On 4 April 1945, the Soviet Red Army began its final assault on Vienna. Five days later, after sporadic—at times fierce—fighting, Soviet troops penetrated the inner city. The battle lasted for several more days in the suburbs, until the withdrawal of the last remnants of the German forces. The Red Army saw some seventeen thousand soldiers killed in action. In the first days and weeks after the battle ended, Soviet troops committed systematic sexual violence against women and girls across the city. The Allied occupation of Austria formally commenced on 27 April 1945.

Allied bombing and street-to-street fighting during the siege left large areas of Vienna in ruin....

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