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Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World…
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Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II

by Stephen G. Fritz

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This book is intense. There are points in the book I think back to my own experiences and see how much we have in common between common soldiers of different eras. This was an army that was absolutely dedicated to the fight and to be honest the type of military that every nation dreams of creating. I could of done without his rambling and thoughts at the end, for his ideas to me just didn't hold much water some of the times. Just give me the raw data, the everyday words of the everyday soldier. They speak to me much more than any historian of the war possibly could. ( )
  Loptsson | Jan 30, 2009 |
The author goes to original sources (letters and diaries) of German ww2 troops to let them speak for themselves. The great advantage of his method is that it avoids later "interpretations" and reveals the startling reality of the Landsers in very rough conditions (mostly in Russia), dedicated to Hitler and 100% behind the classless Volksgemeinschaft national socialist revolution.
The effect is similar to the way Parshall uses exclusively original sources for a definitive reconstruction of the battle of Midway. ( )
  Miro | May 31, 2008 |
2862 Frontsoldaten:The German Soldier in World War II, by Stephen G. Fritz (read 18 Apr 1996) This is a 1995 book on German soldiers in World War Two by a professor of history at East Tennessee State. It is a superlative book, analyzing the attitudes of German soldiers in the front lines, particularly in Russia. The author calls it "everyday history," since its sources are letters written by German soldiers from the front. He shows how the rigorous training Germans got in the Hitler youth organization and in the Army made them models of cohesiveness. It is really discouraging how widespread was Nazi belief among the common soldiers and how they were molded by the incessant propaganda. It is hard to believe those soldiers are all cured now--so it surprising that democracy has endured in Germany. This has been a book which really told me a lot. Numerous books in the good bibliography intrigue. ( )
  Schmerguls | Feb 9, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813109434, Paperback)

" 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Alois Dwenger, writing from the front in May 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. Idealistic and motivated by a desire to create a new society, he waged a cruel ideological war on behalf of a racist conception of national community. Though he was fiercely proud of his skill and resilience, his stubborn efforts ultimately led only to more senseless destruction.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." In contrasting these German soldiers with their American counterparts, he makes clear how much soldiers everywhere have in common, but he also reveals differences in ideological intensity, group cohesiveness, ingenuity, discipline, and quality of equipment that will come as a surprise to many readers familiar with the history of World War II.… (more)

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