the early stages of the war with France.

Braddock's Road
Braddock's Expedition was just one part of a massive British offensive against the French in North America that summer. As commander-in-chief of the British Army in America, General Braddock led the main thrust, commanding two regiments (about 1,350 men) and about 500 regular soldiers and militiamen from several British American colonies. With these men Braddock expected to seize Fort Duquesne easily, and then push on to capture a series of French forts, eventually reaching Fort Niagara. Twenty-three year-old George Washington, who knew the territory, served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General Braddock.

Braddock's attempt to recruit Native American allies from those tribes not yet allied with the French proved mostly unsuccessful he had but eight Mingo Indians with him, serving as scouts. A number of Indians in the area, notably Delaware leader Shingas, remained neutral. Caught between two powerful European empires at war, local Indians could not afford to be on the side of the loser. Braddock's success or failure would influence their decisions.

Setting out from Fort Cumberland in Maryland on May 29, 1755, the expedition faced an enormous logistical challenge: moving a large body of men with equipment, provisions, and (most importantly for the task ahead) heavy cannon, across the densely wooded Allegheny Mountains and into western Pennsylvania, a journey of about 110 miles. Braddock had received important assistance from Benjamin Franklin, who helped procure wagons and supplies for the expedition. Among the wagoners, incidentally, were two young men who would later become legends of American history: Daniel Boone and Daniel Morgan.

The expedition progressed slowly, in some cases moving as few as two miles a day, creating Braddock's Road?an important vestige of the march?as they went. To speed up movement, Braddock split his men into a "flying column" of about 1,500 men (commanded by him), and a supply column with most of the baggage (commanded by Colonel Thomas Dunbar), which lagged far behind. They passed the ruins of Fort Necessity along the way, where the French had defeated Washington the previous summer. Small French and Indian war bands harried Braddock's men during the march, but these were minor skirmishes.

Meanwhile, at Fort Duquesne, the French garrison consisted of only about 250 regulars and Canadian militia, with about 640 Indian allies camped outside the fort. The Indians were from a variety of tribes long associated with the French, including Ottawas, Ojibwas, and Potawatomis. The French commander, realizing that his fort could not withstand Braddock's cannon, decided to launch a preemptive strike: an ambush of Braddock's army as he crossed the Monongahela River.

Battle of the Monongahela
On July 9, 1755, Braddock's men crossed the Monongahela without opposition, about nine miles south of Fort Duquesne. The advance unit under Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage began to move ahead, and unexpectedly came upon the French and Indians, who were hurrying to the river, behind schedule and too late to set an ambush. The battle, which came to be known as the Battle of the Monongahela (or the Battle of the Wilderness, or just Braddock's Defeat), was joined. Braddock's impressive column of almost 1,500 men faced less than 900 French and Indians.

After an initial defense, Gage's advance group fell back. In the narrow confines of the road, they collided with the main body of Braddock's force, which had advanced rapidly when the shots were heard. The entire column dissolved in disorder as the French and Indians enveloped them and continued to fire from the woods and ravines. Following Braddock's example, the officers kept trying to reform units into regular order within the confines of the road, mostly in vain. The colonial militia either fled or took cover and returned fire. In the confusion, some of the militiamen who had taken to the woods were mistaken for the enemy and fired upon by British regulars.

Finally, after three hours of intense battle, Braddock went down, and resistance collapsed. By sunset, the surviving British and American forces were fleeing back down the road they had built. Braddock died of his wounds during the long retreat, on July 13.

Of the approximately 1,460 men Braddock had led into battle, 456 were killed and 421 wounded. (The officers were prime targets and suffered greatly: out of 86 officers, 63 were killed or wounded.) The roughly 250 French and Canadians had 8 killed and 4 wounded their 637 Indian allies lost but 15 killed and 12 wounded.

Colonel Dunbar, with the rear supply unit, took command when the survivors reached his position. He ordered the destruction of supplies and cannon before withdrawing, burning about 150 wagons on the spot. Ironically, at this point the demoralized and disorganized British forces still outnumbered their opponents, who were not even in pursuit.

Braddock's defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela was a momentous event for the people of the region. The French and their Indian allies found themselves unexpectedly with the upper hand in the struggle for control of the Ohio Country, and a ferocious frontier war quickly escalated. Indians in the area who had been inclined to remain neutral now found it nearly impossible to do so. And the colonists of "backcountry" Pennsylvania and Virginia found themselves without professional military protection, scrambling to organize a defense. This brutal frontier war would continue until Fort Duquesne was finally abandoned by the French as a result of the successful approach of the Forbes Expedition in 1758.

Another notable outcome of Braddock's defeat was the effect it had on the reputation of George Washington. Washington, despite being in poor health before the battle, distinguished himself as being calm and courageous under fire. He emerged from the disaster as Virginia's military hero.


Background information

Snape's reign at Hogwarts

On 1 August, 1997, Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour was secretly captured by Voldemort and interrogated for the whereabouts of Harry Potter. However, in one last brave act for Harry, Scrimgeour told Voldemort nothing, and was murdered by the Dark Lord as a result. This easily placed the Ministry of Magic under the secret influential control of Voldemort and his Death Eaters, who quickly replaced Scrimgeour with Pius Thicknesse, a corrupt politician under the Imperius Curse and a puppet of Voldemort. Hogwarts also quickly fell under Voldemort's influence, and he appointed Severus Snape as the new Headmaster (interestingly, Snape had killed the previous headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, just a month before). Δ] The Carrow siblings, Amycus and Alecto, were also appointed as Deputy Headmaster-Deputy Headmistress, and also became teachers. Amycus Carrow became Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts and Alecto Carrow became Professor of Muggle Studies. Ε]

Two school subjects were revised at Voldemort's will Defence Against the Dark Arts was more or less taught simply as Dark Arts, and Muggle Studies became a compulsory class for indoctrinating hatred against Muggles and Muggle-borns, rather than opt for peace with them. Snape and the Carrows enforced Voldemort's agenda brutally at Hogwarts. Students given detention for any wrongdoing were subjected to the Cruciatus Curse by either of the Carrows— as well as by other students on the Carrows' orders particularly Slytherin students. As a result of this, a band of students began to fight back very early on in the 1997-1998 school year, led by seventh year Neville Longbottom and sixth years Ginny Weasley, Cormac McLaggen and Luna Lovegood. This group stood as the successor to the original Dumbledore's Army, founded by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger in 1995. Ζ]

Search for Horcruxes

The Trio begin their hunt for Horcruxes

At the climax of the Battle of the Astronomy Tower the previous year, Albus Dumbledore was killed by then-Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Snape. Η] Dumbledore, however, had secretly planned his death with Snape and unknown to anyone his spirit continued to aid Harry by giving Snape special orders through Dumbledore's portrait in the Headmaster's Office. Dumbledore then left Harry Potter with a final task to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes that Voldemort created at different points in his life to ensure his immortality. Over several months, Harry, Ron, and Hermione tried to locate the Horcruxes their efforts included infiltrating the Ministry to acquire Salazar Slytherin's locket ⎖] (which was later destroyed by Ron Weasley in December of 1997). ⎗]

Furthermore, the day before the battle, the trio succeeded in breaking into the vault belonging to Bellatrix Lestrange within Gringotts in Diagon Alley to obtain Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, another Horcrux. ⎘] Two other Horcruxes had also been destroyed prior to Dumbledore's death: Voldemort's old diary from his school years at Hogwarts was destroyed in 1993 by Harry Potter, ⎙] and a ring which had belonged to Voldemort's grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, was destroyed by Dumbledore sometime in July, 1996. ⎚] Harry then returned to Hogwarts to search for another of Voldemort's Horcruxes, an object he believed had something to do with Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, both of which are Hogwarts Houses. ⎛]

Arrival in Hogsmeade

The trio arrive in Hogsmeade

Harry, Ron, and Hermione, all wearing Harry's Cloak of Invisibility, apparated into the main street of Hogsmeade. However, they immediately triggered a Caterwauling Charm, and a dozen cloaked and hooded Death Eaters dashed into the street from the Three Broomsticks. One of the Death Eaters tried to summon the Cloak, but the Summoning Charm did not work on it because it was secretly the cloak of legend, one of the fabled Deathly Hallows. ⎛]

Harry, Ron, and Hermione backed quickly down the nearest side street. Harry informed the others that the Death Eaters must have set up the Caterwauling Charm to alert them to the trio's presence, and they likely had done something to trap them there. At that moment, one Death Eater suggested releasing the Dementors, pointing out that the Dementors wouldn't kill Harry. Voldemort wanted Harry's life, not his soul, and he would be easier to kill if he had been subjected by the Dementor's Kiss first. ⎛]

Death Eaters search Hogsmeade for Harry Potter

Hermione suggested that they disapparate, but as they tried, the air through which they needed to move seemed to become solid. They could not Disapparate due to an Anti-Disapparation Jinx placed by the Death Eaters. Ten or more Dementors closed in on them, and Harry raised his wand to cast a Patronus, causing the silver stag to burst from his wand and charge. The Dementors scattered and there was a triumphant yell from the Death Eaters. ⎛]

Suddenly, a door near the trio opened and the three of them were hustled inside the Hog's Head Inn. They ran up the stairs into a room with a single large oil painting of a blonde girl. Outside, the inn's proprietor pulled out his wand and cast a goat Patronus he insisted that the Death Eaters had mistaken his Patronus for a stag and that he had set off the alarm when he let out his cat. Reluctantly convinced, the Death Eaters strode back toward the High Street. Hermione came out from under the Cloak and sat down on a chair. Harry drew the curtains shut, then pulled the Cloak off himself and Ron. They could hear the man down below, rebolting the door of the bar, then climbing the stairs. ⎛]

The Hog's Head Inn

The two-way mirror in Aberforth's possession

Harry's attention was caught by Sirius Black's half of his two-way mirror on the mantelpiece. He realised it was the man's eye he had been seeing in the mirror, and that this must mean that the man had sent Dobby to rescue them during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor. From his resemblance to his late brother, Harry deduced that the man was Aberforth Dumbledore: the younger brother of the late Albus Dumbledore. ⎛]

Realising that the trio was hungry, Aberforth went out of the room and reappeared with bread, cheese, and a pewter jug of mead. Aberforth told them to wait for daybreak when the curfew would lift. Then they could get out of Hogsmeade, up into the mountains, and disapparate. Harry, however, refused and claimed that they needed to get into Hogwarts to complete the task Albus Dumbledore set them. Aberforth said that people had a habit of getting hurt when Albus was carrying out his grand plans. ⎛]

Harry talking to Aberforth about his mission left to him by Dumbledore

Aberforth told the young wizards to get away from the school, out of the country if they could forget Dumbledore and his clever schemes. Harry pointed out that Aberforth was fighting as well, as he was part of the Order of the Phoenix, but Aberforth retorted that the Order was finished, that Voldemort had won, and that those still left serving in the Order fought a lost cause. Aberforth then said that Dumbledore was a natural at secrets and lies, a trait he learned from their father, Percival Dumbledore. Hermione timidly asked if the picture on the mantelpiece was of his sister, Ariana Dumbledore, and Aberforth confirmed this. ⎛]

Aberforth tells the trio about his brother's past

Hermione said that Professor Dumbledore cared about Harry, very much, but Aberforth said that many of the people his brother genuinely cared about very much ended up in a worse state than if he had left them alone. When Hermione asked if Aberforth was talking about his sister, he burst into speech. He told them that when Ariana was six years old, the Dumbledore Family lived in Godric's Hollow and she was attacked by three Muggle teenage boys, who tried to forcibly rape her and that afterwards her magic turned inward and drove her mad, exploding out of her because she couldn't control it. Aberforth revealed this to his father Percival, who furiously went after the boys that harmed his daughter, attacking them all with the Cruciatus Curse and was locked up in Azkaban for it by the Ministry Of Magic, when the family's neighbour Bathilda Bagshot witnessed the event and alerted the Ministry. ⎛]

The rest of the family was moved out by Aberforth's mother, Kendra Dumbledore, and Percival died in Azkaban. Albus was often too busy for Ariana, so she liked Aberforth best. Aberforth could get her to eat when she refused, and he could calm her down when she was in one of her mental rages. Then, when Ariana was fourteen, she accidentally killed her mother. Kendra's death resulted in Albus having to put aside his dreams and settle down as head of the family. ⎛]

Aberforth said Albus did all right for a few weeks- until Gellert Grindelwald, Bathilda Bagshot's nephew, arrived. Here was someone almost as bright and talented as Albus was and so Albus and Gellert instantly became best friends in particular, due to their shared obsession for magical equality concerning wizards and muggles. Ariana was neglected as the two of them planned a new secret wizarding order, wanting to end the International Statute Of Wizarding Secrecy and create a global monarchy where both worlds' lived together in permanent harmony. After a few weeks of this, Aberforth confronted the two of them about their treatment of his sister, which made Grindelwald angry. There was an argument, and Grindelwald subjected Aberforth to the Cruciatus Curse. Albus tried to stop Grindelwald, and the three boys began to duel fiercely. When the curses stopped, Ariana lay dead by an unknown hand. ⎛]

Ariana leaving her portrait

Aberforth then again told Harry to hide, but Harry knew that in war, sometimes you have to think about the greater good. Harry told Aberforth that Albus had taught him how to finish You-Know-Who, and he was going to keep going until he succeeded, or died. He also told Aberforth that no matter what Albus had done or been in the past, he wasn't that during the time Harry knew him. Harry said he wasn't interested in what happened between Albus and Aberforth, that he loved Albus with all his heart and spirit, and he also berated Aberforth for abandoning hope when it was most needed. Rejuvenated and inspired by Harry's bravery, Aberforth approached the portrait of Ariana and said "You know what to do." She smiled and walked along what seemed to be a long tunnel painted behind her. Aberforth said that there was only one safe way into Hogwarts left that was unknown to the Death Eaters. ⎛]

A tiny white dot suddenly appeared at the end of the painted tunnel, and now Ariana was walking back toward them, growing bigger and bigger as she came, with somebody else limping along beside her. The two figures grew larger until the painting swung forward on the wall like a door, and the entrance to a real tunnel was revealed. Out of the tunnel and onto the mantelpiece came a badly bruised and beaten Neville Longbottom, who gave a roar of enthusiasm upon seeing Harry and stated that he knew Harry would come, as it was only a matter of time. Neville proceeded to tell the trio that Hogwarts has changed greatly under the new evil regime. Ζ]

Entering the castle

Neville then led Harry, Hermione and Ron around a corner and up a steep flight of stairs that led to a door. As Harry followed, he heard Neville call out to unseen people, announcing Harry's arrival, and he, Ron, and Hermione were soon engulfed, hugged, pounded on the back, by what seemed to be more than twenty people. Ζ]

DA members welcome Harry back on 1 May, 1998

Neville told everyone to calm down, and Harry saw that they were in an enormous room with many multicoloured hammocks strung from the ceiling. The walls were covered with bright tapestry hangings: the gold Gryffindor lion, emblazoned on scarlet the black badger of Hufflepuff, set against yellow and the bronze eagle of Ravenclaw, on blue. There were bulging bookcases, a few broomsticks propped against the walls, and in the corner, large wooden-cased wireless. Neville revealed that they were in the Room of Requirement, which had expanded as more of Dumbledore's Army arrived. Seamus Finnigan told the trio that the DA had been hiding out there for nearly two weeks, as neither Headmaster Snape nor the Carrows could get in. The passage to the pub had appeared as the students got hungry, as the food was one of the few things the room could not provide. The room just kept making more hammocks as they were needed. Harry recognised Lavender Brown, both Patil twins, Terry Boot, Ernie Macmillan, Anthony Goldstein, and Michael Corner. Ζ]

Neville, who had become the leader of the group, said that he had used the Galleons that Hermione had bewitched in their fifth year to recall all of the D.A., and sure enough, past D.A. members such as the Weasley twins started arriving through the tunnel from the Hog's Head. Ζ]

Harry and Dumbledore's Army preparing to overthrow the Death Eater regime at Hogwarts

Neville had informed a number of them that it was time to return to Hogwarts to fight and help Harry find whatever it was that he needed. When Harry realised how loyal they were being to him, he accepted help, telling them that Voldemort was on his way to Hogwarts and that he, Harry, needed to find something in the castle. When he asked about artefacts associated with Rowena Ravenclaw, Harry was told about her lost diadem, and he decided that it was almost certainly what Voldemort would have used for his Horcrux. Ζ]

Luna Lovegood took Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room to see a statue of Rowena wearing the diadem so that he would know what to look for. They were caught thereby Alecto Carrow, who summoned Voldemort by way of the Dark Mark on her arm before being stunned by Luna. Amycus Carrow and Professor McGonagall then arrived in the room. Amycus decided that he would blame Alecto's (seemingly unnecessary) summoning of Voldemort on the students. McGonagall refused to allow him to put her students in danger, causing him to spit in her face in anger. Harry, outraged, used the Cruciatus Curse on him, revealing himself to McGonagall. Β]

Ousting of Severus Snape

McGonagall sent three Patronus cat messengers to summon the other Heads of House and started for the Great Hall with Harry and Luna following closely behind her. As they walked down from Ravenclaw Tower, they encountered Headmaster Snape in the hall. He continually darted his eyes about, perhaps suspecting that Harry was nearby. When asked what she was doing there, McGonagall claimed she heard a disturbance. She was evasive when asked about Harry, then slashed her wand through the air. Snape, faster, deflected her charm. She then waved her wand at a torch on the wall, making it fly off its bracket. Β]

Minerva McGonagall duels Severus Snape before the battle begins

The flames became a ring of fire that filled the corridor and flew like a lasso at Snape. Snape turned the descending flames into a great black snake that McGonagall blasted to smoke and turned into a swarm of daggers, which she directed towards him. The Headmaster pulled a suit of armour in front of him, which the daggers sank into with echoing clangs. Β]

Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout came running to McGonagall's aid with a huffing Slughorn lagging behind. Flitwick raised his wand, bewitching the suit of armour to attack Snape by crushing him. Outnumbered, Snape sent the suit of armour flying back against his attackers and dashed into a deserted classroom, where a loud crash was heard. Pursuing, McGonagall screamed, "Coward!" Uncloaked, Harry and Luna rushed inside to find that Snape had fled by leaping out the window in the form of a jet black stream of smoke. Β]

Harry thought that Snape was surely dead, but McGonagall bitterly commented that, unlike Dumbledore, Snape had a wand and had learned a few tricks from his master, Voldemort. Harry saw a large, bat-like figure soaring across the school grounds. Harry slid into Voldemort's mind again and saw an Inferi-filled lake. Voldemort leapt from the boat in a murderous rage, headed for Hogwarts. Β]

Preparations for battle

Powerful protective enchantments being placed around the castle

McGonagall then ordered the students to be brought to the Great Hall. There, McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt announced that the students old enough to fight could stay if they wanted, while younger students would be evacuated by Poppy Pomfrey and Argus Filch by way of the passage through the Hog's Head Inn. The professors set defensive charms and spell around Hogwarts to fend off Voldemort, although they all knew that no matter what protection they gave, Voldemort would eventually penetrate it. As Hogwarts Castle was being fortified, Harry asked Flitwick about Ravenclaw's diadem, but Flitwick informed him that it had not been seen "in living memory." Meanwhile, McGonagall enchanted the school's statues and suits of armour to help defend the castle and ordered Filch to summon Peeves the Poltergeist to aid in the defence. Β]

Minerva telling the suits of armour to defend Hogwarts

When Harry and Luna returned to the Room of Requirement, they found that even more people had arrived, including: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Remus Lupin, Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Bill Weasley, Fleur Delacour, Arthur Weasley, and Molly Weasley. Fred Weasley had alerted Dumbledore's Army, and they, in turn, summoned the Order of the Phoenix. As younger students were being evacuated, an argument broke out about underage Ginny Weasley, who wanted to help fight. Her mother eventually relented to the point of allowing Ginny to stay at Hogwarts if she stayed in the Room of Requirement. The Weasleys' estranged son Percy suddenly arrived, and loudly apologised to his family for not supporting them the Weasleys immediately forgave him. Looking around, Harry wondered where Ron and Hermione were. Ginny told him they were attending to something having to do with a bathroom, leaving Harry puzzled. Β]

Transfigured suits of armour stationed at the front of the castle

The Order of the Phoenix and the professors have agreed upon a battle plan and begin dividing into groups. As tension mounts over the approaching battle, Harry anxiously searches the room for Ron and Hermione, who were still missing. Β]

First half of the battle

Voldemort's ultimatum

Pansy Parkinson urging students to hand Harry over to Voldemort

Suddenly, Voldemort's magically amplified voice rang through the hall and heard throughout all of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. Voldemort informed the school that if they surrendered Harry to him by midnight, nobody in the school would be hurt. Pansy Parkinson, spotting Harry, stood and shrieked for someone to grab him all of Gryffindor House rose in a mass, almost immediately followed by all of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and as one drew their wands, indicating their willingness to fight for Harry. Professor McGonagall announced that all of Slytherin house would be evacuated, followed by the other Houses, through the passage through the Hog's Head Inn, though those of age were welcome to stay if they wished though no Slytherins remained, a number of older Ravenclaws, a quarter of Hufflepuff and half of Gryffindor remained to fight. Prompted by Professor McGonagall, Harry set out again in search of the Horcrux. Heading down an empty corridor, he began to panic — he has no idea where to search for the Horcrux or where Ron and Hermione were. Although all those underaged were to be evacuated, two known students, Colin Creevey and Ginny Weasley, both of whom aged 16, sneaked back into the battlefield, directly defying the ordered evacuation. ΐ]

The Quidditch pitch is destroyed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts

As the defenders of Hogwarts prepared to hold off Voldemort so that Harry could finish his search for the object of Ravenclaw's, the Death Eaters launched attacks on the castle but were kept from entering. The Hogwarts defenders were able to fend off the Death Eaters using an array of tactics: Professor Sprout and Neville planned to use dangerous plants from the greenhouses against the Death Eaters, such as lobbying mandrakes over the walls, Devil's Snare, Venomous Tentaculas and Snargaluff pods, as well as the bewitched suits of armour and wand duels. The whole castle shook with the force of the Death Eaters' sinister enchantments, and Harry met up with Aberforth Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid, his boarhound Fang, and his giant half-brother, Grawp, as they joined in defending the castle against Death Eaters. During the duels, portraits on the walls, including that of Sir Cadogan, rushed between their canvases screaming news from other parts of the castle or giving encouragements to the fighters. ΐ]

Skirmish at the Wooden Bridge

Ginny and other students under the Wooden Bridge waiting to see if Neville survived its explosion

After Scabior tested if it was safe to cross the now-broken protections, the Snatchers charged into the Wooden Bridge. As Neville ran for the Clock Tower Courtyard, he briefly duelled Scabior before casting a spell that rebounded into the wooden beams producing a large explosion on the Sundial Garden-side of the Wooden Bridge. ⎜]

As the Snatchers fell into the ravine below, Neville threw himself onto the un-exploded part of the bridge, holding to the intact wooden beams, as Ginny Weasley, Seamus Finnigan, Cho Chang, Ernie Macmillan, Leanne, Padma Patil, and Nigel Wolpert managed to help him up. ⎜]

Onslaught at the Viaduct

As the giants made their way into the Viaduct the Viaduct Courtyard came under fire of the Death Eaters' curses, exploding much of the cloister. The suits of armour struggled against the giants on the Viaduct, managing to floor one, but they too came under Death Eater fire. ⎜]

Two giants died during this onslaught, one throttled by Devil's Snare vines placed by Professor Sprout and the other felled by the suits of armour. ⎜]

Skirmish at the quad battlements

Arthur Weasley and Kingsley duelling Death Eaters at the Quad battlements

While the giants struggled with the betwitched suits of armour in the Viaduct, the Death Eaters started casting curses at the Viaduct Courtyard and at the battlements around the Quad. ⎜]

As part of the battlements shattered, a Death Eater managed to Apparate into the set of catwalks on which Order of the Phoenix members aimed spells. The Death Eater shot a Killing Curse, killing a wizard, and then fired another at Arthur Weasley, who responded with a red spell of his own which locked the two in battle. ⎜]

As another bald Death Eater (possibly being Jugson) tried to Apparate through one of the windows, he was spotted by Kingsley Shacklebolt, who hit him with a momentum-reversing spell which stopped him dead then sent him flying right back out to his death. ⎜]

Search for the diadem

The Grey Lady, or Helena Ravenclaw, the Ghost of Ravenclaw House with Harry

While the battle raged on, Harry thought about possible locations of the Ravenclaw-related Horcrux. All anyone seemed to associate with Ravenclaw was the Lost Diadem, but no one had seen the diadem in living memory. At this thought, Harry decided to ask a ghost, as they had been around much longer than anyone else. Harry found Nearly Headless Nick, and asked him where he might find the Ravenclaw house ghost. Somewhat miffed that Harry did not want his help, Nick pointed out the Grey Lady, and Harry eventually chased her down and asked if she knew anything about the diadem. After gaining her trust, she revealed that, during her life, she was Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter, Helena, and she stole the diadem from her mother to make herself cleverer. ΐ]

Death Eaters attack on Hogwarts and Voldemort breaks the shield

She revealed that she hid the diadem in a hollow tree in a forest in Albania, and she also ashamedly admitted to having told one other student about it, many years before. Harry privately thought that the Grey Lady was only one of many who had been hoodwinked by Tom Riddle's charms. Harry put together that Voldemort found the diadem in Albania, and brought it back to Hogwarts to hide it the night he asked Dumbledore for the Defence Against the Dark Arts job. Harry then remembered that Voldemort operated alone and may have been arrogant enough to think that he alone discovered Hogwarts secret of the Room of Requirement. Harry knew immediately that Voldemort had hidden the Lost Diadem there. ΐ]

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets preparing to destroy Helga Hufflepuff's cup

Returning to the Room of Requirement, Harry found Ron and Hermione there. They informed him that Ron had opened the Chamber of Secrets by mimicking the Parseltongue language Harry had made to open the Locket Horcrux, and Hermione had recovered several Basilisk fangs, using one of them to destroy Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, one of the Horcruxes and recovering the others to destroy any future Horcruxes that they found. Reunited, the trio went to the Room of Requirement to search for the Horcrux. ΐ]

Ginny was inside, along with Tonks, and Mrs Longbottom (Neville's grandmother) who had sealed off the tunnel to the Hog's Head Inn. The three women soon left to join the battle, in order for the trio to change the setting of the Room of Requirement. When Ron said that he wanted to warn the house-elves, an overjoyed Hermione flung herself into Ron's arms, kissing him. He kissed her back, their unspoken feelings finally shared. The trio then entered the Room of Requirement, which Harry had re-opened as the junk storage warehouse where Voldemort had placed the diadem. ΐ]

Room of Requirement

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley run from the towering flames

Harry, Ron, and Hermione split up to search for the diadem within the mounds of hidden objects. As Harry found it, however, he was cornered by Draco Malfoy and his sidekicks, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. A fierce duel erupted Hermione found Harry and his enemies and fired a Stunning Spell at Crabbe, which would have hit him had Malfoy not pulled him out of the way, and Crabbe responded with a Killing Curse which Hermione dodged. Infuriated that Crabbe had actually attempted murder, Harry fired a Stunning Spell at Crabbe, who inadvertently knocked Malfoy's wand out of his hand before firing a second Killing Curse at Ron, who pursued in rage while Goyle was Disarmed by Harry and Stunned by Hermione. Attempting to destroy them, Crabbe unleashed Fiendfyre, setting the room ablaze. The flames began to burn the multiple objects in the room. ΐ]

As the cursed fire consumed the whole room, Crabbe was lost amongst the flames, now looking terrified as he had no control over the flames. Harry spotted some old broomsticks and in order to escape from the conflagration, mounted them to escape. As they left, though, Harry saw Malfoy and the still unconscious Goyle and rescued them. He then saw the diadem being thrown about by the Fiendfyre and grabbed it as well, then he made for the door. They narrowly missed being killed by the inferno, and upon getting out of the room they collapsed on the hallway floor. As they flew out into the corridor, the door slammed shut behind them and vanished. Now landed, Harry watched as the diadem emitted a thin shriek and then fell apart in his hand. Hermione then mentioned that Fiendfyre was one of the few things capable of destroying Horcruxes. ΐ]

Aberforth with Leanne, Ginny, Padma, Romilda, Seamus, and Katie during the Battle of Hogwarts

Harry realised that it was midnight, and Voldemort's forces had penetrated the castle's boundaries. Death Eaters, based on the Forbidden Forest, came streaming out in great numbers. Curses, hexes jinxes flew in every direction, lighting up the sky in green and red. Draco and Goyle disappeared into the battle, and the trio encountered multiple duelling witches and wizards. ΐ]

The trio was joined by Fred Weasley and Percy Weasley, each of them duelling a separate Death Eater. The hood of the Death Eater duelled by Percy slipped, revealing the opponent to be Pius Thicknesse, the Minister for Magic under the Imperius Curse by the Death Eaters, and Percy hit him with a sea urchin jinx, telling him to consider it his resignation, while Fred's opponent collapsed under three separate Stunning Spells. The moment when danger seemed at bay, however, ended when a massive explosion shattered the wall, blowing apart a side of the castle. As Harry and Hermione struggled through the rubble to see what happened, they realised with horror that Fred was dead. Seeking to protect Fred's body from further harm or desecration, Harry and Percy stuffed his body inside a crevice, and Percy left them into the battle, chasing after the Death Eater Augustus Rookwood. Γ]

Reaching the Shrieking Shack

Acromantulas join the battle with a flourish

As the trio and Percy stood in horror at the prospect of Fred being killed, more curses flew in at them from the darkness after a body fell past the hole blown into the side of the school. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione tried to get Percy to stop clutching to his dead brother so they could get out of danger, an Acromantula (one of Aragog's descendants) was trying to climb through the huge hole in the wall, but Ron and Harry blasted it backwards with a combined spell. However, more spiders were climbing the side of the building, driven out of the Forbidden Forest by the Death Eaters, who decided to use it as a base. Γ]

Harry looked inside Voldemort's mind on Hermione's instruction to see where he and Nagini were. Harry subsequently discovered that he was in the Shrieking Shack, not even fighting, and had ordered Lucius Malfoy to find Severus Snape and bring him to the shack. Γ]

Harry, Ron, and Hermione racing down the Marble Staircase

Pulling back out of Voldemort's mind, Harry informed the other two what he saw and the two decided who should go to the Shack to kill Nagini. Before they came to an arrangement, the tapestry on the top of the staircase on which they stood was ripped open by two masked Death Eaters. Hermione shouted Glisseo, causing the stairs to flatten into a chute. Harry, Ron, and Hermione hurtled down it, went through the tapestry at the bottom, and hit the opposite wall. As the Death Eaters sped down the slide after them, Hermione cast the Hardening Charm, causing the tapestry to turn to stone and the Death Eaters crumpled as they hit it. They turned and saw Professor McGonagall leading a group of enchanted desks to gallop past them into the fray, ordering into battle with a cry of "CHARGE!". The three of them put on the Invisibility Cloak and ran down the next staircase. Γ]

The trio, invisible, found themselves in a corridor full of duelers, masked and unmasked Death Eaters fighting students and teachers. Dean Thomas was face-to-face with Antonin Dolohov, while Parvati Patil was fighting Travers. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood braced, ready to help, Peeves zoomed over them dropping Snargaluff pods on the Death Eaters, whose heads were engulfed in wriggling green tubers. However, some of the slimy green roots hit the Cloak over Ron's head, and seeing the tubers suspended in midair, a Death Eater informed his fellows that there was an invisible person. Using the temporary distraction, Dean shot a Stunning Spell at the Death Eater and Dolohov had a Body-Bind Curse shot at him by Parvati before he could react. Γ]

Pelting through the fighters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione viewed Draco Malfoy on the upper landing pleading with a Death Eater that he was on their side. Harry Stunned the Death Eater and Ron punched Draco from under the Cloak, commenting that it was the second time they saved him that evening. There were more duelers all over the stairs and in the entrance hall: Yaxley was close to the front doors in combat with Filius Flitwick, and a masked Death Eater duelling Kingsley Shacklebolt right beside them. Harry directed a Stunning Spell at the masked Death Eater, but it missed and almost hit Neville Longbottom, who emerged with armfuls of Venomous Tentacula, which happily began to attack the Death Eaters. Γ]

Greyback savaging and killing Lavender Brown

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione ran down the Marble Staircase, the hourglass used to record Slytherin's house points was shattered and spilt its emeralds everywhere. At this moment, two bodies fell from the balcony overhead, and Fenrir Greyback sped toward one of the fallen to sink his teeth in. Hermione threw him backwards from Lavender Brown, and as he struggled to get up he was hit on the head with a crystal ball thrown by Professor Trelawney, who threw another through a window with a tennis serve-like movement. Γ]

One of Voldemort's giants joins the courtyard battle

At that moment, the front doors burst open and the gigantic spiders forced their way in. Panicking at the sight of the massive arachnids, the duellists broke combat and, temporary allies, fired spells both lethal and non-lethal into the mass of spiders. Hagrid went to the spiders shouting for people not to hurt them, and he vanished into their midst as the spiders swarmed away from the onslaught of spells being fired at them. As Harry ran after him, a monumental foot almost crushed Harry. Looking up, he saw it belonged to a twenty-foot high giant, which proceeded to smash a fist through an upper window. Grawp came lurching around the corner, and the two giants launched themselves at each other savagely. Γ]

Dementors attacking and being fought off by the defenders of Hogwarts

The trio ran away from the giants, and as they were halfway toward the forest, A hundred Dementors glided toward them, sucking the happiness from Harry as they advanced Hermione and Ron's Patronuses flickered and died. Filled with despair the last nine months had brought them along with the loss of Fred, Harry almost welcomed oblivion that would come with a Dementor's Kiss, but a silver hare, a boar, and fox soared past and impeded the Dementors' approach. Luna Lovegood, Ernie Macmillan, and Seamus Finnigan had arrived to save them. With the greatest effort it had ever cost him, Harry managed to conjure his stag Patronus, and the Dementors scattered in earnest. Γ]

Students and teachers fleeing from the oncoming Death Eaters assault

The trio sprinted to the Whomping Willow, the entrance to the Shack, knowing that destroying the snake and defeating Voldemort was the only way to end it. Panting and gasping over their sprint, the trio reached the tree and tried to find the single knot in the back that would paralyse the branches. Ron wondered where Crookshanks was when they could have used his help but Hermione reminded him that he is a wizard. So he used a Levitation Charm to cause a twig to fly up and jab the place near the roots, stopping the writhing branches instantly. Though Harry had second thoughts about leading Ron and Hermione exactly where Voldemort expected him to go, he realised that the only way forward was to kill the snake, the trio crawled along the underground secret passage that led to the Shrieking Shack. Γ]

Snape's death

Before reaching the end of the tunnel, Harry put on the Invisibility Cloak and extinguished his lit wand. He then heard voices coming from the room directly ahead of him, muffled by a crate blocking the tunnel. Harry saw through the tiny gap between the crate and wall Nagini, swirling and coiling in her protective, floating enchanted sphere, and a long-fingered white hand toying with a wand. Γ]

Snape, inches away from where Harry crouched, hidden, told Voldemort that the castle's resistance was crumbling, and Voldemort told Snape that there was no need for Snape to return to the fray. Snape offered to bring Potter to Voldemort in the Shrieking Shack, but Voldemort declined, changing the subject by saying that the Elder Wand has only performed his usual magic, that it had not revealed the legendary and extraordinary powers it was said to possess. Snape then begged Voldemort to let him return to the battle and find Potter, but Voldemort declined again, saying that the boy would come to him, as he would hate watching his friends die for him when handing himself over was the only way to stop it. Voldemort said his instructions to his Death Eaters had been perfectly clear: capture Potter alive. While they could kill as many of his friends as they wanted, they must not kill the boy. Γ]

Snape protested, wishing to return and bring Voldemort the boy, but Voldemort angrily declined once again and asked Snape why both wands he used, his own wand and Lucius Malfoy's wand, failed when ordered to kill Harry. Voldemort told Snape that after both of the wands failed he sought the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, Wand of Destiny he took it from the grave of Albus Dumbledore. Snape pleaded again to go to the boy, but Voldemort ignored him and told Snape that he had been wondering why the Elder Wand refused to be what it ought to be, and that believed he now had the answer. Γ]

Voldemort told Snape that he had been a valuable and faithful servant and that he regretted what he had to do. Voldemort told Snape that the Elder Wand could not serve him properly because he was not the wand's true master, that the wand belonged to the wizard who killed its last owner. Mistakenly believing Snape to have won the wand's allegiance upon killing Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort surmised that while Snape lived, the Elder Wand would never truly belong to him. Thus, Voldemort believed that Snape had to die so that Voldemort could become the Elder Wand's true master. Γ]

Nagini killing Snape on Voldemort's orders

Snape tried to explain the situation, but Voldemort swiped the air with the Elder Wand before he could finish, and Nagini's cage began to roll through the air. Snape yelled as the protective sphere encased his head and shoulders. With no remorse, Voldemort ordered Nagini to kill Snape in Parseltongue. Snape screamed while Nagini's fangs pierced his neck. Believing that the wand would now truly do his full bidding, he pointed it at the starry cage holding the snake and caused it to drift upward, off Snape, who fell sideways onto the floor with blood gushing from the wounds in his neck. Without a backward glance, Voldemort swept from the room with the great serpent floating after him in its large protective sphere. Γ]

After Voldemort left the shack with Nagini, Harry pointed his wand at the crate blocking his view, making it lift an inch into the air and drift sideways. Harry entered the room, not knowing why he was approaching the dying man, not knowing what to feel as he saw Snape's white face and as Snape tried to staunch the bloody wound at his neck. Harry took off the Invisibility Cloak and looked at the man who he hated, and Snape's black eyes widened upon seeing Harry and tried to speak. As Harry bent over him, Snape seized the front of Harry's robes and pulled him close. Γ]

Snape, barely alive, told Harry to "Take it", and as he did so, silvery-blue wisps, neither gas nor liquid, were gushing from his mouth, ears, and eyes. Hermione conjured a crystal flask out of thin air, and Harry lifted the silvery substance into the flask with his wand. When the flask was full, Snape's grip on Harry's robes slackened and he asked to look into Harry's green eyes. Harry's green eyes looked into Snape's black eyes for a moment, before something in Snape's eyes vanished, the hand holding Harry's robes fell to the floor, and Snape's life ebbed away. Γ]

One-hour armistice

The Weasley family mourning over Fred's body during the one-hour armistice

Shortly after Snape's death, Lord Voldemort's magically amplified voice rang once more throughout the castle, speaking to everyone at Hogwarts, in Hogsmeade village, and specifically to Harry Potter, giving him one hour to surrender and threatened to kill everyone if he failed to comply. Subsequently, the defenders regrouped and the many wounded and dead lay in the Great Hall ⎝] Professor Trelawney sobbed over the body of a deceased colleague, while Madam Poppy Pomfrey and Nurse Wainscott tended to the wounded. ⎜] Harry saw Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks among the deceased. The Trio arrived on this miserable scene through a tunnel. ⎝]

Snape's Memories

Harry using Dumbledore's Pensieve to view Snape's memories during the one-hour armistice

Unable to bear the sight and ashamed at the damage he had caused, Harry ran to the Headmaster's office, where all the portraits stood empty, and found Dumbledore's Pensieve. Harry poured Snape's memories into the Pensieve, and hoping to briefly escape his own mind, entered the basin. He found himself in a playground. A young, small boy, whom Harry recognised as Snape, was watching two girls, Petunia and Lily Evans, from behind a small bush. After Lily shows some strange tricks to her older sister, unaware she is performing magic, Snape emerges and informs Lily that she is a witch and derides Petunia as a Muggle. Insulted at being called a witch, Lily follows her indignant sister away, leaving Snape bitterly disappointed. It is apparent he was planning this for a while and it didn't go the way he wanted it to. ⎝]

Snape telling Lily about magic and the wizarding world, while they were children

The scene dissolved and reformed into a new one: Snape telling Lily about Hogwarts and magic, including Azkaban and the Dementors. When Lily inquired about Snape's parents, he said that they are still arguing, revealing Snape's unhappy home life. When Petunia appeared and insulted Snape, a tree branch above broke and fell on her. Accusing Snape of breaking the branch, Lily goes away, leaving him miserable and confused. The scene reformed again into a different memory. Snape was standing on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters next to a thin, sour-looking woman whom Harry recognised as Snape's mother. Snape was staring at Lily's family. Petunia and Lily were arguing. Petunia called Lily a freak for being a witch, and Lily retorted that Petunia had not thought so when she wrote to Professor Dumbledore, asking for admission to attend Hogwarts. An embarrassed Petunia realised that Lily and Snape went through her room and read her letter. She proceeded to insult them and they parted on bad terms and stayed on bad terms. ⎝]

Snape watches as Lily is sorted into Gryffindor House

The scene reformed once more, and inside the Hogwarts Express, Snape finds a compartment with Lily and two boys. She was upset over her sister's hurtful words. Snape began to say that she is only a Muggle but instead grandly announced that they finally were going off to Hogwarts. When he mentions she had better be in Slytherin, one of the boys, the young James Potter, scornfully remarks to his friend, Sirius Black, that he would rather leave than be in Slytherin, and preferred Gryffindor. Snape engaged in an argument with Sirius and James, until an indignant Lily asked Snape to follow her to a different compartment. The scene dissolved again into the Hogwarts' Great Hall during the House sorting ceremony. Lily was sorted into Gryffindor, much to Snape's dismay. Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter are also sorted into Gryffindor, joining Sirius Black. Finally, Snape is sorted into Slytherin. At the Slytherin table, he receives a pat on the back from a Prefect, Lucius Malfoy. ⎝]

The scene changed to Lily and Snape arguing. Lily said they were still friends, though she detests whom Snape hangs out with, naming Avery and Mulciber specifically. Snape counters by mentioning the trouble James Potter and his friends cause and hints that Lupin is a Werewolf too. The fight is resolved when Snape is satisfied when Lily criticises James as an "arrogant toerag." The scene switches for the sixth time and is the same memory Harry saw before when he peeked into Snape's Pensieve during their Occlumency lessons in his fifth year. Harry keeps his distance somewhat, not caring to witness this memory again. It ends when he hears Snape shouting "Mudblood" at Lily. The scene changes to night time in front of the Gryffindor Tower. Snape was remorseful for calling Lily a Mudblood and had threatened to sleep outside the entrance had she not come to see him. Despite his deep, desperate apologies, the angry Lily is fed up with Snape and will not forgive him, and disapproves of him having friends with Death Eater ambitions. She leaves him and the scene dissolves. ⎝]

Dumbledore in his office talking to Snape

Harry then learnt that Snape had revealed the prophecy made by Sybill Trelawney (not knowing, at first, that it was referring to Lily and her family) to Voldemort, prompting the Dark Lord to attack the Potters in an attempt to prevent its fulfilment. Though he asked Voldemort to spare Lily, Snape, still fearing for her safety, went to Dumbledore and begged him to protect the Potters. Dumbledore agreed and ensured that they were placed under the Fidelius Charm. In return, Snape became a re-doubled agent for the Order of the Phoenix against Voldemort, using his powers of Occlumency to hide his betrayal from his master. Even with his efforts to protect her, Snape felt responsible for Lily's death when the Potters were betrayed by their Secret-Keeper, Peter Pettigrew. ⎝]

The scene switched to Dumbledore's office. Snape, grief-stricken, was slumped in a chair with a grim-looking Dumbledore standing over him. Snape asked why Dumbledore failed to keep Lily and her family safe, Dumbledore replied that they put their faith in the wrong person, much like himself when he trusted Voldemort to spare Lily's life. He said that her son, Harry, survived. Snape wished he were dead with Lily, and Dumbledore told him that if he truly loved Lily, he would help protect Harry when Voldemort returned. Snape reluctantly agreed, making Dumbledore promise never to tell anyone that he was protecting James Potter's son, ever. ⎝]

Snape holding Lily's dead body

In Snape's memories, Harry found that Snape, always loyal to Dumbledore because of a promise he had made out of his unrequited love for Harry's mother, had been playing a dangerous double game, protecting Harry and feeding Dumbledore information from the Death Eaters while pretending to be Voldemort's most loyal lieutenant all his life by feeding information to Voldemort that Dumbledore instructed him to. Snape demanded of Dumbledore, however, that his deep love for Lily (his reason for switching sides) be kept a secret. Dumbledore agreed and he kept the secret for the rest of his life. ⎝]

Albus Dumbledore shortly before being cursed by Marvolo Gaunt's Ring

Snape's memories then revealed that Dumbledore had been afflicted by a powerful curse cast on Marvolo Gaunt's ring, one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, prior to the start of Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts. Although Snape's knowledge of the Dark Arts enabled him to slow the spread of the curse, the curse would have ultimately killed Dumbledore within a year. Dumbledore, aware that Voldemort had ordered Draco to kill him, asked Snape to kill him instead as a way of sparing the boy's soul and of preventing his own otherwise slow, painful death. Although Snape was reluctant, even asking about the impact of such an action on his own soul, Dumbledore implied that this kind of coup de grâce would not damage a human's soul in the same way murder would mercifully ending a life is different. Snape eventually agreed to do as the Headmaster requested and a plan was formed. ⎝]

"Lily. after all this time?" "Always."

The memory showed Albus Dumbledore telling Snape that, if there is ever a time when Voldemort kept Nagini magically protected and always in his sight, Snape must then tell Harry that he is a seventh Horcrux, inadvertently created by Voldemort and that Harry must die in order for Voldemort to be killed. Snape felt tricked, upset that Dumbledore made him protect Lily's son only to have him die. Dumbledore asked if Snape had grown to care for Harry, but Snape spurned that possibility and produced his Patronus, a silver-white doe. Dumbledore asked Snape, "After all this time?", to which Snape replied, "Always." ⎝]

Many other details of Snape's behaviour were revealed in these memories as well: the scenes also showed Dumbledore's portrait telling Snape that he must give Voldemort the correct date of Harry's departure if Voldemort was to trust Snape. Snape was also to suggest the Potter decoys using Polyjuice Potion to Mundungus Fletcher so that Harry was indeed safe. It was then revealed that Snape, face-to-face with Mundungus in a tavern, used a Confundus Charm on Mundungus so that he would suggest using multiple Potters, and to forget seeing Snape or that he got the idea from him. ⎝]

The scene shifted yet again, to Snape gliding on a broomstick at night during the Battle of the Seven Potters. Up ahead are Lupin and George Weasley, disguised as Harry. Snape cast Sectumsempra at a Death Eater to prevent him from cursing Lupin, but the spell missed and hit George instead, severing his ear. The scene shifted again to Sirius's room at 12 Grimmauld Place. Snape wept as he read Lily's letter to Sirius. He took the second page containing Lily's signature, and tore out her image from the picture of her and Harry, then left. ⎝]

Snape's memory leading Harry to the sword with his doe Patronus

The scene shifted again and showed Snape in the headmaster's office. Phineas Nigellus' portrait said Hermione and Harry were in the Forest of Dean, and Dumbledore's portrait, appearing happy, told Snape to plant the sword of Gryffindor there without being seen. Snape said he had a plan, removed the real Sword from behind Dumbledore's portrait, and left. Harry returned to himself from the Pensieve, lying on the carpet in the same room he just saw Snape leaving. ⎝]

Thus, the memories Harry saw showed that the reason Snape was begging for Voldemort to let him find the boy shortly before his death when he saw Nagini in her protective sphere. While he made it seem to Voldemort that he was offering to bring Harry to him so that Voldemort could kill him. Snape truly wanted to find Harry to tell him the crucial information found in this memory. Voldemort killed Snape, believing that it would make him the true master of the Elder Wand, before Snape could tell Harry the information Dumbledore instructed him to, but luckily Harry witnessed Snape's death in the Shrieking Shack and Snape was able to deliver the memories and information to Harry as his final act. ⎝]

Harry's sacrifice

Harry surfaced from the Pensieve and finally knew the truth he was not meant to survive. His job had been to dispose of Voldemort's Horcruxes and then walk calmly to his death. As he lay on the floor of the Headmaster's office, Harry felt terror and fear at the knowledge that he had to die. He understood that Dumbledore had always planned for him to die, in order to defeat Voldemort. ⎞]

Harry after surfacing from the Pensieve

However, Harry realised that Dumbledore had overestimated him and that Nagini, the last Horcrux, remained to bind Voldemort to the Earth even after Harry had been killed. He knew that Ron and Hermione would have to carry out killing the snake after Harry was killed. Not wanting to waste time with goodbyes, Harry put on the Invisibility Cloak and went down the floors and saw Neville carrying a body in from the grounds with Oliver Wood, Harry recognised the body as Colin Creevey — he had sneaked back into the castle to fight despite being underage. ⎞]

Harry took one glance back at the entrance of the Great Hall, where people were kneeling beside the dead and comforting another, but he could not see Hermione, Ron, Ginny, the other Weasleys, or Luna. To make absolutely sure that Nagini was killed, he spoke to Neville, saying that just in case Neville got the chance, he must kill the snake. Now, like Dumbledore, Harry made sure that there were backups to carry on when he was dead, and that there would still be three people in on the Horcrux secret. Neville would take Harry's place. ⎞]

Harry swung the Cloak over himself and continued walking, but he stopped when he saw Ginny comforting a girl who was whispering for her mother. Harry wanted to shout out to Ginny, but he passed Ginny kneeling beside the injured girl without speaking. As he saw Hagrid's hut looming out of the darkness, dark and empty, he emotionally remembered all his trips there, particularly the rock cakes, Ron vomiting slugs, and Norbert. When he reached the edge of the forest, he felt the chill of a swarm of dementors. He had no strength left for a Patronus. He felt like he could not go on, but he knew that he must, the game was over, the Snitch had been caught. At this, he pulled out of the Snitch he had inherited from Dumbledore, the first Snitch he had ever caught, and understanding was coming to him quickly. ⎞]

"I open at the close", the stone hidden inside the Snitch

Understanding inscription on the Snitch, I open at the close,. Harry pressed the golden metal to his lips and whispered, "I am about to die". The metal shell broke open, and Harry lit Draco's wand beneath the Cloak. He saw the black stone with the jagged crack running down the centre sitting in the two halves of the Snitch. The Resurrection Stone had cracked down the vertical line representing the Elder Wand. , Harry closed his eyes and turned the stone over in his hand three times. ⎞]

Harry brings back his family and friends

Harry opened his eyes and saw the shades of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Lily Evans. Lily told Harry how brave he had been, and Sirius told him that death does not hurt at all. Harry, mostly addressing Lupin, told them all that he had not wanted any of them to die, especially because Lupin will never know his son, but Lupin said that he hoped his son would understand that he died to have the boy live a happier life. James told Harry that they would stay with him until the very end, and Sirius informed him that the others would not be able to see them, as they were a part of Harry and invisible to everyone else. ⎞]

A Resurrected Lily and others protecting Harry from Dementors

They set off, and the Dementor's chill did not overcome him his companions acted like Patronuses, and Harry continued deeper in the forest to find Voldemort. He heard a thud and a whisper, and Yaxley and Dolohov emerged from behind a nearby tree, with Yaxley saying he heard something and suggested that Harry was under his Invisibility Cloak. Deciding it must have been an animal, the two decided Harry's time to come was over and that they would return to the other Death Eaters to await orders. ⎞]

Harry followed them, knowing that they would lead him to Voldemort, and his mother and his father smiled in encouragement. In mere minutes, Harry saw Yaxley and Dolohov step into the clearing that once belonged to the monstrous Aragog. A fire burned in the middle of the clearing, and there was a crowd of Death Eaters around it. Two giants sat on the outskirts of the group. Harry noticed Lucius Malfoy looking defeated and terrified, while Narcissa had sunken eyes full of apprehension. Voldemort looked up at Dolohov and Yaxley, and they informed him that there was no sign of the boy. Voldemort told the Death Eaters that he expected Harry to come and that it appeared he was mistaken. Harry contradicted Voldemort as loudly as he could, while the Resurrection Stone slipped between his fingers. His parents, Sirius, and Lupin vanished. ⎞] Voldemort stood up and observed Harry. Harry did not attempt to attack Nagini, knowing she was too well protected. To the open view of the Death Eaters, Voldemort struck Harry with the Killing Curse, seemingly killing him. ⎞]


Harry in Limbo, which he saw as King's Cross Station

Harry found himself laying face-down in a strange room. Not knowing the nature of this place, or its physical laws, he realised he was naked. As soon as he was aware of this, clothes appeared to him. Harry was concerned at a strange whimpering noise he could hear. ⎟]

The whimpering, maimed, agonised creature left unwanted under the chair

Looking more closely at his surroundings, Harry saw a great domed glass roof glittering high above him, and he thought perhaps he was in a palace. Turning slowly on the spot, his surroundings invented themselves before his eyes a wide-open space Harry recoiled as he spotted the thing making the noises. It had the form of a small, naked child curled on the ground, with raw and rough skin, flayed looking and shuddering under a seat where it had been left unwanted, struggling for breath. Harry was afraid of it, feeling both pity and revulsion. At that moment, a voice told Harry he could not help it, and he turned to see Albus Dumbledore striding towards him in sweeping robes of midnight blue both his hands were white and undamaged. ⎟]

Dumbledore led Harry away to some seats away from the flayed child. The two sat down, and Harry looked at Dumbledore and saw everything he remembered about him. But, knowing Dumbledore was dead, Harry asked if he was dead as well. Dumbledore says this was not the case, and the fact that Harry willingly sacrificed himself would have made all the difference. With Dumbledore prompting him, Harry concluded that, because Harry let himself be killed by Voldemort, the part of Voldemort's soul that was in Harry had now gone. Harry's soul was whole and completely his own. Asking Dumbledore what the small, maimed creature trembling under the chair was, Dumbledore replied that it was something beyond either of their help. Harry asked how he could be alive when Voldemort used the Killing Curse and no one died for him this time, and Dumbledore explained that it was because Voldemort, in his ignorance, in his greed and his cruelty, used Harry's blood to rebuild his living body in 1995 in the graveyard of Little Hangleton. Thus, Harry's blood being in Voldemort's veins, Lily's protection was inside both of them, making it so Voldemort tethered Harry to life while he lived. ⎟]

Explaining further, Dumbledore revealed that Harry was the seventh Horcrux, a Horcrux that Voldemort did not mean to make. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry, his soul broke apart, and Voldemort left more than his body behind: a piece of his soul latched to Harry, his would-be victim. Voldemort remained ignorant of some forms of magic, and he thus took Harry's blood in an attempt to strengthen himself by taking into his body a tiny part of the enchantment that Lily laid upon Harry upon her death. Voldemort's body kept her sacrifice alive, and while that enchantment survived, so did Harry and so did Voldemort's one last hope for himself. ⎟]

Harry then asked why his wand broke the wand that Voldemort borrowed. Dumbledore told him that Voldemort, having doubled the bond between them when he returned to human form ( thinking to strengthen himself, he took part of Harry's mother's sacrifice into himself) proceeded to attack Harry with a wand that shared Harry's wand's core. The cores reacted in Priori Incantatem, something Voldemort, who never knew that his wand and Harry's shared the same core, had never expected. That night, when Harry accepted, even embraced the possibility of death, Harry's wand overpowered Voldemort's, and something happened between the wands that echoed the relationship between their masters. Dumbledore believed that Harry's wand imbibed some of the power and qualities of Voldemort's wand that night, that it contained a little of Voldemort himself. ⎟]

Harry's wand regurgitating some of Voldemort's own power back at him during the Battle of the Seven Potters

During the Battle of the Seven Potters, Harry's wand recognised Voldemort when the Dark Lord pursued Harry, and it regurgitated some of Voldemort's own magic against him, magic much more powerful than anything Lucius's wand had ever performed Lucius's wand had no chance against the combined power of Harry's enormous courage against Voldemort's own deadly skill. Dumbledore explains that Harry's wand's remarkable effects were directed only at Voldemort, who had tampered with the deepest laws of magic, and otherwise it was a wand like any other and so Hermione was able to break it. ⎟]

Dumbledore told Harry that they could agree that Harry was not dead, and then Harry asked Dumbledore where they were. Dumbledore asked Harry the same question, to which Harry replied that it looked somewhat like King's Cross Station except cleaner and empty, and without any trains. Dumbledore chuckled at this suggestion, and when Harry asked what Dumbledore thought it looked like, Dumbledore replied with an infuriatingly unhelpful response. Harry then brought up the subject of the Deathly Hallows, which wiped the smile from Dumbledore's face. Dumbledore asked Harry to forgive him for not telling Harry, that Dumbledore feared that Harry would failed as he had failed, and make Dumbledore's mistakes. Dumbledore says that Harry is the better man, and with tears in his eyes he says that the Hallows are a desperate man's dream and lure for fools, and that Dumbledore was one such fool. Dumbledore tells Harry that he, too, sought a way to conquer death, and so he was not better, ultimately, than Voldemort, to which Harry protests, saying that Dumbledore tried to master death using the Hallows, whereas Voldemort tried to conquer death with the use of Horcruxes, by murdering. ⎟]

Dumbledore told Harry that above all, the Deathly Hallows were the objects that drew him and Grindelwald together two clever, arrogant boys with a shared obsession. The Hallows were the reason Grindelwald wanted to come to Godric's Hollow to explore the place where Ignotus Peverell, the third brother, had died. Dumbledore reveals that the Peverell brothers were in fact the three brothers of the tale, but that it is more likely that they were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating the powerful objects rather than them being Death's own Hallows, that this was the sort of legend that would have sprung up around the creations. The Cloak of Invisibility travelled down through the ages to Ignotus's last living descendant, who was born, like Ignotus, in Godric's Hollow: Harry. Dumbledore revealed that the Cloak was in his possession the night Harry's parents died because James had shown it to him a few days previously, and while Dumbledore had long since given up his dream of uniting the Hallows, he still wished to examine it, as it was a Cloak that matched the description of the tale perfectly. ⎟]

Dumbledore told Harry that he gave up on his search for the Hallows because of what happened, and that Harry cannot despise him as much as he despised himself. He told Harry that he resented the responsibility of his sister's poor health, and that his father died in Azkaban and his mother giving up her own life to care for Ariana. He revealed that he was gifted, brilliant, he wanted to escape, to shine, to have glory, and while he loved his brother and sister and parents, he disliked having the responsibility of a damaged sister and a wayward brother he felt like his talent was trapped and wasted. Then Grindelwald came, with his ideas of Muggles forced into subservience and wizards triumphant, Grindelwald and Dumbledore being the leaders of the revolution. Dumbledore revealed that he had scruples, but he assuaged his conscience with empty words about it being for the greater good and any harm done would be repaid in benefits for wizards. Dumbledore closed his eyes to what Grindewald truly was, because if their plans came to fruition all of Dumbledore's dreams would come true. ⎟]

At the heart of Dumbledore and Grindewald's schemes were the Deathly Hallows. Dumbledore told Harry how interested they were in the fascinating objects: the unbeatable wand that would lead them to power, the Resurrection Stone—to Grindewald it meant an army of Inferi and to Dumbledore it meant the resurrection of his parents and the lifting of all responsibility from his shoulders. Dumbledore told Harry that he and Grindelwald never discussed the Cloak much. Both of them could conceal themselves perfectly fine without the Cloak, and Dumbledore thought it might be useful in hiding Ariana, but mostly they were interested in the Cloak because it completed the trio, which would make them Master of Death, which they took to mean "invincible". After the two months of scheming and neglect of the two family members left to him, Dumbledore was forced to face reality with his brother, Aberforth, telling him the truth that he could not seek the Hallows with an unstable sister. The argument became a fight, and Ariana lay dead on the floor. At this, Dumbledore began to cry in earnest, and then said that Grindelwald fled while Dumbledore was left to bury his sister and live with his guilt and grief, the price of his shame. ⎟]

Dumbledore then said that he was offered the post of Minister for Magic while rumours about Grindewald procuring a wand of immense power flew about. Harry told Dumbledore that he would have been a much better Minister than Fudge or Scrimgeour, but Dumbledore said that he had learned at a young age that he was not to be trusted with power, that it was his weakness and his temptation, and that those who are best suited to power are perhaps those who have leadership thrust upon them and have never sought it. ⎟]

Dumbledore as the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts

While Dumbledore was at Hogwarts as a teacher, where he believed he was safer, Grindewald was raising an army, and that some said he feared Dumbledore, but not as much as Dumbledore feared him. It was not what Grindelwald could do to him magically (as Dumbledore knew that they were about evenly matched) that Dumbledore feared, rather Dumbledore was afraid of truth which one of them had cast the curse that killed Ariana during that last horrific fight. Dumbledore dreaded beyond all things the knowledge that it had been him who had brought about Ariana's death, not just through his arrogance and stupidity but that he actually struck the blow that killed her. Dumbledore delayed facing Grindelwald until it became shameful. People were dying, and Dumbledore did what he had to do. He won the duel and won the Elder Wand's allegiance. ⎟]

Harry did not ask whether Dumbledore had ever found out who struck Ariana dead, and at last he knew what Dumbledore would have seen when he look in the Mirror of Erised. After a long silence, during which the whimperings of the creature behind them barely disturbed Harry anymore, Harry told Dumbledore that Grindelwald had tried to stop Voldemort from going after the wand by lying and pretending he never had it. Dumbledore nodded, and said that Grindelwald was said to have shown remorse in later years, alone in his cell at Nurmengard, and that perhaps that lie to Voldemort was his attempt to make amends, to stop Voldemort from taking the Hallow, or (as Harry suggested) to stop Voldemort from breaking into Dumbledore's tomb. ⎟]

After another short pause, Harry brought up that Dumbledore had tried to used the Resurrection Stone, to which Dumbledore nodded. He said that when he discovered it, after all those years buried in the abandoned home of the Gaunts, he lost his head and quite forgot that it was now a Horcrux and that the ring was sure to carry a curse. He picked it up, put it on, and for a second Dumbledore imagined that he was able to see Ariana and his parents again, and to apologise, but instead he suffered from the curse placed on the Horcrux ring. Dumbledore said that this was final proof that he was unworthy to unite the Hallows, that after all those years he had learned nothing. Harry defended him, saying that it was only natural for him to want to see his family again, but Dumbledore said that he was only fit to possess the Elder Wand, and only to use it to protect others from it. The Cloak, Dumbledore said, he had taken out of a vain curiosity, and so it would never have worked for him like it worked for Harry, its true master. Dumbledore said that he would have used the stone to drag back those who are at peace, rather than to enable his self-sacrifice, as Harry did. At this, Dumbledore said that Harry was the worthy possessor of the Hallows. ⎟]

Harry asked Dumbledore why he had to make it all so difficult, and Dumbledore smiled as he admitted he counted on Hermione Granger to slow Harry up. Dumbledore said he was afraid that Harry's hot head might dominate his good heart, and that Dumbledore feared that, if presented outright with the facts about the tempting objects, Harry might have tried to seize the Hallows like Dumbledore did, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. If Harry laid hands on them, Dumbledore wanted him to possess them safely. Dumbledore said that Harry was the true master of death because the true master does not seek to run away from death, but instead accepts that he must die and understands that there are worse things in the living world than dying. ⎟]

When Harry asked if Voldemort ever knew about the existence of the Hallows, Dumbledore said that he did not believe so. He did not recognise the Resurrection Stone he turned into a Horcrux, but even if he had known about them, Dumbledore doubted that Voldemort would have been interested in any except the Elder Wand, as Voldemort would not think he needed the Cloak, and whom would be want to bring back from the dead with the stone, as he fears the dead and does not love. Despite this, Dumbledore did believe that Voldemort would go after the wand ever since Harry's beat Voldemort's own during the duel in Little Hangleton. At first, Voldemort was afraid that Harry had conquered him by superior skill. However, after kidnapping Ollivander, he discovered the existence of the twin cores, and he thought that a borrowed wand would solve the issue. Yet the borrowed wand did no better against Harry's, and so Voldemort went after the Elder Wand, a wand that was said to beat any other. Dumbledore said that he did indeed intend for Severus Snape to end up with the Elder Wand by planning Snape to kill him, but Harry and Dumbledore both agree that that particular plan did not work out in the end. ⎟]

Harry and Dumbledore sat without talking for the longest time yet, while the creature behind them jerked and moaned. The realisation of what would happen next gradually settled on Harry, and he asked Dumbledore if he had to go back. Dumbledore replied that Harry had a choice, and that if they were in King's Cross Harry had the decision to go back, or to board a train and go "on". Harry mentioned that Voldemort has the Elder Wand, and while Dumbledore confirmed this, he said that if Harry chose to return there was a strong chance that Voldemort would be finished for good. ⎟]

Dumbledore said he could not promise this, but that Harry had less to fear from returning where they were than Voldemort did. Harry glanced at the raw-looking thing that trembled and choked in the shadow beneath the distant chair, but Dumbledore told Harry not to pity the dead, but instead to pity the living, especially those who live without love. He told Harry that by returning, Harry could ensure that fewer souls were injured and fewer families torn apart, as Harry had a strong possibility of being able to defeat Voldemort once and for all. ⎟]

Dumbledore said that if that seemed like a worthy goal, they would part for the time being. Harry nodded and sighed, knowing that leaving this place would not be as difficult as walking into the forest, but it was warm and light and peaceful and he knew that he would be going back to pain and the fear of more loss. Harry stood up, as did Dumbledore, and they looked at each other. Harry then asked if this was all real, or whether it had simply been happening inside his head. Dumbledore smiled, and as the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure, his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears as he told Harry that it was definitely happening inside Harry's head, but by no means should that mean it was not real. ⎟]

Second half of the battle

Procession from the forest

Death Eaters and Voldemort anxiously wait to see if Harry is dead

Harry found himself lying face down on the hard ground again, with the smell of the forest in his nostrils and the hinge of his glasses, which were knocked sideways when he fell, cutting into his temple. He was aching, and the place where the Killing Curse hit him felt like the bruise of a painful punch, but he feigned death by remaining exactly where he had fallen with his left arm bent out at an awkward angle and his mouth open. Harry expected to hear cheers of triumph and jubilation at his death, but instead he heard hurried footsteps, whispers, and solicitous murmurs filling the air. Α]

He then heard Bellatrix's voice, speaking as if to a lover as she addressed Voldemort. Harry, not daring to open his eyes, allowed his other senses to explore his situation, and he found that his wand was stowed beneath his robes and due to a slight cushioning effect around his stomach, he knew that the Invisibility Cloak was also there. Bellatrix addressed Voldemort again, but he cut her off. Harry heard more footsteps, and several people backed away from the same spot. Opening his eyes a millimetre, Harry saw that Voldemort seemed to be getting to his feet with various Death Eaters hurrying away from him, with only Bellatrix remaining kneeled beside him. Α]

Harry closed his eyes and considered what he saw. The Death Eaters had been huddled around Voldemort, who seemed to have fallen to the ground perhaps Voldemort had also collapsed when he hit Harry with the Killing Curse. Both of them had fallen briefly unconscious and both of them had now returned. Voldemort declined Bellatrix's offer of assistance coldly, and asked if the boy was dead. There was complete silence in the clearing as no one approached Harry, and with a bang and a small shriek of pain Voldemort ordered someone to examine Harry and then tell him whether the boy was dead. Α]

Narcissa Malfoy checks to see if Harry is dead

Voldemort himself was wary of approaching him, as he suspected not everything had gone according to plan. Harry felt a woman's hands touch his face, pull back an eyelid, creep beneath his shirt, down to his chest, and feel his heart. Α]

Harry's fear intensified, knowing that she could feel the steady pounding of his heartbeat against his ribs. In a barely audible whisper, with her lips an inch from Harry's ear and her long hair shielding his face from the onlookers, the woman asked if Draco was alive and in the castle. Harry breathed back a "yes". Getting to her feet, Narcissa Malfoy falsely announced to the watchers that the boy was indeed dead. Α]

Now the Death Eaters shouted, yelling in triumph and stamping their feet, and Harry saw through his eyelids bursts of red and silver light shoot into the air in celebration. Still feigning death on the ground, Harry understood that Narcissa no longer cared whether Voldemort won, and so she lied to the Dark Lord knowing that the only way she would be permitted to enter Hogwarts, and find her son, was as part of the conquering army. Screeching over the tumult, Voldemort announced that now, with Harry Potter dead by his hand, no man could ever threaten him. Voldemort then cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry's body, believing that his body must not be allowed to remain unsullied upon the floor but must be subjected to humiliation to prove Voldemort's victory. Harry was lifted into the air, and he tried as hard as he could to remain limp, yet the pain he expected from the Torture Curse did not come. He was thrown three times into the air, and his glasses fell off while his wand slid a little beneath his robes, and he kept himself floppy and lifeless. When he fell to the ground for the last time, the clearing was still echoing with jeers and shrieks of laughter. Α]

Hagrid carries Harry's seemingly "lifeless" body

Voldemort then announced that they would go to the castle to display the defenders of Hogwarts what had become of Harry. Voldemort decided that Hagrid should carry Harry's body, as the boy would be nice and visible in Hagrid's arms, and Harry felt his glasses slammed onto his face with deliberate force when Voldemort ordered that he wear the glasses to be recognisable. The enormous hands that lifted Harry up were exceedingly gentle, and Harry could feel Hagrid's arms trembling with the force of his sobs great tears splashed down upon him as Hagrid cradled Harry in his arms, but Harry did not dare to tell Hagrid that all was not, yet, lost. Voldemort commanded Hagrid to move, and Hagrid stumbled forward as he forced his way through the close-growing trees back through the forest. Branches caught at Harry's hair and robes, but he continued to feign death with his mouth lolling open and his eyes shut and in the darkness, with the Death Eaters crowing all around them and Hagrid still sobbing, no one looked to see if a pulse beat in Harry's exposed neck. Α]

Two giants crashed along behind the Death Eaters, and Harry could hear trees creaking and falling as they passed. The giants made so much noise that the birds rose shrieking into the sky, and even the jeers of the Death Eaters were drowned. The victorious procession continued to march on toward the open ground, and Harry could tell, after a while, by the lightening of the darkness through his closed eyelids, that the trees were beginning to thin. Then, Hagrid unexpectedly bellowed at Bane and the other centaurs for not fighting, asking them if they were happy that Harry was dead, but he broke down in fresh tears and couldn't finish. Harry could not tell how many centaurs watched their procession pass, and he heard of some Death Eaters calling insults at the centaurs as they left them behind. A little later, Harry sensed, by a freshening of the air, that they had reached the edge of the forest, and Voldemort commanded Hagrid to stop and due to Hagrid's lurch, Harry suspected that the gamekeeper had been forced to obey. A chill began to settle over them, and Harry heard the rasping breath of dementors that patrolled the outer trees. However, the fact of his own survival burned inside of him, acting like a Patronus in his heart. Α]

Announcing Harry Potter's alleged death

Voldemort and Death Eater confronting the defenders of Hogwarts

Voldemort, his voice magically magnified, announced that Harry was dead and that he was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself. He told the defenders of Hogwarts that his Death Eaters outnumbered them and the Boy Who Lived was finished. Calling for no more war, Voldemort threatened that anyone who continued to resist would be killed, but that those who came out and knelt before him would be forgiven and spared.He then claimed that there must be no more conflict, offering the survivors the chance to join the Death Eaters and help the Dark Lord build a New World Order together. Voldemort strode in front of the procession, followed by a weeping Hagrid carrying Harry's supposed dead body, and wearing Nagini, now free of her enchanted cage, around his shoulders. Hagrid continued to sob, and Harry strained his ears to distinguish above the gleeful voice of the Death Eaters and their footsteps any sign of life from those within the castle. Α]

Minerva McGonagall seeing Harry Potter's supposedly dead body

The Death Eaters came to a halt, and Harry could see through his closed lids light streaming upon him from the Entrance Hall. Harry waited for the moment when the people for whom he had tried to die would see him, lying apparently dead, in Hagrid's arms. The first of the resistance to see Harry was Professor McGonagall, whose scream of anger, despair and denial was all the more terrible to Harry's ears because he had never imagined her capable of such a noise. The mocking laughter of another woman nearby was heard, and he knew it was Bellatrix glorying in McGonagall's despair. Harry squinted again for a single second and saw the open doorway filling with people, as the survivors of the battle came out onto the front steps to face the Death Eaters and see the truth of Harry's death for himself. Α]

Harry saw Voldemort standing a little in front of him, stroking Nagini's head with a single white finger. He then heard Ron, Hermione and Ginny's shouts of horror, even worse than McGonagall's, but Harry forced himself to remain lying silent. Their cries acted like a trigger, and the rest of the survivors began screaming and yelling abuse at the Death Eaters until Voldemort cried for silence and with a bang and flash of bright light, silence was forced upon them all. Α]

Voldemort ordered Harry to be lowered down and set at his feet, and he proclaimed to the survivors that Harry Potter was nothing but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him. Ron then yelled and cursed at Voldemort, claiming that Harry was always better than him, and the charm broke and the defenders of Hogwarts were shouting and screaming again until another bang extinguished their voices once more. Voldemort lied once more that Harry was killed when trying to sneak out of the castle grounds, but he was interrupted by a scuffle and a shout, then a bang, a flash of light, and a grunt of pain. Opening his eyes slightly, Harry saw that someone had broken free of the crowd and charged at Voldemort, but hit the ground, disarmed, and Voldemort laughed as he threw the challenger's wand aside.

Neville standing up to Voldemort and his army during the Battle of Hogwarts

Voldemort asked the crowd who had stepped forth to show what happened to people who continued to fight when the battle was lost. Laughing delightedly, Bellatrix answered that it was Neville Longbottom, the student in particular who had been giving the Carrows so much trouble, and son of the Aurors, Frank and Alice Longbottom. Voldemort turned back to a defenceless Neville, who was standing between the survivors and Death Eaters. Impressed by Neville's bravery, Voldemort claimed that Neville would be a very valuable Death Eater but the latter instantly refused and showed his full allegiance to Dumbledore's Army, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort's wand bangs seemed unable to hold. Voldemort answered in a dangerous, silky voice that, if that was Neville's choice, they would revert to the original plan. Α]

Still watching through his lashes, Harry saw Voldemort wave his wand, and out of one of the castle's windows came the ragged Sorting Hat. Voldemort announced that there would be no more Sorting at Hogwarts Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw would be no more. In his mind, the colours of Salazar Slytherin would suffice for everyone. He pointed his wand at Neville, who grew rigid and still as Voldemort cast a Full Body-Bind Curse on him, then Voldemort forced the hat onto Neville's head. There were movements from the watching crowd, but the Death Eaters raised their wands as one and held the fighters of Hogwarts at bay. With a flick of his wand, Voldemort caused the Sorting Hat on Neville's head to burst into flames. Α]

Inside the Great Hall

The battle recommences. On the upper left corner, the oncoming reinforcements from Hogsmeade, and on the upper right corner, the centaurs

There was screaming as Neville, aflame, stood rooted to the spot and unable to move, and just as Harry planned to act, several things happened simultaneously. There was an uproar from the distant boundary of the school as what sounded like hundreds of people came swarming over the out-of-sight walls and pelted toward the castle with loud war cries. At the same time, Grawp came around the side of the castle, and when he saw that his brother Hagrid was captured he furiously yelled "HAGGER!", and Voldemort's giants roared in return and ran at Grawp like bull elephants, making the ground tremble beneath them. Grawp, showing no fear despite actually being a young giant himself flung himself at the oncoming giants and began to pummel and floor them. There was then the sound of hooves and the twangs of bows as the centaurs, ending their neutrality, joined the fray. Arrows began falling amongst the Death Eaters, who broke ranks shouting in surprise. Α]

Neville kills Nagini using the Sword of Gryffindor

Harry pulled the Invisibility Cloak from inside his robes, swung it over himself, and sprang to his feet while Neville moved at the same time. In one swift, fluid motion, Neville broke free of the Body-Bind curse placed upon him, and the flaming hat fell from his head and he drew from inside it something silver, with a glittering, rubied handle: the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, once more brought into the fray to assist the good. The slash of the silver blade could not be heard over sounds of battle the clashing giants and the stampeding centaurs, though it seemed to draw every eye. With a single stroke Neville sliced off Nagini's head, which flew spinning into the air and as Voldemort let out of a scream of fury that no one could hear, the snake's body thudded to the ground. Α]

Still hidden beneath the Invisibility Cloak, Harry cast a Shield Charm between Neville and Voldemort before the latter could try to attack the boy. Then, over the screams and the roars and the thunderous stamps of the battling giants, Hagrid yelled for Harry, asking where Harry was. There was chaos as the charging centaurs scattered the Death Eaters and everyone fled from the giants' stamping feet, and nearer and nearer thundered the reinforcements. Harry saw great winged creatures soaring around the heads of Voldemort's giants, thestrals and Buckbeak the hippogriff scratching at their eyes while Grawp punched and pummelled them. Both defenders of Hogwarts and Death Eaters were being forced back into the castle, and Harry was shooting jinxes, hexes and curses at any Death Eater he could see, and they crumped without knowing who or what had hit them, while their bodies were trampled by the retreating crowd. Hidden beneath the Cloak, Harry was buffeted into the entrance hall. He saw Voldemort across the room firing spells from his wand as he backed into the Great Hall while screaming instructions to his followers as he sent curses everywhere, while Harry cast more Shield Charms while Voldemort's would-be victims, Seamus Finnigan and Hannah Abbott, ran past him into the Great Hall and joined the fight inside. Α]

Voldemort attacking the defenders of Hogwarts

There were even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pyjamas, leading what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homewoners of Hogsmeade. The centaurs Bane, Ronan, and Magorian burst into the hall with clattering hooves, as behind Harry the door that led to the kitchens was blasted off its hinges the house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into the entrance hall screaming and waving carving knives and cleavers. At their head, with locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher, yelling at his compatriots to fight the Dark Lord in the name of his master's sacrifice. The house-elves were hacking and stabbing at the ankles and shins of Death Eaters with their tiny faces alive with malice, and everywhere Harry looked the Death Eaters were folding under sheer weight of numbers, overcome by spells, dragging arrows from wounds, stabbed in the leg by elves, or else simply attempted to escape but swallowed by the charging army. Α]

The death of Bellatrix Lestrange

Harry sped between duellists, past struggling prisoners, and into the Great Hall, where he saw Voldemort in the centre of the battle striking and smiting all within reach. Harry could not get a clear shot of him, but he fought his way closer, still invisible, and the Great Hall became more and more crowded as everyone who could walk forced their way inside. Harry watched as the Death Eaters, outnumbered by the defenders and allies of Hogwarts, were taken down one by one: Yaxley was slammed to the floor by George Weasley and Lee Jordan, and, screaming in pain, Dolohov fell to the floor at Flitwick's hands. Having recognised him from Buckbeak's trial, Hagrid threw Walden Macnair across the room. He hit the wall and slid unconscious to the ground. Ron and Neville brought down Fenrir Greyback, Aberforth hit Rookwood with a Stunning Spell, and Arthur and Percy floored Thicknesse. During the chaos, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy ran through the crowd, not even attempting to fight, screaming for their son Draco Malfoy. Α]

Molly Weasley duelling Bellatrix Lestrange

Eventually, all the Death Eaters were either killed or defeated with only Voldemort and Bellatrix left standing. Voldemort was now duelling McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley simultaneously, and there was cold hatred in his face as they wove and ducked around him, putting up a good fight but unable to finish him. Bellatrix was still fighting as well, fifty yards away from Voldemort, and like her master she duelled three at once: Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, each of the three girls battling their hardest but Bellatrix, battling fiercely, was equal in power to the three of them. Almost to Voldemort, Harry's attention was diverted as Bellatrix fired a Killing Curse that shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch, and he changed course, running after Bellatrix rather than Voldemort. Before he had gone a few steps, he was knocked sideways as an enraged Molly Weasley, throwing off her cloak to free her arms, ran at Bellatrix, furious at the Death Eater's attempted murder of her daughter. Α]

Bellatrix locked in combat with Molly, shortly before her death

Bellatrix roared with laughter at the sight of her new challenger, and Molly ordered the girls to step aside. With a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched as Molly Weasley's wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange's smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around their feet became hot and cracked, both witches were fighting to kill. As a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid, Mrs Weasley shouted for them to get back and leave Bellatrix to her. Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights: Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, while Harry stood invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. Α]

As Bellatrix, as mad as her master, taunted Molly about the death of Fred Weasley even as Molly's curses came within inches of her, Molly screamed that Bellatrix would never touch her children again. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh that her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and Harry suddenly knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly's well-aimed curse soared beneath Bellatrix's outscretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge for a split second she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed. Α]

Harry felt as though he turned in slow motion. He saw McGonagall, Kingsley, and Slughorn blasted backward, flailing and writhing through the air, as Voldemort's fury at the fall of his last, best lieutenant exploded with the force of a bomb. Voldemort raised his wand and directed it at Molly Weasley, but Harry roared Protego and the Shield Charm expanded in the middle of the Hall, and Voldemort stared around for the source as Harry pulled off the Invisibility Cloak at last. Α]


Harry confronting Voldemort

The yells of shock, cheers, and screams of delight at Harry's appearance were stifled, and silence fell abruptly and completely as Voldemort and Harry stared at each other and began to circle each other, like prowling lions sizing each other up. Harry called to the crowd that he didn't want anyone else to help, that it had to just be him and Voldemort, though Voldemort hissed that Harry truly wanted someone to use a shield, to sacrifice themselves for him. Harry replied that there were no more Horcruxes, that it was just him and Voldemort: neither could live while the other survived, and one of them was going to leave for good. Voldemort jeered at the proposal that Harry would survive, the boy who survived by accident and because Dumbledore was pulling the strings. Α]

Harry then asked if it was accident when his mother died to save him, accident when he decided to fight in the graveyard, if it was an accident when he didn't defend himself that night, still survived, and returned to fight again. Voldemort screamed that these were accidents, but he still did not strike, will the hundreds watching in the Hall were frozen as if Petrified. Voldemort proclaimed that it was accident and chance, and that Harry crouched and snivelled behind the skirts of greater men and women and permitted Voldemort to kill them for Harry to save himself. Harry replied that Voldemort wouldn't be killing anyone else, as they stared into each other's eyes, green into red. Harry said that Voldemort wouldn't be able to kill any of them ever again, because Harry was ready to die to stop him from hurting them, and that thus he did what his mother did to him. He gave the defenders of Hogwarts sacrificial protection, and which was why none of the spells Voldemort put on them were binding: Voldemort couldn't torture them, or touch them, and Harry ended by calling Voldemort "Tom" and telling him he never learnt from his mistakes. Α]

Harry told Voldemort that he knew lots of important things that 'Riddle' didn't, and offered to tell him some of them before he made another big mistake. Voldemort did not speak but continued prowling in a circle, and Harry knew that he had kept him temporarily at bay and mesmerised, held back by the possibility that Harry might indeed know a final secret. His snake's face jeering, Voldemort suggested that the secret was love, Dumbledore's favourite solution that he claimed conquered death, but Voldemort said that love did not stop him from killing Harry's mother, or Dumbledore falling from the top of the Astronomy Tower, and that nobody seemed to love Harry enough to run forward and take Voldemort's curse. Voldemort then asked, if nobody sacrificed themself for Harry, what would stop Harry from dying when he struck. Α]

As they circled each other, wrapped in each other, held apart by nothing but the last secret, Voldemort suggested that, if it wasn't love that would save Harry, Harry must believe he possessed magic that Voldemort didn't, or a weapon more powerful than Voldemort's. When Harry said he believed both, shock flitted across the snakelike face, but it was instantly dispelled as Voldemort began to laugh at the possibility that Harry knew more magic than he did, than Lord Voldemort, the wizard who performed magic Dumbledore himself never dreamed of. Harry contradicted this, saying that Dumbledore did indeed dream of it, but that he knew more than Voldemort, he knew enough not to do what Voldemort had done. Voldemort screamed that this meant Dumbledore was weak, too weak to dare, to weak to take what might have been his, and what would soon be Voldemort's. Harry again disagreed, saying that Dumbledore was cleverer than Voldemort a better wizard and a better man. Α]

Voldemort said that he brought about the death of Albus Dumbledore, but Harry told Voldemort that he was wrong. At this, for the first time, the watching crowd stirred as the hundreds of people around the walls drew breath as one. Voldemort hurled the words that Dumbledore was dead at Harry as though they would cause him unendurable pain, and added that his body was decaying in the marble tomb on the Hogwarts grounds, never to return. Harry calmly agreed that Dumbledore was dead, but that Voldemort didn't have him killed. Harry told him that Dumbledore chose his own manner of dying, chose it months before he died, that he arranged the whole thing with the man Voldemort thought was his servant. Voldemort said that this was a childish dream, but he still did not strike, and his red eyes did not waver from Harry's. Α]

Harry said that Severus Snape was never Voldemort's, that he was Dumbledore's from the moment Voldemort had started hunting down Lily Evans. Harry added that Voldemort never realised this because of the thing he can't understand. Harry asked Voldemort if he had ever seen Snape cast a Patronus, and Voldemort did not answer as they continued to circle each other like wolves about to tear each other apart. Harry revealed that Snape's Patronus was a doe, the same as Lily's, because he loved her for nearly all of his life, from the time when they were children. When Harry asked Voldemort if Snape asked him to spare Lily's life, Voldemort sneered that Snape had only desired her, and that when she had gone he agreed that there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him. Harry said that of course Snape would have told Voldemort that, but that in reality Snape was Dumbledore's spy from the moment Lily was threatened, he had been working against Voldemort ever since, and that Dumbledore was already dying when Snape finished him. Α]

Voldemort had followed every word with rapt attention, but now let out a cackle of mad laughter as he said that none of this mattered. It didn't matter whether Snape was his or Dumbledore's, or what petty obstacles they had tired to put in his path. Voldemort said that he crushed them, crushed them as he had crushed Harry's mother, Snape's supposed great love. Voldemort then said that it all made sense, in ways that Harry didn't understand. Voldemort then mentioned that Dumbledore was trying to keep the Elder Wand from him, that Dumbledore had intended for Snape to be the true master of the wand. Voldemort then said that he had gotten there ahead of Harry, that he had reached the wand before Harry could get his hands on it, understood the truth before Harry had caught up. Voldemort then said that he had killed Snape three hours ago, and the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the Wand of Destiny, was truly his. Α]

Voldemort said that Dumbledore's last plan went wrong, which Harry agreed with, but he advised Voldemort to think about what Voldemort had done. Harry told him to try for some remorse, and of all the things Harry had said to him, beyond any revelation or taunt, nothing had shocked Voldemort more than this. Voldemort's pupils contracted to thin slits, and the skin around his eyes whitened. Harry said that trying for remorse was Voldemort's last chance, that he had seen what Voldemort would be otherwise, that trying to feel remorse was all Voldemort had left. Voldemort was furious at this, and Harry revealed that Dumbledore's last plan hadn't backfired on him at all, that it had backfired on Voldemort, whose hand was trembling on the Elder Wand. Harry gripped Draco's wand very tightly, knowing the moment was seconds away. Harry told Voldemort that the wand was still not working properly for Voldemort because Voldemort murdered the wrong person Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand, that he had never defeated Dumbledore. Α]

Voldemort began to disagree, but Harry once again said that Snape didn't defeat Dumbledore because their death was planned between them. Dumbledore had intended to die undefeated, the wand's last true master, and that if all had gone as planned, the wand's power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him. Voldemort said that this meant Dumbledore as good as gave him the wand, because Voldemort stole it from its last master's tomb, removed it against its last master's wishes, and that the wand's power was his. Harry contradicted this, saying that Riddle still didn't understand that possessing the wand wasn't enough, that holding and using it didn't really make it yours. Harry revealed that the Elder Wand recognised a new master before Dumbledore had died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realising exactly what he had done, or that he had attained the allegiance of the world's most dangerous wand. Voldemort chest rose and fell rapidly, and Harry could feel the curse coming, building inside the wand Voldemort had in his hand. Α]

Harry then said that the true master of the Elder Wand was, in fact, Draco Malfoy, who had Disarmed Dumbledore and won the wand's allegiance shortly before Snape killed him. Utter shock showed on Voldemort's face for a moment at this news, but then it was gone as Voldemort said that this didn't matter, that even if Harry was right it made no different to them. Harry no longer had the phoenix wand, and so they would duel on skill alone, and Voldemort said that after he had killed Harry he would attend to Draco Malfoy. Harry then said that Voldemort was too late, that he had missed his chance, because Harry had overpowered Draco weeks ago and took the hawthorn wand from him. Harry twitched this wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it. Harry then whispered that it all came down to this, whether or not the Elder Wand knew its last master was Disarmed, because if it did, then that meant that Harry was the Elder Wand's true master. Α]

The final duel between Harry and Voldemort

A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above as the sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window, and the light hit both of their faces at the same time so that Voldemort's was a flaming blur nature itself indicating that the time had come. Harry heard the high voice shriek "Avada Kedavra" as he simultaneously yelled "Expelliarmus", as he pointed Draco's wand. There was a bang like a cannon blast, and golden flames erupted between them at the dead centre of the circle they had been treading, marking the point where the spells collided. Voldemort's green jet of light met Harry's spell, and the Elder Wand wrenched itself from Voldemort's hand and began spinning across the ceiling toward the master it refused to kill. Harry caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed and the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Voldemort hit the ground, his body feeble and shrunken, his snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead by his own rebounding curse, and Harry looked down at his enemy's shell with the two wands in his hand. Α]


After Voldemort's defeat, everyone cheered and lauded Harry, and rushed towards him wanting to touch him in gratitude. Α]

People who were Imperiused had returned to normal, the Death Eaters fled or were captured, innocents in Azkaban were released, and Kingsley Shacklebolt was named temporary Minister for Magic. Α] Voldemort's body was moved to a chamber off the Hall. McGonagall replaced the House tables, but nobody sat according to House. Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, and Narcissa Malfoy were huddled together as if they were not sure they were supposed to be there. Α]

"I've had enough trouble for a lifetime"

Harry, exhausted, sat on a bench next to Luna, who distracted everyone to enable Harry to escape underneath the Cloak. Α] He, Ron, and Hermione left the Great Hall for the Headmaster's Office (whose gargoyle let them in without the password), where Harry sought Dumbledore's portrait's opinions on his (Harry's) plans for the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Elder Wand. Harry returned the Elder Wand to the White Tomb (believing it to be more trouble than it was worth, and hoping its power would be diminished if he were to die naturally), left the Resurrection Stone in the Forbidden Forest, and kept the Cloak of Invisibility. He used the Elder wand to repair his own. Α]

Impact of the Battle

Harry Potter, the most affected by the Second Wizarding War

The death of Voldemort and many of his followers brought the Second Wizarding War to an end. Wizarding Britain, which had been living in fear for the previous two years, suddenly found itself again free from the grasp of the Death Eaters and their leader, Lord Voldemort. Harry Potter, without a doubt one of the people most affected by the war, having lost parents, godfather, mentor, and many friends, now finds himself free of the burden that was placed on him before his birth, when the Prophecy named him as the only one that could defeat the Dark Lord.

This also give him freedom to pursue what he has always wished: a family of his own, which he hoped to find next to Ginny Weasley. In addition, Ron's suddenly thinking about the welfare of the House-elves in the kitchens, and telling Hermione that they ought to warn them, is a turning point in their relationship. Hermione recognised it as a sign of maturity, that Ron was now thinking of others, and it deepened her love for him.


Scabior and some Snatchers fall to their death

Lavender savaged and killed

Remus and Tonks before their deaths during the Battle of Hogwarts

A dead Bellatrix Lestrange at Molly's feet

The first casualties were three Snatchers who inadvertently crossed the protective enchantments around the Castle moments before midnight on 1 May. Arguably, these deaths may not be considered battle casualties per se, although it is known that the first deaths were indeed those of Scabior and some of his Snatcher gang, who fell to their deaths when the Wooden Bridge collapsed. ⎜] Vincent Crabbe tried to use the Fiendfyre curse on Harry Potter, only to have it backfire and kill him. ΐ] Fred Weasley was killed in an explosion caused by an unknown spell. Γ] Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks were killed by Antonin Dolohov and Bellatrix Lestrange, respectively. ⎠] Colin Creevey was found dead during a lull in the fighting by Neville Longbottom and Oliver Wood, though it is unknown how he died or who killed him. Lavender Brown was savaged by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback after falling from a balcony, and later died of blood loss from her injuries soon afterwards. Severus Snape was killed by Nagini on Voldemort's command. ⎞] When the battle erupted into its final stage, more people died on Voldemort's side, since Harry's sacrifice protected everybody who was protecting Hogwarts. Neville Longbottom beheaded Nagini with Godric Gryffindor's Sword. Bellatrix Lestrange died at the hands of Molly Weasley after just missing Ginny with a Killing Curse. The final duel saw Harry battle with Lord Voldemort and kill him. There were at least fifty lives mentioned to have been lost on both sides. Α]

Alternate Timeline

When Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy attempted to use a "true" Time-Turner to save Cedric Diggory from death at Voldemort's rebirth, they inadvertently created an alternate reality where Cedric was so humiliated that he joined the Death Eaters in spite. Cedric killed Neville during the final stages of the Battle of Hogwarts, thus preventing him from killing Nagini. As a result, Voldemort remain protected from death, and succeeded in killing Harry. ⎡] As a result of killing Harry, Voldemort completely conquered the wizarding world, where Dolores Umbridge became the permanent Headmistress of Hogwarts, Draco becoming the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the Order of the Phoenix and their allies became no more than a flickering pocket of resistance. In a twist, Voldemort did not kill Snape, who continued to live up to his role as a triple agent, lamenting on his failure to protect Harry. Because Harry died during the war, Albus Potter became un-born. ⎡] The Scorpius of this timeline was alleged to be cruel and mean, such as forcing Craig Bowker Jnr to do his homework. However, because Scorpius was involved in using the Time-Turner to change the past, he maintained his original personality and memory of his friend Albus. He was able to persuade Snape of everything that happened and to help him in repairing the damage, thus restoring the timeline in which Voldemort was defeated. ⎡] Upon returning to their true time, Albus and Scorpius were greatly reprimanded by Professor McGonagall and their parents for plunging the world back into the dark age where Voldemort ruled, and would have been expelled were it not for McGonagall's understanding of the students' parents. Nevertheless, she punished them with a multitude of detentions and cancellation of their holidays. ⎡]

Battle Index: O - History

    American Revolution
  • Six Part Chronological History
    • Declaration of Independence
    • United States Constitution
      U.S. Civil War
  • Timeline with Quotes and Photos
    • 20th Century Topics
    • Natives of North America
      • The photographs of Edward S. Curtis.
      • Investigative photos of Lewis W. Hine.
      • 25 majestic scenic photos from 1933-1942.
      • Photos of migratory farm families.
      • "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
        World War II
    • D-Day Invasion June 6th, 1944
      • Extensive slide show and text.
      • Timeline of Events 1941-1945
      • Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941 - Slide Show
      • A selection of photos highlighting their achievements.
        Vietnam War
    • Comprehensive Timelines with Quotes and Analysis
      • Presidents of the United States
      • 46 Presidential Portraits
      • Sounds of the Presidents
      • George Washington Picture Gallery
      • Abraham Lincoln - Timeline, Photos, Words
      • John F. Kennedy - 4 Part Photo History
      • Impeachment Proceedings

      • The Rise of Adolf Hitler
        • From unknown to Dictator of Germany.
        • 1933-39 The pre-war years of Nazi Germany.
        • 1939-45 The quest for a Nazi Empire.
        • The Hitler Youth
        • Biographies of Nazi Leaders
        • Auschwitz Today - Photo Essay
        • With hundreds of archive photos, text and documents.
        • Complete chronicle of Nazi persecution of the Jews with over 150 photos and text.

        • Irish Potato Famine
          • Complete eight-part history with period illustrations.
          • Year-by-year timelines with many rare photos.
          • An examination of seven major occurrences.
          • The Top Ten Battles of All Time
          • Samurai: Armor from the Barbier-Mueller Collection
          • Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt
          • Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

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          On 12 January 1945, the Red Army began the Vistula–Oder Offensive across the Narew River and, from Warsaw, a three-day operation on a broad front, which incorporated four army Fronts. [16] On the fourth day, the Red Army broke out and started moving west, up to 30 to 40 km (19 to 25 mi) per day, taking East Prussia, Danzig, and Poznań, drawing up on a line 60 km (37 mi) east of Berlin along the Oder River. [17]

          The newly created Army Group Vistula, under the command of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, [18] attempted a counter-attack, but this had failed by 24 February. [19] The Red Army then drove on to Pomerania, clearing the right bank of the Oder River, thereby reaching into Silesia. [17]

          In the south the Siege of Budapest took place. Three German divisions' attempts to relieve the encircled Hungarian capital city failed, and Budapest fell to the Soviets on 13 February. [20] Adolf Hitler insisted on a counter-attack to recapture the Drau-Danube triangle. [21] The goal was to secure the oil region of Nagykanizsa and regain the Danube River for future operations, [22] but the depleted German forces had been given an impossible task. [23] By 16 March, the German Lake Balaton Offensive had failed, and a counter-attack by the Red Army took back in 24 hours everything the Germans had taken ten days to gain. [24] On 30 March, the Soviets entered Austria and in the Vienna Offensive they captured Vienna on 13 April. [25]

          Between June and September 1944, the Wehrmacht had lost more than a million men, and it lacked the fuel and armaments needed to operate effectively. [26] On 12 April 1945, Hitler, who had earlier decided to remain in the city against the wishes of his advisers, heard the news that the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died. [27] This briefly raised false hopes in the Führerbunker that there might yet be a falling out among the Allies and that Berlin would be saved at the last moment, as had happened once before when Berlin was threatened (see the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg). [28]

          No plans were made by the Western Allies to seize the city by a ground operation. [29] The Supreme Commander [Western] Allied Expeditionary Force, General Eisenhower lost interest in the race to Berlin and saw no further need to suffer casualties by attacking a city that would be in the Soviet sphere of influence after the war, [30] envisioning excessive friendly fire if both armies attempted to occupy the city at once. [31] The major Western Allied contribution to the battle was the bombing of Berlin during 1945. [32] During 1945 the United States Army Air Forces launched very large daytime raids on Berlin and for 36 nights in succession, scores of RAF Mosquitos bombed the German capital, ending on the night of 20/21 April 1945 just before the Soviets entered the city. [33]

          The Soviet offensive into central Germany, what later became East Germany, had two objectives. Stalin did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory occupied by them in the post-war Soviet zone, so he began the offensive on a broad front and moved rapidly to meet the Western Allies as far west as possible. But the overriding objective was to capture Berlin. [34] The two goals were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won quickly unless Berlin were taken. Another consideration was that Berlin itself held useful post-war strategic assets, including Adolf Hitler and the German nuclear weapons program. [35] On 6 March, Hitler appointed Lieutenant General Helmuth Reymann commander of the Berlin Defence Area, replacing Lieutenant General Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild. [36]

          On 20 March, General Gotthard Heinrici was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula replacing Himmler. [37] Heinrici was one of the best defensive tacticians in the German army, and he immediately started to lay defensive plans. Heinrici correctly assessed that the main Soviet thrust would be made over the Oder River and along the main east-west Autobahn. [38] He decided not to try to defend the banks of the Oder with anything more than a light skirmishing screen. Instead, Heinrici arranged for engineers to fortify the Seelow Heights, which overlooked the Oder River at the point where the Autobahn crossed them. [39] This was some distance 17 km (11 mi) west of the Oder and 90 km (56 mi) east of Berlin. Heinrici thinned out the line in other areas to increase the manpower available to defend the heights. German engineers turned the Oder's flood plain, already saturated by the spring thaw, into a swamp by releasing the water from a reservoir upstream. Behind the plain on the plateau, the engineers built three belts of defensive emplacements [39] reaching back towards the outskirts of Berlin (the lines nearer to Berlin were called the Wotan position). [40] These lines consisted of anti-tank ditches, anti-tank gun emplacements, and an extensive network of trenches and bunkers. [39] [40]

          On 9 April, after a long resistance, Königsberg in East Prussia fell to the Red Army. This freed up Marshal Rokossovsky's 2nd Belorussian Front to move west to the east bank of the Oder river. [41] Marshal Georgy Zhukov concentrated his 1st Belorussian Front, which had been deployed along the Oder river from Frankfurt (Oder) in the south to the Baltic, into an area in front of the Seelow Heights. [42] The 2nd Belorussian Front moved into the positions being vacated by the 1st Belorussian Front north of the Seelow Heights. While this redeployment was in progress, gaps were left in the lines and the remnants of General Dietrich von Saucken's German II Army, which had been bottled up in a pocket near Danzig, managed to escape into the Vistula delta. [43] To the south, Marshal Konev shifted the main weight of the 1st Ukrainian Front out of Upper Silesia and north-west to the Neisse River. [3]

          The three Soviet fronts had altogether 2.5 million men (including 78,556 soldiers of the 1st Polish Army), 6,250 tanks, 7,500 aircraft, 41,600 artillery pieces and mortars, 3,255 truck-mounted Katyusha rocket launchers (nicknamed 'Stalin's Pipe Organs'), and 95,383 motor vehicles, many manufactured in the US. [3]

          • 31 rifle divisions
          • 7 guards rifle divisions
          • 1 motorized rifle battalion
          • 3 tank battalions
          • 15 infantry divisions
          • 6 panzer divisions
          • 2 motorized infantry divisions
          • 5 infantry divisions
          • 4 panzergrenadier divisions
          • 1 panzer division
          • 1 SS grenadier division
          • 1 security division
          • 1 Jäger division
          • 1 parachute division
          • 1 Kampfgruppe
          • 54 rifle divisions
          • 16 guards rifle divisions
          • 5 infantry divisions (Polish)
          • 3 guards cavalry divisions
          • 3 mechanized brigades
          • 6 guards mechanized brigades
          • 7 tank brigades
          • 10 guards tank brigades
          • 1 armored brigade (Polish)
          • 2 motorized rifle brigades
          • 13 infantry divisions
          • 3 panzer divisions
          • 1 Reichsarbeitsdienst division
          • 1 SS police division
          • 1 SS grenadier division
          • 1 anti-aircraft division
          • 2 Kampfgruppen
          • 26 rifle divisions
          • 15 guards rifle divisions
          • 5 infantry divisions (Polish)
          • 3 guards cavalry divisions
          • 1 guards airborne division
          • 9 guards mechanized brigades
          • 3 mechanized brigades
          • 4 guards motorized rifle brigades
          • 1 armored corps (Polish)
          • 4 tank brigades
          • 10 guards tank brigades
          • 1 motorized rifle brigade

          The sector in which most of the fighting in the overall offensive took place was the Seelow Heights, the last major defensive line outside Berlin. [40] The Battle of the Seelow Heights, fought over four days from 16 until 19 April, was one of the last pitched battles of World War II: almost one million Red Army soldiers and more than 20,000 tanks and artillery pieces were deployed to break through the "Gates to Berlin", which were defended by about 100,000 German soldiers and 1,200 tanks and guns. [44] [45] The Soviet forces led by Zhukov broke through the defensive positions, having suffered about 30,000 dead, [46] [47] while 12,000 German personnel were killed. [47]

          During 19 April, the fourth day, the 1st Belorussian Front broke through the final line of the Seelow Heights and nothing but broken German formations lay between them and Berlin. [48] The 1st Ukrainian Front, having captured Forst the day before, was fanning out into open country. [49] One powerful thrust by Gordov's 3rd Guards Army and Rybalko's 3rd and Lelyushenko's 4th Guards Tank Armies were heading north-east towards Berlin while other armies headed west towards a section of the United States Army's front line south-west of Berlin on the Elbe. [50] With these advances, the Soviet forces drove a wedge between Army Group Vistula in the north and Army Group Centre in the south. [50] By the end of the day, the German eastern front line north of Frankfurt around Seelow and to the south around Forst had ceased to exist. These breakthroughs allowed the two Soviet Fronts to envelop the German 9th Army in a large pocket west of Frankfurt. Attempts by the 9th Army to break out to the west resulted in the Battle of Halbe. [45] The cost to the Soviet forces had been very high, with over 2,807 tanks lost between 1 and 19 April, including at least 727 at the Seelow Heights. [51]

          In the meantime, RAF Mosquitos were conducting large tactical air raids against German positions inside Berlin on the nights of 15 April (105 bombers), 17 April (61 bombers), 18 April (57 bombers), 19 April (79 bombers), and 20 April (78 bombers). [52]

          On 20 April 1945, Hitler's 56th birthday, Soviet artillery of the 1st Belorussian Front began shelling Berlin and did not stop until the city surrendered. The weight of ordnance delivered by Soviet artillery during the battle was greater than the total tonnage dropped by Western Allied bombers on the city. [53] While the 1st Belorussian Front advanced towards the east and north-east of the city, the 1st Ukrainian Front pushed through the last formations of the northern wing of Army Group Centre and passed north of Juterbog, well over halfway to the American front line on the river Elbe at Magdeburg. [54] To the north between Stettin and Schwedt, the 2nd Belorussian Front attacked the northern flank of Army Group Vistula, held by Hasso von Manteuffel's III Panzer Army. [51] The next day, Bogdanov's 2nd Guards Tank Army advanced nearly 50 km (31 mi) north of Berlin and then attacked south-west of Werneuchen. The Soviet plan was to encircle Berlin first and then envelop the IX Army. [55]

          The command of the German V Corps, trapped with the IX Army north of Forst, passed from the IV Panzer Army to the IX Army. The corps was still holding on to the Berlin-Cottbus highway front line. [56] Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner's Army Group Centre launched a counter-offensive aimed at breaking through to Berlin from the south and making a successful initial incursion (the Battle of Bautzen) in the 1st Ukrainian Front region, engaging the 2nd Polish Army and elements of the Red Army's 52nd Army and 5th Guards Army. [57] When the old southern flank of the IV Panzer Army had some local successes counter-attacking north against the 1st Ukrainian Front, Hitler gave orders that showed his grasp of military reality was completely gone. He ordered the IX Army to hold Cottbus and set up a front facing west. [58] Then they were to attack the Soviet columns advancing north. This would supposedly allow them to form a northern pincer that would meet the IV Panzer Army coming from the south and envelop the 1st Ukrainian Front before destroying it. [59] They were to anticipate a southward attack by the III Panzer Army and be ready to be the southern arm of a pincer attack that would envelop 1st Belorussian Front, which would be destroyed by SS-General Felix Steiner's Army Detachment advancing from north of Berlin. [60] Later in the day, when Steiner explained that he did not have the divisions to do this, Heinrici made it clear to Hitler's staff that unless the IX Army retreated immediately, it would be enveloped by the Soviets. He stressed that it was already too late for it to move north-west to Berlin and would have to retreat west. [60] Heinrici went on to say that if Hitler did not allow it to move west, he would ask to be relieved of his command. [61]

          On 22 April 1945, at his afternoon situation conference, Hitler fell into a tearful rage when he realised that his plans, prepared the previous day, could not be achieved. He declared that the war was lost, blaming the generals for the defeat and that he would remain in Berlin until the end and then kill himself. [62]

          In an attempt to coax Hitler out of his rage, General Alfred Jodl speculated that General Walther Wenck's XII Army, which was facing the Americans, could move to Berlin because the Americans, already on the Elbe River, were unlikely to move further east. This assumption was based on his viewing of the captured Eclipse documents, which organised the partition of Germany among the Allies. [63] Hitler immediately grasped the idea, and within hours Wenck was ordered to disengage from the Americans and move the XII Army north-east to support Berlin. [60] It was then realised that if the IX Army moved west, it could link up with the XII Army. In the evening Heinrici was given permission to make the link-up. [64]

          Elsewhere, the 2nd Belorussian Front had established a bridgehead 15 km (9 mi) deep on the west bank of the Oder and was heavily engaged with the III Panzer Army. [65] The IX Army had lost Cottbus and was being pressed from the east. A Soviet tank spearhead was on the Havel River to the east of Berlin, and another had at one point penetrated the inner defensive ring of Berlin. [66]

          The capital was now within range of field artillery. A Soviet war correspondent, in the style of World War II Soviet journalism, gave the following account of an important event which took place on 22 April 1945 at 08:30 local time: [67]

          On the walls of the houses we saw Goebbels' appeals, hurriedly scrawled in white paint: 'Every German will defend his capital. We shall stop the Red hordes at the walls of our Berlin.' Just try and stop them!

          Steel pillboxes, barricades, mines, traps, suicide squads with grenades clutched in their hands—all are swept aside before the tidal wave.
          Drizzling rain began to fall. Near Biesdorf I saw batteries preparing to open fire.
          'What are the targets?' I asked the battery commander.
          'Centre of Berlin, Spree bridges, and the northern and Stettin railway stations,' he answered.
          Then came the tremendous words of command: 'Open fire on the capital of Fascist Germany.'
          I noted the time. It was exactly 8:30 a.m. on 22 April. Ninety-six shells fell in the centre of Berlin in the course of a few minutes.

          On 23 April 1945, the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front and 1st Ukrainian Front continued to tighten the encirclement, severing the last link between the German IX Army and the city. [66] Elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front continued to move westward and started to engage the German XII Army moving towards Berlin. On this same day, Hitler appointed General Helmuth Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defence Area, replacing Lieutenant General Reymann. [68] Meanwhile, by 24 April 1945 elements of 1st Belorussian Front and 1st Ukrainian Front had completed the encirclement of the city. [69] Within the next day, 25 April 1945, the Soviet investment of Berlin was consolidated, with leading Soviet units probing and penetrating the S-Bahn defensive ring. [70] By the end of the day, it was clear that the German defence of the city could not do anything but temporarily delay the capture of the city by the Soviets, since the decisive stages of the battle had already been fought and lost by the Germans outside the city. [71] By that time, Schörner's offensive, initially successful, had mostly been thwarted, although he did manage to inflict significant casualties on the opposing Polish and Soviet units, slowing down their progress. [57]

          The forces available to General Weidling for the city's defence included roughly 45,000 soldiers in several severely depleted German Army and Waffen-SS divisions. [5] These divisions were supplemented by the police force, boys in the compulsory Hitler Youth, and the Volkssturm. [5] Many of the 40,000 elderly men of the Volkssturm had been in the army as young men and some were veterans of World War I. Hitler appointed SS Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke the Battle Commander for the central government district that included the Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker. [72] He had over 2,000 men under his command. [5] [n] Weidling organised the defences into eight sectors designated 'A' through to 'H' each one commanded by a colonel or a general, but most had no combat experience. [5] To the west of the city was the 20th Infantry Division. To the north of the city was the 9th Parachute Division. [73] To the north-east of the city was the Panzer Division Müncheberg. To the south-east of the city and to the east of Tempelhof Airport was the 11th SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland. [74] The reserve, 18th Panzergrenadier Division, was in Berlin's central district. [75]

          On 23 April, Berzarin's 5th Shock Army and Katukov's 1st Guards Tank Army assaulted Berlin from the south-east and, after overcoming a counter-attack by the German LVI Panzer Corps, reached the Berlin S-Bahn ring railway on the north side of the Teltow Canal by the evening of 24 April. [50] During the same period, of all the German forces ordered to reinforce the inner defences of the city by Hitler, only a small contingent of French SS volunteers under the command of SS Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg arrived in Berlin. [76] During 25 April, Krukenberg was appointed as the commander of Defence Sector C, the sector under the most pressure from the Soviet assault on the city. [77]

          On 26 April, Chuikov's 8th Guards Army and the 1st Guards Tank Army fought their way through the southern suburbs and attacked Tempelhof Airport, just inside the S-Bahn defensive ring, where they met stiff resistance from the Müncheberg Division. [76] But by 27 April, the two understrength divisions (Müncheberg and Nordland) that were defending the south-east, now facing five Soviet armies—from east to west, the 5th Shock Army, the 8th Guards Army, the 1st Guards Tank Army and Rybalko's 3rd Guards Tank Army (part of the 1st Ukrainian Front)—were forced back towards the centre, taking up new defensive positions around Hermannplatz. [78] Krukenberg informed General Hans Krebs, Chief of the General Staff of (OKH) that within 24 hours the Nordland would have to fall back to the centre sector Z (for Zentrum). [79] [80] The Soviet advance to the city centre was along these main axes: from the south-east, along the Frankfurter Allee (ending and stopped at the Alexanderplatz) from the south along Sonnenallee ending north of the Belle-Alliance-Platz, from the south ending near the Potsdamer Platz and from the north ending near the Reichstag. [81] The Reichstag, the Moltke bridge, Alexanderplatz, and the Havel bridges at Spandau saw the heaviest fighting, with house-to-house and hand-to-hand combat. The foreign contingents of the SS fought particularly hard, because they were ideologically motivated and they believed that they would not live if captured. [82]

          Battle for the Reichstag

          In the early hours of 29 April the Soviet 3rd Shock Army crossed the Moltke bridge and started to fan out into the surrounding streets and buildings. [83] The initial assaults on buildings, including the Ministry of the Interior, were hampered by the lack of supporting artillery. It was not until the damaged bridges were repaired that artillery could be moved up in support. [84] At 04:00 hours, in the Führerbunker, Hitler signed his last will and testament and, shortly afterwards, married Eva Braun. [85] At dawn the Soviets pressed on with their assault in the south-east. After very heavy fighting they managed to capture Gestapo headquarters on Prinz-Albrechtstrasse, but a Waffen-SS counter-attack forced the Soviets to withdraw from the building. [86] To the south-west the 8th Guards Army attacked north across the Landwehr canal into the Tiergarten. [87]

          By the next day, 30 April, the Soviets had solved their bridging problems and with artillery support at 06:00 they launched an attack on the Reichstag, but because of German entrenchments and support from 12.8 cm guns 2 km (1.2 mi) away on the roof of the Zoo flak tower, close by Berlin Zoo, it was not until that evening that the Soviets were able to enter the building. [88] The Reichstag had not been in use since it had burned in February 1933 and its interior resembled a rubble heap more than a government building. The German troops inside made excellent use of this and were heavily entrenched. [89] Fierce room-to-room fighting ensued. At that point there was still a large contingent of German soldiers in the basement who launched counter-attacks against the Red Army. [89] On 2 May 1945 the Red Army controlled the building entirely. [90] The famous photo of the two soldiers planting the flag on the roof of the building is a re-enactment photo taken the day after the building was taken. [91] To the Soviets the event as represented by the photo became symbolic of their victory demonstrating that the Battle of Berlin, as well as the Eastern Front hostilities as a whole, ended with the total Soviet victory. [92] As the 756th Regiment's commander Zinchenko had stated in his order to Battalion Commander Neustroev ". the Supreme High Command . and the entire Soviet People order you to erect the victory banner on the roof above Berlin". [89]

          Battle for the centre

          During the early hours of 30 April, Weidling informed Hitler in person that the defenders would probably exhaust their ammunition during the night. Hitler granted him permission to attempt a breakout through the encircling Red Army lines. [93] That afternoon, Hitler and Braun committed suicide and their bodies were cremated not far from the bunker. [94] In accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Admiral Karl Dönitz became the "President of the Reich" (Reichspräsident) and Joseph Goebbels became the new Chancellor of the Reich (Reichskanzler). [95]

          As the perimeter shrank and the surviving defenders fell back, they became concentrated into a small area in the city centre. By now there were about 10,000 German soldiers in the city centre, which was being assaulted from all sides. One of the other main thrusts was along Wilhelmstrasse on which the Air Ministry, built of reinforced concrete, was pounded by large concentrations of Soviet artillery. [88] The remaining German Tiger tanks of the Hermann von Salza battalion took up positions in the east of the Tiergarten to defend the centre against Kuznetsov's 3rd Shock Army (which although heavily engaged around the Reichstag was also flanking the area by advancing through the northern Tiergarten) and the 8th Guards Army advancing through the south of the Tiergarten. [96] These Soviet forces had effectively cut the sausage-shaped area held by the Germans in half and made any escape attempt to the west for German troops in the centre much more difficult. [97]

          During the early hours of 1 May, Krebs talked to General Chuikov, commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army, [98] informing him of Hitler's death and a willingness to negotiate a citywide surrender. [99] They could not agree on terms because of Soviet insistence on unconditional surrender and Krebs' claim that he lacked authorisation to agree to that. [100] Goebbels was against surrender. In the afternoon, Goebbels and his wife killed their children and then themselves. [101] Goebbels's death removed the last impediment which prevented Weidling from accepting the terms of unconditional surrender of his garrison, but he chose to delay the surrender until the next morning to allow the planned breakout to take place under the cover of darkness. [102]

          Breakout and surrender

          On the night of 1/2 May, most of the remnants of the Berlin garrison attempted to break out of the city centre in three different directions. Only those that went west through the Tiergarten and crossed the Charlottenbrücke (a bridge over the Havel) into Spandau succeeded in breaching Soviet lines. [103] Only a handful of those who survived the initial breakout made it to the lines of the Western Allies—most were either killed or captured by the Red Army's outer encirclement forces west of the city. [104] Early in the morning of 2 May, the Soviets captured the Reich Chancellery. General Weidling surrendered with his staff at 06:00 hours. He was taken to see General Vasily Chuikov at 08:23, where Weidling ordered the city's defenders to surrender to the Soviets. [105]

          The 350-strong garrison of the Zoo flak tower left the building. There was sporadic fighting in a few isolated buildings where some SS troops still refused to surrender, but the Soviets reduced such buildings to rubble. [106]

          Hitler's Nero Decree

          The city's food supplies had been largely destroyed on Hitler's orders. 128 of the 226 bridges had been blown up and 87 pumps rendered inoperative. "A quarter of the subway stations were under water, flooded on Hitler's orders. Thousands and thousands who had sought shelter in them had drowned when the SS had carried out the blowing up of the protective devices on the Landwehr Canal." [107] Workers had sabotaged and prevented the blowing up of the Klingenberg power station, the Johannisthal waterworks, and other pumping stations, railroad facilities, and bridges prepared with dynamite by the SS in the last days of the war. [107]

          At some point on 28 April or 29 April, General Heinrici, Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula, was relieved of his command after disobeying Hitler's direct orders to hold Berlin at all costs and never order a retreat, and was replaced by General Kurt Student. [108] General Kurt von Tippelskirch was named as Heinrici's interim replacement until Student could arrive and assume control. There remains some confusion as to who was in command, as some references say that Student was captured by the British and never arrived. [109] Regardless of whether von Tippelskirch or Student was in command of Army Group Vistula, the rapidly deteriorating situation that the Germans faced meant that Army Group Vistula's coordination of the armies under its nominal command during the last few days of the war was of little significance. [110]

          On the evening of 29 April, Krebs contacted General Alfred Jodl (Supreme Army Command) by radio: [100]

          Request immediate report. Firstly of the whereabouts of Wenck's spearheads. Secondly of time intended to attack. Thirdly of the location of the IX Army. Fourthly of the precise place in which the IX Army will break through. Fifthly of the whereabouts of General Rudolf Holste's spearhead.

          In the early morning of 30 April, Jodl replied to Krebs: [100]

          Firstly, Wenck's spearhead bogged down south of Schwielow Lake. Secondly, the XII Army therefore unable to continue attack on Berlin. Thirdly, bulk of the IX Army surrounded. Fourthly, Holste's Corps on the defensive.


          While the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front encircled Berlin, and started the battle for the city itself, Rokossovsky's 2nd Belorussian Front started his offensive to the north of Berlin. On 20 April between Stettin and Schwedt, Rokossovsky's 2nd Belorussian Front attacked the northern flank of Army Group Vistula, held by the III Panzer Army. [51] By 22 April, the 2nd Belorussian Front had established a bridgehead on the east bank of the Oder that was over 15 km (9 mi) deep and was heavily engaged with the III Panzer Army. [66] On 25 April, the 2nd Belorussian Front broke through III Panzer Army's line around the bridgehead south of Stettin, crossed the Randowbruch Swamp, and were now free to move west towards Montgomery's British 21st Army Group and north towards the Baltic port of Stralsund. [111]

          The German III Panzer Army and the German XXI Army situated to the north of Berlin retreated westwards under relentless pressure from Rokossovsky's 2nd Belorussian Front, and was eventually pushed into a pocket 32 km (20 mi) wide that stretched from the Elbe to the coast. [65] To their west was the British 21st Army Group (which on 1 May broke out of its Elbe bridgehead and had raced to the coast capturing Wismar and Lübeck), to their east Rokossovsky's 2nd Belorussian Front and to the south was the United States Ninth Army which had penetrated as far east as Ludwigslust and Schwerin. [112]


          The successes of the 1st Ukrainian Front during the first nine days of the battle meant that by 25 April, they were occupying large swathes of the area south and south-west of Berlin. Their spearheads had met elements of the 1st Belorussian Front west of Berlin, completing the investment of the city. [111] Meanwhile, the 58th Guards Rifle Division of the 5th Guards Army in 1st Ukrainian Front made contact with the 69th Infantry Division (United States) of the United States First Army near Torgau, on the Elbe River. [111] These manoeuvres had broken the German forces south of Berlin into three parts. The German IX Army was surrounded in the Halbe pocket. [113] Wenck's XII Army, obeying Hitler's command of 22 April, was attempting to force its way into Berlin from the south-west but met stiff resistance from 1st Ukrainian Front around Potsdam. [114] Schörner's Army Group Centre was forced to withdraw from the Battle of Berlin, along its lines of communications towards Czechoslovakia. [43]

          Between 24 April and 1 May, the IX Army fought a desperate action to break out of the pocket in an attempt to link up with the XII Army. [115] Hitler assumed that after a successful breakout from the pocket, the IX Army could combine forces with the XII Army and would be able to relieve Berlin. [116] There is no evidence to suggest that Generals Heinrici, Busse, or Wenck thought that this was even remotely strategically feasible, but Hitler's agreement to allow the IX Army to break through Soviet lines allowed many German soldiers to escape to the west and surrender to the United States Army. [117]

          At dawn on 28 April, the youth divisions Clausewitz, Scharnhorst, and Theodor Körner attacked from the south-west toward the direction of Berlin. They were part of Wenck's XX Corps and were made up of men from the officer training schools, making them some of the best units the Germans had in reserve. They covered a distance of about 24 km (15 mi), before being halted at the tip of Lake Schwielow, south-west of Potsdam and still 32 km (20 mi) from Berlin. [118] During the night, General Wenck reported to the German Supreme Army Command in Fuerstenberg that his XII Army had been forced back along the entire front. According to Wenck, no attack on Berlin was possible. [119] [120] At that point, support from the IX Army could no longer be expected. [100] In the meantime, about 25,000 German soldiers of the IX Army, along with several thousand civilians, succeeded in reaching the lines of the XII Army after breaking out of the Halbe pocket. [121] The casualties on both sides were very high. Nearly 30,000 Germans were buried after the battle in the cemetery at Halbe. [54] About 20,000 soldiers of the Red Army also died trying to stop the breakout most are buried at a cemetery next to the Baruth-Zossen road. [54] These are the known dead, but the remains of more who died in the battle are found every year, so the total of those who died will never be known. Nobody knows how many civilians died but it could have been as high as 10,000. [54]

          Having failed to break through to Berlin, Wenck's XII Army made a fighting retreat back towards the Elbe and American lines after providing the IX Army survivors with surplus transport. [122] By 6 May many German Army units and individuals had crossed the Elbe and surrendered to the US Ninth Army. [110] Meanwhile, the XII Army's bridgehead, with its headquarters in the park of Schönhausen, came under heavy Soviet artillery bombardment and was compressed into an area eight by two kilometres (five by one and a quarter miles). [123]


          On the night of 2–3 May, General von Manteuffel, commander of the III Panzer Army along with General von Tippelskirch, commander of the XXI Army, surrendered to the US Army. [110] Von Saucken's II Army, that had been fighting north-east of Berlin in the Vistula Delta, surrendered to the Soviets on 9 May. [112] On the morning of 7 May, the perimeter of the XII Army's bridgehead began to collapse. Wenck crossed the Elbe under small arms fire that afternoon and surrendered to the American Ninth Army. [123]

          According to Grigoriy Krivosheev's work based on declassified archival data, Soviet forces sustained 81,116 dead for the entire operation, which included the battles of Seelow Heights and the Halbe [10] another 280,251 were reported wounded or sick during the operational period. [124] [o] The operation also cost the Soviets about 1,997 tanks and SPGs. [11] Krivosheev noted: "All losses of arms and equipment are counted as irrecoverable losses, i.e. beyond economic repair or no longer serviceable". [125] Soviet estimates based on kill claims placed German losses at 458,080 killed and 479,298 captured, [126] [p] but German research puts the number of dead at approximately 92,000 – 100,000. [12] The number of civilian casualties is unknown, but 125,000 are estimated to have perished during the entire operation. [127]

          In those areas that the Red Army had captured and before the fighting in the centre of the city had stopped, the Soviet authorities took measures to start restoring essential services. [128] Almost all transport in and out of the city had been rendered inoperative, and bombed-out sewers had contaminated the city's water supplies. [129] The Soviet authorities appointed local Germans to head each city block, and organised the cleaning-up. [128] The Red Army made a major effort to feed the residents of the city. [128] Most Germans, both soldiers and civilians, were grateful to receive food issued at Red Army soup kitchens, which began on Colonel-General Berzarin's orders. [130] After the capitulation the Soviets went house to house, arresting and imprisoning anyone in a uniform including firemen and railwaymen. [131]

          During and immediately following the assault, [132] [133] in many areas of the city, vengeful Soviet troops (often rear echelon units [134] ) engaged in mass rape, pillage and murder. [135] [q] Oleg Budnitskii, historian at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, told a BBC Radio programme that Red Army soldiers were astounded when they reached Germany. "For the first time in their lives, eight million Soviet people came abroad, the Soviet Union was a closed country. All they knew about foreign countries was there was unemployment, starvation and exploitation. And when they came to Europe they saw something very different from Stalinist Russia . especially Germany. They were really furious, they could not understand why being so rich, Germans came to Russia". [136] Other authors question the narrative of sexual violence by Red Army soldiers being more than what was a sad normality from all sides during the war, including the Western Allies. Nikolai Berzarin, commander of the Red Army in Berlin, quickly introduced penalties up to the death penalty for looting and rape. [137] Nevertheless Red Army soldiers kept an infamous reputation even in the years after surrender.

          Despite Soviet efforts to supply food and rebuild the city, starvation remained a problem. [129] In June 1945, one month after the surrender, the average Berliner was getting only 64 percent of a daily ration of 1,240 calories (5,200 kJ). [138] Across the city over a million people were without homes. [139]

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