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Eastern Inferno: The Journals of a German Panzerjäger on the Eastern Front, 1941-43 Hardcover – November 30, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of those rare WW2 books, much like Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier, that will stick with you long after you have finished reading it.
I am a huge WWII history buff, so when Christine and her brother Mason offered me an early look at the journal translations in the fall of 2009, I was thrilled.
The journal is both remarkable in its specificity and appalling in its overarching picture of unrelenting savagery. Although Germany started this war by violating its 1941 peace treaty with the Soviet Union and invading, and has been appropriately condemned in courts both legal and historical, there simply were no good guys in this war.
In one anecdote, the Soviets, to cite just two of the author's accounts, marched their own hospital patients at gunpoint through German minefields to detonate the mines, thus minimizing *military* casualties before attacking the German position. In another, the Germans execute several young Soviet partisans, including teenage girls, whose family members were being held hostage by the Soviets and threatened with death if they did not strike against the Germans -- and if they did not return. The author reports that he and his comrades, combat veterans ("front hogs") though they were, were severely shaken by this event: They were used to killing, and they knew, rationally, that partisans who weren't executed would only live again to detonate an explosive device under their vehicles or slit a sentry's throat. But shooting down teenage girls in cold blood was NOT what they had signed up for.
I don't know how common first-person accounts such as this of fighting on the Eastern Front are, but I can't imagine they're plentiful. For one thing, millions upon millions of participants died, and most of those who survived did so with barely the clothes on their backs.Read more ›
As the men and women who survived World War II rapidly vanish from the world's population, new information, stories and details of the war continues to flow at an exponential rate. Christine Alexander and Mason Kunze have published three (of possibly four) volumes of their grandfather Hans Roth's wartime journal. Roth, a German soldier (specifically an anti-tank soldier) who participated in the war on the Eastern Front from the initial German invasion of the Soviet Union through the retreat from Stalingrad, provides a unique perspective of those early days of the conflict. Unflinching and brutal at times, the journal sheds new light on the initial months of the "war in the East" by contradicting the ease of the German advance into the Soviet Union. Roth also conveys the deplorable conditions in which the war was fought, the atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict, the unfathomable destruction of life and material, the filth and the miserable weather.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eastern Inferno is a vivid, gut-wrenching account of a German Army sergeant in combat on the Russian Front. Read morePublished 24 days ago by J. Steinfeld
Fantastic book,everything I hoped for when I found it,very detailed account of life on the Eastern Front.Published 1 month ago by Michael Desilvey
Excellent journal of a front line trooper ...... written firsthand at the time the events of the Eastern war were unfolding and not "remembered" many years later, colored... Read morePublished 4 months ago by francis uteg
A rare first person account of the largest land war in history.Published 5 months ago by Timothy B. Lynch
amazing book. The war on the eastern front was appalling in it's savagery and horror. It really shows the depths of depravity that men can sink to.Published 6 months ago by Watcher
Eastern Inferno is an excellent first hand soldier's account of various actions in Operation Barbarossa, the WW2 German invasion of Russia. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Baraniecki Mark Stuart
The lengths of endurance that the author was pushed to are beyond belief. This isn't some romantic story glorifying war, it's a raw first hand account of human suffering... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lady2Crowns