Armageddon is the epic story of the last eight months of World War II in Europe by Max Hastings one of Britain s most highly regarded military historians, whose accounts of past battles John Keegan has described as worthy to stand with that of the best journalists and writers New York Times Book Review.In September 1944, the Allies believed that Hitler s army was beaten, and expected that the war would be over by Christmas But the disastrous Allied airborne landing in Holland, American setbacks on the German border and in the H rtgen Forest, together with the bitter Battle of the Bulge, drastically altered that timetable Hastings tells the story of both the Eastern and Western Fronts, and paints a vivid portrait of the Red Army s onslaught on Hitler s empire He has searched the archives of the major combatants and interviewed 170 survivors to give us an unprecedented understanding of how the great battles were fought, and of their human impact on American, British, German, and Russian soldiers and civilians Hastings raises provocative questions Were the Western Allied cause and campaign compromised by a desire to get the Soviets to do most of the fighting Why were the Russians and Germans effective soldiers than the Americans and British Why did the bombing of Germany s cities continue until the last weeks of the war, when it could no longer influence the outcome Why did the Germans prove fanatical foes than the Japanese, fighting to the bitter end This book also contains vivid portraits of Stalin, Churchill, Eisenhower, Montgomery, and the other giants of the struggle The crucial final months of the twentieth century s greatest global conflict come alive in this rousing and revelatory chronicle....
|Title||:||Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945|
|Publisher||:||Knopf November 16, 2004|
|Number of Pages||:||640 pages|
|File Size||:||870 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 Reviews
Published in 2004, this is a history of the final year of WWII in Europe and covers -- not everything -- but most of the stuff I had barely heard of before. It is centered on the ground war, but covers both the war in the west and the one between Germany and the Soviets in the east. There's not very much on the war in Italy, but this is so chock full of information it's more than enough. The amount of detail is impressive -- lots of the material comes from interviews with the combatants and the civilians who were affected by the war. That is where it really shines. It is a grim story, more death and destruction than I had known about before and, couple with that the stories right from the people affected, and it's somewhere beyond sad.
I probably can't add much to the existing 200 reviews for this book, but did want to add a high rating. The author does a good job covering all of the relevant sides in the last year or so of war--the Western Allies, the Soviets, the Germans, and the civilians--with a good mix of "big picture" narrative and "down in the weeds" quotes from individual soldiers, etc. Some readers could probably quibble about the author's (often harsh) assessments of their favorite generals, but generally this reader found his opinions to be justified.
Hastings raises provocative questions: Were the Western Allied cause and campaign compromised by a desire to get the Soviets to do most of the fighting? Why were the Russians and Germans more effective soldiers than the Americans and British? Why did the bombing of Germany’s cities continue until the last weeks of the war, when it could no longer influence the outcome? Why did the Germans prove more fanatical foes than the Japanese, fighting to the bitter end? This book also contains vivid portraits of Stalin, Churchill, Eisenhower, Montgomery, and the other giants of the struggle.
In Armageddon, Hasting tells the story of the last seven months of the war as Nazi Germany was squeezed into defeat, contrasting the western front with the eastern front, the US and British with the Russians. He describes the motivation and thoughts of both sides without apologizing. A few statistics demonstrate the relative magnitudes of each front. He explains why the Russians were brutal to the German soldiers and civilians, and why the US and Britain were more cautious. He explains why the war had to end in armageddon, including the allied strategic bombing, and why nothing short of total victory was the only option. He does this by telling both the story of the common soldier, the innocent and not-so-innocent civilians, and the grander strategies of the generals and political leaders. Among these threads, Hasting strikes a good balance of storytelling without glorifying the common soldier (as Ambrose does) with the larger national movements, without getting bogged down in politics. The stories and anecdotes in the book vividly portray the reality of the war and the collapse of civilization in the Third Reich's last months. Even though the book was long, it was very readable.
This book contributes greatly to a much fuller and richer understanding as to how the war against Germany affected everyone, from soldiers in the various armies, POWs, and the lives of the general populations in the countries directly impacted by the fighting and bombing. That the impact was horrific is well known, but the myriad stories of individuals--soldiers, sailors, airmen, POWs, and civilians--give a more complete sense as to just how bad that impact was.
Anything Max Hastings writes is likely to be a five star book-- and that certainly is true of this one.