Firsthand perspectives of German WWII infantrymen are rare, as respected historian Dennis Showalter (Tannenberg: Clash of Empires) points out in his excellent introduction. Bidermann, who is an 18-year-old private in the 132d Infantry Division at the beginning of this memoir, takes us through the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, passage across the Dnieper and southern steppes, battles in the Crimea, engagements in northern Russia and retreat through Riga to the Baltic. He retrospectively reviews historical records and sketches the daily happenings and ambience of his unit in a matter-of-fact and unpretentious--yet invariably proud--tone. The translation is direct and generally graceful, sometimes lyrical. Retired Navy SEAL Zumbro, who has translated German accounts for the Eisenhower Center of the University of New Orleans, has translated and expanded Bidermann's 1964 private German publication, utilizing the same preserved documents and retrospective interviews from other members of the 132d. Before war's end, the unit was cut off in Courland, though Bidermann claims it was "never defeated in open battle." After surrender in 1945, the remnants of the division were held in extended captivity. The Wehrmacht subculture, which Bidermann describes but does not connect back to the Reich's atrocities, was compulsively "professional," with loyalty to fellows its all-consuming central ethic. This ethic seemingly sustained these soldiers through continual dire peril of body and soul. Some did survive. B&W photos. History Book Club selection.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great read, who would guess just one antitank guy could be so important. The book fills in the gaps left by the books of heros like hans rudel stuka ace.Published 1 month ago by S. Benn
another masterpiece on how a ordinary soldier/officer fights till the end without knowing the follies & ideology of his leaders, simply for his country.Published 1 month ago by Dr. Ranjeet Baral
Good read. Would have liked more info related to the released German prisoners and how they adapted when they returned homePublished 2 months ago by tommy
A look into the common solders life fighting for his comrades and his own life. Bidermann shows us what life was like on the Russian Front and how the everyday solder lived much... Read morePublished 2 months ago by carl w. huffman