The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 14 December 2005]

Review: Armageddon

Max Hastings’s Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 is a sprawling and inclusive depiction of the last year of the Third Reich. The book looks at this time from the points of view of both the Allies and Germans, and separates itself from most World War II literature by spending much time on the fate of civilians touched by the conflict, covering the tragedies suffered by Dutch, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, and German civilians as the maelstrom of war pulled them down.

Hastings very effectively uses letters and interviews with soldiers and civilians to great emotional effect and to illustrate larger points about the war.

Apart from the moving testimony of civilians and front line soldiers, Armageddon looks at the larger military and political issues and the personality conflicts inside Allied command.

Unusually for a book about World War II, the history of the brutal battles of the Eastern Front is covered partially from a Russian point of view, illuminating the terrible circumstances, both military and political, under which the Red Army fought.

By not cowering from fanaticism, blunders, horrific mistakes, and incompetence, as well as courage, heroism, and endurance, Armageddon paints a vivid and sometimes breathtaking portrait of a dark and horrific year.

If you are at all interested in World War II, Armageddon belongs on your must-read list.

« Big it up for the Holidays

 »


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?