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Last Days of the Reich: The Collapse of Nazi Germany, May 1945 (Military Classics)

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When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retr When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retribution, sometimes courage and occasional suicide...and the ultimate rise from these ashes of a powerful, democratic republic.


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When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retr When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retribution, sometimes courage and occasional suicide...and the ultimate rise from these ashes of a powerful, democratic republic.

30 review for Last Days of the Reich: The Collapse of Nazi Germany, May 1945 (Military Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This book is good in details and descriptions but personally I think it is one sided. Yes it only shows German side and how they suffered so I understand that. But it kind of fails to remind the reader that German army and particularly SS done terrible atrocities through the Eastern Europe and more then anywhere else in Russia. One way of the other Nazi Germany killed millions in Russia and rest of the Eastern Europe. In the contrast they were much more 'civilized' in Western Europe although the This book is good in details and descriptions but personally I think it is one sided. Yes it only shows German side and how they suffered so I understand that. But it kind of fails to remind the reader that German army and particularly SS done terrible atrocities through the Eastern Europe and more then anywhere else in Russia. One way of the other Nazi Germany killed millions in Russia and rest of the Eastern Europe. In the contrast they were much more 'civilized' in Western Europe although they done terrible things there as well. So when Russian army advanced in Germany obviously they had only one thing on their mind. Bloody revenge. And Germans got it. Yes thousands of German women were raped, some soldiers & civilians were shot on site, particularly SS. But what they expected after what they done in Russia? To be treated nicely. I wonder if Sea Lion actually happen and Germany invaded England and in the process done same atrocities they done in Russia, would British Army behave any different towards them later? I doubt. If Germans came to your village and killed every male above 16, and took every women and child to concentration camp and burned the village down and you somehow survived - would any of you behave differently towards German prisoners later then how Russians did. I think not. Besides, Russian army DID NOT in general burn villages and killed all males on site. Sure they done terrible things as well and when bad things are done we must recognize them for what they are - bad things. But we have to understand as to why those things are done in a first place. Even German soldiers themselves were saying that they have to stop Ivan as if not and they do to Germans only half of what Germans done to Russia, there will be no Germany left. Are you forgetting that millions of Ukraninan died of starvation simply because Germans took all the grain for Germany. So when Ukranian Red Army soldier came to ‘rich’ German village you think he wanted to be nice knowing that his sister of mother died of hunger because of Germans. Other thing I have to say is that I am Croat myself and I know about the war in Yugoslavia and what was written for that chapter was way too much oversimplified. Chetnicks were not peace loving patriots and simple Royalist. They wanted Serbian hegemony and were openly collaborating with Germans to the point that allies abandoned them. They killed countless civilians and have tons of blood on their hands. And you would think that because I am Croat I would say that. But as described in the book the fault of Croats was that they choose the wrong side and sided with Germans. There is no mention of thousands of civilians that Croat Ustase regime killed (mainly Serbs, Jews etc but also 'normal' thinking Croats etc). There is no mention of concentrations camps Ustase ran like Jasenovac or Stara Gradiska where even Germans were appalled of the butchery that was happening there. So at the end when they lost and Partisan army caught up with them revenge was on the cards and their paid in blood. What they expected? Again I am Croat, and there were thousands of Croats in Partisan army and the leader of the Army was Croat (Tito), but there were also a lot of Croat that sided with Germans and done terrible things so when they lost – they paid the price, same as Chetnicks or other loosing sides. Ex Yugoslavia was complex country patched together with different nations and ruled by Serbian king and Sebs enjoyed lot of benefits comparing to other nations. Same or similar issues spilled over in post war Yugoslavia and are one of the reasons the country broke apart in a bloody war in 90’s. Let’s not forget that when all western democracies were conquered by the might of German army and waited for Americans and in part British to liberate them there was only one country in Europe that liberated themselves (with some help of Russians in the North around the capital city) and that was Yugoslavia. No other country done that. End yet in the ironies of politics France emerges as a victorious country of the WWII. Say what? French army collapsed in 1941 in few weeks and only remaining ‘forces’ were from colonies with De Gaulle but their size was nothing comparing to other armies around. End yet France emerge as a victory country with their contribution of few divisions. Makes me want to lough. True they had resistance in occupied territories but compering to partisan forces in Yugoslavia they were nothing, although they suffered badly and need to be recognized as well. Crime is crime, no matter which side does it but you should differentiate causes for it. When Germans invaded Russia, they had no reason to kill millions, but when later Russia invaded Germany they had every reason to take revenge on them. And yet with all the rape and murder they done in Germany, they treated Germans far better than the Germans treated them. Rape happen on the large scale but outright murders of civilians did not. Sure, a lot of people got killed as civilians always get in the crossfire and there were cases when they were shot on site, but nothing comparing what Germans done in Russia or Eastern Europe. In conclusion, both sides done terrible things but they cannot be put in one basket as simple as in this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Callum Hyslop

    A neat little book that covers the whole continent at the end of the war, I bought it by mistake thinking it was just about the Battle of Berlin clearly not as it goes into detail of other parts of Europe towards the end of the war and how they reacted etc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Vernon

    This was an interesting story that examined the end of the war with Germany by describing the events that occurred on various fronts. Most people are aufait with the war on the Western (British/US/French) front and the Eastern front (Russia) but little is known about the defeat of the German Army in Italy, Czechloslovakia and Yugoslavia. By examining these more 'obscure' fronts, Lucas provides a very useful overview of the end of the war. His writing style by being so explicit about how he inten This was an interesting story that examined the end of the war with Germany by describing the events that occurred on various fronts. Most people are aufait with the war on the Western (British/US/French) front and the Eastern front (Russia) but little is known about the defeat of the German Army in Italy, Czechloslovakia and Yugoslavia. By examining these more 'obscure' fronts, Lucas provides a very useful overview of the end of the war. His writing style by being so explicit about how he intends to tell us the story, does get annoying at times. Nevertheless, a very readable account.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Baco

    Some unusual and worthwhile perspectives here, but some of Lucas's attempt to evoke sympathy are laughable and the lack of citations is baffling. Some unusual and worthwhile perspectives here, but some of Lucas's attempt to evoke sympathy are laughable and the lack of citations is baffling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nick Boldrini

    A good account of the last days of the Third Reich. Literally, as it it covers less than 2 weeks in detail, but expands out from that for context. Some things you may be aware of, but there is extra information regarding the events and fates of various groups which show the chaos of this time. If your interested in details of WWII worth a look, but not really for a general reader.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Reddell

    Good perspective, excellent details, helpful research, and wonderful layout. I enjoyed this book and its use as a resource. The writing style was well-done, nice breakdown of each subject material covered in the book, and helpful maps and other visuals.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    An essential book...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

    When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retribution, sometimes courage and occasional suicide...and the ultimate rise from these ashes of a powerful, democratic republic When the Third Reich collapsed, 70 million Germans were left bewildered and terrified, their leaders dead or incarcerated; the victors saw fully for the first time the unbearable legacy of death, atrocity, and destruction left by the Nazis. Here is the view from Hitler's bunker, where news came of his troops surrendering on every front. An extraordinary story of ruin, retribution, sometimes courage and occasional suicide...and the ultimate rise from these ashes of a powerful, democratic republic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Frank Pellecchia

    Excellent account of the last weeks of the Third Reich. The book has abundant first person accounts by the German military, German civilians, and the conquering Russian, American, and British forces. Many pictures are included. Readable riveting accounts of ruin, retribution, chaos and courage.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Interesting Quite an interesting look at life inside the Reich as it crumbled, but let down by the slightly one-sided view point.  There's a fair bit about the atrocities committed by the incoming Red Army, but very little about the same atrocities perpetrated by the German Army. Interesting Quite an interesting look at life inside the Reich as it crumbled, but let down by the slightly one-sided view point.  There's a fair bit about the atrocities committed by the incoming Red Army, but very little about the same atrocities perpetrated by the German Army.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mac

    Lots of detail, especially concerning incidents that have mostly escaped the history books. Very well researched, as are most of Lucas' books. Lots of detail, especially concerning incidents that have mostly escaped the history books. Very well researched, as are most of Lucas' books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Russ Spence

    an excellent book concentrating on what happened to Europe when the guns finally (more or less) fell silent.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Allen Setzer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dvdlcs

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Laughy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Roberts

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Beganie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Inácio Miranda

  19. 5 out of 5

    sam christie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zachary

  21. 4 out of 5

    Howard Brooks

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tom Prince

  26. 5 out of 5

    Geevee

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Nellis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vishwas Kumar

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gads300

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