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Extended Audio Sample The Last Battle, by Cornelius Ryan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,388 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cornelius Ryan Narrator: Simon Vanc Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The classic account of the final offensive against Hitler’s Third Reich

The Battle for Berlin was the culminating struggle of World War II in the European theater. The last offensive against Hitler’s Third Reich, it devastated one of Europe’s historic capitals and marked the final defeat of Nazi Germany. It was also one of the war’s bloodiest and most pivotal battles, whose outcome would shape international politics for decades to come.

The Last Battle is Cornelius Ryan’s compelling account of this final battle, a story of brutal extremes, of stunning military triumph alongside the stark conditions that the civilians of Berlin experienced in the face of the Allied assault. As always, Ryan delves beneath the military and political forces that were dictating events to explore the more immediate imperatives of survival, where, as the author describes it, “to eat had become more important than to love, to burrow more dignified than to fight, to endure more militarily correct than to win.”

The Last Battle is the story of ordinary people, both soldiers and civilians, caught up in the despair, frustration, and terror of defeat. It is history at its best, a masterful illumination of the effects of war on the lives of individuals, and one of the enduring works on World War II.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A rare accomplishment…Will be of interest to generations to come.”

    James A. Michener, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robert Fletcher | 2/14/2014

    " Ryan was able to interview the key players; something today's authors cannot. Very nice read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Steve | 2/9/2014

    " Pretty OK Book about the battle of Berlin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bazbal666 | 1/22/2014

    " I loved this book, I could have read 300 more pages. Great lines like "as she took shelter from the air raid in the basement of her Kreuzberg apartment" or "then the russians tanks were at Unter den Linden". The Generals and troop movements were easy to understand and a ton of the book was devoted to the civilian population that had to endure the chaos. Entertaining to read about how all the politics of high command operated back in that era - Eisenhower would send "cables" to communicate with the other generals and the politicians in DC. They were time consuming to draft and send, so it appears that the total work output for a man that's running a whole world war while working non-stop, drinking gallons of coffee and smoking 60 cigarettes a day totaled to about 8 emails a day. Definitely different times... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Diana | 1/18/2014

    " Interesting book about the fall of Berlin at the end of World War II. Lots of stuff I had never heard. Read by the inimitable Simon Vance. "

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About the Author
Author Cornelius Ryan

Cornelius Ryan (1920–1974), born in Dublin, Ireland, became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the US Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. He is the author of numerous books, including several classics of military history, which have appeared throughout the world in nineteen languages. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973.