99 of 103 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, insightful study of a nation's downfall,
This review is from: The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45 (Allen Lane History) (Hardcover)
There are countless books on the final months of Third Reich, but this isn't quite like any other that I've read on the subject (and I possess upwards of 300...).
The End is not narrative history - if you're after a Beevor or Hastings approach to the final ten months of the Nazi regime, look elsewhere. The End is a serious study of why Germany fought to the end - and the consequences for the nation in doing so, based on a lot of heavy research: there are pages and pages of references and source notes - the author's spent a lot of time in archives scattered around Germany.
The End focuses almost exclusively on what happened within the ever-diminishing domain of the Third Reich, as seen through the eyes of ordinary Germans and high ranking politicians and generals. There's an insightful look at Albert Speer's rather schizophrenic actions in 1944-45 and Sir Ian is critical of the Officer Corps for repeatedly failing to stand up to Hitler to bring the war to an end.
The End closes with Germany's surrender - unlike some recent studies of the country's fall which go on to look at the first few months of Germany under Allied rule. If you read this book alongside Bessel Germany 1945: From War to Peace and Noble Nazi Rule and the Soviet Offensive in Eastern Germany, 1944-1945: The Darkest Hour then you'll have as complete an overview of the demise of the Third Reich and the immediate aftermath as you could ask for.
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Initial post: 22 Sep 2012 03:14:37 BDT
Nathan Fisher says:
Upwards of three hundred books about the demise of the Third Reich? Are you quite serious? Forgive me, but why did you feel the need to read another book by a popular historian about a subject about which you already presumably possess dozens of academic tomes detailing all aspects of 'the end'? Anyway, I shall look to see if you've reviewed Kershaw's Hitler biographies (the next book/s I intend to purchase) because your short review of this book made me want to buy it. Although by now I should think you should be writing books of your own about the subject.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Sep 2012 10:30:34 BDT
Richard Hargreaves says:
The figure's probably nearer 350 - not to mention lots of unpublished documents from the German archives, newspaper cuttings and so on. Luckily, I've put some of them to good use: Hitler's Final Fortress - Breslau 1945
I've not reviewed Sir Ian's books on Hitler, but they're the best biographies in English and the combined single volume is only about £10. Well worth investing in.
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