I bought this book for a friend who is researching his late father's war history as a german soldier in the 29th infantry division fighting on the eastern front. He found the book very useful for his research and even described the capture of the remainder of his troop by the Russians after he himself had been picked up by the Americans having trodden on a mine. Very useful and my friend was extremely happy with it.
Thank you Mr Balkoski Your four-volume account of the 29th DI can do nothing but good. It reminds me that our lives today both here in Europe and in the United States owe so much to those young men and to their families. It humbles us when we learn of the atrocious conditions they fought under...what bravery and what determination to finish the job. From your grandiose introduction to 'Beyond the Beachhead' to the searing events on the banks of the Roer you offer us powerful and compelling reading. Your books are a world away from the gung-ho, anaesthetised versions of WW2 as presented by the early generation of Hollywood films. The reality you describe is one of suffering and endurance. Equally fascinating are your insights into the character of General Gerhardt, a leader who was totally ruthless towards the Nazis, but also to his own men. I keep hoping that he's going to develop a more humane style of leadership, but it doesn't really happen. The four volumes (it's difficult to avoid the comparison) are like the first four acts of a Shakesperean tragedy. Can I hope that there will be a fifth and final act ?