Review: Once I had a Comrade

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Joined: 29 Sep 2004 19:54
Location: Canada

Review: Once I had a Comrade

Post by sniper1shot » 15 Oct 2006 00:16

Title: Once I had a Comrade
Authour: R.W. Byrd
ISBN: 1 874622 58 2
Publisher: Helion & Company Ltd.
Stars: 4
(out of 5)

Came across this memoir on and after a couple of emails with Tom about the book, I purchased it. Not disappointed.
The book is written by the son-in-law of Karl Roth who was a Tank Maintanence soldier. It cover the combat history of the 36th Panzer Regt during the war. The book is broken down into 5 parts from before the war to after the war, with a few chapters in each part. Everything from the first attacks in Poland and France through the Balkans and the battles in Russia are covered, incl Stalingrad. The Regt ended up in the Courland Pocket which I found very interesting as I have not read too many memoirs from this theatre. All 6 battles are covered with how the 36th Regt was employed and the ultimate fate of "battle groups" that end up getting fragmented off.
There are enough "first person" accounts of fellow soldiers to keep the reader well informed of what was really happening. The book is well covered in photos from both the Bundsarchive and fellow soldiers incl many that I have never seen before.
I did find the book did jump around a bit with the story of Karl Roth, then it goes to his friends and then back to the unit then back to Karl. This in no way detracts from the book but did, at times not "flow" smoothly.
It is more a unit history than a memoir.
Still highly recommended as both a memoir (as it is called) and definately as a Unit history

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