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The Fall of Berlin 1945by Antony Beevor
"Beevor has wrenched a better book from the fall of Berlin than he was able to from the siege of Stalingrad. For one thing, the tight focus on the immediate area around Berlin makes it easier for the reader to follow the enormous flow of men and material than it was with a book covering the sprawling wastes of Russia. With the military issue never in doubt, Beevor is able to give more space to the civilian population than he did in his account of the Stalingrad siege....No previous text on the defeat of Germany has been so unsparing in its depiction of the miseries of the Germans themselves." Allen Barra, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)
Synopses & Reviews
Acclaimed for his vivid re-creations of some of the twentieth century's most significant battles, Antony Beevor is one of the best known and respected military historians writing today. He now offers readers a gripping, street-level portrait of the harrowing days of January 1945 in Berlin when the vengeful Red Army and beleaguered Nazi forces clashed for a final time. The result was the most gruesome display of brutality in the war, with tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rapes, pillage, and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians froze to death or were massacred because Nazi officials had forbidden their evacuation. Hitler, half crazed in his bunker, issued wild orders while Stalin was prepared to risk any number of his men to seize the city before the other Allies could get there.
Making full use of newly disclosed material from former Soviet files as well as from German, American, British, French, and Swedish archives, Beevor has reconstructed the different experiences of those millions caught up in the death throes of the Third Reich. The Fall of Berlin 1945 depicts not only the brutality and desperation of a city under siege but also rare moments of extreme humanity and heroism. This account also contains new revelations about the motives behind Stalin's hurried assault. Sure to appeal to all readers interested in military history and the Second World War, The Fall of Berlin 1945 promises to be the definitive treatment of the subject for years to come.
"Beevor opts for direct narrative with overheard quotes from the main players, making the reader an eavesdropper to Hitler and Stalin's obiter dicta." Publishers Weekly
"[A] riveting account....Richly detailed, gracefully written: a wrenching reminder that evil wears a human face." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Antony Beevor is the author of a number of books, including The Spanish Civil War, Inside the British Army, and Crete: The Battle and the Resistance. With his wife, Artemis Cooper, he wrote Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949. His book Stalingrad was awarded the first Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, The Wolfson History Prize, and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature. A #1 bestseller in the U.K., Stalingrad has been published around the world in seventeen languages. Beevor is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres in France.
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