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Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute Hardcover – April 9, 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Beyond fascinating... this book brings to life a thousand different people in the most dramatic moment of the last century' -- Jeremy Vine

About the Author

Jonathan Mayo joined the BBC in 1987, first working in radio and then television, where he won awards for his documentaries. He is the author of The Assassination of JFK: Minute by Minute and D-Day: Minute by Minute. He lives in Surrey with his wife and son. Emma Craigie is a writer and teacher. She is the author of Chocolate Cake with Hitler and Who Was - King Henry VIII. She lives in Somerset with her husband and four children.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (April 9, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780722338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780722337
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book's title Hitler's Last Day Minute by Minute: The hidden story of an SS family in wartime Germany is misleading. I read a serialization of this book in the UK press. The serialization concentrated on the actual last day in the Bunker. I expected the full book to be details of the same. Less than a third of the book is about the persons in the Bunker or Hitler himself. The details of Hitler's last day are superficial. Everything about that is well known and nothing "hidden."

The book felt as if the authors chose random personal accounts from that day and could only tie them together chronologically (hour by hour not minute by minute). The greatest part of the book is personal anecdotes of people nowhere near Hitler that day. What do the actions of future US President John F. Kennedy, in a California hotel room, have to do with Hitler's last day? He was not yet a politician, but was a reporter. What was the point of mentioning how much his newspaper was paying him? If you are looking to read a detailed account about what happened to Hitler and his entourage in the Bunker that day, look elsewhere.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A unique approach to the last days of WWII, but the minute by minute format didn't work well making it hard to track. Because the story jumped around to keep the format, it lost momentum and my interest. Significant chunks of the work is made up from primary resource citations without adequate analysis to justify it. It's not plagiarism, but lazy history to meet a page count. I spent 99 cents (Kindle special). Probably would have enjoyed a 99 cent donut more.
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Basically, I see no reason to believe they are historians. If they were, somewhere I would have found a reference to their credentials on the numerous pages I just searched to try and find an answer to my suspicion. Sounds to me like they are just trying to stir up buyers by making outlandish claims. Lets be clear, if they had evidence, it would need to be new evidence because this claim has been soundly refuted for years. If they had new evidence historians would be clamoring to publish about it. Actual historians. Real professionals. Not a could of what appear to be, recreational history creators.

All his publishers website says about him is this: Jonathan Mayo joined the BBC in 1987, first working in radio and then television, where he won awards for his documentaries. In 2011 he became a freelance producer, director, and writer. He is the author of The JFK Assassination: Minute by Minute (Short Books, 2013). He lives in Surrey with his wife and son.

And this is all I could find on Emma: Emma Craigie is a writer and teacher. She lives in Somerset and is currently Chair of Wells Festival of Literature.
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Despite the title, this book is actually an account of the Second World War, both in Europe and in Asia, as it played out over a period of just over 48 hours, from late on April 28, 1945 through the end of April 30, the day of Hitler's suicide. Based on other accounts as well as on personal diaries, the authors recount the events inside the Führerbunker as well as among other officers and soldiers on all sides, as well as civilians, prisoners of war, and concentration camp detainees.

The Führerbunker accounts are the most interesting; the rest vary. Among the most interesting is the story of a 17-year-old Russian girl, in Germany for forced labor, being discovered by American troops and spending the day partying with them. Accounts of prisoners suddenly finding themselves without guards are also compelling.
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I found the book to be fascinating. I particularly led the fact that it was not entirely centered on Berlin but rather on events in other theaters of the war -- northern Italy, Burma, Okinawa. In addition the goings on of noted personalities including David Niven and a pubescent Audrey Hepburn,
It was clear that other things were going on besides the fall of the Third Reich. While not a "historians account" of the events on the day of Hitler's demise, it was nevertheless an interesting (and easy) read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie shine with this book.

They tell not only of Adolf Hitler's last day in the bunker but also of what was going on elsewhere on April 29 and 30 of 1945 and indeed of the first days of May and at the end of their book they tell us what had happened to each of the characters.

So well do the two authors tell the story, that there were times I laughed yet also times when I wanted to cry like when they were telling us about the liberation of the camps.

Being a writer myself I know the amount of research - and certainly dedication towards the subject - which had gone into this book and for this reason I say "bravo" to Mayo and Craigie.

I loved this book and I highly recommend it to you reading this review of mine.
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The title of Emma Craigie and Jonathan Mayo's excellent history, "Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute", is actually a misnomer. This book is not only the story of Adolf Hitler's final day of life, but the authors include many others, from Winston Churchill to a young reporter, John Kennedy, and many others whose lives were affected by Adolf Hitler and his war. He committed suicide in Berlin as the Russian troops were fighting in the city's streets, hours away from taking over his bunker. Hitler's death cannot be told as a singular event and Craigie and Mayo bring plenty of others into the story.

Wednesday, April 30, 1945 - ten days after Hitler's 56th birthday - was a busy day around the world. Harry Truman was just settling into an uneasy seat as president of the US. He had not been "used" by Franklin Roosevelt who seemed to see little reason to confide in his fourth vice-president. In fact, Truman was not told about the atomic bomb until 10 days after he assumed office on Roosevelt's death! In England, Winston Churchill and his advisers - both political and military - were winding down as the war itself wound down. Allied troops were invading Germany like a pincher movement and talk of the coming peace in Europe was centered on Germany's surrender and the threat of the Soviet Union in eastern Europe. The Pacific war was on and the 6-week Battle of Okinawa was still raging. However, in the Burmese capital of Rangoon - under Japanese control since 1942 - the Japanese surrendered the city to Allied forces. The nascent UN was meeting in San Francisco, trying to put together a post-WW2 world. These are just a few of the world-wide events Craigie and Mayo cover in their book.
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