It is the end of the war in Europe; Hitler has committed suicide five days ago. The German
army is all but decimated, but pockets of German resistance remain. Deep in the
Austrian Alps sits a medieval castle that the Germans have turned into a prison
for high-value, high-visibility French political prisoners. In this unlikely setting, the pieces are set for a most surreal battle. American troops will align with a group of German soldiers—not Waffen SS—and fight shoulder to shoulder to defend the prisoners against a battle to the death with SS troops.
Amazingly, this is a true story that reads like something straight out of Hollywood. The book begins with an historical narrative of the castle then delves into the history of all the key individuals involved, including the French prisoners, German soldiers and the U.S. troops. The book culminates in the battle, which is both gripping and moving.
These pages turn quickly. In fact, The Last Battle would be perfect fodder for a Hollywood blockbuster. The story is so implausible that most viewers would think what they’re watching is little more than the machinations of the Hollywood machine.
Anyone who had read this book would know better.
Stephen Harding is a gifted storyteller and effective military historian who details the battle and its background with precision. This book is highly entertaining and will prove immensely enjoyable for virtually any reader interested in either European or military history. The book is paced like a tightly-written novel but is in reality the retelling of an historical event. A worthwhile read for all.