A berkut is a specially bred golden eagle, used by nomadic hunters in Kirghizia in south-central Russia. This eagle uses its strength and size to hunt wolves, binding their muzzles and suffocating them, or even using their powerful dives to break a wolf's back.
In the book, The Berkut is Vasily Petrov, the leader of a Russian task force, given ultimate authority by Stalin himself. Their goal is to capture Adolf Hitler – Herr Wolf. (You understand the metaphor now..?). His group consists of the best men in the whole USSR/CCCP, and they all now that failure means death for the minions of Josef Stalin.
The book starts with SS Colonel Günter Brumm being airlifted silently, using an ingenious glider system, and then parachuting into the rubble of Berlin. His mission is to make his way into the ruin of the once great capital of the Third Reich and extract Adolf Hitler. With the Soviet army slowly closing on the last strongholds of the German army behind him, Brumm makes his way to the Reich Chancellery, where the ruler of the Aryans hides in his bunker. Brumm, alone on the mission, is given the Herculean task of not only to extract Herr Wolf from the ruins of Berlin and from crumbling Germany, but also of fooling the entire world of der Führer's death.
He manages to get Hitler alive out of Berling with the help of an old friend, SS Sergeant Major Hans “Beard” Rau, and they travel to the Harz Mountains, to an old cabin belonging to the Brumm family.
Meanwhile, Petrov and his Special Operations Group examin, and interrogate thousands of soldiers, officers and civilians, and they finally come up with the conclution that Hitler is alive, and has escaped. They then follow the leads they have, and some of Petrov’s men go after the nazis into the Harz, while others investigate more. They even find out that the Vatican and the Pope supported the Third Reich during the war, and that the state of The Holy See is central in Hitler’s escape.
Joseph Heywood also introduces another character, the American Beau Valentine, an ambitious OSS agent, whose methods are very unorthodoks and little conventional, but they have obtained him the information that the Wolf is not a burnt crisp, but fully alive, and trying to escape Europe.
I will not tell the end of this great story, but I can tell that it is pretty surprising. After reading it, I’m surprised that it is not more known, and it has definitely not gotten the credit that is due to it.
The book is fiction. But it reflects over a subject we know very little of for certain. We suspect, we speculate, but we don’t know. Even though the “Ivans” found a burnt body with a bullet whole in the head, no one has proved for sure that it was Adolf Hitler’s body. Many say that the Russians said to the world that it was Herr Wolf, but that they really thought that it wasn’t him (we all know that Stalin wanted his revenge after der Führer betrayed him, and killed 20.000.000 of his people). This is a fact. It is also fact that in the summer of 1946 the Russians flew all of the major players in the Bunker-drama to Berlin, and made the nazis themselves act out the final drama, while filming it. Why? This has never been explained, and the film has never been shown to someone from the West, though two American journalists saw the filming procedure one night. Why such a reenactment if the Russians had found the body of Hitler one year earlier`And why no autopsy report until 23 years later?
Did Adolf Hitler die in the ruins of Berlin in 1945? I think only one man knew the truth, and he died in 1953. It was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as Josef Stalin.