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Thread: WWII military books?

  1. #1

    Default WWII military books?

    Being a war baby, I grew up fascinated by stories of WWII, with a particular interest in 1st person accounts of vet war experiences. German accounts were unobtainable until fairly recently, and I'm always on the look-out for new information/sources. Two of my favorite books are Guy Sajers' 'Forgotten Soldier' and Gunter Koschorrek's 'Blood Red Snow', both of which I've read several times. If anyone who shares my interest in the subject has info on other books, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Sepp

  2. #2
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    Amazon recently had a number of German first person veteran accounts of the war available.
    Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet.

  3. #3

    Default Books

    I've recently found and read an excellent book, 'Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front', written by Hans Schaufler, which consists of first person accounts of Russian frontline battles, etc. from the initial German assaults in 1941 to the end. The Stackpole Military History series also has a fine selection of first person accounts of Eastern WWII experiences.

    I don't think Americans appreciate the written word and the advantage in reading a first person account rather than being told 'what happened' by a third party, no matter how well intended. I like TV shows, movies, but I believe books are better.

    But I digress.............read a book now and then, get information from the source.
    Last edited by sepp44; 9th February 2015 at 11:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    I am with you on firsthand accounts. I got off track posting book reviews, but have been through some good ones:

    Had previously recommended Panzer Commander some time ago - still do

    Soldat; Siegfried Knapp - similar to Panzer Commander in that it's easy to wrapped up in the guy's life and find yourself not wanting the book to end. Read this and next time you are watching the Hitler Channel and hear about the plan to break out from Berlin, you will know the details that aren't on the show.

    Red Road From Stalingrad; Mansur Abdulin.... Soviet soldier account - interesting and worth the read.

    Twilight of the Gods; Thoroff Hillblad - Swedish SS volunteer

    At Leningrad's Gates; William Lubbeck - very good read on Army Group North

    Beyond Band of Brothers; Dick Winters - much of a repeat from the series, but also some different perspective and follow-up on post-war life of some of the men. Still worthwhile.

    Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends; Guarnere and Heffron - see above, despite some rehashing of events, still offers some new perspectives and accounts.

    Edit: Add - This Carnival of Hell - accounts from WWI German front line soldiers @ The Somme. Different and interesting. Not quite halfway through, safe to say it will be a good one though.


    Hope this gives you a menu to pick from. I also liked Forgotten Soldier immensely - thus you may find these worth your time.
    Last edited by Lone Ranger; 20th May 2014 at 08:10 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Books

    Thanks for the titles. Right now I'm re-reading "Tigers in the Mud" one of the great Stackpole series, some written by the vets themselves. Tigers was written by Otto Carius, a very successful tanker who survived the war.

    Some others are 'Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front' by Hans Schaufler, 'The Unknown Eastern Front' by Rolf Dieter Moller, James Lucas' 'Hittlers Mountain Troops', General Erhard Raus' 'Panzers on the Eastern Front', and 'Black Edelweiss', by Johann Voss, a tad tedious at first since he describes his childhood up to enlisting, but it was written during the war, which he survived.

    Very hard to find any first person Japanese accounts, understandable from what occurred in that theatre up until they got the big one.

    Re 'Forgotten Soldier', I first read it about 25-30 years ago, and the book had been labeled a fake by some critics. Guy Sajer is 1/2 French, and worked as a newsman in France after the war. Anyway, I lent a copy to a good friend who was born in Russia, and grew up in the territory described by Sajer. He read the book, and when he returned it to me, told me Sajer was absolutely accurate in his descriptions of the territory, and "he had to have been there to describe it so perfectly, especially the bogs in the river where he hid to avoid the Russian tanks".

    I believe him, he had no reason to BS me, and He was certainly there, even if only 7 years old. The Germans knew his dad was a radar expert, and treated the family well. His family was saved after the war by an American church group who sponsored the family to come to the USA. Great guy!!
    Last edited by sepp44; 21st May 2014 at 03:26 PM.

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    Thanks for the recommendations - I'm low on tanker material as yet. Will check out some of those titles. I have also read Edelweiss but stopped short of including it because of what you noted "tedious" in parts.

  7. #7

    Default Hans Von Luck

    I've just finished "Panzer Commander" by Hans Von Luck, a Colonel when the war was lost. This guy was a career soldier from a family with a very long military history. He was in Russia at the beginning, then to France with Rommel, back to Russia, was with Rommel in Africa, in France for the D Day onslaught, back to Germany to defend the retreat from Russia, where he was captured. Off to the Gulag. This guy knew everybody!
    Last edited by sepp44; 17th January 2015 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Two Japanese books.

    I just finished up two books written by Japanese soldiers, 'Tales by Japanese Soldiers', about Burma in WWII, by Kazuo Tamayama/John Nunneley, and a remarkable book written in 1907 by Tadayoshi Sakurai, who was an officer in the 1904 attack on Port Arthur at the onset of the Russo-Japanese War, titled 'Human Bullets'. Remarkable stuff re Japanese willingness/eagerness to die for the Emperor.

    Just started 'The Unknown Eastern Front', English translation 2012, covering the attack on Russia, written by Rolf-Dieter Muller, German Professor of Military History at Humboldt University, Berlin. He writes of the 1941 attack on Russia in considerable detail, covering 20 different European Countries who provided volunteers for Germany, using information not available until the Russian collapse. It is excellent!!!!
    Last edited by sepp44; 17th September 2014 at 11:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the heads up on the books
    Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet.

  10. #10
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    This is a good read - highly recommend. Covers FJR 6 from 1943-1945.
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