Books: The Final Agony

THE LAST BATTLE by Cornelius Ryan. 571 pages. Simon and Schuster. $7.50.

Everyone who saw him still remembers how calm Soviet Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov appeared. In a hillside bunker overlooking the Kustrin bridgehead, less than 38 miles from the stricken city, he rested both elbows on the concrete ledge and took a last look into the predawn darkness through his field glasses. Finally, he glanced at his watch and allowed a few more seconds to tick by before he said, "Now, comrades. Now."

Three red signal flares soared upward, bathing the Oder River in...

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