EPUB Á The Last Battle: The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin õ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

EPUB ã The Last Battle: The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin ì The classic account of the final offensive against Hitler s Third ReichThe Battle for Berlin was the culminating struggle of World War II in the European theater, the last offensive against Hitler s Third Reich, which devastated one of Europe s historic capitals and marked the final defeat of Nazi Germany It was also one of the war s bloodiest and most pivotal battles, whose outcome would shape international politics for decades to comeCornelius Ryan s compelling account of this final battle is a story of brutal extremes, of stunning military triumph alongside the stark conditions that the civilians of Berlin experienced in the face of the Allied assault As always, Ryan delves beneath the military and political forces that were dictating events to explore the immediate imperatives of survival, where, as the author describes it, to eat had become important than to love, to burrow dignified than to fight, to exist militarily correct than to win It is the story of ordinary people, both soldiers and civilians, caught up in the despair, frustration, and terror of defeat It is history at its best, a masterful illumination of the effects of war on the lives of individuals, and one of the enduring works on World War II A great historical read Factually questionable in parts A recent trip to Berlin and during a tour of the Reichstag the guide told us that the Red Army that fought in the Berlin battle on the soviet side could have had one third women front line soldiers Who to believe The description of the information the allies based their strategy on was questionable, such as the phantom German redoubt in Bavaria So much for enigma The civilian scenes of the battle and aftermath were harrowing Hitlers d A great historical read Factually questionable in parts A recent trip to Berlin and during a tour of the Reichstag the guide told us that the Red Army that fought in the Berlin battle on the soviet side could have had one third women front line soldiers Who to believe The description of the information the allies based their strategy on was questionable, such as the phantom German redoubt in Bavaria So much for enigma The civilian scenes of the battle and aftermath were harrowing Hitlers delusion of imaginary German armies and madness was evident as was his cronies such as Goebbels I found out why the allies let the Russians take Berlin which made sense with the Eclipse plan that divided Germany into three zones once the Germans were defeated Eisenhower probably saved thousands of allied soldiers lives by ignoring Montgomery and his glory seeking Stalin was completely untrustworthy and you can see the seeds of the Iron Curtain developing with Poland and other Eastern European countries All in all a good read and it was good to see Henrici finally disobeying Hitlers orders to save his men There is no easy way to put to words something with such enormity as the last battle in the deadliest military conflict in history And yet, Cornelius Ryan manages to do just that not with the use of staggering statistics, but with a series of stories that even my simple human mind could comprehend Don t get me wrong, Ryan is thorough in his coverage of the military history of the Battle of Berlin However, for me, sometimes the big picture is brought home by the little things, so I m just There is no easy way to put to words something with such enormity as the last battle in the deadliest military conflict in history And yet, Cornelius Ryan manages to do just that not with the use of staggering statistics, but with a series of stories that even my simple human mind could comprehend Don t get me wrong, Ryan is thorough in his coverage of the military history of the Battle of Berlin However, for me, sometimes the big picture is brought home by the little things, so I m just gonna go ahead and copy the model of Jeff s lovely review and tell you a few of the many things I learned or hadn t previously considered The ZooEarly on Ryan tells us of a zookeeper who, unable to bear the thought of it being left there to perish, took home his favorite rare stork to live in his bathtub I m not gonna get all PETA on you here, but, yes the fate of the Berlin Zoo hit me pretty hard I won t attempt to devastate you or myself with pictures of perished elephants and whatnot, but the thought of the zoo s inhabitants as Berliners made for an interesting meditation One Way Out of Berlin What do you do when you re told that your city full of women and children residents is about to be sacked by a group of savages with no regard for humanity the Goebbels propaganda machine in perpetual motion Well, for one, you stock up on cyanide It seems that parlor talk included whether to go for the wrist or other major arteries among women who took to keeping razor blades on their person along the Strasses of Berlin Among the deaths by poisoning were the six Goebbels children who died at the hand of their mother, Magda, before she and her husband Reich Minister of Propaganda committed suicide Soldiers of Last ResortSo who was left to defend the city For the most part, the Volkssturm who, as Ryan describes, occupied a kind of netherworld among the military In addition to the problems arising from the fact that the invite decidedly read BYOW Bring Your Own Weapon which resulted in a hodgepodge of mismatched guns and ammo, the people s militia did not feature battle ready demographics Children as young as 13 were among the members of the 92 battalions sent out to the streets of battle On the flip side at least one Volkssturm unit was made up of World War I veterans and other men past their prime fighting years One such individual potentially a former senior ranking police official according to some internet comments is pictured below wearing a Volkssturm armband after being taken captive by a young Soviet soldier left Hitler Loyalists Had Second ThoughtsIn an egregious oversimplification of things, I ll just say that some of Hitler s higher ups were seriously starting to question his judgement during those final days Albert Speer, architect and Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production was considering assassinating Hitler However, Ryan best captures the internal turmoil of General Gotthard Heinrici pictured below meeting Hitler in 1937 who, in the end and, in reality, too late realized his responsibility to the German people and god superseded even direct orders from the Fuhrer My RecommendationRead this one or listen to it, as I did I m skipping, well, pretty much everything, and if you re at all interested in this period of history then you won t regret taking the time to go through this I have no idea why I had not read this book before now but I am thrilled that I did I have read several book on the Battle of Berlin but this one stands near, if not at the top, of the list of winners The author divides the book into sections..the City, the Generals, the Objective,the Decision, and the Battle Within each chapter, he supplies intricate detail of each topic without becoming pedantic..he is telling the story of what happened, as it happened, and does not allow any bias to I have no idea why I had not read this book before now but I am thrilled that I did I have read several book on the Battle of Berlin but this one stands near, if not at the top, of the list of winners The author divides the book into sections..the City, the Generals, the Objective,the Decision, and the Battle Within each chapter, he supplies intricate detail of each topic without becoming pedantic..he is telling the story of what happened, as it happened, and does not allow any bias to color the narrative It is a straightforward history of the race by the Allies for Berlin as the Third Reich collapses and the taking of the capital that will end the slaughter The interaction among the Allies as to who should be allowed the honor of entering the city first is fascinating and the fear of the civilians that the Russians would be the invaders was real, as it should have been The common Russian soldier was on a mission of revenge for the atrocities committed by Germany when they invaded Russia and were savage in their retribution The last days and hours within the Fuehrer Bunker are fascinating as Hitler s madness increased and he ordered all to stand and fight to the last man Needless to say, that did not happen, although the city could have been saved if one General would have stepped forward and approached the Allies directly with a statement of surrender.I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WWII, and even to those who may not be Beautifully done Typical sprawling Ryan not much new, but he sure brings back some great diary captured dialogue And who knew that around April 25th, 1945, Major Werner Pluskat slipped quietly away from Wenck s 12th Army, swam across the Elbe, and surrendered to the Americans Bradley You may recall Pluskat from Ryan s previous book D Day , but most especially the movie made from that book Posted at the Normandy beaches, he s the first to sight the Allied invasion P There must be 10,000 ships Supercilio Typical sprawling Ryan not much new, but he sure brings back some great diary captured dialogue And who knew that around April 25th, 1945, Major Werner Pluskat slipped quietly away from Wenck s 12th Army, swam across the Elbe, and surrendered to the Americans Bradley You may recall Pluskat from Ryan s previous book D Day , but most especially the movie made from that book Posted at the Normandy beaches, he s the first to sight the Allied invasion P There must be 10,000 ships Supercilious Colonel That s impossible the Anglo Americans don t have 10,000 ships Tell me, Herr Major, if they had 10,000 ships, where are they heading P Right at me That s from a different book, but good to know Pluskat deserted the sinking Reich just in time.I think Ryan undercounts Soviet losses taking Berlin 100k in the book , and spends too much time emphasizing the first and second wave of Russians that overran Berlin were professionals, not rapists Those soldiers warned of the pigs behind them, and they were right girls from 9 to women of 90 were raped Ryan discusses but somehow downplays it Fortunately, there s subsequently published diaries e.g., A Woman in Berlin making this hell of war all too ugly