We Stormed the Reichstag (Hardback)
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In 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union Vassili Subbotin was caught up as an ordinary soldier in the Red Armys great retreat. In 1945, during the final days of the war, as a war correspondent, he went into Berlin with the troops who fought the ferocious final battles in the streets and sealed Germanys defeat. Later he recorded in vivid impressionistic detail the climax of the last act of the campaign and of the entire war in the east the storming of the Reichstag which came to symbolize of the Soviet victory over the Nazis.
His first-hand experience of that final operation and his insight into the small band of ordinary soldiers who played a part in it is graphically conveyed in this memoir. In his description of the confusion and violence of the street fighting around the Reichstag and the vicious hand-to-hand floor-by-floor struggle to capture the huge shattered building, the personalities of the soldiers are revealed, as are their fears and determination.
Vassili Subbotin served as a conscript in the Red Army during the Second World War, first as an infantryman during the Soviet retreat after the German invasion in 1941, then as a divisional war correspondent during the Red Armys long advance towards Germany. He was present throughout the final battle for Berlin and observed the capture of the Reichstag at first hand. After the war he wrote this evocative memoir recording his experiences and those of the soldiers who took part, and in later life he was reunited with those who survived the fighting.
As feature in.The Daily Mirror
As featured inBBC History magazine, April 2017
The Battle of Berlin was the longest and most sustained bombing offensive against one target in the Second World War. Bomber Command’s Commander-in-Chief, Sir Arthur Harris, hoped to ‘wreak Berlin from end to end’ and ‘produce a state of devastation in which German surrender is inevitable’. He dispatched nineteen major raids between August 1943 and March 1944 – more than 10,000 aircraft sorties dropped over 30,000 tons of bombs on Berlin. It was the RAF’s supreme effort to end the war by aerial bombing. But Berlin was not destroyed and the RAF lost more than 600 aircraft and their…By Martin Middlebrook
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