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The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45 by [Kershaw, Ian]
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The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45 Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Length: 547 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"This is an astonishing story well told by the reigning English-speaking master of Third Reich history...A carefully considered and powerfully told saga."--"Kirkus" (starred review)

"[A]superb examination of the final defeat of Hitler''s tyranny...an excellent portrait of the regime''s death throes."--"Booklist" (starred review)

"Kershaw''s comprehensive research, measured prose, and commonsense insight combine in a mesmerizing explanation of how and why Nazi Germany chose self-annihilation."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

"Kershaw's comprehensive research, measured prose, and commonsense insight combine in a mesmerizing explanation of how and why Nazi Germany chose self-annihilation." "Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"[A]superb examination of the final defeat of Hitler's tyranny...an excellent portrait of the regime's death throes." "Booklist" (starred review)
"This is an astonishing story well told by the reigning English-speaking master of Third Reich history...A carefully considered and powerfully told saga." "Kirkus" (starred review)"

About the Author

Ian Kershaw is the author of "Fateful Choices "and the definitive two-volume biography of Hitler, " Hitler 1889 1936: Hubris" and "Hitler 1936 1945: Nemesis."His latest book, "To Hell and Back," is a history of the first half of the 20th century.He lives in Manchester, England."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 36374 KB
  • Print Length: 547 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594203148
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HDK4OW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Hardcover
I have read much of Ian Kershaw,s previous work- he is always good - but some parts of his earlier books can be ,in my opinion, a little dry.
However, in this book Kershaw hits top form.The book is a page-turner- none of it can be skimmed.
Kershaw covers the last 10 months of the war and tries to answer the question -why did the Germans fight to the very end when the outcome was so obvious?
The answer seems to be the evil, demonic charisma of Adolf Hitler himself ,butressed by Goebbels propaganda(which kept the charismatic image of Hitler alive long after Hitler himself was a broken man -with no charisma left), and a fear of the Russians advancing from the East.
The book does not just cover high strategy but also gives revealing little glimpses of Hitler worrying about calling up postmen as he wants to keep an air of normality by maintaining postal deliveries or refusing to cut production of sweets and beer to keep up morale.We also see Hitler refusing Goebbels permission to shut down magazines ,which the Fuhrer liked.
There is also the chilling tale of the Nazi Mayor of Ansbach , in the very last days of the war having a student summarily executed for trying to persuade the town to surrender.Then ,when American tanks appeat outside the town ,4 hours later- the mayor steals a bicycle and flees.
The narrative of this book is gripping and the analysis is first rate-a masterpiece- highly recommended.!
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent book looks not only at the end of the war, but why the war dragged on so long when it was obvious to everybody but the most deluded that Germany had lost. Why did Germany refuse to contemplate capitulation before May 1945? Ian Kershaw points out that their refusal to do so was self-destructive, as a country defeated in war almost always seeks terms at some point. Yet, Germany fought to the last, ending in almost total devastation and complete enemy occupation.

The book begins with von Stauffenberg's failed attempt on Hitler's life. Hitler's charisma had weakened, but his popularity was revived by the attempt on his life. The failed uprising brought changes which ended up lengthening the war. Hitler's paranoia reached new depths and he explained any military failure on "cowards" trying to find a political way to escape. The uprising led to the power quadrumvirate of Speer, Goebbels, Himmler and Bormann. All those in high positions of power were aware that their fates were linked to that of Hitler. Hitler himself had said long before that the war would end with victory or his suicide, and he felt the German people had failed in some way and were not worth saving. Although Hitler's popularity never entirely died - perhaps the people felt they had invested too much in him - much of the population were war weary and saw defeat as the only outcome.

As the Ardennes - the last great German offensive - failed by Christmas 1944, it was almost all over. Yet, despite teetering, the regime survived. Kershaw looks at the way the leaders allowed the war effort to stagger on and how they strived to ensure there was no slackening of the war effort.
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Format: Hardcover
Books on Nazi Germany abound, and many cover the same ground. Ian Kershaw has taken a refreshing approach the Germany's last 10 months. I found his examination of why Germany refused to surrender absolutely fascinating. He peppers his analysis with human interest stories, and the result is an uncompromising exposure of the terrible brutality of that regime. He shows what little room the ordinary German had to manoeuvre in this last bitter stage, and the terrible price they paid for it. I got hold of a copy of the great propaganda film Triumph of the Will, which I watched while reading this book, relishing the tragic irony of it all. The book is enriched by Kershaw's strong sense of compassion, which threads through the book as he reminds one that however bad it was for the ordinary German, it was much worse for the prisoners.This is highly readable: I am not an academic, but someone with an interest in this period and I found it unputdownable.Mr Kershaw, I hope you tackle the Nuremburg Trial next.
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