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In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front
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In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front (Modern War Studies)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  540 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In the hell that was World War II, the Eastern Front was its heart of fire and ice. Gottlob Herbert Bidermann served in that lethal theater from 1941 to 1945, and his memoir of those years recaptures the sights, sounds, and smells of the war as it vividly portrays an army marching on the road to ruin.

A riveting and reflective account by one of the millions of anonymous sol

Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 7th 2000 by University Press of Kansas (first published April 1st 2000)
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'Aussie Rick'
Firstly, before launching yourself into this excellent book please take the time to read the introduction by Dennis Showalter as it will help explain the style of writing to be found in this book. The book was originally written for the survivors of Bidermann's regiment and division, not for the general public. Bearing this in mind you will have a better understanding and feeling for the author's account of his experience of fighting on the Eastern Front during WW2. At times you might find the n ...more
April 'Stacy'
Jan 21, 2017 April 'Stacy' rated it it was amazing
The memoirs are of a WW2 German soldier who spent almost four years on the Eastern Front. He gives an honest account of the action and horror while being on the front lines during the war. He actually wrote this book for the other survivors of his Army regiment and not for the general public.

As for the Eastern Front, Bidermann describes the enemy in great detail. At the beginning of the German invasion, Russian troops ran from the front lines due to fear of poison gas use since the German soldi
Jun 17, 2009 Elh52 rated it really liked it
Boy, that Gottlob, he was one lucky guy to live through the war. There must be 50 memoirs by Germans of life on the Eastern Front, but they're probably the only ones who survived it. This is a good, no-nonsense view of the Eastern Front. It is very clear-headed, militarily speaking. Morally, less so. Herr Bidermann insists no atrocities were committed by his unit or by anyone he knew. Well, maybe. I read it together with another first-hand account, that one by an Alsatian who fought in Russia fo ...more
May 20, 2015 Devy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
One of the best firsthand accounts of the Eastern Front. Much heavier on troop dispositions, divisional placements, and strategy than The Forgotten Soldier. His observations about the average landser's view of the Third Reich and Nazi government is very insightful. Must read for anyone interested in WWII, especially, in my opinion, as what is often overlooked as the real theater of that struggle.
John Thompson
Dec 17, 2010 John Thompson rated it really liked it
Incredibly gripping account of a horrid, horrid war.
Jan 16, 2015 Courtney rated it liked it
I'm not sure why, but I was never really able to get into this book even though I was looking forward to reading it and had it on my to-read list for quite some time. It begins with Bidermann in the Crimea, and I did enjoy reading about something on the Eastern Front other than Stalingrad, but it never grabbed me. I think the best parts of this section were the Germans' interaction with the locals, although there wasn't a ton of that in here. This is pretty much what the first third of the book ...more
Sep 13, 2007 Gavin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: warriors
Shelves: war
He is a noble man who was drafted into the military. As was (still is?) common in the German military, smart and brave non-commisioned officers were routinely tapped to enter officer candidate training schools after serving in the front for a time. He was in charge of a 37 mm antitank gun on the Eastern Front, southern Army group. He participated in the siege of Sevastopol. He was promoted to Lieutenant, eventually higher. Afterwards, his division was sent to the (Northern Army group's) Leningra ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
This is a book by a german infrantry soldier about German infantry. It is a story about dedication to those who fought and died together in a no win situation. The writing is heavy in military detail reflecting that it was really written for other German soldiers. The author makes an interesting observation about how over the course of the war on the eastern front the two adversaries switched places. At the beginning, the German army dominated the Russian army in all phases of battle from leader ...more
Mar 05, 2008 James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adolescents and adults interested in military history
A strong story, told articulately by a man who survived a time and place that most in his position didn't. The author fought in the worst of the combat between the Nazi and Soviet armies in World War II, and recounts his experiences simply and in a calm tone that acknowledges the desperation and savagery of what he is describing but remains matter-of-fact. It seems likely that this stems from the same calm under stress that enabled him to keep thinking and fighting when many would have been too ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Sergio rated it it was amazing
This story, from only 65 years ago, is shocking in its total brutality, yet humble in its humanity. Stories from the eastern front add perspective to our lives.
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Feb 24, 2008 None rated it really liked it
Very good German soldier memoir.
Brian rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2012
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“It was widely accepted within the ranks of those fighting in the east that death on the battlefield was preferable to an unknown destiny in a Soviet prisoner of war camp. This mentality often played a role in the many acts of bravery demonstrated by individuals or entire units. During the closing days of the war it was not at all uncommon for entire companies, battalions, and battle groups to fight to the last man, the survivors going into captivity only when ammunition was exhausted and wounds were too grave to allow further resistance.” 0 likes
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