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We Stormed the Reichstag

Vassili Subbotin
This is a very quirky book. Its factually probably correct, but the very disparate tales told don't really link up into a concise history of the fall of the Reichstag. In fact, without the introduction, much of the book is a little meaningless. Each chapter is a separate story and there is no effort made to link them up.

I certainly dont think that the author intended it to be anything like a history book. It is a collection of reminiscences, presented in almost snapshot fashion. One, called Pavlov's house is not concerned with Berlin at all, but Stalingrad.

Further to that, there are some tales which revisit the emotions of the people who were there years after the battle had ended.

There is a typically Russian maudlin and deep tone to all the chapters. Some are short, and some are painful to read. Three chapters describe children caught up in the conflict. One called Marisia is quite odd but emotional.

For anyone planning to visit Moscow and particularly the Central Armed Forces museum in Moscow, this should be required reading. I have been to the great hall where the flags he describes so vividly remain, and also huge glass boxes of Iron Crosses. When I return to the museum again, I will see it in a new light.

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