Tigers in the Mud

The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius
Narrated by: Paul Woodson
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (569 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

World War II began with a metallic roar as the German Blitzkrieg raced across Europe, spearheaded by the most dreaded weapon of the 20th century: the Panzer. No German tank better represents that thundering power than the infamous Tiger, and Otto Carius was one of the most successful commanders to ever take a Tiger into battle, destroying well over 150 enemy tanks during his incredible career.

©1992 J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Tigers in the Mud

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A troubled, yet worthwhile read...

This book was a rollercoaster of disturbing, captivating, informative, admiring, and repulsive feelings, unlike any other book I had come across.

Herr Carius is certainly a talented, sharp frontline tank commander. An ace. He is also unrepentant man of a mixed bag of convictions, and my opinion of him changed multiple times throughout the book, making this review quite hard to write.

First of all, know that this book was written initially for his fellow members of heavy tank battalion 502, and only afterwards changed for the public. If you interested in the nitty gritty of life and employment this vaunted formation, this book is a must have! It is a must have if you want to imagine what was it like to fight in Tiger I. You will know intimately it’s drawbacks and strengths, how they fought and set alight, how was it like to pull sentry duty in it, how small lapses in coordination led to death and defeat. These things are greatest strength of the book.

Otto Carius reserves his admiration for frontline soldiers. It is not clear how he feels about Nazism though. On one hand, he keeps it at a distance, yet a lot of what he says reminded me quite a bit of the sentiments expressed by Hitler himself in his autobiography/manifesto, which ought to make one wonder. Ultimately, Otto Carius may not be a genuine Nazi, one can get a sense that he has more things in common with them than he cares to admit.

There is a great deal of anger to be found in the book, anger pours at us right from the preface, and beyond. For example, Carius is furious about civilians helping US soldiers in the final days of the war, he sees them as lowliest traitors, backstabbers. Yet, few chapters earlier, Carius expects to Soviet village kid to reveal to him the disposition of the Red Army. To him, Soviet civilians are supposed to help the invaders, yet Germans were despicable to do the exact same thing. Such contradictions appear here and there in this book.

I’ve been taken somewhat aback by frontline soldier’s memoir which had shown such persistent disdain to one’s enemy. He disdains Soviet soldiers, at other points, he disdains US soldiers, sneeringly calling them “liberators” with thinly veiled contempt. Much later, he grudgingly admits Soviet competence compared to GIs, which sounds less like a gesture of respect, but rather as a further barb at his American opponents (yet, amusingly, entertaining the idea that these much maligned Allies may arm and supply them to lead the united fight against Soviet Union).

To Carius, Wehrmacht is free of blame. They are heroes. Saviours. Frontline SS are heroes, even. To him, WW2 was always about a valiant, selfless struggle against Bolshevism on the behalf of the West.

He is unrepentant, defiant to the last. He seems to believe that German mistakes in WW2 were largely tactical and strategic, nothing more.

It is this a worthwhile book? Yes it is. Especially if you want to delve into the lives of heavy tank battalion. BUT if you go through this book I urge you to also go through Hans Von Luck’s “Panzer Commander”. Contrast between Carius and Luck is tremendous.

Von Luck’s memoirs are a powerful foil to Carius, despite two men sharing similar roles in the war. Ideally, I would suggest Von Luck to be read first.

Ultimately, “Tigers in the Mud” paints a portrait of a fascinating, yet deeply flawed soldier.
I urge you strongly, however, read in the context with other German autobiographies, as Carius’ takeaways from the war are at odds with what other soldiers arrived to.







14 people found this helpful

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Great Listen!!!

loved it,read 2x before.Awesome, now Audible needs to do Panzer Aces 1,2 & 3 !!!!!

6 people found this helpful

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Astounding work

This book represents the war from the side of an army that was overwhelmingly outgunned and fought in some of the fiercest conditions imaginable. A truly illuminating book for anyone passionate about soldier war stories.

5 people found this helpful

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Wow!

what an intimate profile of German tank crews during WWII. This book is highly recommended for anyone looking for in depth insight on this type of genre.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Author is astonishingly arrogant

Cario has absolutely no self reflection regarding Germany’s invasion of Russia which he regards as a heroic fight again Bolshevism. His point about the typical German soldier only doing his duty is taken but there is zero acknowledgement of the context of that duty and the horrific atrocities committed by Germany. The narrator captured this arrogance but I found it grating to the extreme.

1 person found this helpful

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Another view of the german soldier

Good text well written, good narration and very instructive. The story is pretty long. Ideal for listening while driving.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Arrogance.

If you could sum up Tigers in the Mud in three words, what would they be?

Hubris. Arrogance. Resentment.

Has Tigers in the Mud turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all. Want to hear from all sides of a conflict.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Wouldn't make a film of this book.

Any additional comments?

Glad I listened to it to hear a different viewpoint. However, based on the authors opinion, the Nazi's won the war and the American forces provided no challenge.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

It is what it is....

I enjoy reading history from "the other perspective" however, that doesn't mean that the tellers biases should not be acknowledged. As a wargamer this book provides a lot of insight to German armor and tactics.

On the other hand old Otto views the German army through rose tinted glasses. He is a holocaust minimizer if not out and out denier. In the end one can reasonably conclude that he is an unrepentant Nazi with an interesting story to tell.

Worth a read, but I would recommend a deep dive into the role of the German army in the Holocaust as well as atrocities on the Eastern Front before reading this.

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  • WK
  • 06-22-20

Apologetics propaganda

I’ve read some German accounts before of World War II, this one out of the gate is unabashedly apologetics propaganda. I skipped around a couple of chapters, and when he expressed shock at Lithuanian ravages of Jewish businesses, as if this was shocking to him, I stopped listening. I don’t feel like he’s being genuinely truthful, so I don’t trust anything else he says. The performance and reading are fine, I’m just not interested in with the author has to say.

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Real first hand history

The book got better with each passing chapter. I enjoyed the narrative about the Eastern front