5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Classic - If you like military history then buy it., 19 Aug 2002
...Hans Von Luck does describe action when it is pertinent to the story. For example he describes losing the tops of his fingers fighting to cross La Bassee Canal (p40), he also describes other such moments.
I cannot more strongly recommend this book to any one with an interest not only in World War Two but in military history overall or in the psychology of a German officer who took part in the conflict.
I expected to learn about the German view on the war but I did not expect to be touched by the humanity of Von Luck and his story. He does not flinch from admitting that his early success at the front caused great suffering, especially in the occupied areas. Von Luck also describes the plight of the German people without ever using this as a means to offset the effects of Hitler's war. His description of his reunions and reconciliation with former enemies in the Epilogue are deeply moving.
Hans Von Luck was truly a remarkable man. His breadth of experience is to be marvelled at. This officer took part in every major theatre fought by the Germans. He records the details and experiences of someone who experienced front line combat against the British, French, American and Russian armies. During that time he rose to become a full colonel and won the German Cross in Gold and the Knights Cross.
The book is particularly interesting for its coverage of the fight against Montgomery in the desert and I was intrigued by the descriptions of the 5'o'clock cease fires and exchanges between the German and British armies. It was also intriguing to read how he viewed the American army's development from its early losses and inexperience fighting in the desert to the hard hitting tough enemy that he fought against during the Battle for Hatten-Rittershoffen in 1945.
For many however Von Luck will always be known for his leadership of the German units fighting against Montgomery during Operation Goodwood. This was when the British & Canadian forces were looking to break out of Caen and move inland. His description of how he forced an anti-aircraft unit leader at gun point to aim his four 88mm anti-aircraft guns at allied tanks is amazing. This unit went on to destroy 40 British tanks and blunt the allied advance.
This book is a classic and it deserves more wide spread recognition. Buy it!