Berlin: The Downfall, 1945
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Berlin: The Downfall, 1945

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  6,267 ratings  ·  226 reviews
Recounts, in narrowing detail, and with formidable skill, the brutal death throes of Hitler's Reich at the hands of the rampaging Red Army.
Paperback, 489 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Berlin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Berlin

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Gerry
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
Tyler
Jun 16, 2009 Tyler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War Fiends
Shelves: non-fiction
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...more
Simon

In this life you’re either a Mark or a Jeremy. I’m clearly a Mark. To save you the hassle of working out which one you are, I’ve done it for you: Russ, Jeremy; Briggsy, Mark; James, Mark; Amy, Jeremy; Joe, Mark; Grace, Mark; Humph, Mark; Yongling, Mark; Terry, Mark; Nicola, Mark; Lloyd, Jeremy; Cath, Mark; Mouldovan, Jeremy; Kindleysides, Mark; Tom, Mark; Rob, Mark; Olly, Jeremy; Coxy, Jeremy; Hywel, Mark. So there you go.

PS *Spoiler alert* The Germans lose. Although actually everybody loses.
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...more
Emilio Mendez
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
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
Gary Haynes
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
Pete daPixie
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.
Victoria
Harrowing. Not for wimps.
Robin Webster
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
Lizixer
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
Jonathan
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...more
Roland Allnach
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
RJ Corby


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...more
Manray9
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
Adam
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...more
Randall Smith
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
Chris
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...more
Joe
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.
Matti Karjalainen
Apr 10, 2012 Matti Karjalainen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kaikille aiheesta kiinnostuneille
Anthony Beevorin "Berliini 1945" (WSOY, 2010) kertoo toisen maailmansodan viimeisistä kuukausista - Saksasta vuonna nolla - niin Hitlerin, Stalinin ja kumppanien muovaaman poliittisen historian, divisioonia järjestelevän sotahistorian kuin maailmanpalon keskelle juuttuneita yksilöitä koskettavan mikrohistoriankin näkökulmasta. Ei tästä historiankirjoitus paljon mielenkiintoisemmaksi muutu.
Jim Coughenour
A brutal, fascinating history of the end of World War II in Europe. It picks up, more or less, where Beevor's excellent Stalingrad left off. The Nazis were unbelievably cruel toward the peoples of the Soviet Union; the Soviet armies repaid them in full. The human mind is stunned by such savagery. Beevor's dispassionate history makes it intelligible, if not comprehensible.

Dr.
Fucking amazing account of the end of the third reich ending with the climactic fall of Berlin. Definately read Stalingrad before this if you can but they are both amazing works that really have no equal. Hopefully historians will start writing more in this hyper honest vain about the second world war which is still so shrouded in folklore to us here in the west.
Rachael Singh
Very nearly finished this; drawing it out over the last couple of chapters because I adore Beevor's writing. The depth of his research is astonishing - as I realised when reading "Stalingrad" - and his ability to place the reader on the front line with the men and women who fought in these epic battles is mind-blowing.

A haunting and disturbing read.
Finn Davies
I found this book to be an interesting and fascinating read, concerning about a wartime topic that i virtually knew nothing about, but on one that i was passionate to find out about. The book provides facts and information crafted around the narrators story about the final battle in Berlin, however something that i found challenging was just the massive amount of facts and information that happen to be thrown at you, there's not much time to process it all, and this is definitely a big read. I c...more
Amy
While I'd like to think I have a decent understanding of the causes of World War II and the aftermath, this book definitely told a side of the story that I have not truly studied. That being said I did learn something about myself, I am not a fan of long battle descriptions.
Vivek Kulanthaivelpandian
Not as good as Antony's Stalingrad. I had a feeling that he did tell us a whole lot which we all already knew. Also at times I felt he dragged the story telling quite a bit by repeating himself several times which was a bit annoying. But other than that, it was an ok read.
Vijay
Nice book with detailed description of Red Army's advance to Berlin. Detailed maps and personal accounts make it real and gripping. Certainly a good read.
Tom
Fascinating book, like Beevor's Stalingrad. Love WWII stuff but still lots to learn in this. Desperate actions by both the Nazis and the Russians, a staggering amount of human life wasted left, right and centre in pursuit of goals. Kids thrown in to the battle for Fatherland. Russian vengeance for Barbarossa. Rape on a mass scale.

In the background is the story of the race to Berlin. Stalin desperate to get there first at any cost. Churchill knows what will happen when Stalin gets there first. Th...more
Carlos
Not quite the tour de force that Stalingrad was, Berlin is still a majestic read.
Themistocles
Chilling, accurate, analytical, accessible. Great, great reading.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Fall of Berlin 1945 8 85 Feb 14, 2014 04:43AM  
  • Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945
  • The Battle of Kursk (Modern War Studies)
  • Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw
  • Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945
  • Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945
  • Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45
  • Barbarossa
  • Dresden
  • The Third Reich in Power (The History of the Third Reich, #2)
  • The Last Battle
  • After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
  • The Second World War
  • The Last 100 Days
  • The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany 1944-45
  • A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army
  • Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe
  • The Forgotten Soldier
  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
3407
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...
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 D-Day: The Battle for Normandy The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 The Second World War Crete: The Battle And The Resistance

Share This Book