77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Not so quiet on the Eastern Front,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross (Hardcover)
The sniper is one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood figures in warfare, and this vivid first hand account helps to give an important insight into the role they play and the reactions they evoke amongst comrades and enemies. The Eastern Front was the scene of some of the most vicious fighting of the war, with the Russians and Germans each losing millions of soldiers, not to mention the countless civilian casualties, and in these conditions humanity and ethics were often abandoned in favour of survival.
Sepp Allerberger, a self-taught sniper specialist in the German Wehrmacht, fought for over a year against the Russians, from inside Russia back to the Reich, and his memoirs give a brutally honest and compelling view of this conflict.
Following his life from the time he was conscripted to when he finally arrived home after the war ended, it tracks the friends he made and lost, and the battles he fought in during which he was wounded numerous times and won several medals. It is a rare example of an account of war, not only because the accounts of snipers themselves are so rare, but also because German soldiers from the time rarely publish accounts outside their own country. The book is important in this respect for dispelling the ideas held about german soldiers fo the time, and German snipers in particular. While Allied snipers, especially in the Russian Army, are often held up as glorious heroes and heroines, their German counterparts are often depicted as sly, evil assassins, and this book demonstrates that the truth was nothing of the sort.
There is nothing left out for fear of being too candid; from the torure and rape of civilians and wounded soldiers by the Red Army to the ad hoc executions of suspected spies by the SS, death is a constant and defining feature of the book. Make no mistake; this is not for someone who is easily upset or squemish, but without the poignant examples witnessed by Allerberger, this would not be the same book.
A unique and thoroughly enlightening book, it is not exactly relaxing, but was never meant to be. A view of war through the eyes of a sniper on the losing side is such a rare thing, and this is so vividly written that it cannot fail but leave an impression.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jan 2010 13:01:18 GMT
Gisli Jokull Gislason says:
Having bought and read this books based on reviews such as this I must say I personally disagree. The text is repetitious and smells a little too much of a whitewash with just enough contraty evidence given to play the game of balancing scales. In no way could this be described as a first hand account as many times the author looses himself in his own prose and 'Sepp' is always mentioned in the 3rd person. The Russians are likewise treated in a very steriotypical manner. On the whole I found the style of the book tiresome in the extreme and found myself fast reading certain sections. It touches reality but in a remote way. Compared to what I consider good memoirs such as 'At Leningrad's Gates: The Combat Memoirs of a Soldier with Army Group North' this book comes out very poorly. In the end this book suits best those who already have an outdated view of the Eastern Front and are pro-German in thinking. But todays standard it is best avoided.
Posted on 16 Mar 2010 00:45:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Apr 2010 10:58:52 BDT
Puzzling review or malignant publicity, not sure we've read the same book (botched up novel ?). Yet again from another misinformed (disinformed ?) unconditional Wehrmacht admirer.
Simple, get the book read it through (I mean stumble) and you'll discover everything that is "reported" or rather purported in this review is pure fallacy. Some people just do not respect history, even less memory.
For some people only money or/and ideology counts. Shameless.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2010 21:28:55 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Apr 2010 21:29:37 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2010 02:53:24 BDT
My point is: this book is appalling. And I dislike III reich apology which is sometimes transpiring in the 5 star rating of this "book".
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