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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, personal account from a war which was the epitome of hell itself.
I had never heard of Jude Law before I watched the film `Enemy at the Gates' which tells the fictionalised tale of a Russian sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad. I vividly recall how those Russian troops were sent into battle with one rifle for every two soldiers. True or not, that portrayal was never far from the reality of the day and I mention it only to draw the...
Published 19 months ago by Ned Middleton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing
The life of the foot soldier is full of horror and death. This more than most. Quite difficult to read but no where near as difficult as it must have been to live.
Published 7 months ago by Martyn


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, personal account from a war which was the epitome of hell itself., 18 Feb 2013
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
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I had never heard of Jude Law before I watched the film `Enemy at the Gates' which tells the fictionalised tale of a Russian sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad. I vividly recall how those Russian troops were sent into battle with one rifle for every two soldiers. True or not, that portrayal was never far from the reality of the day and I mention it only to draw the reader into one of the fiercest and costliest times of WW2 - the Eastern front fought between Russia and Germany.

This is a captivating work from Albrecht Wacker in which he reveals the memoirs of a German soldier - and sniper, who was awarded the Knights Cross for his service. Many readers will possibly think an `Iron Cross' is an Iron Cross but the Knights Cross was only awarded to those who already held the Iron Cross and was made to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. No German soldier became any less brave just because his country was beaten and this is the story of one of the bravest.

As with all good books, this finely crafted work begins right at the beginning where we find accounts of the differences between the hardened soldiers and the newest recruits on the eve of battle. Even the biggest and hardest of men have been known to lose control of either their stomach or their breakfast before a battle and yet, in this work it is explained in such a way that we might begin to understand such matters.

With consummate skill, as the book progresses, we are drawn into one man's part in a huge conflict and the subsequent retreat for those who were lucky enough to escape either death or Soviet imprisonment. I use the words `consummate skill' because we are given the benefit of reliving this simple soldier's life from the day on which he arrived as a raw recruit right through to his eventual survival. Throughout the work there is no triumphalism or defeatism aimed at either one side of the conflict or the other. In short, it is an account of what happened to one man movingly told - exactly as it happened with exaggeration, false modesty or unnecessary anti-Russian sentiments.

Right at the end of the work, we are treated to a poem found in a document which was written by an unknown poet - probably a dead soldier. In many ways that poem explains how true professional soldiers feel after their wars are over. In some ways it almost explains Post Traumatic Stress. For the subject of this book, it also explained why he was required to do what he did but, please, do not read that poem until you get to it or you will miss the enjoyment of the splendid way in which the book is concluded.

A few relevant historic black and white photographs appears together about midway through the work and one of these shows Sepp Allerberger wearing both his Iron Crosses.

NM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History at ground level., 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
I read this book despite some of the reviews available as I firmly believe you get a better perspective of what war is like from the true perspective of close combat from those who had their bellies in the mud than from some of the more "intellectual" books written by those who did not experience this effect fully as they were removed from it somewhat by their positions of rank and self worth. Not an apologetic work, more a grass roots perspective from Sepp's exploits. I would not expect very much remose from a person in this field, after all a sniper is just that, a killing machine who is analytical and professional in his trade. We here so much about how bad the Germans were in the war and how wonderful the allies were to defeat them that we are in danger of missing the real points. War is nasty and cruel, not just for those we are invaded but also for those who have no choice and have to fight once it starts from both sides.
Some very interseting passages in the book about the behaviours from both sides that took place in Russia and Eastern Europe and neither side comes out of it smelling of roses!. I liked the way the book unfolded and also the way his training (or lack of it) enabled him to undertake what is a very dangerous role in any army. Any recipient of the Knights Cross was a soldier who did outstanding service on the battlefield and as a private soldier the achievement must have been monumental. Given his lack of initial formal training he must have been an oustanding infanteer especially to survive in such a harsh environment.
Read it and see for yourself. there are other books of a similar nature coming out but this one I really liked.Look past the uniform and at the content. Dont prejudge him as German after all they had U boats, (horrible nasty things) and we had submarines (hurrah! the RN). I think you will enjoy the book....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brutal War, 22 July 2013
By 
D. J. Allan "D.Allan" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
The book really brings home what it must have been like during WW2 for the average soldier fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front. The daily brutality from both sides in an effort to outwit eachother, the stress, lack of sleep and poor diet took it's toll. It made me wonder how much equipment and bodies were buried in unmarked graves from Russia all the way into europe. I certainly would have liked to know how this sniper coped after the war with all the mental scars left from those battles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book., 19 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. Nj Mcallister (Surrey, Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
This is a good military memoir. No PC nonsense or apologies. Just what he experienced and what the poor German people endured. A good read I highly recommend it. Opened my eyes I must say
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, 15 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
The life of the foot soldier is full of horror and death. This more than most. Quite difficult to read but no where near as difficult as it must have been to live.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The world could do with people like this to explain to the young of to-day just ..., 20 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting, with some facts to throw light on the futility of war. The world could do with people like this to explain to the young of to-day just haw difficult war can be.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Justification Again, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
The book is interesting to me , as I am interested in the Russian Front.

However, as with a lot of books written by German soldiers, the author is keen to describe Russian atrocities. One could get the impression that the German soldiers were fighting the good fight, if you had not read your history.

Forgive the pun, but the book is a bit cold and I did not feel that I got to know the author or the other characters very well.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front (Kindle Edition)
I simply could not put this book down. It was the first german side of the story I have read and was captivating.
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Sniper on the Eastern Front by Albrecht Wacker
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