A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.
©1992 Siegfried Knappe Charles T. Brusaw (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Great story- 6 stars. Narrator was flat as as the sheets from which he read. It's almost as though he deliberately avoided any inflection so as not to lead anyone to believe he had any sympathy for the author and his story. Oh well. Rare to find axis memoirs on audio- recommend.
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
In typical German fashion, the story unfolds in a very clinical and sterile way like a battlefield report. I did appreciate some of the details, especially the last days in Berlin at Hitler's bunker, but overall I felt myself wanting for some feeling or philosophical enlightenment on the war itself.I felt there was more to the story despite the author's best attempts to downplay his knowledge (and perhaps culpability) of Nazi atrocities. It's hard for me to rationalize such ignorance considering he was an officer in the general staff.
Certainly one of the best books on WWII that I've read. It's much more a soldier's diary than "a shocking look inside Hitler's war machine", although there is inevitably some of that. It follows Knappe from the end of high school through the army's battles - Poland, France, Italy, USSR, the final days in Hitler's bunker and Berlin, and his capture and imprisonment by the Soviets for the 4 years following the war. Along the way we glimpse the European countryside and German gentile culture, family life, love and marriage, as well as disillusionment and disbelief at the tragedy and horrors inflicted both by, and on, Germany.
I enjoyed the book but I am a WW2 History buff. The book is very dry and not much in the way of building a story. more information then anything else. It was what I expected. A German soldiers account of WW2
This was an interesting look at a soldier who made it through the entire war and Russian captivity - and came home.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
I really enjoyed the description of life in Germany before, during and after the war. I found it fascinating that this man was in Hitlers bunker at the end, and his description of events is memorable.
This guys voice would bore you if he was reading Penthouse Forum. He is monotone and just plain bites.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
The utter patriotism of the soldier fighting for his country and his brothers in arms without the knowledge of the atrocities his government was committing makes for a very important read. The propaganda that kept the soldiers fighting to the bloody end shows the power of the media. This is a powerful read that goes along way to explain why millions of people followed Hitler.
I don't usually enjoy books about war, but this book kept me interested throughout. The author seems to be a very honest person, although I still find it incomprehensible he could not have at least heard rumors of the concentration camps. His book, however, is very enlightening, being the memories of a soldier deeply engulfed in the German military and a prisoner of war even longer held by the Soviets.
Soldat delivers the reader a rarely seen point of view of WW2. It is interesting to hear Knappe detail how nationalism brought him into his adult life as a professional soldier and officer in the Germany army before, during, and after the war. Of particular interest, despite being the part I wouldn't expect to enjoy, is his recollection of life post war.
The narration is the best I've heard on Audible and I wish the other books I've listened to so far could meet these standards.
Knappe's story is so compelling because he is authentic, he shares honestly the pain and emotions of war and its aftermath and goes into the day to day business of being a Wehrmacht artilleryman. His story benefits from a wide variety of experience, from Russia, to occupied Italy to France to the fall of Berlin.
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