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on 18 July 2017
Good if albeit hard going in places account of an ordinary German soldier's experience fighting the Russians on the ground as an infantryman. It underlines how by no means were all the Germans bad people, they just found themselves in a situation in which it was fight or die. They would never fire on an unarmed foe, or on women or children, that was the code in this particular group, one of them even closed his eyes when he fired as he couldn't bear to see what his bullets were doing, presumably he missed most of the time anyway. Of course there were as the author says the sadists who were able to use war as an excuse for their vile behaviour, and I have read an excellent book by a German Sniper who pulls no punches on the total brutality of both sides, describing scenes that make the start of saving private Ryan look like walt disney. Can't remember the title the surname was Albrechter an Austrian that is definitely worth reading. This is gentler in details than that, but even so one definitely gets the atmosphere of the conditions that they fought and died in.
If I took one thing away from the book it was that in a different life probably most of the ordinary soldiers, not the units like the SS were just doing their job and had no choice and would have led peaceful lives and been caring towards others.
My father who lived through the war, toured southern Germany by train with his wife in his 70s and he returned with huge praise for the German people, he told me that not once did he have to lift his suitcase onto a train or escalator, a member of the German public would offer to do it for him despite him obviously being British and not able to speak a word of German. I think sometimes that needs pointing out.
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on 28 December 2016
A relentless account of skirmish after skirmish after attack after defeat etc. I gave up half way through this. It just became so depressing (what did I expect!!!).
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on 23 March 2009
I have read a couple of other books written by others and this book is the only one I believe every word is genuine and true.
Unlike some others the book was written, albeit many years after the events took place, by the man who experienced the hardship
Keeping a diary was not permitted for German soldiers for obvious reasons mainly because of its potential use by the enemy if found.
This book is one of the few that could be written from notes made at the time rather than vague memories from the past.
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on 1 December 2011
For a 'get down and dirty' ordinary soldiers view of the Eastern front this is worth reading. Perhaps not a classic, but a story of an ordinary man doing extraordinary things, as were most of the men in the Allied armies and the German army. Men whose view of the war is to the next foxhole, and to their comrades in the platoon. The men on the Eastern front knew they would go to heaven as they had been to hell. Pete M
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on 15 March 2017
very good thanks
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on 26 July 2017
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.
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on 7 March 2017
I have enjoyed reading this book, and learning about some of the horrors of war, but for me considering the politics of today the last two paragraphs are the most sobering.
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on 20 July 2017
Very good book described the Eastern Front very vividly.
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on 25 June 2017
Great
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on 22 October 2015
A fascinating personal account of war. Turns me into a pacifist!
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