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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story from the general ranks rather than the generals
There is a mass of German autobiographies hitting the market place at the moment which is certainly a good thing if we are to understand all sides of the Second World War. Some books are obviously better than others and I have to say that this book is very good. Well-written, well-organised and telling things from the general ranks (a rare thing), this is a powerful book,...
Published on 27 Feb 2007 by Mr. L. Mackinlay

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not getting the full picture
This book left me with a slight unsatisfactory feeling. Although the writing was strong and it contained a lot of interest, it pales substantially when compared to Sajer's 'the Forgotten Soldier' opus. Written in a diary format, the book starts strongly but I was left feeling that something didn't quite add up, and I can't really explain what. Whilst Sajer's book does not...
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by A.D.M.


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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story from the general ranks rather than the generals, 27 Feb 2007
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Mr. L. Mackinlay (Edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
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There is a mass of German autobiographies hitting the market place at the moment which is certainly a good thing if we are to understand all sides of the Second World War. Some books are obviously better than others and I have to say that this book is very good. Well-written, well-organised and telling things from the general ranks (a rare thing), this is a powerful book, not least because it brings to life the characters mentioned in the text, and thereby makes the story more accessible and less academic. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Eastern Front as well as the Second World War.
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130 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary book, 1 May 2003
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R. Norberg (Thornbury, Avon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is truly a remarkable first hand account of the fighting on the eastern front during WWII. There are many other books which have all dealt with the same topic, but I have never read a book which simply describes what happened with honesty and simple clarity. We follow machine gunner Koschorrek between the years 42-44 in different parts of Russia, Italy and Romania. The book actually starts with his lucky escape from the Stalingrad pocket in Dec -42, from there on it just gets worse. He describes the incredible bravery performed by the average soldier, the friends and comrades who were not so lucky and last but not least, the inhuman conditions of war as they were experienced on the eastern front. I read this book in two days - it was impossible to put it down.......
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 25 April 2008
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Mr. Am Johnston (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I recently bought this book from Amazon.co.uk and I can say that it is well worth a read. I know that there are loads of memoirs out there from soliders fighting in the various allied armies, but I jumped at a chance to read a book from the frequently under-represented German persepctive.

The author writes very well and I felt that he was able to portray the sheer terror of fighting on the Eastern front very well. One engagement in the early part of the book really had me on the edge of my seat as I wondered how they would repel an attack frmo Soviet armour without any ATG's etc.

Great book, great author, great read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 10 Jan 2010
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I don't really want to repeat what other reviewers have said. What I would like to add though, as an ex-professional translator, is how well this story was translated into English - by a Norwegian translator. Apparently the translator himself is of the wartime generation, having fought in the Norwegian Resistance, so he has some experience of the German Army in WW2. I found it especially interesting how he gave British Army equivalents some very specific German military designations, and how he conveyed the German flavour of the story so well.

There is always unfortunately great potential for a poor translation to ruin a good story, but in this case the translator has done the author proud.

All in all an excellent and enthralling story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life experience, 23 Mar 2009
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I have read a couple of other books written by others and this book is the only one I believe every word is genuine and true.
Unlike some others the book was written, albeit many years after the events took place, by the man who experienced the hardship
Keeping a diary was not permitted for German soldiers for obvious reasons mainly because of its potential use by the enemy if found.
This book is one of the few that could be written from notes made at the time rather than vague memories from the past.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 April 2010
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Absolutley brilliant book, well worth the read in my opinion. If your like me and like first hand accounts of the eastern front from the germen point of view these books might also interest you.

In deadly combat by gottlob herbert biederman
Sniper on the eastern front by Albrecht Wacker
Twighlight of the gods by Thorolf hilblad
Through hell for hitler by Henry Metelmann
At leningrads gates by William Lubbeck
Tigers in the mud by Otto Carius
Forgotten soldier by Guy sajer
Stormtrooper on the eastern front by mintauts blosfelds

I would highly recommend any of these books
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fortunate Survivor, 19 Feb 2011
This book is an account of the war experience of a member of a machine gun section in the German 24th Panzer Division during the Second World War. Koschorrek was only able to produce this work because the detailed contemporaneous notes that he made of his experiences were unexpectedly returned to him many years after he thought that they had been lost. Consequently, in a book that was written long after the events described, he is able to provide an almost daily account of his experiences .
Koschorrek's war began in October 1942 when he narrowly escaped being caught up in the Stalingrad encirclement. During the subsequent weeks he was involved in the defensive battles on the lower Don, rapidly becoming something of a veteran before being wounded in mid-December.
In October 1943 he was returned to the Eastern Front, this time defending frontline positions on the left bank of the Dnepr in the Nikopol bridgehead. Subsequently he was involved in the long retreat of German forces from the Dnepr to the Bug and on into Moldova in February and March 1944. During the spring and early summer of 1944, despite being in a relatively stable sector of the front near Jassy, Koschorrek nevertheless saw plenty of action and saw several of his closest comrades killed.
As the major Soviet summer offensive of 1944 advanced across Belarus, Koschorrek's unit was one of many that were moved north from Moldova to bolster the German defences in eastern Poland. There, in August, Korschorrek was again wounded and, as part of his convalescence, was assigned to a training unit in East Prussia.
In October Soviet forces broke through German defences into East Prussia, and Koschorrek found himself in action near Gumbinnen (modern day Gusev). By early 1945 Koschorrek was in Denmark, and so escaped the full blast of the Soviet offensive across Poland and East Prussia that began on 12 January. By mid-March he was back on the frontline near Stettin but, within days, was again wounded. Koschorrek's war ended in a military hospital in western Czechoslovakia, which was liberated by American forces on 6 May.
Koschorrek does not discuss his views of the political circumstances that led him to be in the Soviet Union, but he does discribe his emotions and motivation on the frontline. His steady change of outlook from an anxious but reasonably enthusiastic soldier of the Reich, to a disillusioned and savvy survivor is clearly described. Koschorrek, it seems, saw himself as a decent, honest man, who was just another victim of a tragic and brutal conflict. He was clearly annoyed at his brief and relatively benign incarceration in an American p.o.w. camp after the war, was contemptuous of his captors, and was surprised by the hostility towards him from people whose country Germany had invaded. Interestingly, he never seems to see himself as an invader, part of a murderous military machine. Apart from the occasional shooting of wounded Soviet prisoners by errant German non-coms, the only atrocities he records are those by the Red Army against their own civilians, or against Germans.
This book seems to be a genuinely honest account of one man's war on the Eastern Front, and is well worth the read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS TRUE WAR!!!, 22 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Blood Red Snow (Paperback)
having read Guy Sajer's book already i had high expectations for this book and i was not disappointed. the book tells the story of a German machine gunner from Stalingrad in late 1942 to the end of the war in Czechoslovakia. the book does not hold back in describing the horrors of war and as close friends of the author drop dead all around him i felt such a pain of sorrow that such men had died. he has an excellent writing style that is easy to follow and he lists in the introduction that his reason for writing the book was as a memorial to all those unknown soldiers who fell in the war ans to tell their story. in that he succeeded as the names and deeds of so many of the people in his story will stay with me for a long time to come, they are not forgotten. battle scenes are described in amazing detail and it feels almost like your there with him watching it happen. if you wish to really understand what being a German soldier on the eastern front was like then this is for you and if you want to understand the truth of what war is like then this is also for you, it holds no barriers in describing the gritty horror, fear, camaraderie and sadness of war.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Nov 2009
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Mr. L. W. Thistlethwaite (Manchester / England) - See all my reviews
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This book is a most graphic account of the brutal fighting in wastes of Russia, while the whole German Army is in a chaotic retreat they can still take a stand and give the Russians a very bloody nose even given that the Russians are superior in numbers of men and equipment. It is a must for readers who are interested in stories of actual close combat. I cound'nt put it down GREAT BOOK.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !!, 13 April 2009
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Stephen Mcguigan (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have read quite a few personal accounts of WW2 over the years and few have ever gripped me a this book did. I found this book extremely hard to put down: it drops you into the action right from the beginning and doesn't let up until the end. I also liked this book because I think it shows that not all german soldiers were jew killing monsters and that most of the german troops fought to protect family and friends not Hitler.
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Blood Red Snow
Blood Red Snow by Günter K. Koschorrek (Paperback - 20 Jan 2011)
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