In April and May 1945 the city of Berlin was the site of the final destructive act of the Second World War in Europe. The German capital became a battleground. After three weeks of ruthless fighting against a desperate, sometimes suicidal, defence, the Red Army took the city and crushed the last remaining German armies in the East. This momentous battle and the elaborate preparations for it were recorded in graphic detail by photographers whose images have come down to us today. These images, which give us an unforgettable glimpse into the grim reality of mid-twentieth-century warfare, are the raw material of Nik Cornish's evocative book. Using a rich selection of rare photographs from the Russian archives as well as images from German sources, most of which have not been published before, he traces the course of the entire campaign. The battles fought in East Prussia, eastern Germany and Hungary - in particular the assault on Budapest - are covered.
But the body of his book is devoted to the battle for Berlin itself - the monstrous onslaught launched by Zhukov's armies on the Seelow Heights, the bitter street fighting through the suburbs, then the ultimate confrontation, the merciless room-by-room struggle for the centre of the city and the Reichstag.Nik Cornish is a former head teacher whose passionate interest in the war on the Eastern Front and in the Red Army in particular has led to a series of important books on the subject including The Russian Army 1914-18, Images of Kursk, Armageddon Ost, The Russian Army and World War II and A Monolith United. As well as these books he has published many articles on aspects of the history of the Russian and Soviet armies. He is currently working on a pictorial history of the Battle of Berlin.