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Günter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow. The author’s excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit – their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front. This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished.
Günter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow. The author’s excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit – their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front. This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished.
For the German soldier fighting under Hitler, keeping a diary was strictly forbidden. So Gunter Koschorrek, a fresh young recruit, wrote his notes on whatever scraps of paper he could find and sewed the pages into the lining of his winter coat. Left with his mother on his rare trips home, this illicit diary eventually was lost—and did not come to light until some 40 years later when Koschorrek was reunited with his daughter in America. It is this remarkable document, a unique day-to-day account of the common German soldier’s experience, that makes up the memoir that is Blood Red Snow.
" Alois Dwenger, writing from the front in May of 1942, complained that people forgot “the actions of simple soldiers....I believe that true heroism lies in bearing this dreadful everyday life.” In exploring the reality of the Landser, the average German soldier in World War II, through letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, Stephen G. Fritz provides the definitive account of the everyday war of the German front soldier. The personal documents of these soldiers, most from the Russian front, where the majority of German infantrymen saw service, paint a richly textured portrait of the Landser that illustrates the complexity and paradox of his daily life. Although clinging to a self-image as a decent fellow, the German soldier nonetheless committed terrible crimes in the name of National Socialism. When the war was finally over, and his country lay in ruins, the Landser faced a bitter truth: all his exertions and sacrifices had been in the name of a deplorable regime that had committed unprecedented crimes. With chapters on training, images of combat, living conditions, combat stress, the personal sensations of war, the bonds of comradeship, and ideology and motivation, Fritz offers a sense of immediacy and intimacy, revealing war through the eyes of these self-styled “little men.” A fascinating look at the day-to-day life of German soldiers, this is a book not about war but about men. It will be vitally important for anyone interested in World War II, German history, or the experiences of common soldiers throughout the world.
A junior officer in the Red Army provides one of the richest and most detailed memoirs of life and warfare on the Eastern Front, from his combat training in early 1942 until the surrender and occupation of Germany.
When a 20-year old Waffen-SS veteran of two years' combat against the Soviets and Americans is confronted with the awful, undeniable truth of the Holocaust, he must reconcile it with his pride in his comrades' battlefield sacrifices. The author served in SS Mountain Infantry Regiment 11 Reinhard Heydrich, part of 6th SS Mountain Division Nord. The book is mostly an account of his extensive combat service against the Soviets in northern Karelia and Finland, with a shorter section describing combat against the Americans in the Vosges and in the Saar-Moselle triangle. Voss reflects on the totality of his wartime experiences, from the origins of his reasons for enlisting in the Waffen-SS to his experiences in US captivity. The result is a compelling and honest account.
This is the remarkable story of a German soldier who fought throughout World War II, rising from conscript private to captain of a heavy weapons company on the Eastern Front. William Lubbeck, age 19, was drafted into the Wehrmacht in August 1939. As a member of the 58th Infantry Division, he received his baptism of fire during the 1940 invasion of France. The following spring his division served on the left flank of Army Group North in Operation Barbarossa. After grueling marches admidst countless Russian bodies, burnt-out vehicles, and a great number of cheering Baltic civilians, Lubbeck’s unit entered the outskirts of Leningrad, making the deepest penetration of any German formation. The Germans suffered brutal hardships the following winter as they fought both Russian counterattacks and the brutal cold. The 58th Division was thrown back and forth across the front of Army Group North, from Novgorod to Demyansk, at one point fighting back Russian attacks on the ice of Lake Ilmen. Returning to the outskirts of Leningrad, the 58th was placed in support of the Spanish “Blue” Division. Relations between the allied formations soured at one point when the Spaniards used a Russian bath house for target practice, not realizing that Germans were relaxing inside. A soldier who preferred to be close to the action, Lubbeck served as forward observer for his company, dueling with Russian snipers, partisans and full-scale assaults alike. His worries were not confined to his own safety, however, as news arrived of disasters in Germany, including the destruction of Hamburg where his girlfriend served as an Army nurse. In September 1943, Lubbeck earned the Iron Cross First Class and was assigned to officers’ training school in Dresden. By the time he returned to Russia, Army Group North was in full-scale retreat. Now commanding his former heavy weapons company, Lubbeck alternated sharp counterattacks with inexorable withdrawal, from Riga to Memel on the Baltic. In April 1945 Lubbeck’s company became stalled in a traffic jam and was nearly obliterated by a Russian barrage followed by air attacks. In the last chaotic scramble from East Prussia, Lubbeck was able to evacuate on a newly minted German destroyer. He recounts how the ship arrived in the British zone off Denmark with all guns blazing against pursuing Russians. The following morning, May 8, 1945, he learned that the war was over. After his release from British captivity, Lubbeck married his sweetheart, Anneliese, and in 1949 immigrated to the United States where he raised a successful family. With the assistance of David B. Hurt, he has drawn on his wartime notes and letters, Soldatbuch, regimental history and personal memories to recount his four years of frontline experience. Containing rare firsthand accounts of both triumph and disaster, At Leningrad’s Gates provides a fascinating glimpse into the reality of combat on the Eastern Front.

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