The Berlin 1945 Battlefield Guide, Part 2...

...the Battle of Berlin, from Fonthill Media

Title: The Berlin 1945 Battlefield Guide Pt.2, The Battle of Berlin
Author: David McCormack

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-78155-739-6

 

This new book from author David McCormack and Fonthill Media brings us the second part of his battlefield guide to Berlin. As a follow-up to his first book, which dealt with the battles surrounding Berlin as the German army tried to prevent the Russian armies from reaching the city. Part 2 now takes us into the city itself and is another fascinating read. You can go on a guided tour, but as David points out, while there are advantages to this for some, if you are constrained by a schedule you may want to spend longer at some points of your visit so maybe you would prefer to go round in your own time, with this guide to tell you what to see.

With the history of WW2, Berlin became a natural focus for those countries which had been victims of Nazi aggression. All the allies had Berlin as a target, but it was the Russian armies who actually got there first.  Much of the city was destroyed, both by allied bombing and then by Soviet artillery.  The book makes a fine job of telling us the background and the history of not only the battle itself, but also of some of the individual places you will visit as well. The book provides you with 4 tours (A-D), each one designed to take you a whole day. Neatly, even places to stop for food an drink are suggested. Mixed in with this is the history of the battle, and many personal accounts from both Russians and Germans of what happened. There is no denying that the Russians took full revenge on the population of Berlin for the war atrocities, and rape was normal and once the war had ended, the Black Market was rife.  Some places you will visit have been restored, such as the Reichstag building and the Adlon Hotel. There is a flak tower amidst one of the tours, and a an old gasometer converted to an air raid shelter. Hitler's bunker has been destroyed, though there is a signboard telling you about it at the site. Other places have been demolished and even given new names, such as the infamous Gestapo headquarters on what was once Prinz Albrechtstrasse. It is now the site of a Terror Museum. Templehof Airport has also survived.

There is a lot to see in Berlin, the stories of WW2 as well as the story of the Cold War and the Russian occupation. Another excellent guide and certainly one I will take with me when we finally manage a trip to this famous city. Heartily recommended and together with part 1, two interesting guides together.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.

Robin