Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 12 Dec 2019 01:55

Been thinkjing of buying, as I like first person accounts books. IF you have actuaslly read it, your opinion.

https://www.biblio.com/book/deadly-comb ... 1244443289

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Cult Icon
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Dec 2019 02:38

This memoir was one of the first that I read and it was impressive at the time. I need to read it again after so many years.

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hucks216
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by hucks216 » 12 Dec 2019 15:54

A good book. Think this was the second memoir I read and I ended up buying a second copy after losing my first, something I wouldn't normally bother doing.

book lover
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by book lover » 13 Dec 2019 03:08

One of the best!

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Sheldrake
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by Sheldrake » 13 Dec 2019 10:41

Memoir of the Eastern Front by an infantryman who becomes an infantry officer Good read and and excellent value for the price in your link.

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hucks216
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by hucks216 » 13 Dec 2019 12:45

What I like about it is that it isn't about a soldier in a high profile unit - it isn't Grossdeutschland or Panzer-Lehr, or any SS division, it is just one of the many 'normal' infantry divisions that made up the bulk of the German army in WW2.

Larso
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Re: Your opinion on this book, only if you have read it

Post by Larso » 23 Dec 2019 13:00

You probably saw it but here's the review I recently posted for Bidermann's book. I read the Kindle edition and had no problems. When he writes specifically about combat action it is quite good. From memory he was involved with the unit's post war association, so he was able to check on some details if needed. Probably because of this, it does read a bit like a unit history in places.

'In Deadly Combat' by Gottlob Bidermann

Bidermann served with the antitank company of the 437th Regiment of the 132nd Infantry Division. He joins his unit as it is involved in battle in the Crimea. He operates with a 37mm anti-tank gun and surprisingly to me, this was often in an attack situation. The other surprising thing was that it was successful against the large Russian tanks. He writes in considerable detail about several such actions, where the pressure of very close quarter engagements is clear. The fighting overall in the Crimea was intense. The Soviets threw many thousands of men into attacks and the German victory must have been a very close run thing. Many of Bidermann’s comrades are killed along the way though.

After its Crimean stint the division is sent to the Leningrad Front in late 1942. Bidermann fights at Lake Ladoga, Gaitolovo and others. They face mass attacks and conduct increasingly desperate defence. Bidermann is now a junior officer and we hear his thoughts behind his orders. When he goes on leave mid 1943, he writes the division has suffered 4,520 KIA at that point in the war. I don’t believe any of the Western Allies had a division that suffered deaths to that extent.

Finally Bidermann finishes the war in the Courland. Again there is much desperate defence. The final days here are quite interesting, so too the first days of his imprisonment. There is then a lot on the tragedy of years as a POW in Russia. There are some stories where you almost weep. This said, it must be remembered it was far worse for many Soviet prisoners of the Germans.

Bidermann does write a lot about killing and personal combat. Indeed, as the war continues, his account gets grimmer. However given the scope of his service it was clear he had more to say on this if he’d chosen. His memoir is quite general in long patches, almost a regimental or divisional history at times. This is useful for situational awareness but again, Bidermann could’ve said more about his personal deeds. Interestingly, it is when he writes more generally that he can get a bit lurid in discussing battle. I felt he is more grounded when he reveals himself in the action. Overall, a very informative account of very front-line service - Highly Recommended! 4 stars

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