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Eisenhower And Berlin 1945 [Paperback]

Stephen E Ambrose
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 25 2000 Norton Essays in American History
Reissue. In the final months of World War II, with the Allied forces streaming into Germany on two fronts, a line had to be drawn to prevent a clash between the Russian and the Anglo-American armies. In a fascinating narrative, Stephen E. Ambrose describes both the political and the military aspects of the situation, sketches the key players, explains the alternatives and considers the results. He shines a sharply focused light on an episode that cast a very long shadow.

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An able and convincing brief, defending Eisenhower's decisions. -- American Historical

The most authoritative, succinct statement of the argument that Eisenhower was correct in his decision. -- Choice

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First Sentence
OF ALL THE FACTORS that influenced General Dwight D. Eisenhower's decision to stop at the Elbe River, few were more important than one brought about on March 7 by accident. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Why Ike decided not to capture Berlin in 1945. May 29 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a short book about why Ike did not use the opportunity to capture Berlin in 1945. This is an earlier book before Ambrose became widely known, and to be honest more scholorly and less reader friendly. It is a short read.
Ike did not sanction the capture of Berlin for a number of reasons. First, Berlin was in the Soviet sphere in Germany, and second because his troops were not in as good a position as the Russians of taking the Nazi capital. The cost in human lives would also be great, especially if the city would have to be handed back to the Russians. For these reasons, Ike decided that Berlin was not worth the risk, and sent his forces toward Leipzig. Ike made a sound military decision.
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3.0 out of 5 stars MORE LIKE A THESIS PAPER THAN A BOOK May 12 2000
Format:Paperback
I am a hugh fan of Stephen Ambrose. However, this very small book was a great disappointment. First of all its only about 100 pages plus appendices. It is more like reading a college history report. Stephen Ambrose is my favorite history author but, he seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Eisenhower. In Ambroses eyes he can do no wrong. If you want a much more detailed viewpoint of the battle for Berlin read The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ambrose is overrated. READ THE LAST BATTLE July 20 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After reading Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, and Band of Brothers, I came to one conclusion. Ambrose is great at interviewing veterans and taking those interviews and making pretty good books out of them. However, he should not attempt to analyze the strategy of several generals in World War 2. Ambrose is ignorant to the fact that even though our allies in the east were communists, they still bled alot more than the Western Allies did and suffered far more from the wrath of the Third Reich. Ambrose is a fool for criticizing Cornelius Ryan's The Last Battle. Ryan was able to interview hundreds from BOTH sides of the war. While Ambrose just interviews Americans, Ryan interviewed Americans, British, Russians, and Germans. Also don't forget that Ryan was able to interview all the key players of the Battle of Berlin; Ike, Bradley, Chuikov, Rokossovskii, Heinrici, and too many more for me to list here. If you want a great account of the Battle of Berlin and the decision of the West not to attack the capital, read Ryan's The Last Battle. Take it from a guy who was with our troops and interviewed ALL of the major players in the battle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Decision Speaks Well of Eisenhower Oct. 12 2012
By Epistem Quest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I should state right off the bat that I am not a war history buff. I purchased this book, and a couple others, in order to expand my knowledge of World War II. I decided to read this one first.

Knowing something of Stephen Ambrose's view of Eisenhower, I expected a positive presentation of Eisenhower's decision to let the Russians take Berlin. I was not surprised in this regard. The only question for me was, did Eisenhower's decision make military sense? I think he makes his case that Eisenhower made the right decision from many angles.

General Eisenhower asked General Omar Bradley for an estimate of how many soldiers would lose their lives in taking Berlin. Bradley figured 100,000. It was already decided by political means that Berlin would be divided four ways. Similarly,Berlin was within the Russian sector. Eisenhower felt that Berlin was not worth losing 100,000 soldiers over, and that the Russians were closer and better prepared to do that task. In addition, Eisenhower wanted to crush Germany as quickly as possible, and he felt Berlin could take away from that objective. The book is a defense of the military logic of his decision.

I found much to admire about Dwight D. Eisenhower in this book. He was his own man, but sought consensus as best he could without compromising his war plan. He had a deep understanding of the role of military decisions relative to the political process. He valued his troops. Ambrose says of Eisenhower, "Seldom in four years, during which time he had to deal with countless megalomaniacs, innumerable irritating problems, and dozens of major crises, did he lose his temper. He did not carry over into the next day the problems of the moment; he approached every decision on its own merits. He could do so because he liked people and therefore enjoyed life." I can't help but respect his decision not to forfeit 100,000 soldiers for something he later referred to as a "worthless objective." He was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. I like Ike!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MORE LIKE A THESIS PAPER THAN A BOOK May 12 2000
By Jeffrey M. Hyder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a hugh fan of Stephen Ambrose. However, this very small book was a great disappointment. First of all its only about 100 pages plus appendices. It is more like reading a college history report. Stephen Ambrose is my favorite history author but, he seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Eisenhower. In Ambroses eyes he can do no wrong. If you want a much more detailed viewpoint of the battle for Berlin read The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why Ike decided not to capture Berlin in 1945. May 29 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a short book about why Ike did not use the opportunity to capture Berlin in 1945. This is an earlier book before Ambrose became widely known, and to be honest more scholorly and less reader friendly. It is a short read.
Ike did not sanction the capture of Berlin for a number of reasons. First, Berlin was in the Soviet sphere in Germany, and second because his troops were not in as good a position as the Russians of taking the Nazi capital. The cost in human lives would also be great, especially if the city would have to be handed back to the Russians. For these reasons, Ike decided that Berlin was not worth the risk, and sent his forces toward Leipzig. Ike made a sound military decision.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ambrose is overrated. READ THE LAST BATTLE July 20 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, and Band of Brothers, I came to one conclusion. Ambrose is great at interviewing veterans and taking those interviews and making pretty good books out of them. However, he should not attempt to analyze the strategy of several generals in World War 2. Ambrose is ignorant to the fact that even though our allies in the east were communists, they still bled alot more than the Western Allies did and suffered far more from the wrath of the Third Reich. Ambrose is a fool for criticizing Cornelius Ryan's The Last Battle. Ryan was able to interview hundreds from BOTH sides of the war. While Ambrose just interviews Americans, Ryan interviewed Americans, British, Russians, and Germans. Also don't forget that Ryan was able to interview all the key players of the Battle of Berlin; Ike, Bradley, Chuikov, Rokossovskii, Heinrici, and too many more for me to list here. If you want a great account of the Battle of Berlin and the decision of the West not to attack the capital, read Ryan's The Last Battle. Take it from a guy who was with our troops and interviewed ALL of the major players in the battle.
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Author Aug. 30 2013
By brad jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book. It really sheds a light on a controversial piece of WW2 history and explains the real reason to halt the allied advance through Germany.
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