In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front

In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front

by Gottlob Herbert Bidermann, Derek S. Zumbro

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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 soldiers who fought and died in that cruel terrain, In Deadly Combat conveys the brutality and horrors of the Eastern Front in detail never before available in English. It offers a ground soldier's perspective on life and death on the front lines, providing revealing new information concerning day-to-day operations and German army life.

Wounded five times and awarded numerous decorations for valor, Bidermann saw action in the Crimea and siege of Sebastopol, participated in the vicious battles in the forests south of Leningrad, and ended the war in the Courland Pocket. He shares his impressions of countless Russian POWs seen at the outset of his service, of peasants struggling to survive the hostilities while caught between two ruthless antagonists, and of corpses littering the landscape. He recalls a Christmas gift of gingerbread from home that overcame the stench of battle, an Easter celebrated with a basket of Russian hand grenades for eggs, and his miraculous survival of machine gun fire at close range. In closing he relives the humiliation of surrender to an enemy whom the Germans had once derided and offers a sobering glimpse into life in the Soviet gulags.

Bidermann's account debunks the myth of a highly mechanized German army that rolled over weaker opponents with impunity. Despite the vast expanses of territory captured by the Germans during the early months of Operation Barbarossa, the war with Russia remained tenuous and unforgiving. His story commits that living hell to the annals of World War II and broadens our understanding of its most deadly combat zone.

Translator Derek Zumbro has rendered Bidermann's memoir into a compelling narrative that retains the author's powerful style. This English-language edition of Bidermann's dynamic story is based upon a privately published memoir entitled Krim-Kurland Mit Der 132 Infanterie Division. The translator has added important events derived from numerous interviews with Bidermann to provide additional context for American readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780700622504
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 06/07/2000
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 214,720
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

Gottlob Herbert Bidermann, who served in the 132nd Infantry Division, is retired from a career in the textile industry and currently resides in southern Germany.

Derek S. Zumbro, a retired Navy SEAL officer and resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, has translated German World War II accounts for the Eisenhower Center, University of New Orleans. His translations have been widely used in books and documentaries, and he is currently working on a translation of the wartime experiences of a former aide to Field Marshall Walter Model.

Table of Contents

1. The March Toward the East
2. Crossing the Dnieper
3. Makensia
4. In the Crimea
5. The Enemy
6. Sevastopol
7. Gaitolovo
8. Dyatly
9. The Oncoming End
10. Courland: The Last Front
11. The Bitter End
-Chronology of Engagements
-Military Cemeteries
-Table of Military Ranks

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In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very detailed description of this soldier's service and hardships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good book for getting the German point of view during the war. The devastation, battlefield littered with combat dead, etc. all described superbly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for all those seeking the other sides view of the German-Russian campaign. Follow the author thru his lethal theaters from 1941-45; capture all the sights, sounds and smells of Russia,Sevastopol,Crimea etc.Lots of action, never boring. Highly recommended for all military history buffs.Great photos too!