Customer Reviews for

The Fall of Berlin 1945

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

An excellent account of the fall of Berlin.

This is a well researched and written account of the fall of Berlin. It fills a void somewhere between Cornelius Ryan's 'The Last Battle' (excellent for the casual historian) and Read and Fisher's 'The Fall of Berlin' (a more detailed and lengthy account). It's g...
This is a well researched and written account of the fall of Berlin. It fills a void somewhere between Cornelius Ryan's 'The Last Battle' (excellent for the casual historian) and Read and Fisher's 'The Fall of Berlin' (a more detailed and lengthy account). It's good mesh of historical background and personal experiences from the battle. Most of the criticisms I have read about the book seem more motivated by a 'Politically Correct' approach to history than by the truth. German atrocities throughout the war are well documented and are not the focus of this book. The Red Army DID (by all accounts save their own) engage in widespread rape and looting in eastern Germany and Berlin. Beevor gives a balanced account - he does not glorify German resistance, Nazism, or the Soviet advance. He simply tells what happened. Rape is a predominant theme in the book, but it was a predominant concern of the German women, and a fact of the war. This is a solid piece of work on one of the greatest human dramas in history. Don't let those with a hidden agenda steer away from this book.

posted by Anonymous on June 26, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The Fall of Berlin 1945-A Good Read About the Final Days of WWII

The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor follows the End of World War II From Christmas 1944 until May of 1945, mainly on the Eastern Front. Well documented, it covers the armies of both Russia and Nazi Germany, its leaders and soldiers and how the civilians caught in ...
The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor follows the End of World War II From Christmas 1944 until May of 1945, mainly on the Eastern Front. Well documented, it covers the armies of both Russia and Nazi Germany, its leaders and soldiers and how the civilians caught in the middle awaited the Soviet onslaught of millions of men and thousands of tanks and artillery. At this stage of the game, it was just a matter of time before the Soviet war machine made its final crushing blow. With Stalin at the helm, he knew that he wanted more than the defeat of the Nazis. There were many other prizes: gold, nuclear scientist, new countries to rule and exploit with an endless supply of slave labor. But, the biggest prize of all was the body of Adolf Hitler.

Beevor takes the reader through the last days of the war and the ultimate capture of Berlin.
Like many other times during the war there was politics involved. And this time was no different. Stalin feared that the Americans and the British would arrive in Berlin first so extra manpower was diverted to capture the city. Hence, Russian units that could have been more valuable at other locations were diverted to the Berlin corridor. At times units were firing at each other. Russian generals, Zukov in particular, was in competition with other Russian generals to claim the Berlin bragging rights. Soviet NKVD and SMERSH units had their hands full with POWs, deserters, and Stalin's orders to hide any activity at Hitler's bunker.

Much is written on the atrocities of the Soviets as they advanced forward. Rape and pillaging were the rule rather than the exception. This is covered quite extensively in the book with graphic descriptions-so those with sensitive stomachs are pre-warned. Kind of comical is how Hitler was pulling at straws in the later days and even appointed the incompetent Heinrich Himmler to command Army Group Vistula. Also, many of his generals already had a defeatist attitude and Hitler thought that Wenck's 12th Army would come to the rescue. It never did. Little is mentioned about the fight in the West, as the focus in the book is about the East.

The Fall of Berlin 1945 is an interesting book and is typical Beevor. This book is a good read as it covers both military and civilian perspectives. One thing that I like about his writing is that he covers the human aspects of the war and gives many personal accounts. This gives the reader more insight than the usual order of battle strategies found in many other books. Blending it in with the actual battles and day to day operations leads to an interesting read. This is where this book shines, as the tragedy and triumph of the war comes to a close. But, I would recommend reading his other books first as they all lead up to this climatic closure of the war.

Robert Glasker

posted by Azpooldude on May 26, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    An excellent account of the fall of Berlin.

    This is a well researched and written account of the fall of Berlin. It fills a void somewhere between Cornelius Ryan's 'The Last Battle' (excellent for the casual historian) and Read and Fisher's 'The Fall of Berlin' (a more detailed and lengthy account). It's good mesh of historical background and personal experiences from the battle. Most of the criticisms I have read about the book seem more motivated by a 'Politically Correct' approach to history than by the truth. German atrocities throughout the war are well documented and are not the focus of this book. The Red Army DID (by all accounts save their own) engage in widespread rape and looting in eastern Germany and Berlin. Beevor gives a balanced account - he does not glorify German resistance, Nazism, or the Soviet advance. He simply tells what happened. Rape is a predominant theme in the book, but it was a predominant concern of the German women, and a fact of the war. This is a solid piece of work on one of the greatest human dramas in history. Don't let those with a hidden agenda steer away from this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2014

    This book is in my view one of the best books ever written about

    This book is in my view one of the best books ever written about World War II. The book reads great and covers all angles related
    to the fall of Berlin to the Russians. More than just talking about the battles it creates a picture in your mind of what it must have been
    like to be a Russian or German soldier or civilian in East Prussia, Prussia and Germany; especially a woman knowing the Russians were
    seeking revenge and out of control for the German atrocities in the Ukraine and Russia...I could not put it down. Buy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    Scipio

    good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2006

    Engaging

    There are relatively few historians around who can write in such an engaging style. Count Beevor up there with Mosier and Keegan and possibly Weinberg. The bare truth about the atrocities of the Red Army are refreshing, since most of the reviewers tend to participate in the boring and lame moral equivalent/wimp league argument that the German civilians 'deserved' to be raped, looted and crucified, how dare we have sympathy for those wretched 'Germans.' When there are a whole slew of historians whose books are sure cures for insomnia, Mr. Beevor's talent is something to be singled out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Excellent and easy read on the Fall of Berlin

    Anyone who is interested in one of the most important (and vicious) battles in World War II should give this book a try. Beevor's newest piece is definitely on par with some of the other books which have been published on this subject and is a worthy successor to "Stalingrad". The reader doesn't have to be a military history buff to enjoy this work--which is altogether gripping, graphic and at times depressing and infuriating. Most criticisms I've seen posted on this book seem to be lacking and biased towards a certain point of view...don't let a few over-ambitious reviewers stop you from checking out this book.

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    Posted June 14, 2010

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    Posted December 9, 2008

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    Posted February 3, 2011

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    Posted December 6, 2010

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    Posted August 19, 2012

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