The Last Days of the Third ReichBook - 1995
"Mesmerizing account of those final, bloody weeks of war . . . Cross's account of the F'hrer's final, hysterical days in his Berlin bunker is masterful." - Sunday Express (London)
"A first-class work covering a subject which has fascinated military historians during the past 50 years." - Devon Herald Express
"We are resolved to go the extreme," declared Adolf Hitler on January 1, 1945. With these words of chilling determination, he ensured that the final months of World War II would be marked by some of the fiercest fighting in more than four years of total war. In Fallen Eagle, distinguished military historian Robin Cross takes readers into the trenches and onto the battlefield as he paints an unforgettable picture of a world in chaos. A sweeping panorama that captures the individual human drama within the broad scope of battle, this is the gripping story of the bitter last days of the Third Reich.
By the beginning of 1945, the armies of Europe were deeply weary. The Allies were determined to end the war in Europe quickly and with as little bloodshed as possible. But the Germans were by no means prepared to yield-though they could see the war was lost. Thus began one of the most crucial years in the history of the world, and its climax, the desperate battle for Berlin, brought to a close one of the darkest chapters mankind has ever witnessed.
The Allied effort pushed on from all fronts. In the east, Stalin's mighty war machine began its great offensive. From out of the swirling fog and snow, the Soviet steamroller crashed through the German lines on the Vistula, 125 miles south of Warsaw. Driving across the Polish plain towards the Oder, BLA
Germany's historic frontier with the east, Russia's advancing armored columns created panic in East Prussia. In the west, Eisenhower and Montgomery joined the race to destroy the heart of Nazi Germany-and defend Europe against Stalin's vaulting ambition.
Through vivid, firsthand accounts from soldiers and civilians, privates, generals, and refugees, Fallen Eagle chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of the war's closing months-from the devastating, triple air raids on Dresden to "Spring's Awakening," Hitler's last offensive, with which he planned to retake Budapest and retain its oil fields; from the legendary summit in Yalta between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill to an extraordinary account of Hitler's last days.
The momentous events of 1945 literally changed the world-politically, economically, socially, and geographically. Europe would have new frontiers, friends would become deadly enemies, and an uneasy peace would threaten to transform Cold War into a third world war. Blending impeccable scholarship and skillful storytelling, Robin Cross offers a spellbinding account of how the eagle was finally toppled from the roof of the Berlin chancellery as the Russian bear stretched out its claws to seize a Europe laid waste.