The Fall of Berlin, 1945

The Fall of Berlin, 1945

Book - 2002
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Acclaimed for his vivid re-creations of some of the twentieth century's most significant battles, Antony Beevor is one of the best known and respected military historians writing today. He now offers readers a gripping, street-level portrait of the harrowing days of January 1945 in Berlin when the vengeful Red Army and beleaguered Nazi forces clashed for a final time. The result was the most gruesome display of brutality in the war, with tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rapes, pillage, and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians froze to death or were massacred because Nazi officials had forbidden their evacuation. Hitler, half crazed in his bunker, issued wild orders while Stalin was prepared to risk any number of his men to seize the city before the other Allies could get there. Making full use of newly disclosed material from former Soviet files as well as from German, American, British, French, and Swedish archives, Beevor has reconstructed the different experiences of those millions caught up in the death throes of the Third Reich. The Fall of Berlin 1945depicts not only the brutality and desperation of a city under siege but also rare moments of extreme humanity and heroism. This account also contains new revelations about the motives behind Stalin's hurried assault. Sure to appeal to all readers interested in military history and the Second World War, The Fall of Berlin 1945promises to be the definitive treatment of the subject for years to come.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2002
ISBN: 9780670030415
0670030414
Branch Call Number: 943.1 BEE
Characteristics: xxxvii, 489 p., [24] p. of plates :,ill., maps, ports. ;,25 cm

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InsJavert
Jan 29, 2019

When I began this book, I was unfamiliar with the author as well as the details leading up to and shortly after this monumental historical event. At the end, I had a deep respect for the voluminous amount of research and work Mr. Beevor accomplished to write this book. Not only did his research comprise of military records from both the Soviet and Nazi archives, but was appropriately mixed with personal perspectives from eyewitness accounts, diaries, and other personal publications. Because of this, I was drawn deeper into the horrors and tragedies being described.

As to the work itself. The horrific tragedy and terrible cost of war and human suffering is not left out in this accounting. Over and over again, I was just stunned at the brutality of war, the inhumanity of both the soldiers and the civilians, and the atrocities inflicted on so many from both sides. Additionally, the contrasting between Stalin and Hitler and their generals, was also quite revealing, adding to the huge cost of life, and the broken bodies after the war. Most of all, I was so stunned by the brazen and brutal raping of women by the Russian army on the women of Germany. The numbers presented at the end of this brutality, was nothing short of frightening.

War is horrible, but to learn of the depth of the horror in this specific event, between two leaders; one instead of surrendering because of his own vanity and another for all out reprisal of the invasion of his country and the cost of defending Stalingrad, rendered the people to nothing but pawns (hamburger) caught in the perils of war. How terribly sad to learn of the cost to humanity for such madness.

If you enjoy history, especially military history. If you want a factual and well presented accounting of this historic event, I believe you will find this presentation a very good book.

y
Y5_svn
Nov 16, 2016

Excellent readable history. I like that it is super accessible, while also providing a dense bibliography for more academic sources if required.

m
MGallagher
Aug 19, 2013

Excellent book like all of A. Beevor's historical works. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

c
comac
Nov 15, 2012

Very readable like most of Beevor's books. Some not frequently recounted details of the Soviet advance through Poland and Pomerania. Recommended for those interested in the final collapse of Hitler's Reich.

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