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The Forgotten Soldier

 
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The Forgotten Soldier - 3/28/2011 8:16:14 PM   
Zoetermeer

 

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Wow. If you ever want to know what life was really like on the ground in the Eastern Front (from the perspective of a German soldier), read this. Fascinating and horrifying at the same time. What an impressive book. I haven't finished yet, but I've just gotten to the part where he's been incorporated into the Gross Deutschland.

Also, the first part of the book is a great look at what it really must have been like for the Rollbahn. Now I feel like I really know what's going on in those hexes between the railheads and the front!

I really wish somebody in Hollywood would read this and turn it into either a long movie or a Band of Brothers-like series. The first half almost has a Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now-like feel to it -- first Poland, then Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, Voronezh, then the front. Each stop gets progressively more chaotic and hellish.
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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/28/2011 8:47:40 PM   
Paul Roberts

 

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Don't some people question Sajer's truthfulness in this account?

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/28/2011 9:40:21 PM   
map66

 

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My memory (admittedly vague), is that while Sajer did lie about what unit he was in to cover up the fact he was in the SS (the Wiking division?), his account in general is still used as a reliable source for details of the period.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/28/2011 9:55:32 PM   
Berkut

 

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Sajer's book was challenged on historical grounds on many occasions, but I think the general consensus has settled that he probably was who he said he was, and as he stated he never intended (or cared) to write a historically accurate account from the standpoint of when/where/what, but simply to recount his memoirs as he remembered them. So there are some details that are probably wrong, because he just didn't remember them correctly, and never bothered with any fact checking.

But the "truth" of The Forgotten Soldier has very little to do with the literal truth of the events that it relates.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/28/2011 10:21:58 PM   
WilliePete

 

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coincidentally, I just finished reading the book myself. It's a great read, but like you said it may not be 100% accurate. One possible inaccuracy is that he talks about Hitler Youth units marching by him at Belgorod during Kursk carrying signs that read "Young Lions" and "The world belongs to us." I thought that Hitler Youth first fought with the 12SS at Normandy, right?

Either way, it's still a good book.

< Message edited by WilliePete -- 3/28/2011 10:48:59 PM >


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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 3:31:19 AM   
marty_01

 

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Great book.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 6:41:31 AM   
Lrfss


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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

Great book.


Have 1st Edition not for sale...signed...Blue/Greenish Hard Cover no Wrap though a great book...

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 7:06:32 AM   
Ramses


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It is on my night table right now, great read. There should be a movie coming out in the future.

< Message edited by Ramses -- 3/29/2011 7:07:14 AM >

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 4:42:14 PM   
Deerslayer


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Great read for sure.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 5:13:10 PM   
hfarrish


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Is the comment re: a movie a hope or an actual fact that there is something in production? That would be great. Picked up the book when I was 14 or so and its always had a solid place on my shelf.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 6:04:48 PM   
Lanconic

 

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There is a movie and the trailers are online. It looks even better than 'The Cross of Iron'

An exercise in depression if you are looking for German victories.

However, if you ever wonder what it was like, to be outside Beograd, on July 4th 1943
That information is there.

The book is NOT a historical reference, the author never made such a claim.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/29/2011 9:45:44 PM   
Termite2

 

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The movie was cancelled in july 2009; backers ran out of money

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 2:43:56 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lrfss


quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

Great book.


Have 1st Edition not for sale...signed...Blue/Greenish Hard Cover no Wrap though a great book...


Whooo, that's something special.

I agree with the idea that he was actually SS and not GD. It fits a little better that way.


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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 2:46:58 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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Some vivid characters in that one. "The Veteran" was he a physical person or a character of all veterans ?


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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 3:04:06 AM   
Blond_Knight


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I always pictured "The Veteran" looking like James Coburn in COI or Clint Eastwood.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 3:19:18 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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That's funny, I could never put a face on the guy. Just a uniform, a weapon, an outline. Dunno about him.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 3:43:10 PM   
barkorn45

 

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Have read it 3 times, the first time in one sitting.As for authenticity if he made up the story would'nt he have bumped up his kill #'s,as far as i can recall he only shot one russian that he mentions during the whole war.

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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 5:58:21 PM   
Lrfss


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From: Spring, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeffrey H.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lrfss


quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

Great book.


Have 1st Edition not for sale...signed...Blue/Greenish Hard Cover no Wrap though a great book...


Whooo, that's something special.

I agree with the idea that he was actually SS and not GD. It fits a little better that way.


He was in the Waffen SS, though I don't recall which unit as it's been like 25 yrs plus or so since I rec'vd the signed book from a former Das Reich member friend who passed away long since. They would go to the reunions and such and of of course slam warm beer and tell war stories, etc.

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/30/2011 6:36:41 PM   
Rasputitsa


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From: Bedfordshire UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: barkorn45
Have read it 3 times, the first time in one sitting.As for authenticity if he made up the story would'nt he have bumped up his kill #'s,as far as i can recall he only shot one russian that he mentions during the whole war.


I don't know about authenticity, but I read somewhere that only 5% of soldiers killed anyone, same with fighter pilots, where most of the 'kills' were achieved by a few aces. So that part could be authentic.

(in reply to barkorn45)
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RE: The Forgotten Soldier - 3/31/2011 8:04:13 AM   
JeffK


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I believe the writer had serious credibility problems IFF the book is taken as historical.

However, It provides geat "feel" as to being on the receiving end of the Russian Steamroller!

In a similar vein, what are the views as to Paul Carell's works?


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