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Berlin Soldier: An Eyewitness Account of the Fall of Berlin Paperback – 31 Jul 2005


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Paperback, 31 Jul 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (31 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752441736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752441733
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 901,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Helmut Altner, the author, worked for decades as the Paris correspondent of several German newspapers, and has now retired to live just outside the city. Tony Le Tissier, the translator and editor, is an acknowledged expert on the 1945 battle of Berlin. His other books include, The Battle of Berlin 1945 (also published by Tempus), Slaughter at Halbe: The Destruction of Hitler's 9th Army - April 1945, With Our Backs to Berlin: The German Army in Retreat 1945, Death Was Our Companion: The Final Days of the Third Reich, Farewell to Spandau, and Berlin Then and Now. He lives in Lymington in Hampshire.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John - Dublin - RoI on 25 Feb. 2008
He really sets the scene well in the lead up to the "final days". You really get a vivid picture of the chaos and senselessness. I give it 4 stars as it starts a little slow - but then it really picks up and is a great book!

After the unit is finished its basic training, it is sent East to man a defensive position in front of the Russian spearhead. They get there during a lull.. but when the Russian attach resumes, they begin the retreat back to Berlin.

This book really comes into its own when the Author gets involved in the fighting in the streets of Berlin. This Guy without realising it, has suddenly has become a Veteran! There are vast running battles against the Russians with thousands of Volksturm & Hitler Youth - Which ends up exactly how you might expect.

The chapters in the U-Bahn Tunnels - The ensuing Streetfighting - Back in the barracks before the surrender - are all excellent.

He goes on to describe the breakout from Berlin.. which is told in its full, absolute grimness. The subsequent flight - to eventual captivity, is superbly written IMO.

Great little book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mad Bookie on 19 Jun. 2012
Excellent. There's nothing like an eyewitness account to give real human depth to a story you thought you already knew. The author was a teenager conscripted into the Wermacht in 1945, and sent straight to the Eastern Front which had already come nearer to Berlin than Frankfurt (Oder). However, it's what happens in Berlin that brings home the utter devastation, absurdity and human tragedy of 20th century urban warfare. In just a couple of months he sees more action than most allied soldiers ever saw and endures the deaths of just about all of his equally youthful comrades (several of whom were his school friends). If you have any romantic notions about war, you have to read this as an antidote.
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