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The Last Battle: The Battle for Berlin

1966 The Last Battle: The Battle for Berlin - April 16, 1945 by Cornelius Ryan. Simon and Schuster Inc. 1966, 571 pages.

From the author of The Longest Day, Cornelius Ryan, comes this story of the last days lf Berlin in WW2 titled The Last battle. The book presents a concise account of the events leading up to the fall of Berlin and the end of World War II. The Last Battle is the story of three weeks in which Berlin, gutted, smoldering, terrorized, yet still miraculously alive, was the focal point of millions of lives. The last obstacle of triumphant allies, the last defense for the Germans, the last refuge for the Fuhrer- and already, to those who could see the future, the preordained source of a new world conflict.

From the Dustjacket

"The date is Monday, April 16, 1945. Less than thirty-eight miles from the center of Berlin, the thunder and flash of a stupefying artillery barrage signal the beginning of the Russian's attack against the capital of the Thousand Year Reich. Some forty-five miles to the west, the advanced units of the U.S. Ninth Army are turning back, angry, and reluctant to obey the Supreme Commander's order to withdraw when the last great prize of the war is within their reach.

In fourteen days, the Fuhrer would be dead; in twenty-one days the war against Germany would be over. The Last Battle is the story of those three weeks, in which the city of Berlin, gutted, smoldering, terrorized, yet still miraculously alive, was the focal point of millions of lives; the last obstacle of triumphant allies, the last defense for the Germans, the last refuge for the Fuhrer-and already, to those who could see the pattern of the future, the preordained source of a new world conflict.

The Last Battle is a book of extraordinary suspense and drama, a sweeping record of what people saw, felt, thought in those three climatic weeks of Germany's Gotterdammerung. But beyond its comparable narrative, The Last Battle is a work of prime historical importance-for Mr. Ryan makes public, for the first time, a wealth of new material that leads to a reassessment of the hitherto accepted story of the end of the war in Europe, and answers the questions that have remained at the heart of the Cold War: Why were the Russians allowed to reach Berlin first? Why was the city isolated deep in their zone of occupation?

Mr. Ryan, working with the worldwide research facilities of Readers Digest, interviewed hundreds of participants in the great events of Berlin's fall, from surviving members of Hitler's entourage to Marshals of the Soviet Union, from American privates to German housewives, from a Berlin milkman to an Allied spy. The result is a masterfully integrated story, in which the minutiae of individuals life are set against the movements of great armies, and incidents of courage, cowardice, nobility and bestiality are woven into a complex account of military and political strategy.

He takes the reader into the innermost councils of the war leaders, of the diplomats furiously maneuvering for postwar advantage-and into the feelings of the civilians and soldiers who lived through the weeks, days, hours and moments of The Last Battle."

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control No.: 66067350
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Personal Name: Ryan, Cornelius.
  • Main Title: The last battle.
  • Published/Created: London, Collins, 1966.
  • Description: 3-463 p. 4 plates (incl. ports) maps, plan, facsims., diagr. 24 cm.
  • Notes: Col. maps on endpapers.
  • Bibliography: p. 429-440.
  • Subjects: Berlin, Battle of, Berlin, Germany, 1945.
  • LC Classification: D757.9.B4 R9 1966a
  • National Bibliography No.: GB66-8202
  • Other System No.: (OCoLC)3356439
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