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Customer Review

on 12 September 2009
I have read literally hundreds of accounts of the war on the Eastern front and have had many conversations with dozens of veterans who fought in Russia. So I was quite interesting in finding out about the perspective from the Russian side.

Unfortunately, I have every reason to be very disappointed with this "account".

First of all, it seems to have been written before the fall of the Soviet Union and I have been mislead by the date of publication in Great Britain (2004). The copyright was actually obtained in 1988.

This means that it is one of those publications filled with communist / Soviet propaganda to the brim, which can hardly be seen as reliable. And indeed, the Soviet soldiers are the bravest of the brave, whereas the Germans (quite inappropriatly called "Nazis" here - or simply "swine") are the most coward murderers, butchering even their allies, Hungarians and Romanians (which, needless to say, had socialist regimes when the book was written, hence being described as victims of the Germans). The author describes attacks in which the coward defenders have nothing better to do but to shoot each other for desertion, a trademark actually typical of the NKVD forces and the commisars, not so much of Wehrmacht officers. Also, POW camps become concentration camps in which Soviet prisoners are tortured to death by hanging them on hooks by their limbs and so on. A group of "Nazis" stand in a half circle around the soldier, laughing at his attempt to recover a waterproof coat - between the frontlines in Stalingrad - before he finds a box of handgranades which he arms under the eyes of the dull Germans before bombing them and spraying them with a submachinegun, which he found there as well, resulting in the Germans "roaring with something else" (but laughter). This is just one of many episodes of that sort.

It is this amateurish exaggeration which makes this book a piece of simple propaganda and nothing more. When reading German, British or American war accounts, they may have heroic parts here and there but usually they mostly match reality.

To put it in a nutshell - this book is useless garbage. What a shame, I really would have liked to have read a proper account from the viewpoint of a Red Army soldier.
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