Great book! Gives a vivid account into the life of an ordinary German Solider at war. It can be quite depressing but overall it truly captures the horror of war and is a fantastic historical read form a primary source.
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.......
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.