The Last Battle

The Last Battle

Book - 1966
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The classic account of the final offensive against Hitler's Third Reich.

The 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 come.

The Last Battle is Cornelius Ryan's compelling account of this final battle, 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 more immediate imperatives of survival, where, as the author describes it, "to eat had become more important than to love, to burrow more dignified than to fight, to exist more militarily correct than to win."

The Last Battle 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.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, c1966.
ISBN: 9780684803296
Branch Call Number: 940.542 Ryan
Characteristics: 571 p. :,ill., maps (part col.), ports. ;,24 cm.


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Sep 22, 2017

In 1945, German generals led their country to ruin rather than kill Hitler. A sickening spectacle of false honor.
--- States as a fact that Nazis started the Reichstag fire, a doubtful contention.
--- Repeats discredited tale that Nazis made lampshades of human skin.
--- Says Goebbels reissued the film KOLBERG. In fact it appeared for the first time in 1945 as a major production.
--- Omits the 500,000 burned and crushed corpses, almost all civilians, left by US/UK bombing of German towns. Allied generals publicized appalling scenes at liberated camps to offset the appalling scenes of devastation the Allies had caused all over Germany.
--- Uses term "holocaust" once re a Wagner performance, and once re Berlin in flames, but not re Jews. The book came out in 1966. "Holocaust" was not enshrined for Jewish victims till after Israel's 1967 blitzkrieg attacks and seizure of Arab lands. Thereafter it was heavily promoted to justify Zionist aggression.
--- Mentions Heinrici's tactic of pulling men back just before an enemy bombardment, then bombarding the enemy as they rushed in. Omits that Heinrici told Hitler this was a trick Heinrici had learned from the French in WW1. Hitler laughed at the irony.
--- Also omits the fact that Hitler's last defenders were French volunteers of the Charlemagne division. This added to Hitler's depression.

Dec 10, 2014

Possibly the greatest history book I've ever read. Great, fast-paced action, with in-depth details and interviews. Amazing.


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