- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Open market ed edition (27 Sept. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141017473
- ISBN-13: 978-0141017471
- Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 3.5 x 18.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,429,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 Paperback – 27 Sep 2007
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Military history, even at its best, can be a cold art. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that wars involve individuals, each with their own hopes, fears and desires. Berlin: the Downfall, 1945, is Antony Beevor's account of the bloody Götterdämmerung that brought the Second World War in Europe to an end, and in which he has fused the large and the small scale effects of war. Beevor paints the broad picture of Marshals Zhukov and Konev, competing for glory and Stalin's attention, as they race their armies towards Berlin. He gives the reader a gripping account of the brutal street-by-street fighting in the German capital and provides an unforgettable portrait of the last, insane days of Hitler and his entourage in the bunker.
His attention to emotional detail is what made his previous book Stalingrad such a magnificent work, combining a sweeping hisorical narrative with a remarkable sensitivity to human drama. Yet he also highlights the small details of ordinary people caught in the nightmare of history--the sick children evacuated at the last minute from a Potsdam hospital; the Soviet soldiers shaving themselves for the first time in weeks so that they would make appropriately presentable conquerors; and the Nazi Youth teenagers peddling their bikes in despairing, last-ditch attacks against the Red Army's tanks.
The story Beevor tells is an almost unremittingly terrible one--one of death, rape, hunger and human misery--but he tells it with both an epic sweep and an alertness to individuality. The result is a masterpiece of narrative history that is as powerful as Stalingrad. --Nick Rennison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fascinating, extraordinary, gripping (Jeremy Paxman)
This brilliant storyteller makes us feel the chaos and the fear as if every drop of blood was our own. It is much more than just a humane account; it is compellingly readable, deeply researched, and beautifully written (Simon Sebag Montefiore Spectator) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Beevor found the real reason behind the massive Soviet invasion -
of the German secret atom bomb programme. I was disappointed that he did not acknowledge the suffering of the
Soviet people during the invasion. Still a good read
What I also did not realise was the reason why the last months of the war ended as they did - ferocious defense by the Germans in the East and rolling over in the West - and the ulterior motives behind the Allies behaviour. If you read Stalingrad in conjunction with Berlin you begin to see that the Russians felt almost justified in their actions. But its the last few pages that are the classic twist in the tail - I won't spoil it but the German Army attitude to the events of the war is stunning. If you think history is a dry affair then read this and get a fresh perspective.
The analysis of the "rape on an industrial scale of German women" by the Russians was particularly illuminating.
From the macro to the micro this book firmly plants you in the collapse of the Third Reich
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anthony Beevor writes excellent histories, and this story about the fall of Berlin is no exception. He takes in the build up, and the events happening around the city as well as... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Rick Brindle