Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front, Gunter K. Koschorrek

Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front, Gunter K. Koschorrek


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Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front, Gunter K. Koschorrek

Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front, Günter K. Koschorrek

This book is based on a series of diaries and notes that the author made while fighting on the Eastern Front and that he managed to store safely inside his uniform jacket before leaving them with his mother

The author reached the front just at the fighting on the Eastern Front turned against the Germans. He briefly saw combat in Stalingrad, and was involved in the desperate attempts to avoid being trapped after the Soviet's broke the German lines west of the city. After a brief lull spent in Italy he returned to the Eastern Front where he spent the rest of the war. For most of the time he was thus involved in either futile defensive battles or chaotic retreats.

A constant theme of the book is the fate of the author's many comrades, some only briefly encountered in passing, others who remained with him for long periods of time. Some move on to other units but many were killed or mortally wounded.

The author gives a more balanced description of his Soviet enemies than some German memoirs, largely avoiding the clichéd descriptions of mindless hordes advancing with commissars at the rear that blight other accounts. We do still get accounts of outnumbered German units holding off massive Soviet attacks, but it's clear that these were always hard-fought and close-run affairs, with the result often decided by luck. The biggest surprise for many will be the chaotic nature of the German front lines for most of the time, with small units left to fend for themselves before being forced into costly retreats.

Chapters
1 - En Route
2 - Fighting in Stalingrad
3 - A Narrow Escape
4 - A Last-Minute Reprieve
5 - Blood Red Snow Falls Not from the Sky
6 - A Temporary Lull
7 - Hunting Italian Partisans
8 - Return to the Russian Inferno
9 - Alarm at the Nikopol Bridgehead
10 - Fear and Hatred Supplant Tears
11 - Through Bottomless Mud
12 - Deadly Intermezzo
13 - From Knight's Cross to Wooden Cross
14 - Condemned to Death
15 - Vultures over Nemmersdorf
16 - From Poland to a Fool's Paradise
17 - Better Dead than Siberia

Author: Günter K. Koschorrek
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 318
Publisher: Frontline
Year: 2011 edition of 1998 German original



Blood Red Snow : The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front by Günter K. Koschorrek (2005, Trade Paperback)

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Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

The screenwriters of Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter ("Generation War" for the Anglophone market) should&aposve based the TV serials entirely on this book instead of making the plot up. I&aposve been waiting for ages for a show from the German side based on a real unit&aposs story à la Band of Brothers, and my top contender has always been Sajer&aposs "The Forgotten Soldier," but now I&aposm adding this one as well.

Koschorrek&aposs memoir, unlike so many others, doesn&apost make any attempt at being literary or philosophical, 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 anti-war nor a grovelling mea culpa manifesto for the crimes of Germany. It's simply a diary-formatted 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 T-34 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 short-note 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. . more

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&aposs 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 barbari 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! . more

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 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. . more

This book left me with a slight unsatisfactory feeling. Although the writing was strong and it contained a lot of interest, it pales substantially when compared to Sajer&aposs &aposthe Forgotten Soldier&apos opus. Written in a diary format, the book starts strongly but I was left feeling that something didn&apost quite add up, and I can&apost really explain what. Whilst Sajer&aposs book does not even attempt to cover the political side or the atrocities both the Axis and Russians committed, this one goes to great pains This book left me with a slight unsatisfactory feeling. Although the writing was strong and it contained a lot of interest, it pales substantially when compared to Sajer's 'the Forgotten Soldier' opus. Written in a diary format, the book starts strongly but I was left feeling that something didn't quite add up, and I can't really explain what. Whilst Sajer's book does not even attempt to cover the political side or the atrocities both the Axis and Russians committed, this one goes to great pains to point out how evil the Russians were, and rarely portrays any Wehrmacht soldier in a negative light, bar the very rare bad apple. The SS remain the only German villains and even that is conveniently left woolly. I also was put off by the art, depicting a fairly prominent swastika, perhaps designed for a certain subset of readers who this will no doubt appeal to. It's not something you will want to be seen with in public, that's for sure.

I was hoping to find something similar here to 'the Forgotten Soldier' and whilst much of the book delivers, I can't really recommend this on the whole due to that niggling feeling that you are being delivered a substantially airbrushed version of history. . more

Serving in the German army on the Eastern front from 1942 to 1945, Gunther Koschorrek wrote small notes as a form of a diary. Years later, the notes formed the basis of this book, an account of his experiences in the war. The book reads quickly, as he leaps through large portions of time with only small notes and then slows down to give accounts of particularly brutal battles and incidents. The result is similar to many other first hand accounts of combat, with descriptions of fear, terror, hung Serving in the German army on the Eastern front from 1942 to 1945, Gunther Koschorrek wrote small notes as a form of a diary. Years later, the notes formed the basis of this book, an account of his experiences in the war. The book reads quickly, as he leaps through large portions of time with only small notes and then slows down to give accounts of particularly brutal battles and incidents. The result is similar to many other first hand accounts of combat, with descriptions of fear, terror, hunger, terrible cold and confusion that seem to be universal. Koschorrek's story is both unique and universal. It was a good read, and if you'd like to understand what life was like for a soldier in World War II, I'd certainly recommend this book.

The book needed a better editor. There were enough mistakes in spelling and punctuation to make me notice. In addition, the names of some of the people in the book seem to change, often on the same page. It's already a large cast of characters, and confusing the issue is a problem.

In addition, the maps used in the book are poorly drawn and don't really provide much of a sense of location to the battles described. Other than Stalingrad, I had no idea where on a map of the Soviet Union these battles were fought.

After a visit to Berlin, I felt like I understood the Western front of WWII much more than I understood the Eastern front. After mentioning this to my dad, he bought me two books the famous "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer and this book, which is less well-known.

In many ways, I preferred this book to the former. The translation was more faithful, so it some ways it felt like I was listening to a German with excellent command of English, but who spoke with German mannerism. I also preferred After a visit to Berlin, I felt like I understood the Western front of WWII much more than I understood the Eastern front. After mentioning this to my dad, he bought me two books the famous "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer and this book, which is less well-known.

In many ways, I preferred this book to the former. The translation was more faithful, so it some ways it felt like I was listening to a German with excellent command of English, but who spoke with German mannerism. I also preferred the broad experience he had in many theaters of battle besides engagements in the Soviet Union.

I was also impressed with his humanity! This may be a bit of a retcon (I'm not sure when he wrote the memoir as opposed to the notes sewn into his jacket) but he mentioned in several places how he didn't want to commit the atrocities so many of his other soldiers did. This helped me read this as a soldier's story rather than a Nazi soldier's story. . more

As a report transmitting a German front line soldier&aposs experience, Koschorrek&aposs book could be recommended, if it didn&apost contain some dubious claims that arouse the suspicion of propaganda serving political-ideological purposes.

I&aposm referring to the descriptions of Soviet massacres against their own civilian population accused of collaborating with the enemy, which the author claims to have witnessed during the German troops&apos retreat from the river Inhul to Voznesensk on the southern Bug (Mikolayi As a report transmitting a German front line soldier's experience, Koschorrek's book could be recommended, if it didn't contain some dubious claims that arouse the suspicion of propaganda serving political-ideological purposes.

I'm referring to the descriptions of Soviet massacres against their own civilian population accused of collaborating with the enemy, which the author claims to have witnessed during the German troops' retreat from the river Inhul to Voznesensk on the southern Bug (Mikolayiv Oblast, Ukraine) in March 1944 (pages 230, 235/236 and 242/243 of the English translation).

As two historians familiar with the subject matter informed me in response to my related inquiry, such massacres did in fact happen - but only in isolated cases and mainly in the areas that had been annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939/40, not on territory that had been part of the USSR before 1939. According to these historians there is no indication that such massacres - as Koschorrek claims - were falsely blamed on the Germen troops. Such wouldn't have been necessary anyway, after German units, including such of the Wehrmacht, had copiously provided for mass graves in the course of the extermination of the Jews (about 2 ½ million victims from the occupied Soviet territories), the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war (about 3 million out of 5.5 million Soviet prisoners of war did not survive captivity), the so-called fight against partisans (300,000 - 350,000 civilians killed in Belorussia alone, about half a million in total in all occupied Soviet territories) and also during the retreat (killing of prison inmates, brutally carried-out forced evacuations, in some cases also massacres of civilians like at Borissov and Ozarichi in Belorussia, and wherever possible the "scorched earth" destruction that left local civilians with little if anything to subsist on).

None of all this is mentioned by Koschorrek according to his memoirs the German side was obviously so gentlemanlike as a rule that the author was deeply shocked when an non-commissioned officer Schwarz killed Soviet wounded with a shot in the head so as not to be eventually shot in the back by them. And then there is the touching story of the Ukrainian kitchen helper Katya and her constant worry about the soldiers from Koschorrek's unit, who she had grown so fond of .

It may be that Korschorrek, as a frontline soldier fighting for his life in the phase of German retreats, did not or only marginally get in contact with crimes of his own side. But it would also be an extraordinary and accordingly improbable coincidence if, out of millions of Wehrmacht soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front, it had happened to be the machine-gunner Koschorrek and his comrades who became witnesses of some of the few massacres committed by Soviet troops against Soviet civilians accused of collaboration, and that in areas of southern Ukraine that had already belonged to the Soviet Union before 1939 (it is also a seemingly improbable coincidence, incidentally, that Koschorrek's unit, as he later claims, should have taken part in the retaking of the East Prussian town of Nemmersdorf and he should thus have become witness to the atrocities committed there by Soviet troops and loudly decried by NS propaganda). Given that this is also the (at least to my knowledge) so far only description by a German soldier of massacres committed by Soviet troops against Soviet civilians, I consider skepticism to be very appropriate.

In addition there is the contemporary context of Mr. Koschorrek's claims: when his book was published for the first time in 1998, the controversy about the first Wehrmacht War Crimes exhibition was still under way, and a fake version of Stalin's order 0428 of 17.11.1941 (so-called "torch-men order"), according to which Soviet special units were instructed to put on German uniforms and commit massacres against the Soviet civilian population in order to stoke up hatred against the German invaders, roamed the related discussions (see Christian Hartmann/Jürgen Zarusky, Stalins "Fackelmänner-Befehl" vom November 1941, in: Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, issue 4/2000, pages 667-674). Could it be that Mr. Koschorrek tried to provide assistance to the "torch-men" myth?

Given such doubts about the accuracy and honesty of certain claims, my evaluation of this book cannot be a good one.


ISBN 13: 9780760321980

Koschorrek, Gunter

This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

For the German soldier fighting under Hitler, keeping a diary was strictly forbidden. So Gunter 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 lost𠅊nd did not come to light until some 40 years later when Koschorrek was reunited with his daughter in America. It is this remarkable document, a unique day-to-day account of the common German soldier’s experience, that makes up the memoir that is Blood Red Snow.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Gunther K. Koschorrek was a machine gunner on the Russian front in WWII. He lives in Germany, having retired from his job as managing director of a sales company.


Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on. As keeping a diary was strictly forbidden, he sewed the pages into the lining of his thick winter coat and deposited them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing and it was when he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow.

The author was a keen recruit at initial training and his excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. The horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front.

This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, over five decades later, the fulfillment of a responsibility he feels to honor the memory of those who perished. Gunter K. Koschorrek was a machine-gunner on the Russian front in WWII. He lives in Germany, having retired from his job as managing director of a sales company.


Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on. As keeping a diary was strictly forbidden, he sewed the pages into the lining of his thick winter coat and deposited them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing and it was when he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow.

The author was a keen recruit at initial training and his excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. The horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front.

This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, over five decades later, the fulfillment of a responsibility he feels to honor the memory of those who perished. Gunter K. Koschorrek was a machine-gunner on the Russian front in WWII. He lives in Germany, having retired from his job as managing director of a sales company.


Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

For anyone seeking to understand the experiences of the ordinary German soldier during World War II, Blood Red Snow provides an excellent starting point" - Military Illustrated A horrifying personal story of World War II's most savage front" - Military Book Club (USA) Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty . Read More

For anyone seeking to understand the experiences of the ordinary German soldier during World War II, Blood Red Snow provides an excellent starting point" - Military Illustrated A horrifying personal story of World War II's most savage front" - Military Book Club (USA) Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow. The author's excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit and their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front. This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished. Read Less


Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front, Gunter K. Koschorrek - History

Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)


Review of
Blood Red Snow - The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front
By Gunter K Koschorrek
ISBN 9781848325968
Published by Frontline Books (www.frontline-books.com )
GBP £13.99

USE THE CODE "25PERCFRONT" and RECEIVE 25% of the RRP WHEN ORDERING FROM THE PUBLISHER

The author was an “ordinary” German soldier who served in the hellish environment of the Eastern Front during World War 2. His memoir relates these horrific experiences and it draws the reader in so that he feels that he too is in the frontline standing next to the author. The Eastern Front was known for its barbaric conditions and ferocity. It became a butcher’s ground and the chances of survival for a German soldier were slim.

The author disobeyed orders and tried keeping a diary of events. The first attempt at the diary got lost during combat and subsequently he hid his notes inside the lining of his tunic. Historians and readers will be thankful that he did this. He passed these notes to his mother when on home leave but they were then lost for some forty years. His daughter moved to America with the author’s wife after their divorce and he lost contact with them. Thankfully his daughter decided to trace her father and after meeting him presented him with the notes he had made during the conflict.

The memoir describes his first battle experiences and the excitement that this causes. The text makes the reader’s adrenaline flow and the excellent descriptions make you feel that you are manning his heavy machinegun alongside the author. You feel the bullets flying past and the horrors of Stalingrad. A huge German army attacked Stalingrad and few survived the breakout to return to the German lines. You sense the haste of the men trying to escape the urban conflict in the streets of this famous city and to get back to the main German line across the (frozen) river.

Many of his fellow companions’ manners and characters are described. They all had different reactions to the squalor and the closeness of death. In one chapter he describes how his heavy machine gun was under the sights of a Russian sniper. The author narrowly missed death as the sniper’s bullet passed close by. When he mentioned this to his number two in the machine gun team the number two decided to have a look to see if he could see the sniper. He did not see the sniper but was “rewarded” with a fatal shot to the head. A replacement number two was found quickly and a similar experience awaited him too. Luckily this man eventually recovered from a head wound from a sniper’s bullet and the author eventually met him many months later recovering in hospital.

Just before these men were killed / wounded the author discusses the bonds of comradeship that are found in frontline troops. How they try to look after each other and how they sacrifice their lives for their comrades. As you read the book you feel that these men are also your friends and together you are suffering from these horrors. When the author relates how they died you too feel the loss of a friend.

Such is the eloquent style of the author’s writing that anyone wishing to experience the deprivations of the Russian Front is highly recommended to read this excellent first-hand account. This memoir will always rate highly amongst those for the Russian Front and the author has done historians a great service by noting his exploits on those slips of papers that went missing for 40 years.


Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

We're sorry, we couldn't find results for your search.

Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front

For anyone seeking to understand the experiences of the ordinary German soldier during World War II, Blood Red Snow provides an excellent starting point.

Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow.

The author's excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit and their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death.

He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front.

This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished.

Product Information:
&bull ISBN: 9781526781994
&bull Author: Gunter K. Koschorrek
&bull Publisher: Frontline Books
&bull Format: Paperback
&bull Pages: 302
&bull Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 2.8 cm


/> Günter K. Koschorrek

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Mike
Gabriele Goldstone
Nathan Trachta
Averell

Dennis Meier
one of the best german soldier memoires about ww2 i have ever read

Bogdan

Isaac
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

Marquise
Betsy

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