The Battle of Berlin was the final climactic struggle on the Eastern Front, and the ruins of the Reichstag were at the heart of that struggle, acting as a magnet for Soviet armies during their long advance west. This excellent book looks at the build-up to this final battle, the preliminary battles outside the city that sealed its fate, and the bitter fighting inside the city itself.
Neither political system emerges well from this account. On the German side we have Hitler's fantasy world, where none-existent armies are moved into place for impossible counter-attacks that were intended to restore the situation on the entire Eastern Front, while in reality most of the troops involved were busily attempting to survive or escape to the west. On the Soviet side we have Stalin's willingness to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers to get a May-Day victory, and the bitter feud between Marshals Zhukov and Koniev.
Most of the fourteen maps are excellent, although in a couple of cases the shades of grey chosen make it difficult to distinguish between low buildings and water. Otherwise they are very good, giving enough detail to be useful but not so much as to be confusing.
The text is detailed but still readable and easy to follow - not always an easy combination to achieve, and one shows the author's depth of knowledge of the battle - a knowledge gained over several decades and that has produced a much modified book from his original work.
1 - The Approaches to Berlin
2 - The Soviet Plan
3 - The Decisive Battles
4 - The Northern Flank
5 - The Eastern Suburbs
6 - The Northern Suburbs
7 - The Southern Suburbs
8 - The Encirclement Completed
9 - 3rd Shock Army's Sector
10 - 5th Shock Army's Sector
11 - The Breakout of the 9th Army
12 - The Central Sectors - A (26-28 April 1945)
13 - The Central Sectors - B (28 April-2 May 1945)
14 - The Battle for the Reichstag
Author: Tony Le Tissier
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010 edition of 1999 original