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on June 28, 2015
The text is good but there are a fair number of errors in the digital version suggesting that when OCR was applied to the print text no one edited the digital version. Parenthesis are often misplaced and "1st" becomes "ist" throughout. The kindle version is also devoid of maps but I am pretty sure the print version has them. Why is this? In a way I feel kind of cheated. I used various online map websites when the opportunity arose but frequently I read in the morning before work at a coffee shop and I don't carry a tablet or personal laptop with me and moreover I don't want to have to open another device to read the book....I have a Kindle for convenience (I can buy a book right away or borrow it from the library etc) and to save space on my book overflowing shelves. I know that maps don't work terribly well on a Kindle because of the screen size , but they should still be included if they are in the original. I am going to complain to Amazon. The one reason I bought the kindle version and not a used hardcover for like 25 cents plus shipping that I bought Stalingrad years ago pre Amazon (remember those days- actual book stores!) and the physical condition of the new book was so bad that it fell apart in just a few weeks.
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on February 25, 2017
Anthony Beevor's "The Fall of Berlin 1945" is a solid mostly military account of the final months of World War 2 as it built toward the final moments of the battle for the capital, resulting in the death blow for Nazi Germany. Beevor weaves together many accounts from various players of the battle, mostly through balanced German and Russian perspectives, which I really appreciated. Bravo to Beevor for not being tempted to only explain this story from only one side's view. While Beevor provides few accounts from the regular citizen's point of view in history, most of this book centers around the military evolution of the battle, especially that which involves the key decision markers, including a comprehensive view of the final weeks of Hitler's life in the bunker where he played out the end of his war. As one failing, in my view, Beevor missed out in creating a comprehensive account of this history of the battle for Berlin through not including more about the people's story of this horrific event. I found this a disappointing, especially during the first quarter of the book because I expected to see more of this, as the book was billed being more like that. However as I came to realize this wasn't that type of book, I got caught up in the crescendo of events that Beevor outlined in his compelling style. The sheer horror of the end of the war, as played out by both sides, was something Beevor recounted brilliantly. One is riveted by the spiraling climax of events as one military force seeks to destroy another in a shattering ferocity violence that perhaps was unprecedented in military history. Beevor didn't directly explore the psychology of what would cause soldiers to act as they did, but clearly the unbearable tension of total war played out in the minds of soldiers committed to a chilling climax of this most critical of European battles of the war. That beyond all else was what sticks in my mind as I walk away from this book. While I am no stranger to the history of World War 2, Beevor has succeeded in writing an accessible and and compelling history to one of the horrifying moments in human history, capturing the death throes of one empire (Nazi Germany), while witnessing the birth of another of the Soviet Union.
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VINE VOICEon February 17, 2016
This is a well-done combination of military and social history. It breaks no new ground but is a useful summary.

On the Kindle version, on any platform, and as usual, the maps are hard to get to and hard to read. If you want to follow troop movements -- which Beevor, a military historian, describes in detail -- get a hard copy of the book or use your own maps.

Beevor's prose is decent but his mistakes are annoying. "Orientate" and "disorientate," for example, are not words. In the old days (twenty years ago and more) there was, somewhere along the publishing process, a person called an "editor" who would do what was called "editing," which involved among other things preventing this sort of blunder from making its way into print. That now-obsolete fellow might also have seen to it that "Werwolf" wasn't spelled three different ways in four pages. And there are typographical glitches that seem to be the sort of Kindle conversion errors that have become routine.
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on January 3, 2017
After reading Stalingrad I wanted to see what payback looked like. The Russian army behaved as brutally as any army in history. Including Attila the Hun. Modern Russian historians/scholars have re-written this part of their history. If you can say sugar coated then that might be close. Most of it is impossible to cover up. Women were treated as animals to be shackled inside of barns and kept there for entire armies to take pleasure in. Young and old alike. Fear the Red Army!
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on June 12, 2015
As the Soviet Union prepared to invade Germany, “the Red Army had 6.7 million men along a front which stretched from the Baltic to the Adriatic, twice the strength of the Wehrmacht and its allies when they invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.” For the assault on Berlin, the Soviet forces included 2.5 million men, 41,600 guns and heavy mortars, plus 6,250 tanks and self-propelled guns, and four air armies. Bevor states, “It was the greatest concentration of firepower ever amassed”. Germany opposed these forces with a withered army that was being pounded on three fronts, an all but non-existent Luftwaffe, and the stifling leadership of Adolph Hitler who had lost all sense of reality in regard to what Germany’s armed forces were capable of performing.

Long on narrative, Antony Bevor’s The Fall of Berlin captures the chaos of German resistance, and the tragedy that befell the German people. However, one might conclude the German people invited this catastrophe upon themselves by following Hitler into self- destruction. Some other reviewers are critical of Bevor in regard to his reporting of the rape of German women that followed the occupation of Soviet troops. They write, “What about the German atrocities committed during the war”? The literature covering German atrocities could fill a small library. Bevor’s book is about Berlin and what occurred there.

One is addled by the last ditch effort put up by Germany. Opposing the overwhelming numbers of Soviet men and material were undersupplied troops, old men, and boys. The insanity of Hitler and his upper echelon of supporters are captured by Bevor, as German people and properties were laid to waste for a failed ideology. I think what grabbed my interest the most was the indignation felt by Russian troops as they began to occupy East Prussia and Germany proper when they observed the relative wealth of the German people. Why would people who had so much feel the need to invade the Soviet Union?

Bevor does a decent job at capturing the cat and mouse game that transpired between allied forces in regard to intentions of movement within Germany. Stalin is portrayed as paranoid in his obsession to capture Berlin. The loss of life among his forces seemed to mean little in terms of the goal, all the while that German defenses were collapsing like a house of cards. The Western allies in general, Eisenhower in particular, saw little reason to waste the lives of their men as they could see the sorry state of German forces and defenses. The end was near.

One small complaint about Bevor’s The Fall of Berlin is the stilted Russian translations. It’s almost as if one is reading the work of a 4th grader. In place of a literal word for word translation, why not Anglicize it just a bit? There are masterpieces of Russian literature translated into English that are a joy to read. A bit more time spent with the translation of Soviet Russian sources into a more readable, fluent English would have given Bevor’s work a much more polished finish.
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on March 20, 2012
This is not a tactical retelling of the Battle of Berlin so if you are looking for that this isn't the book for you. The military movements are dealt with but this book relies more on first-hand accounts. As other reviewers have pointed much of this material can be found in other books. It's a nice little book and a welcome addition to the literature of the fall of Berlin but this is not a definitive account.

A few reviewers have said that this book is biased against the Russians but I don't believe that to be the case. As John Adams once said "facts are stubborn things" and the facts are that some members of the Red Army raped German women as they made their way across the German east. This book doesn't need to deal with the German atrocities that fomented the Russian hatred because it already happened in the context of the overall story, plus I think every reader has an understanding of what the Germans did in Russia. The author cites many incidents of violence against the population, but also acts of kindness on the part of the Red Army. The author is simply stating what happened, the blame rests with the German actions in the East, Stalin for fanning the flames, and the Red Army commanders who couldn't control their troops.
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on April 21, 2017
A meticulously researched book that reads like a best-selling novel. All it lacks is a very clear warning on the front cover: Must be read after finishing Antony Beevor's 'Stalingrad'.
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on May 17, 2016
A lucid, definitive history of the battle of Berlin. A most informative read of one of the many instances of men's behaviour alternating between moments of valour and great leadership, and then acts of heartless and mindless barbarity. A most informative and enthralling read.
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on May 25, 2014
Anthony Beevor is one of those rare non-fiction writers who has the ability to deliver an incredible depth of factual information with all the pace of a modern thriller. The atmosphere of terror in Berlin as the Soviet armies advanced is graphically conveyed, as are the terrible crimes committed against women by the Soviet forces.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted, but should be read all the same to dispel any romantic myths about the glory of war.
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on June 24, 2016
Fantastic and detailed story telling of the final days and hours of Germany and Berlin during the Second World War. Hard to grasp, but worth reading and understanding - to avoid a repeat...ever.
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