FREE PDF ♟ Blood Red Snow : The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front ♠

I would probably give this book 3.5 stars because the author does give a good overview of his time on the Easter Front. There's no question he and his fellow soldiers went through hell, even though he escaped the actual fighting in Stalingrad. The thing that bothered me most was the fact that he said little why the German Army was in Russia. To read this book, you might think Russia attacked Germany.

He also seemed not to understand why the Russians behaved as they did. Both sides behaved barbarically to soldiers and civilians alike. He may have had some principles which he espoused at times, but he was more the exception. He was indeed fortunate to survive, and start a new life. Too many were not given that chance. Woina Kaput! This is an edited version of a diary kept by a Wehrmacht enlisted man during the various stages and theaters of his service from mid1942 until the end of the war, with brief interruptions when he gets wounded or doesn't have time to write. As he explains, keeping a diary was forbidden, and though a lot of the situations he gets into seem too insane to be real, given the conditions of the war I can give him a pass on authenticity questions. The Eastern Front was by far the most vicious and awful front of the war, and so his descriptions of Stalingrad and Bagration are amazing in how unlikely his survival seems to be. I'm not sure of the survival rates for machine gunners, which was Koschorrek's specialty, so when I was reading I just sat back and marveled as he dodged endless waves of T34s and mortars, or in the most ridiculous scene, manages to keep one step ahead of the Russians by stealing a pony. He didn't seem to be stuck in Stalingrad for too long, fortunately for him, but the retreats he chronicles are still epics of chaos and death. Having never served in the military, I read war memoirs for the action and the sense of "what war is like", which he does pretty well. He does a good job of conveying how nonideological a good portion of the military was; when political officers show up late in the book to spout Nazi propaganda everyone rolls their eyes at them, and while there are some instances of atrocities he sees, they're things like shooting partisans, not death camptype stuff. A lot of the book is about small things: food, new shoes, cigarettes, letters to home, and complaining about officers. It's interesting to see this kind of different take on the war, and I enjoyed Koschorrek's stories. FREE PDF ♸ Blood Red Snow : The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front ♌ For The German Soldier Fighting Under Hitler, Keeping A Diary Was Strictly Forbidden So Gunther 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 Lostand Was Not Coming To Light Until SomeYears Later When Koschorrek Was Reunited With His Daughter In America It Is This Remarkable Document, A Unique Daytoday Account Of The Common German Soldiers Experience How is it possible not to see that such accounts like this one (as is often the case with memoirs of German soldiers) fail to express the most basic acknowledgements of what nazi Germany has done in Russia and the incommensurable sufferings brought to its people. Even if not all soldiers could be fully aware of this at the time of the events, there is no excuse when writing after the end of the war, when everything is made clear. No sorry feelings, or just mockery of it, just the bare minimum to look politically correct. When one reads such a book one has the feeling that Germans came there as liberators instead of conquerors. The eventual prevail of Soviets is explained only by the sheer number of cannon fodder thrown down on the Germans. No analysis, no conclusions. What's more, even the description of the drama is not really gripping when compared to other German accounts. MMM...I have mixed feelings about this book. The author was deployed in various theaters of wars so there are some interesting facts to witness to, no doubt. But don`t forget that this is a densely subjective book, so some of the truth told here maybe arent in their 100% accuracy...The germans were the invaders, there weren`t the saviours so some of the motivation here is kinda of out the context. BUt, nevertheless, I understand that in some way, in that period of time, you couldn`t stay against the tide so you`ll have to fight in order to survive, so I`m not judging for these peculiars aspects.

Anyway, the war is a hideous beast and this books don`t tells you the otherwise. one of the best german soldier memoires about ww2 i have ever read. I thought this was a pretty good memoir. The author explained very well all of his troubles he had during the war and it really shows how hard fighting in a war was. The screenwriters of Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter ("Generation War" for the Anglophone market) should've based the TV serials entirely on this book instead of making the plot up. I've been waiting for ages for a show from the German side based on a real unit's story à la Band of Brothers, and my top contender has always been Sajer's "The Forgotten Soldier," but now I'm adding this one as well.

Koschorrek's memoir, unlike so many others, doesn't make any attempt at being literary or philosophical, it's neither preachily antiwar nor a grovelling mea culpa manifesto for the crimes of Germany. It's simply a diaryformatted account of a common foot soldier living, fighting, and being repeatedly wounded in the hell that was the Eastern Front, and as such it's extremely brutal at times. It reminded me by moments of the bleak film Stalingrad from 1993, especially because one scene from the film was so strikingly like one in this book (the part were a German infantryman slips in the snow and falls before an advancing Russian T34 tank and is flattened to death by it, if you're curious). The short chapters give it the feel of an authentic field diary, as if Koschorrek had hurriedly scribbled a few lines every chance he got, though it's not exactly his unedited war diary (he says he lost his initial notes in the front). I liked this style a lot, because sometimes when veterans write their memoirs years later, they narrate stuff as if it were for a novel; which isn't bad, just that it gives the impression that it all comes to you "predigested," to put it somehow, whilst Koschorrek's shortnote style gives the impression of it coming raw and unrelenting, although he's writing decades after the war.

It's maybe the best German memoir out there, for this reason and because the author is a simple "grunt." No high rank, no Nazi party line, no discussion of grand strategy and tactics; there's already fine memoirs from the Wehrmacht's top brass for all that, so this is ideal for a feel of the average recruit's experience. What I learned from this book is that war is the most insane activity in which humans engage. What I learned from this book is that I'd never want my son to be a soldier. What I learned from this book is that we must read about the past and we must write about the past in order to live a better future. This book is heavy reading, but nowhere near as heavy as writing and living must have been. The soldier was an 18 year recruit when the book begins but how he must have aged before the war was out. This memoir is particularly close to me because my father also fought for the Germans on that violent Eastern Front. But he never talked much about it. One of my favorite books of all time is the Forgotten Soldier, it's the standard I measure other personal accounts to and there's been few that have matched it. Have to say this one did it. Blood Red Snow is fabulous! The opening was nice but honestly headed for a weak 4 star rating; I think this was partially because Gunter was either finding himself in writing or had written that section well after the war. What happened during the retreat from Stalingrad though just totally opened Gunter up to us and gave us so much more than so many personal account give; emotion and feeling, fear and joy. As we Gunter both breakdown somewhat and become a stalwart of his unit we see him become so much more. This isn't just a former soldier telling his contributions to a greater fight; instead it becomes more personal, as in you almost feel Gunter is telling you his experiences in person. This is a very good account of a warrior's experience, an absolute must for anyone interested in personal accounts from WWII.