...a well-wrought ground level view of daily life in hell. - WWII Magazine This is the remarkable story of a German soldier who fought throughout World War II, rising from conscript private to captain of a heavy weapons company on the Eastern Front.William Lubbeck was 19 when he was drafted into the Wehrmacht in August 1939. As a member of the 58th Infantry Division, he received his baptism of fire during the 1940 invasion of France. The following spring his division served on the left flank of Army Group North in Operation Barbarossa. After gruelling marches admidst countless Russian bodies, burnt-out vehicles, and a great number of cheering Baltic civilians, Lubbeck s unit entered the outskirts of Leningrad, making the deepest penetration of any German formation.The Germans suffered brutal hardships the following winter as they fought both Russian counterattacks and the brutal cold. The 58th Division was thrown back and forth across the front of Army Group North, from Novgorod to Demyansk, at one point fighting back Russian attacks on the ice of Lake Ilmen. Returning to the outskirts of Leningrad, the 58th was placed in support of the Spanish Blue Division. Relations between the allied formations soured at one point when the Spaniards used a Russian bath house for target practice, not realising that Germans were relaxing inside.A soldier who preferred to be close to the action, Lubbeck served as forward observer for his company, duelling with Russian snipers, partisans and full-scale assaults alike. With the assistance of David B. Hurt, he has drawn on his wartime notes and letters, Soldatbuch, regimental history and personal memories to recount his four years of frontline experience. Containing rare firsthand accounts of both triumph and disaster, At Leningrad s Gates provides a fascinating glimpse into the reality of combat on the Eastern Front.