The End by Ian Kershaw

The End

Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extre...

Details The End

TitleThe End
Release DateSep 8th, 2011
PublisherPenguin Press
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Cultural, Germany, Military, Military History

Reviews The End

  • Paul Bryant
    These 400 pages are like a single chord with six notes, horror, terror, death, pain, ruin and obedience. You will have observed the absence of pity and mercy. I wonder whether we – I – read this account of the last year of the Third Reich in the spirit of revenge, in some distant vicarious sense, because this is where the Nazis finally got what was coming to them. So it could be the one to read straight after Hitler's Willing Executioners or ...
  • fourtriplezed
    In this excellent book Ian Kershaw scrutinises the fall of Nazi Germany from the Assassination attempt on Hitler in July 44 through to the final unconditional surrender. Fascinating analysis is given throughout each chapter. Brilliant footnotes through to works cited (bibliography) that should have anyone interested in the subject of the last year of Nazi Germany’s demise salivating. For those who may wonder why Nazi Germany fought to the very ...
  • Eric_W
    A man cuts some telephone lines he thinks connect the military bases one to another. He's seen by two members of the Hitler Jugend who report his actions. He's summarily arrested by the local police. The regional commander is summoned and a summary trial is conducted and the man executed. This scenario occurs just four hours from the town being overrun by the Allies in Germany. The question Kershaw asks and answers is why did local bureaucracies ...
  • Ray
    Disaster. Catastrophe. Chaos.In mid 1944 it is clear that Germany has lost the war. The Allies are encroaching on all sides - Russia is slicing up the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front, the Americans and Brits have landed in Normandy, and the slow crawl up the Italian peninsular continues.So how did Germany take the war into 1945? This book seeks to provide an answer.As is often the case there is no one answer. In part it was due to the fanatical de...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    The author looks at the question that we often don't ask.....what made Germany fight on in the last year of WWII, when their country was in total ruin, the social and economic system no longer existed, the military had to depend on old men and children, and the Red Army was at the gates of Berlin? He relates tales of unbelievable events that occurred when the horror that the Nazis wrought came home to the Reich.........the continuing wholesale mu...
  • Kevin Cole
    When I was 16, I spent the summer with my father and his family in what was then called West Germany. He was in the U.S. Army, which had been stationed in Europe for over forty years in order to dissuade Soviet incursion into Western Europe. (The Army's still there, in fact, even if the Soviets are not.) There wasn't enough housing on base to live in, so my father ended up renting the top floor of a house from a German family. There was a woman, ...
  • Ana
    phew. this has been e legitimate "tour de force" in order to finish it, but i'm actually convinced that reading it in a very frenetic way helped with the atmosphere that this book was supposed to touch on. "The End" is the collection of all informations regarding Germany's situation between the 20th of July 1944 (the day of the biggest attack on Hitler, the bomb placed in his wolf nest at the feet of the conference table that managed only to scra...
  • Lobstergirl
    Kershaw's question - why did Germany continue to fight to the absolute bitter end, at which point most of it was in ruins and occupied by Allies - is much less mysterious to me than the question of why the German people, from the thirties on, allowed this monster to have complete control over them. But that's obviously a different book. In this story, they fight because Hitler commanded them to. He did not want a repeat of 1918. The soldiers on t...
  • Tim Pendry
    This is what good history should be about - an evidence-based narrative exploration offering the best working explanation of a particular problem of possible concern to us today.Ian Kershaw asks a simple question of why Germany continued to fight on, far beyond reason, against the overwhelming force of Russian manpower and of Anglo-American air and technical superiority.The book takes us from the failed Operation Valkyrie (the only serious revolt...
  • Kusaimamekirai
    It is hardly controversial to say that the creation of the Nazi party under Adolf Hitler was one of the most destructive, despicable, and transformative events of the 20th century. In addition to the death of millions of Jews, the countless murders of civilians in occupied territories, forced labor, and the horrors inflicted on the German populace itself, the rise and fall of Germany under the Nazis has been the subject of countless studies and b...
  • Andrew
    Kershaw's reputation as one of the most important & insightful historians of the Third Reich is both reinforced and enhanced in 'The End'. Replete with appropriate and well integrated source materials that illustrate and inform his historical arguments, 'The End' should be read by anyone wanting to explore both the Gotterdammerung of Nazi Germany in the last eleven months of the European theatre of WW2, as well as how a totalitarian system can pe...
  • Mark
    In The End, Kershaw attempts to explain why the German people fought on to the brutal end of WWII. He starts off by discussing the pervasiveness and effectiveness of terror in the last days of the war, but rejects that as being insufficient. He then reviews more recent research, which has demonstrated the willingness of the German people to go down with the regime. Kershaw also finds this to be insufficient. Kershaw also examines the Allied deman...
  • Emma
    Review to come.
  • Kirsty
    Knowing how much of a history geek I am, my parents bought me a copy of Ian Kershaw's The End: Germany, 1944-45. I read it over the course of a week, and cannot recommend it enough. As with his biographies of Hitler, which are both scholarly and fascinating, Kershaw writes with an authoritative and rather commanding voice. His research is impeccable.The End is an admirable and far-reaching study indeed; in his preface, Kershaw writes: 'I have tri...
  • Alan Draycott
    A great disappointment. Two interesting questions made me buy the book- Why did the Germans carry on fighting when all was lost? Why did civillian life continue until the end? But Kershaw seemed to have found the answers almost immediatly and so told the story of the final year of the war instead- which he said he wouldn't. In itself that is a fine read but most will have already read it. So why did the Germans fight on?- simply Germans were afra...
  • Brigitte
    I love Ian Kershaw's writing because he takes what could be a very boring subject (military battles) and makes it readable for the layman. Most of you that know me, know that I lost a grandfather at the end of World War II (six weeks before it ended) and that our family doesn't exactly know what happened to him, although we have an idea that he may be buried in what is now Russia. He was in the German army, which is a sensitive subject for many, ...
  • Shawn
    He says in the preface that he's going to repeat himself often in this book, and he keeps his word! It's almost as though he doesn't expect us to read the whole thing and so uses this repetition to make certain that anyone choosing to read just a few of the chapters will still get a good grasp of his ideas as to why and how Germany was willing and able to maintain it's trajectory to total destruction right up to the end. But for this fault, I wou...
  • Erik Graff
    Scott Magis had given me Kershaw's previously published book, 'Making Friends with Hitler', and I'd just read two other books about the last months of WWII in Europe, so this attempt to get at the reasons behind Germany's self destruction after the war was clearly lost caught my attention. Kershaw begins his account with the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944 and ends it with the final dissolution of the Reich government in late May, 1945--w...
  • Ali
    Ian Kershaw is a brilliant historian but this is not a very well written book. There is a lot of repetition and unnecessary detail. Different chapters are of varying quality. It seems to me that a short monograph was contrived into a long book for commercial purposes.
  • Themistocles
    This was a slight disappointment of a book. I'd like to give it 3.5 stars but it's not possible, and 4 would probably be too much.The problem lies with the approach Kershaw has taken in his analysis. Let me explain:Everyone probably knows the reasons that pushed the Germans to fight on with such determination and fanaticism to the end: terror from above, terror from the east, allegiance to Hitler, allegiance to the Nazi ideology et cetera. So I w...
  • Tony Taylor
    Ian Kershaw has done a masterful job in analyzing and detailing the events of the last days of WWII in Europe... that last year from the bomb plot against Hitler in July of 1944 until the surrender of the Third Reich in May of 1945. This book is designed to help satisfy those questions that historians and readers of history may have pondered... what was happening at the highest levels within the Nazi Party, within the leadership of the military, ...
  • Bon Tom
    At the beginning of this book, I thought, wow, this is good, but way too detailed for my needs. I'm not historian. Now that I'm finished and the last puzzle is in the picture, I see I could still use more.Because, I get it (this book really helps), but I still don't.Except trying to explain the reasons why Germans went full retard following Hitler and the most evil doctrine in human history, it also offers insight into the fact that they themselv...
  • Andrew Dale
    I will begin by noting that this is not a book for the casual reader. It is heavily focused on primary source explication and does not really contain any new material. And neither does the book really attempt to create a grand narrative of the war itself or the strategic environment. Rather, all those things are backdrop for an examination of how exactly the Nazi regime and by extension the Third Reich as Germany managed to perpetuate its existen...
  • S.
    an important history that answers the question, why did Hitler's Germany fight to the bitter end? actually there are some better histories out there, maybe this is a low-4, but the subject matter is quite--again--important.
  • Robert Dooner
    Reading Ian Kershaw’s “The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany 1944-1945,” is a brutal experience. It is a story of human slaughter engaged on a scale that is beyond comprehension. Kershaw examines the final year of the Second World War and its disastrous impact on Germany. By the summer of 1944, victory for Germany on the Eastern and Western Fronts against the Allies was militarily impossible. Many high ranking German g...
  • Barry
    This is a difficult subject to write about not least because the last few months of World War 2 were chaotic in the extreme. Mr Kershaw has done an admirable job.It is also a difficult subject due to the appalling levels of violence and cruelty that was meted out by all combatants (with the Eastern Front taking the top prize in depravity). Again, Kershaw goes into detail to explain what happened and why.And finally, it is a difficult subject beca...
  • Speesh
    From the cover:"What made Germany keep fighting to the death, even when it was clear it would lose the Second World War?"In his magnificent, awe-inspiring book 'The End', Ian Kershaw sets out to examine and try and explain, or at least come up with some possible reasons for, the above. He examines every aspect of German life in what would turn out to be the last two years of the war (and I do feel it is important to remember while reading this, t...
  • Chuck
    In his book "The End", Ian Kershaw answers a question he asked himself. The question was why Nazi Germany continued to fight after June 1944, even though it was obvious to all that Germany was going to lose the war. The question of why continue to fight has not, to my knowledge, been deeply explored. And it is a question that has application well beyond the narrow confines of 1944-1945. To me, this is the kind of question is an extra-ordinary and...
  • Steve Switzer
    Just finished this amazing book.Anyone like me who read a lot of books which inferred that only the ss were the bad guys and that a lot of german generals fought on at the end only to save the evacuees are going to be sadly disabused.Its the story of the 3rd reich final chaotic months and contrary to popular myths most of the german generals were pro hitler .During the prisoner death marches nobody really helped the assorted victims ... the entir...
  • Robert Kiehn
    Ian Kershaw has written a marvelous, interesting and fact filled accountof the last and final days of Hitler's regime on Nazi Germany during theyears of 1944-45.Ian goes into detail about how Hitler and his henchmen - NamelySpeer, Donitz, Bormann, Himmler and other top ranking Nazi'sprolonged the war in Germany, costing millions of lives innot only the military population (Soldiers, Volksturm, Wehrmacht,SS, etc) of Germany but also on the Allied ...