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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2013
This book is truly absorbing. Obviously the rarity of a personal account from a Waffen SS combat soldier is something in itself and this is very well written. The shock and disbelief the young SS soldiers experience when encountering the Russians is truly believable, especially when they leave their wounded Kameraden behind to the fate of the enemy with dire consequences. I was a little surprised at the level of animosity he showed against the Wehrmacht but this becomes understandable at the end as the witch-hunt begins.

Bartmann gives us a insight of what it was like to be an SS soldier in probably the most dangerous place in the world. He does not shirk responsibility and carry`s out ordered tasks with no concern for his own well being.

The retreat westwards is truly harrowing with the Russian vengeance on the civilian population particularly hard reading.

Obviously it his personal account during war time but I would be interested to see what happened post war, particularly to his brother and parents as there is little mention.

Suggest get the hard back as this is a book to own for life. Take down from the shelf every few years. You won`t need the TV on.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2014
I found this a truly excellent read. I have been reading true war books for many years but have found few books written by German soldiers. This book tells of the author's own experiences and is very graphic in places. It is interesting how the SS soldiers were both admired and feared by the German population prior to and in the early days of the war and as the allied bombing took it's toll and with two fronts closing in on Germany to the German people the SS were seen as part of the regime that caused Germany's plight, he was even stoned in the street by a crowd just for wearing the SS uniform (something that would never have happened in the early days of the war). The book covers the authors time on the Eastern front and the continued retreat back to Germany.
This was an enjoyable read which I would recommend to anyone interested in true life stories during WW2.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
I have just completed this long awaited title, and I must say it was well worth the wait! The Author has produced a refreshingly honest account relating to his time has a soldier in the elite Waffen SS Division Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler. There a many thrilling tales relating to his day's on the "Ostfront", culminating in his attempt to evade Russian imprisonment escaping from the Halbe pocket. His lines a sprinkled with both humour and his political viewpoint back then during his day's with the SS and in summary at the conclusion of his memoirs. I would highly recommend this book to all historians of both WW2 in general, and specifically student's of Hitler's Elite Forces
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2014
Really liked the book it was a little light on details ( maps etc ) but as a personal account a great read, not the monsters we are led to believe, at least Bartmann stood by his beliefs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2014
Erwin Bartmann account of his war was absolutely top draw !!! i can highly recommend this book indeed a must must
read for all ww2 buffs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2014
Very absorbing and interesting book told from the other side. I found it fascinating and he comes across as a well grounded, honest young guy who makes no apologies for serving in the waffen SS, nor appears to need to. Lots of interesting accounts from the eastern front and Germany towards the end of the war as it slid into the apocolaypse.
A great read
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
Wow! A truly magnificent and horrific story, which kept me engrossed, page by page. A real eye opener as to what really went on during the Battle for Berlin, and the fighting in Russia, a really gripping true life story, which captures your imagination well.
I would recommend this book to most people I know
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2014
An insightful and well written account of life as a soldier in the 1st SS Panzer Division. I was gripped by the book from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2014
A well written book, but, yet again, another member of the Waffen SS, who had no knowledge of the atrocities committed by the SD.
It reminds me of my service in Germany - it was not until 1970 that someone owned up to fighting the English during the war, they all appeared to have been fighting on the Ostfront.
A good book though
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2014
I am passionate about reading memoirs because I believe you can only get the true flavour of the soldier's experience by reading the words of veterans. My understanding of some aspects of WW2 for the Waffen SS and the people of Berlin has been enhanced by reading this book but I'm afraid I have to class my experience as mediocre. That's not to say I wouldn't recommend the book; I certainly would, because I feel it is accurate and well written. What it lacks however is an edge. I feel that Bartmann held back on how he described some of the events he took part in and that includes everything from his experiences at Lichterfelde Kaserne right through to how he describes the fighting on the Eastern Front. Perhaps it was a natural reservation on his part, to preserve his own dignity and that of his comrades. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's my opinion.

Still, I give it 5 stars because we will never see his like again but I'll be looking forward very much to the release in the UK of the memoirs of Rochus Misch this August which I'm hoping with be edgier.
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