With Our Backs to Berlin: The German Army in Retreat 1945

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History Press Limited, 2005 - History - 256 pages
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In the final months of the Second World War in 1945, the German Army was in full retreat on both its Western and Eastern Fronts. British and American troops were poised to cross the River Rhine in the west, while in the East the vast Soviet war machine was steam-rolling the soldiers of the Third Reich back towards the capital, Berlin. Even in retreat, the German Army was still a force to be reckoned with and vigorously defended every last bridge, castle, town and village against the massive Russian onslaught. Tony Le Tissier has interviewed a wide range of former German Army and SS soldiers to provide ten vivid first-hand accounts of the fighting retreat that, for one soldier, ended in Hitler's Chancellery building in the ruins of Berlin in April 1945. The dramatic descriptions of combat are contrasted with insights into the human dimension of these desperate battles, reminding the reader that many of the German soldiers whose stories we read shared similar values to the average British 'Tommy' or the American GI and were not all crazed Nazis. Illustrated with photographs of the main characters and specially commissioned maps identifying the location and course of the battles, With Our Backs to Berlin is a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in the final days of the Second World War.

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