The Forgotten Soldier: The True Story of a Young German Soldier on the Russian Front Paperback – 2 Oct 2003
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"May well be accorded equal respect with WAR AND PEACE as the masterpiece reporting war's reality." David Douglas Duncan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The powerful chronicle of a young German soldier trapped in the vast, faceless anonymity of total war ¿ hailed as the most powerful indictment of war since ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
When, as the teenage son of a French father and a German Mother Sajer signs up to join the German army, his enthusiasm for war is unbounded. However, three years of experience in the either scorched or frozen desolation of wartime eastern Europe reveals an unremitting crushing of his idealism. From the cruel army regime and its sometimes deadly training approach, through frostbite, starvation and the slaughter of friends, enemy and innocents, this account graphically reveals the true horror of war.
Many of the scenes in the book will haunt the reader for days afterwards. The sense of futility and the suspension of reason in the mad world of war grows throughout the book and the reader is drawn in deep; to the extent that you genuinely feel like you are sharing in the experience.
This book deserves to be compulsory reading for anyone who is interested in twentieth century history. It is worth a hundred dry historical accounts and demonstartes above all the power of the individual as a witness to a world and circumstances out of his control.
Charting as it does Sajer's personal journey from an enthusiastic volunteer with dreams of becoming an aviator, to his capture at the hands of British soldiers on the banks of the Elbe, his book takes us on an odyssey of despair and is a reading experience that haunts the memory long after you have finished reading. It contains far too much detail for a normal book review to do justice to it, suffice to say it is a MUST READ for all those who would like to know what the Eastern Front was really like for the soldiers who fought and died on it.
Not a Shakespeare or a Mishima, Sajer nonetheless manages to convey in great detail and with startling honesty his travails as first a member of the 'rollbahn', struggling to re-supply the German front line through the truly frightening Russian winter and then as a member of the Gross Deutschland, fighting a desperate and constant rearguard action across the plains of Russia and the Ukraine against the relentless onslaught of the numerically superior Soviet Red Army, whose cries of 'Ourrah Pobieda !' chill the bone as much as the cold.
Sajer describes with great clarity the Battle of Belgorod, when his group experience for the first time the full horror of war. They try to shut their minds to what they see; mangled bodies, rotting corpses, a devastated town and the sheer terror of a Soviet artillery bombardment during which they accept that they will die. Sajer doesn't die, but survives, to continue his terrifying journey and to experience the side of war not normally found in the history books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must read for anyone with an interest in WW2 - a young soldiers experiences on the Russian front are described in a brutally honest way. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Ladyg
This book is certainly a gripping read. It describes the horrors of war very well.
In the UK we often see WW2 in "black and white" ... Allies = good, Axis = bad. Read more
Truly excellent book, telling of the hardships of warfare behind the Russian border, the cold, the hunger and death, but not too morbid or gruesome to enjoy, there's also the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by maff
It is very clear that the writer has either total memory loss or is making the whole thing up. In particular it would be easy recalling the fog of war to forget the calibre of the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. A. Amatt
i have read many books written about both world wars and i have to say that this book tops the list for the best written and engrossing read of them all.Published 4 months ago by Wing
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