To the Gate of Hell: A Memoir of a Panzer Crewman

Overview

Until seriously wounded on the Eastern Front in August 1944, Armin Böttger experienced the horrors of the Second World War from the perspective of a panzer radio operator. In his very personal account, Böttger relates in a sober and realistic manner the fighting and experiences on and behind the front. He details his involvement in battles across Europe in honest terms.

He describes vividly the cruelty and senselessness of war, along with the injustices and irritations of army ...

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To the Gate of Hell: A Memoir of a Panzer Crewman

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Overview

Until seriously wounded on the Eastern Front in August 1944, Armin Böttger experienced the horrors of the Second World War from the perspective of a panzer radio operator. In his very personal account, Böttger relates in a sober and realistic manner the fighting and experiences on and behind the front. He details his involvement in battles across Europe in honest terms.

He describes vividly the cruelty and senselessness of war, along with the injustices and irritations of army life. The author was by no means a hero: he admits that he volunteered for the Wehrmacht to avoid sitting his school leaving exams (but obtain his Abitur leaving certificate). He also concedes that he lied about his health in an attempt to avoid being sent to the Eastern Front and was determined to stay alive at all cost.

The book features almost 200 photographs taken by the author during the war and includes images taken in action.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Post
...an alternately adoring, clinical, fascinating and creepy take on one of history's most evil men.
Military Illustrated
These are the memoirs of one of Hitler's secretaries and no one could be closer to the man than her. She describes all the great events of the Second World War from the perspective of his headquarters, including the invasions of Poland, France and Russia. Intriguing eye witness material makes the book a fascinating insight into the dictator and his regime.
The Week Magazine
Christa Schroeder's memoir of the 12 years she spent working for the Fuhrer gives a unique insight into his intelligence, temper and his personal quirks.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848326439
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
  • Publication date: 5/19/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 695,232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Translator's Note x

Author's Introduction xi

Chapter 1 The Reich Work Service (RAD) 1

Chapter 2 A Recruit Twice Over 3

Chapter 3 Transporter Missions 11

Chapter 4 The Death Sentence 18

Chapter 5 I Join 24.Panzer Division in France 20

Chapter 6 Second Class Soldiers? 26

Chapter 7 Interlude in Northern Italy: The Eastern Front 32

Chapter 8 In the Southern Ukraine: Defensive Fighting on the Dnieper 39

Chapter 9 Behind the Lines at Kirovograd 45

Chapter 10 The Swine in a Corporal's Uniform 47

Chapter 11 On the Defensive in the Nikopal Bridgehead 50

Chapter 12 With Damaged Panzer on the Russian Highway 55

Chapter 13 Journeying on Leave 59

Chapter 14 The Fighting at Jassy 61

Chapter 15 Awards and Decorations: Pro Virtute et Merito 67

Chapter 16 A Mysterious Camp 72

Chapter 17 Seriously Wounded: Virtute in bello 74

Chapter 18 Reserve Hospital: News of the SS Miracle Weapon 79

Chapter 19 Courier in East Prussia 84

Chapter 20 Special Leave: Memories of School, the Jungvolk and Hitler Jugend 86

Chapter 21 In East Prussia Again 90

Chapter 22 Escaping the East Prussian Encirclement 92

Chapter 23 Courage instead of Obedience 96

Chapter 24 Flight into Us Captivity 98

Chapter 25 Released - Home with Anxiety and Luck 101

Chapter 26 The Transition from Wartime Existence 104

Chapter 27 The Question of the Simple Soldier's War Guilt 108

Appendix 1 Field Post Letters to my Mother 118

Appendix 2 Essays at High School, 1939-1940 122

Bibliography 127

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