Berlin

Berlin

The Downfall 1945: The Number One Bestseller

Summary

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER ON THE LAST DAYS OF THE THIRD REICH

'Recounts, in harrowing detail and with formidable skill, the brutal death-throes of Hitler's Reich at the hands of the rampaging Red Army' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'An irresistibly compelling narrative, of events so terrible that they still have the power to provoke wonder and awe'
Adam Sisman, Observer
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The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Reich in January 1945. Political instructors rammed home the message of Wehrmacht and SS brutality. The result was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known, with tanks crushing refugee columns under their tracks, mass rape, pillage and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred because Nazi Party chiefs, refusing to face defeat, had forbidden the evacuation of civilians. Over seven million fled westwards from the terror of the Red Army.

Antony Beevor reconstructs the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse, telling a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge and savagery ­- but also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice and survival against all odds.
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'Makes us feel the chaos and the fear as if every drop of blood was our own . . . compellingly readable, deeply researched, and beautifully written' Simon Sebag Montefiore, Spectator

'Brilliant. Combines a soldier's understanding of war's realities with a novelist's eye for detail' Orlando Figes, Sunday Times

'Startling, chilling, compelling. Beevor's writing burns like a torch at night in a landscape of ruins' Literary Review

'Powerful, diligently researched and beautifully written . . . even better than Stalingrad' Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

Reviews

  • Fascinating, extraordinary, gripping
    Jeremy Paxman

About the author

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of Crete: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), Stalingrad (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), Berlin: The Downfall, The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia), D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), The Second World War, Ardennes 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and Arnhem. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-three languages and have sold over eight million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.
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