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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 (76 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 Books; 2 edition (19 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007V2VCBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,636 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
21 of 22 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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78 of 84 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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41 of 45 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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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and sometimes preachy overview 1 July 2008
An impressive panoramic narrative of the battle for Germany, "Armageddon" combines a wide range of sources (including many veterans) with Hastings's sharp, often iconoclastic judgement. His criticism of the military folly of Operation Market Garden, the Ardennes offensive, and Zhukov's Oder crossing is hard-hitting, but frequently deserved. Hastings is no apologist for military failings, although he frequently gets moralistic: discussions of the justice of the allied cause or the tyranny of Stalin, which is perceived in downright Manichean terms, should not be part of a work of history. This is not to deny the reality of good and evil, or to say that tales of atrocity should not be included: of course they should, especially in a book that intends to provide a comprehensive narrative. It's just that anti-communist and anti-Nazi polemic should not be part of a work of history; it should be left to philosophers and politicians.

Apart from that criticism, Hastings provides a compellingly readable and frequently heart-wrenching account of the final months of the war, paying almost equal attention to the topics usually ignored in the west, such as the sheer magnitude and ferocity of the war on the eastern front. In "Armageddon", the catastrophic climax of the Second World War comes to life, and although we probably can't imagine accurately that awful time, Hastings comes pretty close.

Two minor criticisms. The first is that Hastings argues that the allied carpet bombing of German civilian homes is justified on the grounds that the workers who got bombed were supporting the German war effort through their labour. This is of course correct, but it's a very slippery slope.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 9 days 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 9 days 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 12 days 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 1 month ago by G. WILLIAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Excellent read, I bought this for my father who is a big WWI & WWII fan, he loves to read everything about those events. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Vixx H
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative book.
Good and well researched if a bit repetitive. Makes it clear there was no "art" in this war. It's a solid read.
Published 2 months ago by Ikan
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
Historical detail is very interesting and clear. Hastings' frequent personal opinions on military strategy sometimes get in the way though and his use of individual stories is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Collen
5.0 out of 5 stars essential and...incredible !
I have read this book after the book of Ian Kershaw " the end" ...I asked me a haunting question : how was it possible ?
Published 4 months ago by BEHBEHR
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Hastings. Armageddon.
This book was delivered in good condition and promptly.
None of Max Hastings books ever disappoint, Despite having not yet read this title I have every confidence that it will... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ivor Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Armageddon battle for Germany
The book is too difficult to follow, it gets lost in numerous statistics, in numbers of men, material
The battles on too fronts.....too much to take in.... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gerry Impey
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