The Battle for Berlin was the culminating struggle of World War II in the European theater, the last offensive of Hitler's Third Reich, which devastated one of Europe's historic capitals and brought the Nazi leviathan to itsdownfall. It was also one of the war's bloodiest and most pivotal moments, whose outcome would play a part in determining the complexion of international politics for decades to come. This is the compelling account of that final battle, a story of brutal extremes, of stunning military depth alongside the stark conditions that the civilians of Berlin experienced in the face of the Allied assault.
The classic account of the final offensive against Hitler's Third Reich.
The Battle for Berlin was the culminating struggle of World War II in the European theater, the last offensive against Hitler's Third Reich, which devastated one of Europe's historic capitals and marked the final defeat of Nazi Germany. It was also one of the war's bloodiest and most pivotal battles, whose outcome would shape international politics for decades to come.
The Last Battle is Cornelius Ryan's compelling account of this final battle, a story of brutal extremes, of stunning military triumph alongside the stark conditions that the civilians of Berlin experienced in the face of the Allied assault. As always, Ryan delves beneath the military and political forces that were dictating events to explore the more immediate imperatives of survival, where, as the author describes it, “to eat had become more important than to love, to burrow more dignified than to fight, to exist more militarily correct than to win.”
The Last Battle is the story of ordinary people, both soldiers and civilians, caught up in the despair, frustration, and terror of defeat. It is history at its best, a masterful illumination of the effects of war on the lives of individuals, and one of the enduring works on World War II.
Cornelius Ryan was born in 1920 in Dublin, Ireland, where he was raised. He became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the Eighth and Ninth U.S. Air Forces and covering the D-Day landings and the advance of General Patton's Third Army across France and Germany. After the end of hostilities in Europe, he covered the Pacific War. In addition to his classic works The Longest Day, The Last Battle, and A Bridge Too Far, he is the author of numerous other books, which have appeared throughout the world in 19 languages. Awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973, Mr. Ryan was hailed at that time by Malcolm Muggeridge as "perhaps the most brilliant reporter now alive." He died in 1976.
"A rare accomplishment . . . will be of interest to generations to come." -- James A. Michener