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The Fall of Berlin 1945 Paperback – Apr 29 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (April 29 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142002801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142002803
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
Berliners, gaunt from short rations and stress, had little to celebrate at Christmas in 1944. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr H Hubble-Marriott on June 1 2004
Format: Paperback
As the author notes in the opening pages, this volume is best read in conjunction with his earlier work "Stalingrad", and perhaps even his earlier work on the Spanish Civil War. These three volumes trace the conflict between opposing totalitarian regimes. Spain allowed Hitler and Stalin to fight a proxy war in Spain, while Barbarossa brought the conflict very much into the open. Thus "The Fall of Berlin" documents the culmination of a struggle that was as much ideological as military.
The books opens in late 1944 just as Hitler's Ardennes offensive was winding down and assumes the reader has a reasonable understanding of the military and political situation at the time: the crumbling Nazi empire and internecine politics of the regime, the uneasy tension between the Allies and the enormous scale forces marshalled by the combatants. Without this prior knowledge it may take the reader a few chapters to familiarise themselves with the litany of names, dates and locations. However it is here the author excels in describing the complexity of the situation and making it accessible to the general reader. The authors prose is clear and understandable: I've read this text twice and have been gripped on both occasions.
Perhaps Anthony Beevor's greatest achievement is his rendering of the human costs of the conflict. One not only feels pity for German civilians who bore the burnt of the Soviet rage in East Prussia, but also for the ordinary Russian soldiers whose expectations that "things would be different after the war" where manipulated by Stalin.
Without the Soviet victories in such decisive battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk the Anglo-American forces would have had a much harder time of it. Hitler may not have been beaten. However the author doesn't sugar coat what the Soviets did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zar1969 on June 21 2002
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Beevor's latest book describes the events around the collapse of the German Nazism and the capture of Berlin. The subject is obviously very complex, because world history is yet to find a comfortable vantage point on the crimes against humanity, the number of casualties, and the ethical distortions, which WWII spurred around the globe.
It seems like the author sets out to compile an "honest" narrative - a history, which is not written by the victors. To achieve this, Mr. Beevor diligently describes hundreds of cases of looting, insubordination, and rape during the Russian advance. In fact, it is hard to imagine how the Red Army managed to preserve sufficient combative capabilities with all the acts of revenge that Mr. Beevor assigns to its members.
While I do not doubt the accuracy of the incidents described in this study, I find the author's attempt to be objective quite naïve. It is impossible to analyze fully the conclusion of WWII in Europe on 431 pages only. You have to choose the focus of the study. It seems that Mr. Beevor's focus has been to deconstruct the heroic image of the Russian conquest of northern and eastern Germany. In this, he has succeeded. As to the choice of the title of this book - I think that the historical importance of the fall of Berlin transcends the acts of vandalism committed by the armies of one of the Allies. Therefore, I would like to suggest an alternative title for this book: The Fall of the Red Army by Anthony Beevor in 2002. It seems that in this case particularly the pen is mightier than the sword...
As to his analysis of the German military and political command, the author presents a much more standard thesis, which blames the military failures on the poor leadership of Hitler and his closest political comrades.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First rate historical research by a major historian especially for recent material in Soviet archives. Totally worth reading! Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent and enlightening look about what happened on the Eastern Front of World War II. Being an American, I'm often exposed to the Western slant about what happened in the war, so this was quite refreshing. I have a natural inclination to question whatever I read - I don't just automatically believe anything. But, from what I have read, and I've done a fair amount of reading on the European theater, this book seems to confirm and expand on what is well documented - the German butchers' behavior was atrocious and indefensible when they invaded in the east (and wherever they conquered peoples and nations), and the Red Army doled out severe retribution when they conquered German territory. Two wrongs don't make a right, but war is ugly, brutal and deadly, and one can at least understand WITHOUT CONDONING the Red Army's actions. Most Red Army soldiers had lost comrades and were eager to settle the score.
Beevor's writing gets bogged down at times, but in the middle of the book, when one can almost see the Red Army's brutal advance, the pace, quality and descriptions of the fighting gain fine form. The reader can almost sense the death, smell, brutality and desperation that defined Berlin in the spring of 1945. Beevor doesn't describe Berlin, he transports the reader there.
This is a fine addition to any World War II library, and a great tome that describes the bitter closing days of the war in Europe.
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