I guess not many people know this but I was (although not so much now) a big 20th century history buff, especially with regards to the two World Wars. I’ve always found the subject of Nazi Germany particularly fascinating, mainly because I am intrigued by the mass psychology of the era and what the Nazis did, and how they did it.
Looking back, I would have loved to have read history at university but went down another path, oh well que sera sera and c’est la vie and all that. As a consequence of my interest in the World War 2 era I’ve read a lot (and I mean a lot) of books, both fictional and non fictional and especially books about the final months of the war in Europe in 1945.
So naturally I came to this book with great interest. I know much of what supposedly occurred in the last few days of Nazi Germany before Hitler’s demise (“maybe” happened, that’s open to opinion) and Karl Dönitz becoming the German head of state and surrendering Germany to the allied forces. Obviously I am not naïve in these matters and am well aware that “history is written by the victors” (somebody’s quote, not sure who now) so you have to take much of what is written in history books with a large pinch of salt, or indeed a large lorry load of salt in some cases.
Much of what is written in this book is “stuff” I already knew of, mainly due to having read so much of the subject area. But that, in my opinion, is the book’s downfall as it basically just takes a lot of knowledge from other places; so it is consequently a sort of a “meta-analysis” of existing knowledge. That’s not to say it is a bad book, just maybe not so rewarding if you’ve read much around the subject area. Much of what is detailed I would imagine did happen, going by the “psychology” of the “moment”, so to speak. I would imagine debauchery was rife in Berlin by this stage for the Nazi elite in their (relatively) secure underground bunkers whilst many citizens were dying among the rubble above ground. Such events happen in war.
Overall it is a reasonably good book and well written and researched by the authors who have a track record of experience in historical writing. Good book for anyone interested in the subject area who doesn’t already know too much about it.
I give it 6.5 out of 10
You can purchase this book in hardcover or Kindle (I read it on Kindle) format from Amazon:
*All prices correctly shown at time this post was created.