Books: The Reluctant Prussian

IS PARIS BURNING? by Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre. 376 pages. Simon & Schuster. $6.95.

Hitler's orders were blunt: if Paris could not be defended against the onrushing Allied armies, it was to be destroyed. The bridges of the Seine, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, even the Eiffel Tower, were to be blasted to oblivion. The conquerors were to find that, in its dying gasp, the Thousand-Year Reich had leveled a thousand years of Western history's most treasured monuments, leaving Paris, in Hitler's words, "nothing but a blackened field of ruins."...

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