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The Fall of Berlin 1945

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,380 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Acclaimed for his vivid re-creations of some of the twentieth century's most significant battles, Antony Beevor is one of the best known and respected military historians writing today. He now offers readers a gripping, street-level portrait of the harrowing days of January 1945 in Berlin when the vengeful Red Army and beleaguered Nazi forces clashed for a final time. The ...more
Hardcover, 489 pages
Published May 13th 2002 by Viking Adult (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 15, 2013 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
What could I possibly say that I hadn't already alluded to within my previous updates. I read "Stalingrad" in the snow outside on purpose in January of 2009, I read Beevor's "D-Day" in April of 2010 and believe that Stephen Ambrose still holds my attention best on that topic, "Paris After the Liberation" I read in November of 2011 and here on 14 January, 2013 I completed "The Fall of Berlin 1945". I believe that "Stalingrad" was brilliant, but this work on "The Fall of Berlin 1945" was even more ...more
Michael Scott
In The Fall of Berlin 1945, Antony Beevor tries to depict, as graphically as possible, the atrocious actions of the Russian troops (and the clumsy non-action by their American and British allies) in the eventful taking of Berlin, the symbolic civic center of Nazi Germany.

Overall, I did not like this book: while it is informative and has some good pieces of analytical material, it has a subjective approach and a questionable goal, and uses historical fact only as buttress. (Ann Tusa and John Tus
Sep 23, 2015 Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War Fiends
Shelves: non-fiction, history
It sits at the top of the human drama, and every so often I have to go back and read about World War II. This book looked like a good chance to revisit old territory.

I was attracted by the book's promise of new accounts and insights to this battle. It turned out that a lot of what people have remarked (tanks and refugee columns, etc.) was stuff already known about: no new perfidious behaviour or atrocities to speak of.

Still, it's not bad. Who, indeed, could write a boring book about the Battle o
Jill Hutchinson
A truly amazing book that looks at the last few months of the Third Reich and the horrors visited on the population of Berlin by the Red Army. That Army was frenzied by their experiences at the hands of the Nazis when Germany invaded Russia and they wreaked unimaginable suffering in their revenge....tanks crushing civilians, mass rape, pillage and total destruction. The author does a masterful job of reconstructing the experiences of those millions caught up in the Third Reich's final collapse. ...more
Emilio Mendez
Oct 05, 2011 Emilio Mendez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Say what you will about Hitler and the Nazis, but you cant help but feel for the ordinary German people in this poignant end to Germany in WWII. They really did fight to the the bitter end, outnumbered, outgunned with no chance of victory. What would you do in this position? Antony Beevor's ability to reconstruct the helplessness of the situation, from the upper echelons of the leadership to women and children fleeing,gives a stark contrast. The most heroic acts of this battle and yet one of the ...more
May 26, 2012 Manray9 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii-europe
Beevor's story of the final collapse of Nazi Germany is not great historical writing. The narrative reads as a catalogue of events without the binding literary thread necessary to weave a compelling historical tale. There is little development of the historical figures -- their stories are not fleshed out. You end the book knowing not much more about Zhukov, Guderian, Chiukov or Weidling than when you started. "The Fall of Berlin 1945" is weak alongside John Toland's "The Last 100 Days" despite ...more
Soviet soldiers hoist the red flag over the Reichstag in May 1945

The grramazon description is a naff affair, I shall find proper information on a better site:

Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (aka The Fall of Berlin 1945 in the US) is a narrative history by Antony Beevor of the Battle of Berlin during World War II. It was published by Viking Press in 2002, then later by Penguin Books in 2003. The book achieved both critical
Gary Haynes
Sep 25, 2013 Gary Haynes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seminal treatise on the end of Nazi tyranny, coupled with a scathing commentary on Stalinist cruelty. What comes across in this wonderful nonfiction work, which reads like a thriller novel, is Beevor's extraordinary grasp of his subject matter, his meticulous research, and refusal to stoop to generalities. The population of Berlin suffered for their sins, especially the woman, and Beevor does not pull any punches. This is a testament to the fact that we are one step away from brutality - one s ...more
Kate Forsyth
The story of the Fall of Berlin is one of terror and betrayal, destruction and bloodshed, rape and revenge, and is not one for the faint-hearted. Antony Beevor has examined every aspect of the events leading up to the cataclysmic destruction of Berlin in April 1945. The book is incredibly well-researched, and beautifully written, but is best for those who have already extensively studied the history of Germany in the Second World War, or those with a particular acute interest in warfare and batt ...more
Neil Fox
Jul 16, 2015 Neil Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a fascinating guided walking tour entitled "the last days of the Third Reich" during a recent weekend in Berlin, I felt compelled to re-read Anthony Beevor's "Berlin, the Downfall 1945" which, together with his other masterpiece Stalingrad, are among the finest military histories from World War 2. Taken together and complemented by a viewing of the Bruno Ganz movie " Downfall", these 2 books will provide the student of WW2 history with a great perspective on the unravelling of the Third Re ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 11, 2015 Elliott Bignell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had tears in my eyes as I began compiling this review, shortly before finishing the book. The suffering which it relentlessly and rather coolly lays out seems on the one hand as if it ought to be unimaginable. On the other hand, it sounds no different to accounts of the 30 Years War, except with the addition of industrial-scale killing machinery. Germany has seen this before, and at least in the mid-20th Century had still not learned from the experience.

Beevor follows up "Stalingrad" with "Ber
Dec 07, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In two words: utterly compelling. Antony Beevor's widely praised account of the ultimate battle for the heart of the Nazi Reich, and the pure horror of it all, is a book worthy of high praise indeed. The scene is ably set in the opening chapters with the setting of the various battle orders, the intricacies of the political machinations in fearsome effect, and the descriptions of lives interrupted on the home fronts; Beevor expertly brings the reader with him into the new year of 1945 as the fin ...more
RJ Corby
Feb 27, 2008 RJ Corby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is an excellent and enlightening look about what happened on the Eastern Front of World War II. This book also destroys some myths about the end of the war. Being an American, I'm often exposed to the Western slant about what happened in the war, so this read was quite refreshing. I have a natural inclination to question whatever I read - I don't just automatically believe anything. But, from what I have read, and I've done a fair amount of reading on the European theater of the war, this b
Beevor's skills as a writer simply aren't able to overcome the subject matter.

He does an admirable job of making an interesting read out of a rather excruciatingly boring topic. The clumsiness of the Soviets, the megalomania of Stalin, the naivety of the Americans, the irrelevance of the British, all play out against the pathetic condition of the German people. There are interesting stories to be told, and he presents several, but in the end there's simply not enough to support a book of this l
Pete daPixie
Feb 13, 2009 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-wwii
Brilliantly researched and written. Not just the story of Hitlers bunker, but the humanity trapped in a shell blasted hell, with the resistance by youths on cycles facing Russian tanks.
Mar 11, 2015 Javier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es imposible no quedar con un sentimiento de asombro y estupefacción al leer la suerte de Berlín en la parte final de la Segunda Guerra en Europa. Es imposible culpar a todos los alemanes de ser Nazis y es imposible decir que todos los sovieticos fueron liberadores.

Entre planes políticos y militares, se perdieron las vidas de millones por el beneficio final de unos cuantos. Muchas muertes pudieron ser evitadas pero al ver como la propaganda y la violencia de la guerra hizo que alemanes y sovieti
Nov 28, 2007 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Harrowing. Not for wimps.
Robin Webster
Feb 19, 2014 Robin Webster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the Berlin Wall had fallen, Antony Beevor the writer of this fine book, had access for a short time to a lot of material from the Russian archives which had been unavailable to historians who wrote previous books on this subject. These firsthand accounts as well as accounts gained from other sources were woven into a very detailed account of the battles and strategies used by both armies in this book and his previous book on the fall of Stalingrad. This historical document not only details ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Lizixer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the Nazis, the racial struggle in the East was all that mattered. They saw Europe in terms of dominant races and Untermenschen and strove to subjugate or wipe out whole races and religions in their insane fanaticism. Their foul ideology permeated the whole of German society to the extent that atrocity and genocide was not the preserve of the SS but was actively practiced by the regular Army and security forces. They found willing allies in other parts of Europe particularly in their persecut ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The battle of Berlin is the prime example of how a crazy regime can take its country to the brink of annihilation. In April of 1945, it was quite clear that Germany had lost the war. Hitler and his cronies, however, would not give up. They wanted a fight to the finish, and they nearly got their wish.

The Russians had to take over Berlin in street fighting, resulting in heavy casualties, more than were necessary had the Germans surrendered. Germany employed youth soldiers who had little skill and
Roland Allnach
Mar 03, 2013 Roland Allnach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this excellent follow up to Beevor's 'Stalingrad', Beevor details the final collapse of Nazi Germany and the Soviet advance on Berlin. This was the climax of a war of annihilation, and this is relayed in the gripping if not gruesome accounts relayed in the book. As with Beevor's 'Stalingrad', his access to formerly closed Soviet records provides this book with a depth that humanizes the battle for Berlin, from both sides, by providing a man-on-the-ground feel to the narrative. One may wonder ...more
Jan 15, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beevor made his name with his depiction of the catastrophe at Stalingrad in 1942-43. This book, dealing the final battles of the Third Reich around Berlin in 1945, is, by design, the bookend to that work. If you liked the first one, you will likely enjoy this one as well.

Beevor employs a remarkably smooth narrative voice that proves his command over a *huge* volume of sources culled from a period when source materials are fleeting at best. He interprets and makes comprehensible various army orga
Feb 19, 2016 Marc rated it it was amazing
During World War II, some of the most savage fighting took place between the Germans and the Russians on the Eastern Front. Not only was it a war of ideology between National Socialism and Communism, it was often a war of annihilation as well. This book is a fascinating read about the last days of the Third Reich, with lots of focus on the German and Soviet high commands, as well as the trials and tribulations of the German civilians caught up in the maelstrom of war. If you're looking for a boo ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the second book I've read by this author. It is exceptional.

I do not often read non-fiction, but Beevor has converted me. He writes powerfully, sucks the reader into the minds and lives of those who walked through some of the darkest times of modern history.

Well worth the time.
Jan 06, 2016 Hermien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The scale of human suffering and loss of life is hard to comprehend, but I learned a lot from this book, maybe more than I actually wanted to know.
Randall Smith
Aug 02, 2013 Randall Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some would think reading Ian Kershaw's The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 and reading Beevor's book about the fall of Berlin at the same time would be redundant. But actually I'm enjoying the different tracts on similar events. Kershaw's book deals much more with the mentality of the Nazi leaders and their hold on the people, their ability to urge them to continue the fight to the bitter end. Beevor's book is much more of a detailed narrative of specific events ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Leftbanker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You may want to read Beevor’s prequel to this history, Stalingrad. Both books make for great reading on one of the most epic struggles in human history. Without knowing a thing about the Battle of Stalingrad a reader may have trouble understanding the ferocity of the Red Army in their crushing defeat of the Germans in Berlin. The fact that the German Army insisted on fighting on, well after their defeat had been certain gave the Soviets even less room for sympathy or humanity. What a horrible pl ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful effort from Anthony Beevor. I love this book but find it very sad at the same time. It is not a feel good book which is only right considering the topic.

In order to truly appreciate this book and view it objectively you should read Anthony Beevor's equally excellent 'Stalingrad' first.

The terrible atrosities committed by Russian soldiers in Berlin in 1945 was as a direct result of the terrible atrosities committed by the Germans in Stalingrad years before. The Russians entered
Jan 03, 2016 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Beevor fan - his book on Stalingrad is one of the best WWII books I've read, and his book on the Spanish Civil War taught me a lot about the Spanish Civil War, but also the longer trends that drove Spain to that point.

I didn't connect as well with this book. There is a lot of good in it - it's well researched, it gives a great perspective on what the dynamics were in the Nazi and Soviet high command and governments, and Beevor gives you some feeling for what Soviet and German soldiers
May 03, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Very well written, and briskly paced. Much better than Beevor's Stalingrad, which is itself an excellent book. Of particular note is Beevor's focus on the human tragedy of the events unfolding instead on the far more common dry recitation of dates, figures and military strategies we find in so many military histories. This is more about the people caught up in the fall of Berlin than about the battles and movements of armies.
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The Fall of Berlin 1945 9 97 Mar 19, 2015 06:14PM  
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for 5 years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.

More about Antony Beevor...

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