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" Alois Dwenger, writing from the front in May of 1942, complained that people forgot "the actions of simple soldiers?.I believe that true heroism lies in bearing this dreadful everyday life." In exploring the reality of the Landser, the average German soldier in World War II, through letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, Stephen G. Fritz provides the definitive account of the everyday war of the German front soldier. The personal documents of these soldiers, most from the Russian front, where the majority of German infantrymen saw service, paint a richly textured portrait of the Landser that illustrates the complexity and paradox of his daily life. Although clinging to a self-image as a decent fellow, the German soldier nonetheless committed terrible crimes in the name of National Socialism. When the war was finally over, and his country lay in ruins, the Landser faced a bitter truth: all his exertions and sacrifices had been in the name of a deplorable regime that had committed unprecedented crimes. With chapters on training, images of combat, living conditions, combat stress, the personal sensations of war, the bonds of comradeship, and ideology and motivation, Fritz offers a sense of immediacy and intimacy, revealing war through the eyes of these self-styled "little men." A fascinating look at the day-to-day life of German soldiers, this is a book not about war but about men. It will be vitally important for anyone interested in World War II, German history, or the experiences of common soldiers throughout the world.

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3.5 / 5
1 person found this helpful
March 24th, 2015
Good read if a little long, very informative. Nice to see the other sides viwpoint,, you tend to get the perspective from the frontline.
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1 person found this helpful
Cold hard reality if war from the German view
February 11th, 2013
Very in-depth book based on letters home and diaries of the common Landster. No glorification of events or shying away from the atrocities committed on both sides. A sad testament to man's cruelty to his fellow man and decent men forced into indecent acts. Well written and very well laid out with tons of references.
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