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|Print List Price:||£12.99|
Save £5.44 (42%)
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 720 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
This is nothing like Beevor's Stalingrad, good as that is, but this is the real thing with no punches pulled. It takes you to the front lines in all their horror and is a mastery of strategic oversight. I also know now how some of the 2nd WW officers that I knew considered the whole thing a "cake walk", after the bloody D Day landings, it was because they were not doing the real fighting.
The observation of the military "top brass" is superb, the detail this book goes into is terrific, the mistakes the Anglo-American forces made horrendous, the lack of fighting spirit appalling. If it has done one thing more for me it has explained Putin's current belligerence with the West - OK the USA supplied the materiel but the Russians won the war. Not, at all as we have been brought up to believe, the Allies in the West. History is written by the victor but this rubbishes most of the 2nd WW history I have ever read. The British and Americans come out of this as a bunch of bungling amateurs, awfully nice you know but not really cut out for fighting, whereas the Germans and Russians come out as tough, professional and ruthless.
On the whole it is beautifully written, I have only found one typo, very engaging - you just want to plow on through because each page is a revelation. I read about a serious book a week (OK, War and Peace takes two) but I simply must say this is the best book I have read in a very long time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This has got to be one of the best histories of this type I have ever read. I has the detail that you need to get an understanding of the facts, while including a large dollop of... Read morePublished 8 days ago by MS-R
"Sir " Max Hastings the leading Military writer? Well the only thing Hastings does (and has done) is reading many books about a subject (in this case the end struggle for... Read morePublished 1 month ago by marc goris
I like this but I wouldn't say its Hastings' best. There seems to be a huge amount of anecdotes which can be interesting but there a number which could've been left out because... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Matt H
halfway thru reading it first book read from max hastings long time still very gd author gives well balanced view from all sides the facts are first rate well and truly researched... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jim McGreechin
A great read with different angles on what I thought I knew about the periodPublished 4 months ago by michael field
Fresh look at a desperate gamble that, had it succeeded, would have prolonged the war and cost many more lives. Well worth a read from an excellent writer.Published 4 months ago by Sparkes
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