Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe

Overview

In the final months of World War II, with the Allied forces streaming into Germany on two fronts, a major decision had to be made: where to draw a stop line to prevent an accidental clash between the Russian and the Anglo-American armies.
Behind this decision lay another. Whose forces would be the first to reach Berlin? General Dwight David Eisenhower, supreme commander of the British and American armies, chose to halt at the Elbe River and leave Berlin to the Red Army. Could he...

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Overview

In the final months of World War II, with the Allied forces streaming into Germany on two fronts, a major decision had to be made: where to draw a stop line to prevent an accidental clash between the Russian and the Anglo-American armies.
Behind this decision lay another. Whose forces would be the first to reach Berlin? General Dwight David Eisenhower, supreme commander of the British and American armies, chose to halt at the Elbe River and leave Berlin to the Red Army. Could he have beaten the Russians to Berlin? If so, why didn't he? If he had, would the Berlin question have arisen? Would Germany have been divided as it was? Would the Cold War have assumed a direction more favorable to the West? In a narrative of steady fascination, Stephen E. Ambrose describes both the political and the military aspects of the situation, sketches the key players, explains the alternatives, and considers the results. The result is a sharply focused light on an important question of the postwar world. This paperback edition features a new introduction by the author.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320107
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Series: Norton Essays in American History Series
  • Edition description: NORTON TRA
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 996,828
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose

The distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose is the author of several best-selling books on World War II and was an editor of the Eisenhower Papers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Ambrose
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitewater, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      October 13, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Paperback Edition 5
Foreword 11
1 The Position, March 7, 1945 17
2 The Creation of the Zones 35
3 Eisenhower's Superiors and His Telegram to Stalin 47
4 The Military Situation and the Basis for Decision 66
5 Could Eisenhower Have Taken Berlin? 88
App. A The Telegrams 99
App. B Eisenhower's Directive 105
A Note on Sources 107
Index 113
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