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Race for the Reichstag (Paperback)

The 1945 Battle for Berlin

WWII Berlin 1945

By Tony Le Tissier
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781848842304
Published: 30th April 2010
Last Released: 11th April 2016

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Tony Le Tissier's classic account of the battle for Berlin dispels the myths created by Soviet propaganda and describes in graphic detail the Red Army's final offensive against Nazi Germany – the race for the Reichstag.

Among the soldiers of the Red Army, Berlin – and the Reichstag in particular - was seen as the victor's prize. Stalin had promised Berlin to Marshal Zhukov, but the latter's blundering in the preliminary battle forced a dramatic change of plan. Stalin chastened his subordinates, then allowed Marshal Koniev, Zhukov's rival, to launch one of his powerful tank armies at the city.

The advancing Soviet forces were confronted by a desperate, inadequate German defence. General Weidling's panzer corps was dragged into the city in a futile attempt to prolong the existence of the Third Reich, whose leaders squabbled and schemed in their underground shelters, a world apart from the reality outside where their subjects suffered and died. Ten days later, after the suicides of Hitler and Goebbels, the survivors had to choose between breakout and surrender.

Race for the Reichstag offers a compelling insight into the terrible final days of the Second World War in Europe.

During many years working in senior official positions in Berlin Tony Le Tissier accumulated a vast knowledge of the campaign the led up to the fall of the city in 1945. He has researched every aspect of the battle in unprecedented detail and has published a series of outstanding books on the subject - The Battle of Berlin 1945, Farewell to Spandau, Berlin Then and Now, Zhukov at the Oder, Slaughter at Halbe, Berlin Battlefield Guide: Third Reich and Cold War and The Siege of Küstrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin.

High standard....worth investing in a copy.

Despatches - the Journal of the Guild of Battlefield Guides

The Second World War reached its climax with the murderous battle for Berlin, where the devastated and ill-equiped German troops fought for every inch of the Berlin's soil, sacrificed their life to protect the symbol of power, The Reichstag, against the advancing Soviet Army. Tissier's detailed account of this last and most viscious battles of World War presents both sides of the conflict, proud Germans fighting for the long lost cause and their Fuhrer, and the Red Army led by the determined and skilfully manipulated Stalin's generals Zukhov and Koniev. The long process of acquiring the material, struggling against the soviet propaganda, and recently gained access to the soviet sources, maps and strategic plans, photographs, as well as German archives and memoirs allowed for the creation of this compelling insight into the last days of one the most terrible wars of the human kind.

MB (Customer Review)

For many years the truth about the Soviet Army's final offensive against Hitler's Germany was mired by myth, lies and propaganda however in Race For The Reichstag all of this has been neutralised leaving only the truth. Describing how Stalin had promised Berlin to Marshal Zhukov to the German wounded being cleared from Hotel Adlon, the book walks the reader through this most important chapter of the war, leaving no detail out. With the inclusion of important maps of The Southern Suburbs and the chilling last pictures of Hitler, Tony Le Tissier's experience of working in Berlin allows his words an authenticity desperately needed. With a foreword by David Glantz, Race For The Reichstag will leave you in both suspense and in shock.

JB (Customer Review)

Tony Le Tissier's classic account of of the battle for berlin dispels the myths created by Soviet propaganda and describes in graphic detail the Red Army's final offensive against Nazi Germany-the race for the reichstag.
Among the soldiers of the Red Army, Berlin was seen as the victors prize.
During many years working in senior official positions in Berlin Tony Le Tissier gathered a vast knowledge of the campaign leading up to the fall of the city in 1945.
The knowledge gathered was researched in unprecedented detail and is all within this book.
From chapter to chapter the reader equips The Battle For Berlin in every detail from start to finish.
Also minutely detailed, gripping account of the fight in the centre of the city, records of the devastating reality of combat using eyewitness accounts.

Jeff Bond

In early April 1945 the Red Army and the Wehrmacht lay ranged against one another across the Oder River, a mere 40 kilometers from Berlin. For the Soviets, after almost four years of bloody struggle, victory was only a single battle away, with Stalin's generals vying for the honour of taking the city. For the troops committed to its defence, Berlin would be the desperate last stand of the Nazi's expansionist dreams, their leaders increasingly cut-off from reality as they bickered and schemed in their subterranean bunkers. In this new edition of Tony Le Tissier's classic study, the final, titanic clash between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich is fleshed out in minute detail, from the crossing of the Oder to the ultimate fall of Berlin, complete with maps and orders of battle of all the major actions of the battle. The author strikes the delicate balance between a lucid narrative of the campaign, and a skillful use of eyewitness accounts to illustrate the realities of this colossal event from the point of view of the front-line soldier. Based on years of detailed original research, 'Race for the Reichstag' brings together both historical analysis and a sensitivity to individual experiences to paint a vivid and compelling picture of the final fall of the Third Reich.

Roger Fielding

Focusing upon the final battle for the Reichstag, Tony Le Tissier's book presents a vivid and agonizing portrait of the brutal last days of mankind's most destructive and terrible conflict. In this account of Berlin's fall, Le Tissier explores in unparalleled detail the battle between the ever advancing Soviet forces, for whom the taking of both Berlin and the Reichstag represent the prize that would mark the end of the war and opportunity for vengeance, and the desperate German defense forces, fighting with grim determination to protect the last vestiges of their national pride and Hitler's Nazi Germany. Drawing upon his lifetime of research of this subject as well as a number of first hand accounts from both sides of the conflict, Le Tissier also endeavors to sort the fact from the fiction and counteract the obscuring influence of Soviet propaganda. All of this means that Race for the Reichstag should be considered required reading for anyone interested in understanding the true nature of the fall of Berlin, the Reichstag and Hitler's Germany.

customer Review

Like many World War II recollections, piecing together the facts from patchy source material and conflicting accounts of events can be arduous at best. Tony Le Tissier, even with his many years of work in Berlin, and his vast accrued knowledge of the historic struggle which led to the city's fall in 1945, alludes to the fact that in earlier editions, source material was piecemeal. In this new version, with yet more painstaking research and access to new sources, Le Tissier surely once and for all offers a definitive guide to the epic fight for control between the Soviet Red Army and Hitler's by then exhausted and threadbare troops. What is noteworthy about this historic battle is the ferocity with which it was fought, especially considering that the result of not just the battle but also the war as a whole was by then seemingly inevitable. Nonetheless, there is a sense throughout that we have been dropped right in the heart of the action; the events covered in such minute detail by the author are climactic in both time and place. From the very outset we are taken on a gripping and unrelenting journey from the Red Army's initial plan of action all the way through to eventual victory. What is also worthy of note is the additional focus given to the politics of the Red Army itself and the rivalry between Stalin's two Marshals, Zhukov and Koniev. This personal 'battle' was for so long masked by Soviet propaganda but Le Tissier is able to lift the veil and in turn this aspect proves to be interesting reading in parallel to the rest of the action.

Carl (customer review)

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.

www.historyofwar.org
 Tony Le Tissier

About Tony Le Tissier

During many years working in several senior official positions in Berlin - including spells as provost marshal and British governor of Spandau prison - Tony Le Tissier has accumulated a vast knowledge of the campaign the led up to the fall of Berlin.

He has researched every aspect of the 1945 battle for the city in unprecedented detail and has published a series of outstanding books on the subject, inlcuding The Battle of Berlin 1945, Farewell to Spandau, Berlin Then and Now, Zhukov at the Oder, Slaughter at Halbe, The Third Reich Then and Now, With Our Backs to Berlin, Death Was Our Companion, Berlin Battlefield Guide: Third Reich and Cold War and The Siege of Küstrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin.

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