Listen free for 30 days

Armageddon

Narrated by: John Sessions
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (173 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Armageddon tells the story of the climatic months of the Second World War and the destruction of Hitler's Germany.

In this compelling study, the author addresses the big human and military questions. Why did the Allies not win the war in 1944, when they were vastly stronger than the Germans? Why did the Russians produce the best generals? What was it like to fight the British, American, German, and Soviet armies?

This book embraces the fates of more than a hundred million people, from the tragic teenage fanatics who died in the ruins of Hitler's Reich to the British "Tommies" who simply yearned to finish a painful job and go home. Few books on the Second World War have so vividly brought together the story of the battlefields, east and west, with the decisions of the generals and the impact of great events upon ordinary soldiers and civilians.

©2005 Max Hastings (P)2005 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    112
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful history. Story telling at its best.

Absolutely stunning. Hastings takes the closing chapter of the war and shows it for all its complexity and horror. It’s easy to listen to and engaging even for a history buff like myself. Well done. I would recommend this work to anyone and is one of the best audio’s I have chosen in 6 years !! (I started with .com)

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Hastings success

What can you say about a Max Hasting book, it is fantastic, the research that must have gone into this book must is beyond my imagination. It really is a worthwhile read. Highly commend it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent book

Where does Armageddon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The book is a very well written account of the last few months of the Third Reich from the events just before Operation Market Garden in the autumn 1944 to its eventual collapse in May 1945.

Shame its not slightly longer because I enjoyed listening to it so much

Have you listened to any of John Sessions’s other performances? How does this one compare?

First time I have listened to a book narrated by John Sessions but he does a great job here

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KD
  • 25-09-15

Good, solid history book

Well narrated, well researched history book which covers the ending of the war. The audible version is abridged, but still comes in at 7 hours or so. I download3d it to my tablet, then blutoothed it across to my car and listened to it during my commute - it was so good, it was almost enough to make me look forward to going to work!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling narrative, thorough analysis

Yet another Max Hastings WW2 book has just kept me spellbound for the last couple of days. As usual the author highlights certain themes which may not be very palatable to anyone brought up on jingoistic history lessons and Hollywood movies, with plucky Brits and dashing Americans. Namely, that the Germans were darned good fighters; that the Western Allies were often slow or seemingly reluctant to get stuck in; that Montgomery was a vain man who got up the noses of all his peers and superiors; that Eisenhower was no military strategist but generous-spirited to the point of saintliness in his diplomacy and forbearance in his dealings with the likes of Monty; that Roosevelt was as slippery as an eel but totally hoodwinked by Stalin while being decidedly bitchy to Churchill; that the Western Allies were blind to the threat that Stalin would simply replace one tyranny in Eastern Europe with another, equally brutal; that the RAF was often reluctant to offer airborne support, their commanders’ preference being to bomb civilians in German cities.
But Sir Max is not antagonistic, axe-grinding or finger-pointing in revealing these truths. He is always fair, and prepared to find another side to every coin. Montgomery, he emphasises, was loved and revered by his men and a meticulous planner. The wickedness and duplicity of a Stalin were unimaginable to most Western leaders and peoples (with the exception of Churchill). So why hurry to Berlin first? The Germans had been re-arming, training and brainwashing for a decade, so little wonder their soldiers were more competent. And so on.
Where Max Hastings leaves no quarter is in his treatment of the Wehrmacht. Again, the prevailing myth seems to be that the “traditional” army were upright officers and men just doing their job relatively humanely (as opposed to the SS divisions, composed of brutal fanatics) but the author can find few if any redeeming features in their behaviour: he cites example after example of atrocities, and cravenness on the part of the generals, from the Wehrmacht as well as the SS. Likewise he gives short shrift to claims that ordinary people “knew nothing” about the camps or slave labour - this, in a book that is meticulously researched and evidence based. Rather, he hints at the dangers of a whole nation brainwashed, coerced and sleepwalking into total depravity.
The book takes us through the main battles on the way from the Rhine to Berlin, mentioning also the hosts of smaller ones because there was attrition and severe loss of life every step of the way, often because of botching or sluggishness on the part of the Allies. There are sections devoted to certain themes, such as the reactions of rescuers arriving at the camps, the attitudes of the Hitlerjugend, the atrocities of the Soviet soldiers, the treatment of returning Russian POWs, the mania of the Nazi upper echelons.
But a main theme, reiterated in nearly all Hastings’ books, is how futile it is to expect fighting forces from “citizens’ armies” in the democracies to perform with similar conviction to those conscripted in totalitarian and brutal regimes. In the latter you would expect execution for poor performance, even if you went in unarmed, while in the former even the generals were very careful about expending life. We in the West avoided conquest by the Nazis because we allowed the Soviets to take the brunt for 4 years and with the loss of millions. I don’t suppose our leaders at the time enquired too closely into how this was achieved, let alone the general population!
John Sessions narrates this book masterfully. Not so certain other books, alas.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bitsy

OK but a bit of a mash up, far short of the insight of his other books on the subject matter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

battle for Berlin

I would have liked more detail on the battle for Berlin City
overall interesting book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well written history but short compared to the written version

I enjoyed the audio version of this analytical and well written history of the period covering late 1944 through to the end of the war and the consequences for a Germany that until then had been largely untouched within her borders apart from aerial bombing. However, having read the book when it first came out this seemed light on all the detail and statistics that are an essential part of the full story. Regardless, very enjoyable.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michal
  • Michal
  • 21-06-19

Armageddon

When the civilisation collapsed. A superbly written, vivid overview of the final campaigns of the Second World War.