The Last Battle

  • by Cornelius Ryan
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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What the Critics Say

“A rare accomplishment…Will be of interest to generations to come.” (James A. Michener, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Good One

This is a narrative history well suited to be an audiobook. Not too technical, it's a compilation of people's experiences which follows the invasion of Germany at the end of the war, and the fate of Berlin. It's easy to listen to and I very much like Simon Vance's voice.

Various generals and their adjutants come into the story, German, Russian and American, but the story of Gotthard Heinrici is particularly captivating, as he tries to stave off the Russians and defy Hitler's crazy ideas at the same time. He wanted to give as many Germans as possible the chance to surrender to the western allies.

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- Roland

All the information you will ever need.

What did you like most about The Last Battle?

The details of the end of WW11, its' really well described.This has been the ONLY book I've known about to make the battle of Berlin such a visual experience, & to give so much information..


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Battle?

The simple futility of the killing of the few remaining soldiers and civilians who saw the war finished. Never the less this carried on right to the end. Squads were going around hanging what they saw as traitors.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not sure as I enjoy is the correct word for a subject like this, however I learnt a lot about how humans react in a dire crisis.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The futility of the battle at the end.


Any additional comments?

In this audible version the narrator achieves a moving account of the war, as it was played out in Germany and Berlin, in the final conclusion.

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- Karrie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-04-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.