Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
A rewarding first hand account of the war and the years after.
on 6 October 2007
I found this book to be a very warm recollection of terrible times. As a reader I felt I had shared in Lubbeck's experience. His story is told at a late age so it is interesting to see what memories stand out, I also followed his post war life with interest, both because Lubbeck comes out as a likeable man and because post war Germany was a troubled land in dark times, the war was over but the hardships were not.
Lubbeck served with the 58th Infantry Division in Army Group North on the Eastern Front. His is the tale of a ambitious infantry soldier that was promoted to an officer in the crucible of war. The story provides a satisfactory explanation as to why German soldiers fought in 1944 and 1945, it also tells less glamorous stories of lice and dirt and how soldiers travelling home changed trains on the border and deloused before going further. This is also a story of an infantry man, who didn't ride a Tiger and walked into Russia while the baggage train and artillery were drawn by horses and R&R was a good bath and latrine.
It is the humanity of the story and the personality of William Lubbeck that stand out in the story. There is also a love story between Lubbeck and his future wife Annelise, their relationship while he was at the front, his worries about her during the allied bombings and her uncertainty of his fate at the front.
All in all a rewarding book.