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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2007
I found this book to be a very warm recollection of terrible times. As a reader I felt I had shared in Lubbeck's experience. His story is told at a late age so it is interesting to see what memories stand out, I also followed his post war life with interest, both because Lubbeck comes out as a likeable man and because post war Germany was a troubled land in dark times, the war was over but the hardships were not.

Lubbeck served with the 58th Infantry Division in Army Group North on the Eastern Front. His is the tale of a ambitious infantry soldier that was promoted to an officer in the crucible of war. The story provides a satisfactory explanation as to why German soldiers fought in 1944 and 1945, it also tells less glamorous stories of lice and dirt and how soldiers travelling home changed trains on the border and deloused before going further. This is also a story of an infantry man, who didn't ride a Tiger and walked into Russia while the baggage train and artillery were drawn by horses and R&R was a good bath and latrine.

It is the humanity of the story and the personality of William Lubbeck that stand out in the story. There is also a love story between Lubbeck and his future wife Annelise, their relationship while he was at the front, his worries about her during the allied bombings and her uncertainty of his fate at the front.

All in all a rewarding book.
22 people found this helpful
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on 11 February 2013
Although rather a sanitised version I always got the feeling this could have been written so much better especially as he spent so much time at the front.

The information of his family life as a child goes into minute detail at tmes,
and his epiloge to, is very cogent why not the bit in between?

I bought the book to read about his life at the Gates at of lenningrad
But lots of it was glossed over in phrases such as "after two weeks hard fighting we moved back"

I think his ghost writer could have got so much more
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on 13 June 2009
I got this after reading The Forgotten Soldier and Blood Red Snow, both brilliant books which I couldn't put down capturing the horrors of the actual fighting. It is a good book in its own right and the author is obviously a decent man. However, it is a long way away from those other books in terms of capturing the stark reality of the combat situation. If like me you've read those other books and are looking for more of the same then I don't think you'll find it in this book.
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on 1 May 2018
An excellent read. Very moving in parts, and very descriptive without being over the top. Surprisingly honest in his beliefs, and his reasons for fighting. For once a happier than usual ending for the Eastern front.
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on 26 June 2013
Slow to start, it is a humbling life story centered round the 2nd world war. He does not glorify war but merely mentions his activities and points of view. Clearly he was a brave intelligent man of honour and integrity which comes through in this book. I enjoyed this book and found it informative and interesting.
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on 4 February 2018
excellent book
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on 29 February 2016
Good read
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on 14 April 2015
good read
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on 11 July 2013
Very interesting read. Pre and post war bits too. Details authors service in one of the best divisions in army group north.
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on 15 July 2014
I enjoyed reading book. Very well written and I recommend the book to anyone interested in east west conflict during 2 word war.
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