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Between the Oder and the Elbe (Hardback)

The Opening Moves in the Battle For Berlin, 1945

Military P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Berlin 1945 World History > Europe

By Wilhelm Tieke
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 35 mono illustrations & 25 mono maps
ISBN: 9781399002936
Published: 30th June 2024

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Between the Oder and the Elbe, the first of two volumes exploring the Battle for Berlin, examines the last months of the Third Reich and the defense of Berlin. It describes in detail the German attempts to stem the Soviet tide at the Oder River and the Russian drive on Germany’s capital and Hitler’s increasingly frantic and delusional efforts to halt the onslaught of the Red Army. Streams of German soldiers and civilians desperately tried to flee the city before it was surrounded. Their fate if captured by the Russians was too horrible to imagine.

This account mixes the descriptions of the overall military situation with many personal accounts of small unit actions. The desperation, fear and resolve of the soldiers often turned to admirable feats of bravery as well as acts of cowardice and brutality. Hope for a last minute alliance with the Western Powers encouraged the Germans to defend to the limit of human endurance. Ultimately, the dashing of such an alliance and the possibility of capture by the Soviets drove many soldiers and civilians to suicide. The reader has the opportunity here to relive the last days of the Third Reich, as seen through the eyes of the German soldiers and the foreign volunteers who fought before and in Berlin. In one of the ironic incidents of the war, as German soldiers were trying to bypass Berlin to the north, a force of French Waffen-SS troops was trying to enter the city to defend it!

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About Wilhelm Tieke

Tieke is the author of several books on Waffen SS formations including In the Firestorm of the Last Years of the War, II. SS-Panzerkorps with the 9. and 10. SS-Divisions "Hohenstaufen" and "Frundsberg" and Horst Wessel: The Combat History of the 18. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division.

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