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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“A rare accomplishment…Will be of interest to generations to come.” (James A. Michener, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Ryan's Magic

This book has so much background detail that it would not appeal to the casual listener. However, if you are a student of WWII histroical novels this is a gem. My only only other Ryan book was 'A Bridge Too Far' (Operation Market-Garden). 'The Last Battle' covers in equisite detail, the last 3 months of the European Theater with an emphasis on the Russian drive.

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very engaging depiction

very thorough but also deeply personal story of the final battle of the second world war.

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Boring....pass the tea please

Lacks a bit of action you’d expect is a book titled “the last battle”. The book barely covers the battle at all. I think I hear operation eclipse over 200 times in one chapter it just got so annoying I wanted the book to end. Performance was great the content leaves much to be desired.

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Not the Last Battle

The story line was sporadic jumping from Dec to April then back to Jan and back to Nov.....
I was expecting to hear more of the last battle it was more like the last part of the war.
I returned this book.

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A revelation

A wonderfully researched, written, and presented history of a chapter of the war that is less well known. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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wow! Very informative.

love history, great book , sad to here of what humans are really capable of.

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Great story.....not quite what I expected

I had expected an accounting of the Battle of Berlin, but this was a detailed accounting of what led up to those final days that passed quickly. I REALLY enjoyed learning about the decisions made by the country leaders that set the stage for why we ended up with Cold War Berlin. Found myself learning more about the characters after the fact. Enjoyed it.

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bookgirl

a great read but very unsettling. A well written account of a horrible battle. Really brings home the suffering of civilians. Berlin reaped what Hitler sowed. German's supported a monster who did not care at all about his people, only his ego.

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Battle for Berlin

Excellent rendition of this piece of history. The book does get a little disorienting with different characters but I liked the approach anyway.

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Good look at the battle of Berlin

some views you won't hear about in a documentary film and can only be obtained by reading of books or documents. I'm glad that the allies left Berlin to the Soviets. would of cost hinders of thousands of ally lives to take. Maybe not so good for the German people but that's how it goes sometimes.