eBook: Download Survivors Stalingrad Eyewitness Accounts 1942 43 ePub (TXT, KINDLE, PDF) + Audio Version


  • File Size: 4742 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books (September 3, 2014)
  • Publication Date: October 28, 2014
  • Language: English

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I have been waiting for a book that compiled individual accounts of the German experience in Stalingrad and finally, with SURVIVORS ASSOCIATED WITH STALINGRAD, there is one. Editor, Reinhold Busch, has compiled 39 individual and diverse accounts of German soldiers and airmen who either escaped the Stalingrad “Kessel”/pocket or became prisoners and lived to tell about this.

Busch, who has previously published his research of German surgeons in the battle of Stalingrad, provides an interesting and unique visage of the depravity experienced by an entire army left to fend for themselves after being between a motivated and vindictive Red Army. With temperatures falling to sub-zero levels and still using uniforms suited for spring and summer, each soldier/airman’s bank account echoes a recurring theme of futility and misery. The stories provide a wide perspective of the legendary battle’s final days, offering readers a better comprehension of the chaos and downright concern that blanketed those caught inside the pocket . from the frontline infantrymen lacking ammunition and support to airmen dealing with the flood of afraid and wounded soldiers excitedly pushing their planes in a desperate attempt to run away captivity and certain loss of life.

Each chapter represents an individual’s account and while all are different, most all manage to touch on the same points: personal filth, extreme hunger, the unbearable cold, unburied dead, the soon-to-be-dead wounded and the Red Army having down. With the exemption of a few, the stories range from two to six pages in length. A few of the accounts are more interesting than others, nonetheless they all blend to provide a better overall picture of the whole situation dealing with Germans before von Paulus’ surrender (one account even included that moment). In contrast to most books involving personal recollections of war, I found it hard to view these men (in the circumstances they were in) as instruments of the once-vaunted, steamrolling Nazi battle machine, but a thread of forgotten left-overs whose fate depended mostly on good-fortune. There are a few “fighting to the end” scenarios presented, but most stories reflect a desperate effort to escape certain death from food cravings, freezing to death or at the hands of vengeful Russian captors. The images presented are quite bleak and I found the book less war-like and more of a collection of human interest/survival stories. The particular accounts are retrieved either through interviews (present and past) and/or public report … they are told from a first-person viewpoint (we’re seeing what they saw). A collection of glossy pictures in the middle of the book allows visitors to place faces to some of the stories being told.

I appreciated the way Busch provided information on almost every individual named throughout the book, not only those providing the narratives. Footnotes detail the schedules, places of birth and death (if applicable), as well as the schedules of promotions and levels of any decorations awarded. I found this meticulous approach to detail quite impressive. The ranks and duties of all the individual stories are different as well, adding a ground-up perspective to the whole picture. In addition , we are provided the post-war status of the storytellers, including steps in their careers and where they are today (if living). Several of the boys actually survived being a POW of the Soviet Marriage … a subject I wish Busch would consider for an upcoming project.

REMAINDERS OF STALINGRAD is a unique book in that I haven’t been able to find anything similar to it … most books about Stalingrad are overviews told by an individual (usually a historian). Considering the scant quantity of Germans who survived Stalingrad remain living, I feel this book is an important missing-link to the battle’s entire story., This is a book for individuals who are familiar with the Stalingrad battle. Popular events such as the battles in the factory districts and the evacuations of wounded from the location are described by men who were there. First hand accounts always provide new perspectives to familiar activities. There are about 45 stories from survivors in the book. Also, Busch provides a pretty good sampling from different service branches and ranks: NCO's, officers and enlisted men. I'd usually read 4 or 5 a night and then take a rest.

There are often commonalities to the stories but that doesn't soften their impact. Stalingrad devoured soldiers from both equally sides with relentless ferocity. I don't think even Dante' could envision this frozen hell. The recollections were related years after the battle and were checked for accuracy by the author. One thing that struck me was the matter-of-fact way in which men who escaped the cauldron and those who survived Soviet captivity recalled their ordeals. Nevertheless I suppose it would take a talented writer to adequately describe the enduring of these men.

I highly recommend this book. Stalingrad occupies a unique place in the life of military history. Anyone familiar with the struggle is certainly going to be interested in these accounts., If you want to know what battle is really like, this is the book. It is not for the faint of heart. The soldiers speak of the real brutality of the fight at Stalingrad. Weak food, poor living conditions, lack of medical car and poor leadership at the top. Many troops held their faith in the leadership right to the very end.

The particular book also describes instances of kindness on both sides, which I found amazing given the dislike on both sides. There were amazing strokes of luck that enabled individual soldiers to escape the encirclement, while the strength of the comradeship between the soldiers caused several soldiers to violate purchases not to enter the pocket.

I highly recommend this book if you want to get a true troops view of this terrible battle., Almost no narration was provided by the author, but he did use post scripts at the ending of every composition. The stories were written first hand and most of the facts were still indelibly imprinted in their heads. The suffering and apprehension and despair that were felt by these troops was evident in every detail. Admittedly, it was at first difficult to feel much empathy for them due to their evil Nazi army reputation which was well deserved. At some point, however, the reader involves realize that many of those soldiers failed to posses the hate and rudeness of the S. H. and other Wehrmacht troops. Suffering is suffering, no matter who is forced to endure it. The tales eventually start mirroring each other and they become a lttle bit tedious towards the ending of the book, but are still engrossing in their descriptions. After i see any documentary about Stalingrad now, I am a lot more keenly aware of the names, dates, and circumstances of the siege and encirclement. I will be glad I read the book, and anyone who considers himself a WWII buff should read it likewise., Just got this book and so far it is very interesting since it deals soley with men who had been at Stalingrad but somehow managed to escape either by air, or by retreating from the location in the chip of time or those who were taken prisoner and lived through years of imprisonment in the Soviet Union. There are 39 survivors detailed in this book and even though I'm only part of the way through, the stories are riveting. Good maps and black and white pictures of some the boys. Extremely recommended for anyone interested in the eastern front of World War Two.

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Survivors Stalingrad Eyewitness Accounts 1942 43
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