Berlin: The Downfall 1945

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Marcus
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Berlin: The Downfall 1945

Post by Marcus » 25 Apr 2002 21:18

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I placed my order for Antony Beevor's book on the battle of Berlin: "Berlin: The Downfall 1945" today.
Has anyone of you read it yet or seen any reviews of it?

/Marcus

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Starinov
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Post by Starinov » 25 Apr 2002 21:24

Has he also wrote "Stalingrad"?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 25 Apr 2002 21:27

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Yes, he has written both "Stalingrad" and "The Spanish Civil War".

/Marcus

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David C. Clarke
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Hi Guys!

Post by David C. Clarke » 25 Apr 2002 21:47

I don't think it's out yet in the US, but a friend of mine in the UK has it. Darn! Cheers, D :(

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Dan W.
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Post by Dan W. » 25 Apr 2002 22:16

It is not out yet in the U.S. I have already placed my order and it is due to be released in May. It was $20.00 and change through Amazon.com

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 25 Apr 2002 23:33

I am sure it's a good book Marcus. I didn't read it but Anthony Beevor is a great historian.

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 26 Apr 2002 01:13

Agreed, Antony Beevor has a way of writing which I find very enjoyable, while also informative. His writing always conveys me the impression that he is trying to bring history to life. Stalingrad was a very impressive piece of work, and I imagine his other two works are equally as good.

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Polynike
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Post by Polynike » 26 Apr 2002 09:09

Beevors book Stalingrad was a very enjoyable read (twice!). i did not know about this book, is it a new release? is it availble through amazon.co.uk? his style of writing is very readable as he blends historical fact into a credible narrative, though Stalingrad is often criticised for relying to heavily on german sources i felt it was quite a balanced account

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 26 Apr 2002 09:46

Polynike,

Yes, it is a new book and yes, you can find it at Amazon.co.uk (that's were I bought it), just click the cover in my above message.

/Marcus

TL
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Berlin, Downfall 1945

Post by TL » 26 Apr 2002 11:40

Hello Marcus and others,

I just bought my copy the day before yesterday and am on page ninety-something at the moment. So far I've been quite happy with the book, although (as they said in the review in the Irish version of the Sunday Times) there has been no significant 'new' information so far. Probably the fact that I recently finished reading Erickson's Road to Berlin as well as Werth's Russia at War might have something to do with it.

All in all, the emphasis is quite heavily on the conduct of the Red Army in the Reich, i.e., the atrocities, although the information isn't very detailed. In short, Beevor seems to be going through the stuff that you would expect, if you know what I mean, both from the Soviet and German points of view.

Although I've been quite happy with the book, there are a few things that have 'troubled' me. For example, he refers to the panzer corps (?) Feldherrnhalle as SS Feldherrnhalle, which, as far as I know, is a mistake, as the corps/division was a part of the Wehrmacht (correct me if I'm wrong). Then, he refers to Guderian as 'General' Guderian, which is fair enough if you look at the list of 'Military Rank Equivalents' in his website http://www.antonybeevor.com , but later he refers refers to Jodl as 'Colonel General'...this is nitpicking I know, but still.

There was also one other thing that got me thinking. Beevor also said that it was Himmler, who "devised" the SS-slogan Unsere Ehre heisst Treue, however, I seem to recall that it was Hitler who used the above words when he referred to the SS in a speech somewhere... Did Himmler pick it up from there, or do we have yet another inaccuracy?

Okay, I admit that I may have been a tad overenthusiastic in my deconstructing of Beevor's work, but the above things did bother me a bit.
Anyway, it's a good buy, I don't know whether it's going to beat Stalingrad, but I have a feeling that I'm not going to be disappointed. The style is similar and the narrative gripping at points. Even if an expert may not learn anything new, a casual reader like myself, can well pick up new bits of info here and there.

If anyone has any specific questions, fire away! (I can come back with more info, when I've read it a bit further.)

cheers,

TL

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David C. Clarke
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Thank You TL, Two Questions Please...

Post by David C. Clarke » 26 Apr 2002 14:17

Hi TL, thanks for the information. I'm dying to find out how extensively Beevor covers Muncheberg Panzer Division and Kurmarck Panzer-Grenadier Division. Could you take a look and see if there are extensive sections on these two divisions, Please? Best Regards, D :D

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 26 Apr 2002 15:45

TL,

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, Feldherrnhalle was a part of the Heer, not Waffen-SS.

/Marcus

TL
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Kurmark and Muncheberg

Post by TL » 27 Apr 2002 13:54

Hello there D,

If my memory serves me right there should be a few references to these two divisions in the book and Kurmark has already been mentioned once, however, only in passing. I don't have the book with me right now, so I'll have to come back to you on sunday or monday...

meanwhile, cheers,

TL

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David C. Clarke
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Hi TL!

Post by David C. Clarke » 27 Apr 2002 16:43

Thanks TL, just a little curious about two of my favorite late war divisions.
Wanted to see if Beevor added anything to what little is known about them. I have my order in with Amazon.com for the book, but there's no telling when it will be out here in the US. Best Regards, David :D

TL
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Kurmark and Muncheberg

Post by TL » 28 Apr 2002 14:44

Hi David!

Here's what Beevor has to say about Pz. Div. Muncheberg :

-23 April (?), only remnants were left of the division (p. 286)
-25 April (?), Soviet tanks (unit not specified) attacked the remnants of the div. on Tempelhof aerodrome (p. 303)
->the battle of the Tempelhof aerodrome against the 8th GA and the 1st GTA continued through most of 26 April. When M. counter-attacked, so few panzers were left that they had to operate singly supported by infantry and Hitler Youth with Panzerfausts. Survivors extricated themselves towards the evening. (p.319)
-CO Gen. Mummert ordered SS and Feldgendarmerie squads (tasked with executing 'deserters' etc.) out of his sector around Anhalter Bahnhof and Potsdamerplatz; he threatened to shoot the executioners on the spot. (no date specified) (p. 339)
-5th ShA fought back the remnants of M. from Belle-Allianceplatz (no date specified) (p.340)
-Shortly before midnight (1 May ?), remaining tanks and half-tracks of M. set out from the Tiergarten westwards (with 18th Pzgren. Div.) (p. 384)

And Pz. Div. (sic) Kurmark :

-4 February a Soviet bridgehead (in the village of Buchsmuhlenweg ?); a battalion of Kurmark Pz. Regiment (sic) moved in, they had been re-equipped with Panthers recently; the regiment was sent in to attack Reitwein Spur from its southern end; the attack failed because the thaw started earlier than expected (p. 71)
-17 April midday in Dolgelin and Friedersdorf remaining Panthers of K. counter-attacked Katukov's (1st GTA) tanks (p. 235)
-19 April K. had less than a dozen Panthers left (p. 246)
-25 April K. had half a dozen Panthers left (p. 330)
-27-28 April (?) a corporal from K. watched three of the last King Tigers (which unit they belonged to is not specified) being blown up and abandoned due to lack of fuel (p. 362)
-1 May (?) the last four Panthers of K. forced a Soviet rifle reg. to retreat from the village of Elsholz six km south from Beelitz; due to empty fuel tanks the Panthers were abandoned there (pp. 377-378).

All the above information is from Beevor's "Berlin: The Downfall 1945".

That's about it, some of the date's and locations aren't specified in detail, so the ones with a questionmark are my assumptions made on the basis of the text. Beevor does not refer to any sources for the info on these two divisions, neither is there anything in the maps.

Cheers,
TL

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