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In the Fire of the Eastern Front: The Experiences of a Dutch Waffen-SS Volunteer, 1941-45 (Stackpole Military History Series)

In the Fire of the Eastern Front: The Experiences of a Dutch Waffen-SS Volunteer, 1941-45 (Stackpole Military History Series) [Kindle Edition]

Hendrick C. Verton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

  • Extraordinary story of a Dutch volunteer in the Waffen-SS
  • Vivid details on SS training and combat on the Eastern Front
  • Account of the little-known siege of Breslau in early 1945

    Dutch SS accounts are very rare, particularly ones that describe recruiting, training, and frontline service as completely and colorfully as In the Fire of the Eastern Front. Hendrick C. Verton volunteered for the Waffen-SS in early 1941 and fought on the Eastern Front until the end of the war as a member of the 5th SS Panzer Division and SS Regiment Besslein.

  • Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 2044 KB
    • Print Length: 290 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0811735893
    • Publisher: Stackpole Books (1 Mar. 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00BZBJ91O
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    3.8 out of 5 stars
    3.8 out of 5 stars
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Saint Michael 3 Dec. 2012
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    The "rarity" of such titles, memoirs of Waffen SS foreign Volunteer's, make this book by Verton all the more appealing. Though lacking the "flair" of fellow Volunteer Leon Degrelle and his "Campaign in Russia", Verton describes his wartime experiences with great clarity, and importantly with refreshing honesty! His continued post war allegiances with former Waffen SS comrades portray a man with comradely virtues and a firm sense of honour. Of interest to both military historians and European history too, Verton's book is very worhty of my 4 star rating.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars worth reading 19 Dec. 2013
    By Mr. Nj Mcallister VINE VOICE
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Very rare these memoirs. Especially one that explains how non German volunteers saw the world and why they went off to fight. Essentially to fight Bolshevism. A good and intelligent memoir. Well written and very human. Highly recommended especially as there are no modern apologies or PC nonsense. Just a good decent and honest man telling his story
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    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars memory's with pride and some prejudice. 20 Oct. 2013
    By Andrew
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Mr Verton gives a very graphic picture of war. It shows how cruel and cheap life can be. I think he has difficulty in accepting that the ss were also perpetrators in a lot of atrocities and his unit may be free of guilt but cannot completely ignore his fellow men. However a. Crime which has remained fairly well unknown has been the treatment of german POWs after the war and also the Prussian people who were treated appallingly after the war.

    History is always written by the victors.
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    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Still trying to decide. 11 Dec. 2014
    By Lenny T
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Still reading not gripped me yet.
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Experiences of a Dutch volunteer in the SS 6 Jun. 2010
    By Dave Schranck - Published on
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    First I'll tell you what this book is not. Its not a graphic account of all the battle action of troop movements or objectives captured seen on the Eastern Front by the author. It is a highly personal, sometimes emotional and biased account of the few joys and the many horrors of sights and experiences during and after battle to the author, his comrades and civilians that were caught up in the war. But its also more than the anecdotal experience for it appears the author after surviving the war, studied the war for decades, gaining an understanding far greater than his own personal experience and has included brief summaries and background information that is sometimes overlooked by other historians. The author also quotes from Charles Sydnor, David Irving, Paul Carell, Douglas MacArthur and other European authors I'm not familiar with to support some of his comments.
    One of the most intriguing comments dealt with the opening week of Operation Barbarossa when it was discovered the great number of Russian troops, planes, tanks and supply warehouses so close to the border that both German soldier and officer felt sure Russia was preparing their own invasion of Europe. He confirms his thoughts by quoting the Russian defector, Viktor Suvorov.

    The author begins his story by telling a little about himself, his family and his family's heritage. He moves on to discuss the relationship of Holland and Germany after WWI, the despair of Germany experienced at the hands of the Allies, the rise of Hitler and his successful attempt to pull Germany up from the depths of economic depression which also benefited Holland. He explains how many Dutch were proud of Hitler to succeed against the determined efforts of France and England to keep Germany destitute. Hitler's stance against Communism was also appreciated and the main reason Verton and so many other non Germans volunteered.

    After volunteering, he was handed over to the Wafen SS and drilled to be physically and mentally tough. When the Wehrmacht couldn't accomplish something, they'd send the SS to complete the job type of attitude.
    As mentioned above the author discusses the personal ramifications and doesn't describe specific battle engagements in depth from a military perspective for most of his war experience like you'd read from Glantz, Nash, Nipe etc. That changes, to a small extent, in the last months of the war with the siege of Breslau. Mr Verton spends half of the book on the determined resistance of the German garrison holding off a far superior Russian force from daily attacks, artillery barrages and strafings from their air force. He clearly writes with pride with their resistance and the total despair with their surrender in early May. He continues to explain the Russian revenge on the people and soldiers of Breslau and how helpless they were. He explains how he exchanges his SS uniform for an Army NCO uniform and makes his escape to the west where he finds his father and older brother were killed. He concludes his life with marriage, finding a job and keeping in touch with his surviving comrades.

    This is a very personal account, delivering hundreds of experiences and tribulations and the author doesn't hold back any punches on the brutalities the Russian Army inflicted on its own people, German soldiers and European civilians. I can think of only a few instances where praise was delivered on the Russians. The T34 tanks, Kayyuska rockets and partisans were mentioned as being the dread of the German infantry. In the last days of the war while the author was recovering from a gun wound a Russian soldier could have killed him but didn't.

    Besides the personal, other topics were discussed. The valor of General Niehoff at Breslau, the betrayal of Paulus and Seydlitz after Stalingrad, the vast amount of aid the US gave Russia, the pride in Hitler for trying to defend Europe from Communism are just a few examples.
    There are a couple maps, a few photos of the author and fellow soldiers and a number of sketches to study. A Bibliography ends the story.
    Depending on your interests, this is the type of book you'll either really like or hate. The author seemed very straight forward about his views and though I don't agree with everything said, it was still an interesting read.
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars In The Fire of the Eastern Front 11 Sept. 2011
    By grossdeutschland - Published on
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    I am an American. Yet, personal stories of the Eastern front in the German-Russian theater hold a fascination like no other. Nothing is as disappointing as a bad book on the Eastern Front and nothing quite so rewarding and engaging as a good book, which becomes a good friend. In The Fire of The Eastern Front is that kind of good book. The author, Verton, was there. In his book, he takes us there, too. Whatever the "objective" truth may be today, may have been at the time, these non-German young men from other countries who joined the German armed forces appear, to all intents and purposes, to have seen themselves as invited to take part in a great crusade to save Europe from communism. It's a fascinating story of life that this man, this good soldier and good writer, shares with us. I am the richer for his having done so. I believe all "Eastern Front readers" will feel the same.
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars The Waffen SS through the eyes of an indoctrinated Netherlander 23 Feb. 2014
    By N. Smith - Published on
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    The simple fact that the Netherlands provided more volunteers to the Waffen SS and Wehrmacht than any other country besides Germany is worthy of repeating. This narrative is about a young Dutch man, and his older brother, who succumbed to the propaganda of the NSB and the Waffen SS. Throughout the book Hendrick Verton repeats the deeply ingrained anti-Bolshevik propaganda that delivered him to the front as combatant against the USSR. It is insightful and interesting to see the experience through the eyes of a young man who firmly believes he is doing the right thing. There is precious little realization about the oppression that the civilians in the Netherlands were suffering at the hands of his Nazi idols, nor of the fact that thousands of foreign volunteers, Dutchmen especially, lost their lives fighting for the Greater Reich, with little or nothing to show for it.
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent memoir 8 May 2013
    By G. David Gilliam - Published on
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I really enjoyed this book as the author has a pleasant writing style and an incredible story to share. The book is wonderfully detailed as he describes the excitement, brutality and unfairness of his time as a soldier and later as a displaced person. I don't feel he is an apologist but rather just one of thousands of non-Germans who felt obliged to fight against the Bolsheviks. I found Verton to be an ultimately likable person who did his best at whatever task lay before him. His story is quite inspirational when viewed in an objective light.
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good series 16 May 2014
    By Jim Radcliffe - Published on
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Lot's of facts and well writen, these poor guy's really had it tough. Hat's off to a bunch of very well trained solders....
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