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Last Citadel

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  26 reviews
One nation taking a desperate gamble of war.
Another fighting for survival.

Two armies locked in a bloody cataclysm that will decide history. . .

David L. Robbins has won widespread acclaim for his powerful and splendidly researched novels of World War II. Now he casts his brilliant vision on one of the most terrifying--and most crucial--battles of the war: the Battle of Kurs
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Paperback, 527 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Bantam (first published August 26th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 603)
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Ensiform
In 1943, the biggest tank battle in history occurs in the fields around Kursk and Prokhorovka. Robbins interweaves four basic storylines: the old Cossack Dimitri, a tank driver under (literally) his son Valentin, the tank commander, deals with the war through the eyes of a traditionalist and clansman, who sees his son slipping away to the colder Soviet mentality. Dimitri’s daughter, Katya, is a “Night Witch,” one of the female night bombing crew; she is shot down rescuing a pilot, and joins a ba ...more
John
I greatly enjoyed this author's novel about Stalingrad, War of the Rats , which I read several years ago (before GoodReads) and had put this book, about another great Nazi-Soviet mega-battle, on my to-read list. I finally got around to it and found it to have the same virtues and flaws of the first book. To mention the flaws first, there's never any question as what side Robbins is rooting for, which is just fine, but it means that the Soviet characters are always a little too admirable and the ...more
Paul
This was a pretty good book, but a grim story. A father and son are part of a tank crew desperately defending Mother Russia against the German invaders, and their daughter/sister is a pilot, but she is shot down and captured by partisans. Against long odds and in a desperate fight against a skilled enemy, they struggle to preserve their way of life. Along the way, they deal with hostility from their fellow Soviets and partisans, as well as those sympathetic to the occupiers and the Germans thems ...more
Nathaniel James
I actually picked this book up thinking it was a history of the Battle of Kursk. That said, once I started it there was no way I was going to put it down. In many ways it is a history book, albeit one told from the viewpoint of several fictitious characters.

A T-34 tank crew featuring a father and son, a female Russian pilot, a Spanish SS Captain, and a German colonel collaborating with the enemy to put a stop to his county’s ambitions provide the eyes through which the author brings this histori
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Raina
I didn't read it, I listened to it on audio and the narrator, George Guidall, is fantastic. There are so many WWII stories (as there should be) but being able to follow the lives and deaths and relationships of that one family really made the war personal (as if war is not personal otherwise, but I am sure you get my meaning). I do not know much about the true history of the Night Witches but if the story is even half true-what great ballsy bitches they were.
Steve
If you like historical fiction and you dig war history, you should read this. The author switches between various characters on both sides of the German/Russian conflict, and each character help flesh out the details of the greatest tank battle in the history of the world. My only complaint was that the symbolism for one of the characters was a bit heavy handed. Great stuff.
Simon Salt
Really enjoyed this book. Robbins presents the details very well and in a completely believable narrative that shows he did his research before writing the book. I'm now going to try some of this others.
David
Pretty much on par with Robbins other titles. Compelling characters, exciting plot, and obviously a lot of research into the writing.
Sarah
Aug 24, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This has to be one of the best-written books I've ever read. Every line made me sigh. Wow!
Jeffo
Great book. Intense to the end. Gives a fantastic insight to the heroes of Tank warfare.
Nate
A great depiction of tank battles, and life on the Russian front in WW II.
Brandon
Well worth reading for the deeper understanding of human nature in the Russian culture.

And a much more accessible way of understanding how different the war was to Russians than it was to Americans.

The accounts of the tank battles are excellent portrayals, but what the night witches did seems impossible. Until you do a bit of research and discover they in fact did fly WW I level airplanes only at night, without parachutes or weapons and in effect tossed bombs out the window, 23,000 tons of them
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DROPPING OUT
The sheer scale of Battle of Kursk is difficult for the mind to comprehend - millions of soldiers, five thousand tanks, thirty thousand artillary pieces, etc., compressed into an area of five hundred square miles. (Think: an area twenty-five miles by twenty miles).

One combat began, it was literally a clash of Titans. It was a "Do or Die" effor for both the German and Soviet forces.

Robbins writes an entertaining fictional account involving only a few German and Soviet units, letting the microcosm
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Chris Brown
Not bad, but this is one of those books where the battle is won because of the actions of the lead characters, who incidentally are all connected, who would otherwise just be minor characters in history. This does not make it a bad book, its just not my favorite way to structure a story as I see it quite a bit.

The description of combat was interesting, I assume that the author researched these scenes. I kept saying to myself "Oh! So that's how it was done." Overall it was a nice easy read.
Nev Thomas
Really excellent tale about the battle of Kursk and the horrors of war
Beth
This is a war book, no doubt about it. The way the author switched from a tank crew in the Russian Army to a Captain in the SS was very well done. I really liked the characterization all throughout the book as well as the action sequences. Very vivid and made me want to read more about the Russian front in the early 40's.
Chuck
There's a lot bad that I could say about this book. The characters are very one-dimensional. The writing is nothing to brag about. He occasionally uses nouns and verbs in an idiosyncratic fashion. However, there's one good thing I can say. He knows how to sustain the suspense, and that's about all you want in a novel like this.
Marym
Loved it!

Very well done, the characters were so alive! I learned so much about a side of WWII that I wasn't familiar with.
I'm not into military battles normally, but the drama between these two countries and their countrymen was so engaging!
Vikas Datta
A thrilling, pulsating account of one of the greatest and hardest fought battles of all time, one that brings out all the valour, brutality and moral compromises that make up war
Marilyn
Jun 16, 2007 Marilyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WW II history, present day fighters
The Russian warfront, and especially the women pilots. D Robbins writes so that you really imagine yourself in the seat of the plane, or the tank. Enjoy!!
Jandblock
A very good novel on a pivotal battle of WWII. The characters really came to life and David Robbins is a very interesting storyteller.
Jase
Though at times it seems to wander, this is a great novelization of one of the most important battles of the Second World War.
Hazen Wardle
Excellent WWII fiction. Follow 3 members of a family that get dragged into fighting for Russia. Gives you a new perspective.
David Foster
Great war story! If you've ever wondered what life is like in a tank, this is the perfect read.
Rod Zemke
4.5--i am biased as i am fascinated by WWII on the Eastern Front.
Steve Clark
I gave up on this one.
Rebekahanne80
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Jun 29, 2015
Estelle
Estelle marked it as to-read
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David L. Robbins was born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 10, 1954. He grew up in Sandston, a small town east of Richmond out by the airport; his father was among the first to sit behind the new radar scope in the air traffic control tower. Both his parents, Sam and Carol, were veterans of WWII. Sam saw action in the Pacific, especially at Pearl Harbor.

In 1976, David graduated with a B.A. in Theat
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More about David L. Robbins...
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