The Fall of Berlin

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Ian Baxter
Other Publication Information
144 pages, 7.5x9.5in.
Company: Pen & Sword - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate UK - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

Overview as found on the website: By March 1945, the Red Army had closed in on Berlin. Marshal Zhukov, with almost a million soldiers and 20,000 tanks and guns at his disposal, launched his assault of the Seelow Heights. While costly with 30,000 Russians killed, it brought the Russian Army to the gates of the capital.

On 20 April, Hitler's 56th birthday, Soviet artillery began a massive bombardment of the doomed city. The Fuhrer ordered every soldier, Hitlerjugend and Volksstrum to fight to the death. The house-to-house fighting that followed was brutal and savage with heavy casualties for both military and civilians.

Using superb Russian and German imagery this fine Images of War Series book describes the Russian assault and Nazi last-ditch defense of Hitler's capital during the final days of the Third Reich.

About the Author

As presented on the Operation: Ian Baxter is an avid collector of WW2 photographs. His previous books in this Series include Hitler’s Boy Soldiers, Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants and German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance, German Army on the Eastern Front - The Retreat and Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants, The Crushing of Army Group (North) and the SS Waffen Division series including SS Leibstandarte Division and SS Totenkopf Division At War. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 - Vistula-Oder Offensive
  • Chapter 2 - Defense of the Oder
  • Chapter 3 - Battle of Halbe
  • Chapter 4 - Battle for Berlin
  • Appendix - Order of Battle

A Closer Look

  • Chapter 1 - Vistula-Oder Offensive - The author provides a summary of the Russian advance, capturing Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and other cities. Twenty-two black and white images show the field gear, armored fighting vehicles, and the men, both German and Russian, who were engaged in the struggle in this region.
  • Chapter 2 - Twenty-nine images support the text which states that after the Vistula Front fell, the Oder and the Seelow heights were the only major obstacles between the Russian forces and Berlin. The author describes how the Germans were surprised by the change in Russian tactics in this area of the fighting. The Russians had adopted the German methodology (briefly described) and used it well.
  • Chapter 3 - Battle of Halbe - Twenty-seven images accompany the author’s excellent description of the fighting that took place in a 17-acre plot of pine trees just south-east of Berlin. Some 88,000 German troops were under intense fire for several days in a desperate and vicious battle.
  • Chapter 4 - Battle for Berlin - The author describes the fighting in Berlin as brutal and without mercy. The forty-nine images show both German defenders and Russian attackers and a vicious and one-sided fight with an outcome that was clear to both sides.
  • Order of Battle - A list of the defending and attacking forces with Commanders identified.

This is not a “coffee table” book which one can flip through in a matter of minutes. The text is rich with detail and descriptions of the landscape, weapons, and opposing forces. For those who have studies the battle for Stalingrad, the battle for Berlin is in the same mold, only with the offensive and defensive forces reversed.

This book is highly recommended due to the excellent maps, large number of stunning black and white images, and detailed coverage of the subject.

Thanks to Casemate for providing this copy for review by IPMS.


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