Gotterdammerung: The Last Days of the Wehrmacht in the East, edited and introduced by Bob Carruthers ISBN 1781591369
Four out of five stars
The last weeks of World War II in Europe were a time of scrambling, scraping and a combination of achievable and unrealistic goals. For the Germans, they were in the position where their only reserves of soldiers were old men and boys. Armed with a limited number of weapons and ammunition, these slapdash, generally inexperienced units were expected to hold firm against the battle hardened troops of the attacking Soviets with relatively unlimited stores of ammunition.
For the Red Army, their goal was to take Berlin as quickly and effectively as possible. On the German side it was a matter of trying to survive, while on the Soviet side, it was political. The allied armies were approaching from the west and while there were firm agreements regarding what territory each would hold, the situation was fluid and capable of being exploited. Despite the large relative disparity in the forces, in their haste, the Soviet Red Army suffered high casualties in the taking of Berlin.
This book is a brief description of the battle for Berlin, the scratch units fielded by the Germans versus the organized units of the Red Army. It is written in the style of a report summary prepared for the general audience. There are many images, some of them maps, most of them images of the battle damage. It does not have the extensive historical references and sources of the standard military history, yet it is a solid introduction to what was the last, great battle of the Second World War in Europe