Wolfgang Faust was the driver of a Tiger I tank with the Wehrmacht Heavy Panzer Battalions, seeing extensive combat action on the Eastern Front in 1943-45. This memoir is his brutal and deeply personal account of the Russian Front´s appalling carnage. Depicting a running tank engagement lasting 72 hours, Faust describes how his Tiger unit fought pitched battles in the snows of Western Russia against the full might of the Red Army: the T34s, the Stalin tanks, the Sturmovik bombers, and the feared Katyusha rocket brigades. His astonishing testimony reveals the merciless decisions that panzer crews made in action, the devastating power of their weaponry, and the many ways that men met their deaths in the snow and ice of the Ostfront. First published in the late 1940s, this memoir´s savage realism shocked the postwar German public. Some were outraged at the book´s final scenes while others wrote that ´´now, at last, I know what our men did in the East´´. Today it stands as one of the great semiautobiographical accounts of warfare in World War II - a crescendo of horror, grim survival, and a fatalistic acceptance of the panzer man´s destiny. Originally published in the German Federal Republic as Panzerdammerung (Panzer Twilight). The only other surviving memoir by this author is The Last Panther - an astonishing account of panzer warfare in the final hours of the Third Reich. 1. Language: English. Narrator: George Backman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/026473/bk_adbl_026473_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel´s 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight´s Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman. Told with the vivid detail of an impassioned eyewitness, his rare and moving memoir has become a classic in the literature of World War II, a first-person chronicle of the glory - and the inevitable tragedy - of a superb soldier fighting Hitler´s war. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bronson Pinchot. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/016854/bk_adbl_016854_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a highly decorated Wehrmacht soldier and outstanding panzer commander. After serving as a gunlayer on a Pz.Mk.III during Barbarossa, he led a company of Tigers at Kursk. Later he led a company of King Tiger panzers at Normandy and in late 1944 commanded a battle group (12 King Tigers and a flak company) against the Russians in Hungary in the rank of junior, later senior lieutenant (from November 1944, his final rank). Only 489 of these King Tiger tanks were ever built. They were the most powerful heavy tanks to see service, and only one kind of shell could penetrate their armor at a reasonable distance. Every effort had to be made to retrieve any of them bogged down or otherwise immobilized, which led to many towing adventures. The author has a fine memory and eye for detail. His account is easy to listen to and not technical, and adds substantially to the knowledge of how the German Panzer Arm operated in the Second World War. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Nigel Patterson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/011298/bk_tant_011298_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Like many Germans, Berlin schoolboy Erwin Bartmann fell under the spell of the Zeitgeist cultivated by the Nazis. Convinced he was growing up in the best country in the world, he dreamt of joining the Leibstandarte, Hitler´s elite Waffen SS unit. Tall, blond, blue-eyed, and just 17-years-old, Erwin fulfilled his dream on Mayday 1941, when he gave up his apprenticeship at the Glaser bakery in Memeler Strasse and walked into the Lichterfelde barracks in Berlin as a raw, volunteer recruit. On arrival at the Eastern Front in late summer 1941, Erwin was assigned to a frontline communications squad and soon discovered that survival was a matter of luck - or the protection of a guardian angel. Good fortune finally deserted Erwin on 11 July 1943 when shrapnel sizzled through his lung during the epic Battle of Kursk-Prokhorovka. Following a period of recovery, and promotion to Unterscharführer, Erwin took up a post as machine-gun instructor with the Ausbildung und Ersatz Bataillon. From the war on the southern sector of the Eastern Front to a bomb-shattered Berlin populated largely by old men and demoralized lonely women, this candid eyewitness account offers a unique and sometimes surprising perspective on the life of a young Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler volunteer. 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Foster. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/007425/bk_tant_007425_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Panzer Gunner is a unique memoir of a Canadian serving in a German armored division. Bruno Friesen explains what it was like to fight in a tank on the Eastern Front and provides details on the battlefield performance of the Panzer IV tank. Six months before World War II erupted in 1939, Bruno Friesen was sent to Germany by his father in hopes of a better life. Friesen was drafted into the Wehrmacht three years later and ended up in the 7th Panzer Division. Serving as a gunner in a Panzer IV tank and then a Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, Friesen experienced intense combat against the Soviets in Romania, Lithuania, and West Prussia. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David de Vries. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/010779/bk_tant_010779_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Actions speak louder than words. In the days to come, the Goddess of Victory will bestow her laurels only on those who are prepared to act with daring. (Heinz Guderian) Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was one of the most respected commanders and theoreticians of World War II. An innovative tank commander, he was a pioneer of German Blitzkrieg tactics and therefore a hugely influential figure in the way the war was fought. Guderian´s profile was not always what might have been expected for a man of his abilities and influence, due to the shape of his career. As a German commander during the war, Guderian fought for one of the most appalling regimes in history, so while his skills are respected, it is hard to celebrate a man who led the troops of the Reich, especially to such success. Erwin Rommel, the legendary Desert Fox, managed to somewhat sidestep this stigma through his glamour and remarkable achievements spanning the length of the war, but Guderian was out of power for over a year, and when he returned, it was not to a position of battlefield command, giving him fewer opportunities than Rommel to build his reputation in the eyes of the Western media. The reasons for Guderian´s time out of command are tied to the reason for his lower profile - he was a traditional German career officer rather than an ideologically driven Nazi, willing to challenge Adolf Hitler´s opinions on military matters. This, together with his outspoken attitude, led to his loss of favor and dismissal from command. At the same time, being a career military man rather than a Nazi officer also meant Guderian was not as directly involved in the atrocities of the war, and he did not gain the infamy of his SS contemporaries. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/094459/bk_acx0_094459_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
During World War II, 110,000 Japanese Americans were removed from their homes and incarcerated by the U.S. government. In Looking After Minidoka the ´´internment camp´´ years become a prism for understanding three generations of Japanese American life, from immigration to the end of the twentieth century. Nakadate blends history, poetry, rescued memory, and family stories in an American narrative of hope and disappointment, language and education, employment and social standing, prejudice and pain, communal values and personal dreams. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jason Drew Panzer. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/020185/bk_acx0_020185_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Many years after the deaths of my parents, my aunt handed me a box filled with letters that my father had written to my mother over the period from 1940 to 1945. This was the starting point of a journey for me to rediscover the father I had never really known. This is the story of John Searancke´s parents, told mostly from the side of his father, Eddie Searancke, from the time of his calling up in early 1940 to his release from a prisoner of war camp in Germany in 1945, thence his return to England to try to pick up the pieces of his old life. Nothing could ever be quite the same afterwards. The letters take listeners through five captivating years, telling of the ups and downs, the plots and counterplots, as Eddie rose through the ranks to end his war as a captain, elevated to that rank in the field as his troops faced the formidable might of the SS Panzers. The letters also reveal where his battle came to an abrupt end, in an orchard surrounded by the enemy and captured after a series of bloody skirmishes as the British army spearheaded its way from the beaches of Normandy. The journey as a prisoner across France and Germany in a truck, with comrades dying each day, may be as hard to listen to as it is to tell, particularly when a new life and new harsh rules had to be learned and rigidly enforced in a prison camp in northern Germany, the final destination. This is written as part memoir, part fictionalized retelling and partly in letter format; John draws together all sources to recreate the five years of war and hardship that the letters span. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Nicholas C Jermyn. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/072725/bk_acx0_072725_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.