Being there . . . . April 29, 1945, with Berlin pounded into rubble, Hitler, having realized defeat was inevitable, and with no place to hide, simultaneously gulped cyanide and shot himself through the mouth . . .

Three Spellbinding Authoritative New Books Describe Nazi Germany’s Death Throes

Reviewed and Recommended by Don DeNevi

Millions upon millions upon millions of deaths deserve notices of sad recognition, biographical sketches, especially of the helpless and innocent, but none the vehement obituaries of the Third Reich and its ominous prodigy and his wicked, evil, sycophantic bootlickers deserve.

The most destructive war the world had ever seen, thankfully, was well on its way to concluding less than four months later when the Red Army crossed the Vistula in early January of 945 to take Warsaw and ramrod into Germany. In the West, American and British forces were well into Germany on their way to Berlin.  Soon, the great German city would be encircled, cutoff, and captured, and Hitler and his new wife soaked in petrol, thrown into a construction trench and burned beyond recognition.

Now, in two solemn, riveting books published from Casemate’s Pen and Sword Air World and Frontline Books Publishing Companies the full stories of defeat by bombing, and the fleeing of staff amid the odors of the two burning bodies are definitively told.

“The Battle of Berlin – Bomber Command Over the Third Reich, 1943 – 1945” by Martin W. Bowman (hardcover,447 pages, $52.95) has never been exceeded in compelling narration, deep knowledge, definitive descriptions of significant air battles, and the introduction of hitherto unknown heroes ensuring final victory. Simply put, Bowman is one of three leading aviation writers today, buffs already demanding more such histories.

“Escaping Hitler’s Bunker – The Fate of the Third Reich’s Leaders” by Sjoerd J. DeBoer (hardcover, 208 pages, $34.95) is the conclusive reference of what happened to all who remained with Hitler until his suicide at 3:30pm on that war-ending afternoon, April 29, 1945.

By using firsthand testimony from those who survived, photographs of the devasted German capital, as well as images of the various routes that the escapers followed through Berlin as they appear today, Bowman explores the last moments of Hitler’s Germany in startling clarity.

As far as this reviewer knows, no such subject has ever been researched and recorded as this incredibly fascinating study.

Also of note to scholars, researchers, buffs, and the curious are two accompanying books that are both priceless and will be appreciated, the McFarland Company’s enticing “The Reich Chancellery and Fuhrerbunker Complex – – An Illustrated History of the Seat of the Nazi Regime” by Steven Lehrer (softcover, 214 pages, $29.95), and the popular “An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich” by Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage (softcover, 224 pages, $29.95).  Of course, McFarland leads the pack of publishers worldwide in tracking down such interesting writers who devote their writing careers to such often obscure but always important topics. All four books belong in your library; and all four would make exceptional Christmas gifts for the new year.

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