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4.0 out of 5 stars Race for the Reichstag - Tony Le Tissier, 25 Oct 2002
spyder_man "spyder_man" (Orpington, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Race for the Reichstag: The 1945 Battle for Berlin (Soviet (Russian) Military Experience) (Hardcover)
This is the third book in a trilogy covering the defeat of the Axis forces by the Red army. This book covers the final six weeks of the battle for Berlin ending with the death of Hitler and the surrender of the Berlin garrison.
Tony Le Tissier is an undisputed authority on the fall of Berlin, having spent 22 years in Berlin, initially in the armed forces, the last 10 researching into the Berlin campaign. The depth and detail of that research comes across throughout this book. This book is concerned solely with the military aspect of the battle. Although there is plenty of anecdotal content, it is all from combatants of both sides. If you are seeking the viewpoint of the people of Berlin, then this is not the book for you. Having said that, if you are a student of military strategy or a war gamer, then this book will tell you down to the smallest detail,almost on an hour by hour basis, how each phase of the assault succeeded or on occasion, was repulsed. It also goes to great length, to show the rivalry and enmity between Chukov and Koniev. This had been accentuated by Stalin’s interference due to his frustration with the former having taking so long to take the previous major obstacle: the Seelow Heights.
What does come across is that some of the occupants of the Hitler bunker had completely lost touch with reality and were almost acting out the final scenes of some Wagnerian tragic opera. The internecine struggle among Hitler’s lackeys for his favours. Wermacht generals trying to lead their armies to the Americans rather than to lose them in the ruins of Berlin. The SS bloodhounds who were obsessed with stringing up anybody who showed any sign of straying from the party creed.
Le Tissiers style is easy to read and it is an excellent attempt at leading the reader through a highly complex campaign (which is probably why he has been so singular in his approach). The book has 17 maps to aid understanding, a slight criticism is that they are complex maps: the keys of which are lacking. Some way of referring to the specific map locations from the text would have improved the fluid reading rather than searching for places or military units. There are 54 interesting photographs many of which, have not appeared in previous publications. The book has 265 pages, 19 pages of “Orders of Battle” for each side, comprehensive notes, bibliography and a very useful “Armed forces index”.
Military historians and wargamers only.
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