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Five Years, Four Fronts: A German Officer's World War II Combat Memoir Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 2005
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" A better book [than] "All Quiet on the Western Front,""
"- Journal of Military History"
" A better book [than] All Quiet on the Western Front . "
- Journal of Military History
"A better book [than] "All Quiet on the Western Front"."
"-Journal of Military History"
A better book [than] "All Quiet on the Western Front."
" Journal of Military History""
A better book [than] All Quiet on the Western Front.
Journal of Military History"
From the Inside Flap
After Hitler's invasions of Poland and France came the Russian Front-and that's when the real war started.
An infantryman who rose from the enlisted ranks to regimental command in combat, Georg Grossjohann fought on four different fronts during World War II, but saw most of his fighting-from 1941 to 1944-against Russians in the Soviet Union and Romania. He provides shattering glimpses of the horror and chaos of the war, as well as profound insights into everyday life in the "Wehrmacht.
"Five Years, Four Fronts chronicles the combat experiences of Grossjohann and his men as they triumphantly roll across Poland, France, and the sunny steppes of the Ukraine, only to ultimately sustain grinding defeats in the endless, freezing plains of the Soviet Union and the grim, dark Vosges Mountains of France. Grossjohann was a soldier's soldier, respected by his men, undaunted by his superiors, and, as can be observed in this raw, brutally honest account, not afraid to call the shots as he saw them.
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But, a moderately interesting read.
I would suggest reading also "In Deadly Combat" by Gottlob Herbert Bidermann.
I agree with another reviewer's comments about the slightly intrusive nature of the background briefs between each chapter and you do get the impression that this was used to make this into a longer read. That said, the Author's account jumps around somewhat and the background info is useful.
It would be interesting to know if the author intended the "diaries" to be made public or indeed whether the notes were made at the time - for the text seems to lacks some of the colour of a contemporary account. We have family diaries of the wars which were distributed to members of the family on condition that they are never to be published as they contain many comments that would have been considered highly critical of public figires and their decisions. This is hinted at in the Epilogue when the Author's son suggests his father had strong views about a lot of what happened - but frustratingly, this potentially very interesting material is not contained in the book.
As a former soldier I fully acknowledge Georg Grossjohann's achievements and have the utmost respect for men such as him who saw their army crumble into a brutal chaos as the war progressed. It was certainly worth reading once but I am not sure I would want to read it again - unlike a number of other books of this type which I have picked up many times over the years.
The lack of actual combat detail leaves much of the book wanting
could almost have been written by a historian
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