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Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45

Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 [Kindle Edition]

Max Hastings
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'a fascinating account... comes as a corrective to Hollywood's irresistible makeover of the war' -- Daily Telegraph


"'As a military historian Max Hastings has few equals' Times Literary Supplement 'Max Hastings now stands in the first rank of writers on modern war' Financial Times"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4274 KB
  • Print Length: 660 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (19 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007V2VCBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library's $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI's Westminster Medal for his international best-seller 'All Hell Let Loose'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, judgemental, incisive.. 22 Jan 2010
Hastings' 'Armageddon' is one of the best WWII books I've read. Clearly he has undertaken painstaking desk and field research and the results show it. But it is not just the sheer details that make the book shine, it is Hastings' opinions and judgements - however camouflaged - that give the book its deserved plaudits. He does not shirk from telling the unpalatable truths that need airing if the history of the war is to be a full one.

Allied atrocities such as the shooting of German prisoners of war and the strafing of civilians are detailed, as are those by the Germans and Russians. He spends much time on the many episodes of rape by Russian soldiers - it is thought some 2m German women were raped - and clearly has strong views on it without expressing them. He finds time for pity for the German civilian, despite acknowledging the overwhelming case for collective guilt, and sometimes one suspects even for the dogged German soldier, who Hastings rightly describes as the best fighting professional of the war. Similarly he carefully awards professional respect for the Waffen-SS, whilst in no way condoning their sometimes atrocious battlefield behaviour. He reserves much criticism - supported by much evidence - of Montgomery and the American generals, Patton included. But despite Eisenhower's faults as a strategist, Hastings is fullsome in his regard for him as a leader and politician who held together what was becoming a fractious partnership between Great Britain and the USA.

I was surprised at the observation by Hastings that the Allied soldier was a factor in why the war did not end in 1944.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some of the more critical reviews of this book point out that the book is too anecdotal to be taken seriously as a (military) history. In the introduction Hasting clearly states that he intends the book to be a portrait, not a history. Also, Hastings is said to recount just those anecdotes that support his idea that had the western allies been more aggressive, the war would have ended sooner. I'm not sure there would be many anecdotes to tell that prove him wrong on this count.
I found the book a well written, properly balanced book, in which the heroism and plight of all concerned is given its due. He does make it abundantly clear whose side he is on, however. So while he cannot but admit to a certain admiration for the Russians' and Germans' fighting skills, which compared rather favourably (not a felicitous word in this context perhaps) with those of the western allies, he also makes no bones about it that the origin lay in the evil determination of their respective leaders, who revelled in the glory of dying for the fatherland (as long as it were others dying for them), a factor distinctly absent in Churchill and Roosevelt.
The anecdotes serve the purpose of giving the people who fought and suffered a voice, an identity, they put flesh on the bones of historical facts, which are often bad enough, but which seldom engage the reader by way of empathy. The fact that quite a few Allied commanders' reputations are put in a different, less positive light than most readers are perhaps used to, is, as far as I am concerned, proof of the fact that Hastings has tried to be as objective as possible.
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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story very well told 8 April 2005
By Alec B
I had previously read 'Overlord' by Max Hastings and found that he told that story (the battle of Normandy) very well. I read this book in hardback and found that it is similarly well told. As well as the pure facts of the allied & Russian advances and German counter-attacks, Max Hastings adds colour and interest from the personal accounts of many people he has interviewed (I contrast this with Berlin The Downfall - Beevor - which I found too dry in this respect). It also deals well with the problems faced by the allied leaders between themselves.
The book covers the western and eastern fronts and the concentration camps. It does not cover the war through Italy.
One thing I think could be much improved is the maps - there are a few, but not enough (e.g. one per chapter), they are very basic and don't tie in well with the text. There could be many more, illustrating the text, and use colour.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armageddon... 8 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback a very appropriate title for a book about the battle for Germany if ever there was one. Especially at the Eastern Front. Hastings achieves a good balance between the wider picture - embracing the politics and military strategy of the campaign as a whole - with the experience of individuals who were in the thick of the action, whether they are soldiers, civilians, POWs or Hitler's concentration camp victims. This really is a very good book and I recommend it highly. I think this book is complemented particularly well by Norman Davies's "Rising '44: the Battle for Warsaw" and Anthony Beevor's "Berlin: The Downfall", both of which, incidentally, Hastings praises in his acknowledgements at the end of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Published 1 day ago by Yvonne Barre
5.0 out of 5 stars I never thought that any book on the 2nd World War could be different....
This is one of the most shocking books I have ever read. Brought up on 2nd WW films in which the British or Americans were invariably the heroes, having read Churchill's The... Read more
Published 3 days ago by H. M. Sykes
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
Utterly gripping and superbly narrated, with cutting analysis of the highest calibre by Hastings. Buy, you'll not be disappointed and get 20 hours of first rate reading material.
Published 4 days ago by D. K. Bainbridge
4.0 out of 5 stars reads as good as any of Max Hastings other books
This does not cover the complete conflict. The Normandy campaign and a few others get a few sentences as the author considers them well enough written about already. Read more
Published 10 days ago by M. Stokes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good condition and prompt delivery. THe usual excellent max hastings product
Published 12 days ago by eilsel
4.0 out of 5 stars Monumental work detailing monumental events
This monumental work recounts the Allies' push for Berlin from D-Day onwards, in painstaking detail, the research for which is evident in the acknowledgements and notes at the end... Read more
Published 3 months ago by still searching
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Hastings - Brilliant
I never thought there would be a competitor to A J P but Hastings is a master. Compulsive reading. This was my fourth of his books and yet to be disappointed
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading.
The Second World War is now very much part of the history syllabus for many schools. I would recommend that pupils read this to support their school studies.
Published 3 months ago by Professor J E Banatvala
5.0 out of 5 stars A good history
Max Hastings books on WW2 are essential reading for any serious historian in my view. This one didn't disappoint me.
Published 3 months ago by GDD
5.0 out of 5 stars Very harrowing
I like Max Hasting's stye and he makes good use of real memories from those that were there. Uncovers many less well known aspects of the campaign and it seems fair to all sides... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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