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, it 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 endure 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.
©1966 Cornelius Ryan; 1994 by Victoria Ryan Bida and Geoffrey J. M. Ryan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A rare accomplishment…Will be of interest to generations to come.” (James A. Michener, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)
Excellent, clear, history-channel-esque narrator. If you know as much about WWII before reading this book as after, then you are amazing. Example, I thought mystery shrouded Hitler's actual death; apparently any "mystery" is 1% warranted speculation and 99% conspiracy theory. This book dispels, addresses, and summarizes much of the views and information held by Britain, the US, Russia, and Germany at the end of WWII. That's all it is: a summary of actual, verifiable conversations and events and testimonies. If you don't enter this book expecting drama at every turn, then you'll come out satisfied and knowledgeable. Recommended!
Cornelius Ryan's tells the real story of Berlin's last days (and that of the Third Reich) through memoirs, personal interviews and painstaking research. What you get is insight into the thinking of everyone who participated in this tragic and yet triumphant tale. Simon Vance is probably the best narrator on audible and brings his heightened narrative style to an already exceptionally taunt story.
The presentation was extremely well done. I spent time in Weisbaden, Frankfurt and Berlin in 1963 and 1986. My first visit was as an OSI agent stationed in Turkey and second time as the Disaster Preparedness Officer subbing for the permanent officer who was on leave to the States. My maternal grandparents were from Pomerania .
Dare to dream...
At first I found this audio book a bit boring with trivialities of the mundane. However, after a few hours, it did get interesting. I had to settle in to catch the big picture. Will probably listen again.
The book is excellent with great detail. I tried the book based on an advertisement and have listened to it almost non stop since I started. The narration is excellent.
One of the best books on audio. It reads like a novel, kept my interest throughout the book.
The author takes the complexities and inhumanity of German nationalist society at the time, as well as the inhumanity of its' supporters during the war, and weaves together these facts from first hand accounts. These are then interwoven with other examples of humanity and courage, driving toward what we all know is the inevitable conclusion, the Fall of Berlin. The surprises along the way provided a great depth of learning for me that make this one of the most remarkable historical accounts of WWII that I have ever read.
The audio version is very good, but the written word is always better.
The very sad scenes of trying to save the Berlin Zoo animals. Attempting to feed Nile Stork with horse meat and his pathetic refusals.
The Thousand Year Reich ENDS.
Cornelius Ryan is a good writer. I highly praise his bookS.
"All the information you will ever need."
The details of the end of WW11, its' really well described.This has been the ONLY book I've known about to make the battle of Berlin such a visual experience, & to give so much information..
The simple futility of the killing of the few remaining soldiers and civilians who saw the war finished. Never the less this carried on right to the end. Squads were going around hanging what they saw as traitors.
Not sure as I enjoy is the correct word for a subject like this, however I learnt a lot about how humans react in a dire crisis.
The futility of the battle at the end.
In this audible version the narrator achieves a moving account of the war, as it was played out in Germany and Berlin, in the final conclusion.
"A Good One"
This is a narrative history well suited to be an audiobook. Not too technical, it's a compilation of people's experiences which follows the invasion of Germany at the end of the war, and the fate of Berlin. It's easy to listen to and I very much like Simon Vance's voice.
Various generals and their adjutants come into the story, German, Russian and American, but the story of Gotthard Heinrici is particularly captivating, as he tries to stave off the Russians and defy Hitler's crazy ideas at the same time. He wanted to give as many Germans as possible the chance to surrender to the western allies.
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