Hi. My name is Stephan Hamilton and my first historical work will be published in May by Helion & CO. The book is titled, as the post name suggests, Bloody Streets: The Soviet Assault on Berlin, April 1945.
It is my first historical work (I have several others schedule for future publication with Helion) and I believe this book may be of interest to many members here on Feldgrau. I have visited your forum over the years and enjoyed reading many of the threads. I find it now a privilege that I am able to announce this publication to the Feldgrau community.
The book is a massive study of the battle of Berlin. On the strategic level, I view Berlin's fall not only through the prism of WWII's end, but the ensuing Cold War. I argue that Berlin, as a battle, and a historical event is far more important than previously thought; it not only ushered in Soviet post-war dominance of Eastern Europe but also foreshadowed modern urban asymmetrical warfare. I discuss other key strategic factors like what I term Hitler's strategic apathy after Wacht am Rhein, Stalin's almost religious zealousness to capture Berlin before the Western Allies, and what stopped Eisenhower along the Elbe River. In addition I discuss how Guderian and Heinrici conspired to force the Western Allies over the Elbe--and avoid any fighting in Berlin--without Hitler's or the German High Command's knowledge. Yet, these topics only "wrap" the beginning and end on this work.
What the book does is detail the plans and preparations for the Soviet assault on, and German defense of Berlin in more detail than previously published; furthermore I detail tactical actions down to the street level, day-by-day, sector-by-sector. I obtained period aerial imagery of Berlin from February/March 1945 and built over 60 overlays that show both Soviet and German troop movement street-by-street. The imagery is so good; you can see trucks and people of the streets of Berlin. More than half book is taken up by this section.
I obtained access to a large amount of previously unpublished accounts, both German and Soviet, and I scoured as much primary documents I could obtain in both the US and Bundesarchivs. Much of the information is new or at least presented and analyzed in new ways. Many previously published accounts are now interwoven into the stories of other combatants to present a more complete picture of the combat action in the city. Many of the accounts and some of my conclusions might even be considered "controversial" especially when it comes to Zhukov's performance and actions by some well known German commanders. I discuss little known German offenses in the city by previously unknown Kampfgruppe and Volkssturm units, and discuss for perhaps the first time in Western print, the fratricide that occurred between Zhukov and Koniev's forces in the streets of Berlin. The lure of the Reichstag was so compelling, and Stalin's desire for the city so overwhelming, that his subordinate commanders literally fought each other in the Berlin's central districts for the glory to raise the Red Banner on the roof of an already dead building.
The book took over 5 years to produce with the bulk of time spent reconciling hundreds of first person accounts of the battle to determine exactly what happened, where it happened, and with what equipment. The final editing on my part (I think) was a little rushed, but the book is now in the hands of Helion & Co. for final editing and production.
The book is about 400+ pages published in 9X12 format, high gloss pages and has over 200 images to include the aerial imagery and a number of previously unpublished wartime and post war photographs.
Over the next several months I'll try to put out some interesting historical tidbits, as I'll be interested in seeing others thoughts. I also probably start several discussions threads about some related topics.
I look forward to hearing from anyone interested, and I hope that when the book is published it is well received.