Cover Image: April 1945

April 1945

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Member Reviews

If you like all war books you will like this book. The author is good. Come down on price I will be buying this book.

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Stupendous book! The author, Craig Shirley, did a fantastic job in researching one of the most pivotal year in our and the world’s history! “April 1945” is the companion book to “December 1941”, and is a fitting ending to a monumental event in the world’s history: The beginning and the end of the Great War! Great narrative of probably the most famous April in history! A must read!

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Fairly disappointing drill down on one of the most momentous months in the 20th century. Reads more like a catalogue of events rather than a book, and given the important information and time period, I expected more than just a list. It also isn’t really just April, but so much leading up to it, which is always the problem with these types of books. Not my favorite,

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April 1945 painted a very vivid picture for me of what is was like to be there with these men on the battlefield. The struggles of the American people at the time of the war and what life was like at the time. Awesome story telling and great read for a history buff.

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While this was an interesting read, it was a little different from what I expected.

The year 1945 marked the end of World War II and is obviously the most important year in that period due to that. April 1945 was very eventful with the war practically closing in Europe, as the Allied forces and Russian army marched into Germany. The end of this month saw the suicide of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, and prior to that the tragic passing of FD Roosevelt. This period also saw more and more revelations of Nazi atrocities and the concentration camps. This book covers the period prior to and a little after as well with the nuclear bombing of Japan.

There is a level of relentless detail I had not expected – not all of it is interesting, and quite a bit of it is public. There are some details I did not know about though – Eleanor Roosevelt’s prolific writings, Hitler’s rants in the period Germany were losing the war, rumours of Hitler, Goebbel’s deaths prior to when it actually happened and a few other things. There are also some amusing titbits interspersed in the book, such as an incident of a German soldier in disguise attempting to surrender to an American soldier who was also a German in disguise. Finally, both are caught by real American soldiers. The book alludes to the general sense of passivity & fear among ordinary Germans, considering that much of what the Nazis were doing should have been apparent. As a result, apparently there was support in Russia & even the US for Stalin’s plan of taking a large number of Germans hostage to rebuild Russia. Also, with awareness of the technology around the nuclear bombs being low – there was awe, joy and excitement that it had been dropped on an obstinate Japan.

A large portion of the facts in the book is of course, likely to be known to many. To the author’s credit, the book does have sprinkling of more minor facts which should be relatively lesser known. Nevertheless, the level of detail is excessive and also makes for very dry reading in many parts of the book.

My rating: 3.25 / 5.

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April 1945 makes a great bookend to any WWII library with Craig Shirley's December 1941. Both offer detailed accounts of a specific month of WWII. While April 1945 was not the end of the war, this book does well to give the sense that a major part of the war had ended in April. I always enjoy reading the various interpretations of Truman's rise to the presidency upon FDR's death, and Shirley does not disappoint in this regard. The book is a bit dense, so that may scare off the casual reader, but it is well worth a read.

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