D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944
This is the hidden side of D Day which has fascinated readers around the world. Almost all accounts of D Day are told from the Allied perspective, with the emphasis on how German resistance was overcome on June 6th 1944. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers and gun emplacements of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest seaborne invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day? What were their experiences on facing the tanks, the flamethrowers and the devastating air superiority of the Allies? This book sheds fascinating light on these questions, bringing together statements made by German survivors after the war, when time had allowed them to reflect on their state of mind, their actions and their choices of June 6th. We see a perspective of D Day which deserves to be added to the historical record, in which ordinary German troops struggled to make sense of the onslaught that was facing them, and emerged stunned at the weaponry and sheer determination of the Allied soldiers. We see, too, how the Germans fought in the great coastal bunkers, perceived as impregnable fortresses, but in reality often becoming tombs for their crews. Above all, we now have the unheard human voices of the individual German soldiers - the men who are so often portrayed as a faceless mass. Book 2 in this unique series is also now available in e-book form.

D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 Details

TitleD DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944
Author
ReleaseApr 9th, 2015
PublisherDTZ History Publications
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Military Fiction

D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 Review

  • Chrissie
    January 1, 1970
    Shortly before D-Day (June 6, 1944) the author's grandfather, a military journalist writing for widely read German military magazines such as Signal and Die Wehrmacht, interviewed soldiers stationed along the Atlantic Wall. A decade later he tracked down some of the troops he had visited and spoke again with those he had interviewed. Then, in the following year 1955, he died. Holger Eckhertz has assembled his grandfather’s material and presents it here in this book. We are given interviews with Shortly before D-Day (June 6, 1944) the author's grandfather, a military journalist writing for widely read German military magazines such as Signal and Die Wehrmacht, interviewed soldiers stationed along the Atlantic Wall. A decade later he tracked down some of the troops he had visited and spoke again with those he had interviewed. Then, in the following year 1955, he died. Holger Eckhertz has assembled his grandfather’s material and presents it here in this book. We are given interviews with five men, one from each of the five beach landings (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword), which constituted the Normandy invasion. These are eyewitness accounts from German soldiers and officers who fought on D-Day and were lucky enough to survive. The author’s grandfather posed questions and the men replied. Here follow some of the questions posed:1. Did you feel an invasion was imminent? 2. What do you recall of the events of the day, June 6th? 3. How did the day develop and end for you? 4. Were you involved in the combat?5. Was this the first time you had been in hand-to-hand combat? 6. What was the experience of being under flame-thrower attacks like?7. What were your emotions?8. Were you confident of victory? 9. What were your relations like with the French? 10. What medical help was available?11. What happened after D-Day? 12. How did you feel having been captured and taken as prisoner?13. How were you treated as a prisoner?The replies are frank, clear, concise and very, very explicit. No wishy-washy answers ever! The five interviews are followed by a short postscript summarizing conclusions that can be drawn. The Germans were highly motivated; clearly German propaganda had succeeded. They felt they were defending a “United Europe” under Reich leadership against invaders. Surprise was what they felt when confronted by Allied troops’ aggression and determination. It was lack of resources that led to their inability to defend the Atlantic Wall. Luck determined if you lived or died. The audiobook is very well narrated by P.J. Ochlan. He employs a German accent that is crisp and clear, though I could not decipher the names of French towns.I am not giving this more than three stars because at times I found it difficult to follow. For two reasons. It is not exactly pleasant to read descriptive renditions of battle. Secondly, I have a limited military vocabulary so I had trouble with some of the terms employed. The book does not go into military tactics, and this I did appreciate. I am glad I read the book. Now I know what has happened in the bunkers I see on the walks I take along the beaches in France. What is told leaves sharp vivid pictures I will not soon forget.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to read -- given the graphic details of battle -- but gaining perspective on "the other side" makes it worthwhile. Read it and you'll feel as though you're eavesdropping on five very candid conversations.
  • David Eppenstein
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a collection of 5 interviews with men in the German army stationed in Normandy on D-Day. Each soldier was stationed at one of the 5 invasion beaches and tells the interviewer what the invasion was like from the German perspective. The interviewer was journalist working for the Nazi government at the time of the initial interviews which were to be used in an article in a military magazine. Because of the invasion the article was never written and the interviews remained unused until This book is a collection of 5 interviews with men in the German army stationed in Normandy on D-Day. Each soldier was stationed at one of the 5 invasion beaches and tells the interviewer what the invasion was like from the German perspective. The interviewer was journalist working for the Nazi government at the time of the initial interviews which were to be used in an article in a military magazine. Because of the invasion the article was never written and the interviews remained unused until 1954 when the interviewer decided to expand the interviews into a book and then went looking for the interviewed soldiers 10 years after D-Day. The book was never written, however, because the interviewer died the following year. The compiler and editor of this book is the grandson of the original interviewer who inherited the notes, transcripts, and drafts of his grandfather and decided to finish his work. We can all be grateful for this effort.I am not a big fan of WWII history. It was probably our last clean and simple war. By that I mean the issues were well defined and uncomplicated. Further, it was the first war in which mass media and especially film and photography were exploited to their fullest effect. Consequently, thanks to outlets like the History Channel and popular movies that war has been done to death and leaves very little to the imagination and has become almost boring to me. But there is one area of the history of this war and, in fact, almost all wars that escapes media exploitation and that is the truth of the experiences of the real frontline soldier and sailor. Of course there have been fictional works illustrating the rigors and horrors experienced by men in this position but these are fictions and their depictions can be dismissed as inventions of a overly dramatic author. However, when a work is purely the remembrances of the men that lived these events then they can't be dismissed or disregarded and these are the stories I love to find no matter what war they describe. In this book these soldiers experienced an invasion they all expected but never imagined the magnitude of the force they would be facing and their descriptions and their words are compelling.The interviews can certainly be criticized for their superficiality. Further, these were not high level officers but enlisted personnel or junior officers so we are not hearing much about strategy or tactics being employed by the German Army in preparation for an imminent invasion. The tone is very conversational between an interviewer and a combat veteran 10 years after the invasion and after the horrors of the Third Reich were fully publicized and known to all including the men that fought for it. It was very interesting to listen to their explanations and descriptions of attitudes and motivations. It was also a wonder to hear how dumbstruck they were when they viewed the invasion fleet and then the wealth of materiel that was being unloaded onto the beaches. One soldier couldn't get over the fact that the Allies had no horses or mules and that all their transports were mechanized meaning they had no fears of fuel shortages. To him this was incomprehensible but it also reinforced the propaganda that he had been fed that his enemy was a tool of the wealthy industrialists that were behind the Allies' opposition to the Reich. However, what is most stunning are the descriptions, the real descriptions, of how horrific war is, what modern weapons do to a human body, what the effect of constant bombardment has on a man's psyche, how exposure to these horrors numbs a person to the horror. Stories like this make it a lot easier to understand what we have learned to now call PTSD in our contemporary service people. Maybe if more books like this were published instead of those that glorify war and make heroes out of those lucky enough to survive, maybe there might be fewer wars. There is a second book that contains more interviews that were not included in this first book and I will begin that book immediately.
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  • Nikola Jankovic
    January 1, 1970
    “Samo” skup intervjua. Obavljeni su 1954., deset godina nakon iskrcavanja u Normandiji, sa nemačkim vojnicima i oficirima koji su se nalazili na plažama Normandije. Ali objavljeni su tek skoro, nakon što ih je uredio unuk novinara koji je obavljao intervjue pre 60+ godina, a pre toga 1944. posetio pozicije istih tih vojnika na plažama Francuske.Zanimljivo je dobro poznatu istoriju čitati kroz oči “neprijatelja” i gubitnika u ratu. Često razmišljam o običnim vojnicima Wehrmachta, koji su se našli “Samo” skup intervjua. Obavljeni su 1954., deset godina nakon iskrcavanja u Normandiji, sa nemačkim vojnicima i oficirima koji su se nalazili na plažama Normandije. Ali objavljeni su tek skoro, nakon što ih je uredio unuk novinara koji je obavljao intervjue pre 60+ godina, a pre toga 1944. posetio pozicije istih tih vojnika na plažama Francuske.Zanimljivo je dobro poznatu istoriju čitati kroz oči “neprijatelja” i gubitnika u ratu. Često razmišljam o običnim vojnicima Wehrmachta, koji su se našli na pogrešnoj strani istorije, ali su se borili za nešto u šta su verovali. Kako im je bilo u poslednjih godinu dana rata, kada je bilo jasno da Nemačka gubi rat, a oni žrtvuju živote za taj izgubljeni cilj?Ima ovde interesantnih razmišljanja. Ne samo sjajnih opisa borbi, iz kojih je jasno da to da li si u ratu preživeo ili ne, određuje tvoj oprez, ali iznad svega sreća. Interesantna mi je bila i više puta pominjana ideja “Udružene Evrope”, koju su ti vojnici branili od saveznika. O ovome mislim da sam čitao jako kratko samo jednom, a ovde je taj koncept pominjao skoro svaki vojnik, kao i činjenicu da je većina četa bila sastavljenih od vojnika 10-15 naroda. Očigledno je propaganda o Udruženoj Evropi bila odlično odrađena, ali je nekako ispala iz istorije koju su pisali pobednici. Ima tu i čuđenja tih emačkih vojnica o tome sa kakvim neprijateljstvom na njih gledaju saveznički vojnici, ali i čuđenja nsd postupcima SS četa i zločina koje su iste činile.Dobar istorijski dokument, koji se može pročitati u nekoliko sati.
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  • Ellen Trautner
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a good book! And by good, I mean terribly awful. This is a collection of interviews with German soldiers, of varying rank and experience, who defended the Normandy beaches during the Allied invasion on D-Day. The interviews were actually done by the author's father, who was a journalist for the Reich during the war, and wrote propaganda pieces for German magazines to improve morale. He went to Normandy during the early part of 1944 and interviewed lots of soldiers manning the western d Wow, what a good book! And by good, I mean terribly awful. This is a collection of interviews with German soldiers, of varying rank and experience, who defended the Normandy beaches during the Allied invasion on D-Day. The interviews were actually done by the author's father, who was a journalist for the Reich during the war, and wrote propaganda pieces for German magazines to improve morale. He went to Normandy during the early part of 1944 and interviewed lots of soldiers manning the western defenses against any possibly invasions. Then of course D-Day happened, and the war ended not too long after. Ten years later, in 1954, he sought out any surviving German soldiers that he had met in 1944, and interviewed them about their experiences on that day. Now his son, the author (or editor, I guess?) has compiled some of these interviews. This book features an interview with one soldier from each beach. Some were officers, some just enlisted men. This book is definitely graphic. They describe awful, terrible things. I've read about D-Day before, and of course have seen some movie versions of it, but it's always from the Allied perspective. As one German officer notes in his interview, any depiction of Germans in those movies "is a mockery." More than anything else, this book is sad. War is a tragedy. It's absolutely heart breaking. The men who tell their stories don't try to justify Hitler's regime or anything, but they do explain their own motivations. One of them explains that they weren't particularly politically savvy, and so took at face value the propaganda their regime was selling them about defending a united Europe, because it seems like most of them truly believed that they (Germans) were not invaders of other countries; rather they were uniting countries together. And so when they were defending France, they were defending all of Europe, their homeland.Anyways, to me their motivations for defending France from the Allies seems plausible. They don't seem to expect people to applaud them for it, but just to understand. That being said, with ten years of learning more about what was going on in their own country and what Hitler was really capable of, I'm not surprised that some of them really try to distance themselves from all that. For example, several of them describe meeting up with units of Hitler's SS while retreating, and while they worked together for mutual defense, the interviewees mention they were creeped out by the SS and their bloodlust. Two of them describe witnessing SS guys straight up executing captured Allied soldiers, and they said it gave them a sick feeling. I'm really not doubting them on this, but I do think ten years after the war, they did become a bit more savvy and know to distance themselves from those parts of the German regime, and so they made sure to mention that they didn't like the men from the SS.An incredibly depressing book, to sum up. But I'm giving it 5 stars because it seems really important. It humanizes D-Day even more. When the incredibly brave Allied forces stormed those beaches, there weren't just faceless machine guns killing young men everywhere--it was young men (and old, and crippled) up on the cliffs, just as terrified and determined. I think they deserve to have their stories told.
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  • David Lowther
    January 1, 1970
    D Day through German Eyes is an excellent short book comprising five accounts from men who were actually on the front line on June 6th. 1944.The recollections of the men, a mixture of junior officers and other ranks, were collected by the author's grandfather, a military journalist who had visited the Atlantic Wall before D Day, who tracked down some survivors in 1954 and recorded their memories of D Day.Each of the survivors was stationed on a different landing beach and their recollections cer D Day through German Eyes is an excellent short book comprising five accounts from men who were actually on the front line on June 6th. 1944.The recollections of the men, a mixture of junior officers and other ranks, were collected by the author's grandfather, a military journalist who had visited the Atlantic Wall before D Day, who tracked down some survivors in 1954 and recorded their memories of D Day.Each of the survivors was stationed on a different landing beach and their recollections certainly take the reader into the hell of battle with noise, dust, smoke, shrapnel and death polluting the atmosphere on that Normandy morning. Although each story is gruesome and enthralling, the best, set on Sword Beach, is the best because the officer in charge of the battery appears to have the sharpest memories.There's a second book, which I haven't read but will do in due course.David Lowther. Author of The Blue Pencil, Liberating Belsen and Two Families at War, all published by Sacristy Press.
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  • Nigeyb
    January 1, 1970
    Holger Eckhertz's grandfather, a military journalist, interviewed soldiers stationed along the Atlantic Wall shortly before D-Day (June 6, 1944). Ten years later he tracked down some of the troops he had visited and spoke again with those he had interviewed. He died in 1955. Holger Eckhertz has assembled his grandfather’s interviews and this is what is contained in 'D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944'. There is one account from each of the five beach landings (Utah, Om Holger Eckhertz's grandfather, a military journalist, interviewed soldiers stationed along the Atlantic Wall shortly before D-Day (June 6, 1944). Ten years later he tracked down some of the troops he had visited and spoke again with those he had interviewed. He died in 1955. Holger Eckhertz has assembled his grandfather’s interviews and this is what is contained in 'D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944'. There is one account from each of the five beach landings (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword), which constituted the Normandy invasion. It all amounts to really fascinating set of first hand recollections. A lot of the content is quite visceral and violent. So, be aware that this might be too much if you are easily upset.I could have done without the cod German accents in the audiobook edition I listened to, however this is a minor gripe. 'D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944' makes me want to read more about D Day. Something I will do soon. 4/5
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  • Dave Gladwin
    January 1, 1970
    D-day has always fascinated me, I have always thought about what it was like for the German army in Normandy. We have always seen or read about the greatest invasion of all from the allied perspective but I have always thought, imagine seeing it coming at you. One of the interesting perspectives of this book is that the author's grandfather had interviewed soldiers across the Atlantic wall prior to the invasion as propaganda for military publications, and then was able to interview the survivors D-day has always fascinated me, I have always thought about what it was like for the German army in Normandy. We have always seen or read about the greatest invasion of all from the allied perspective but I have always thought, imagine seeing it coming at you. One of the interesting perspectives of this book is that the author's grandfather had interviewed soldiers across the Atlantic wall prior to the invasion as propaganda for military publications, and then was able to interview the survivors after the war:"As you can appreciate, I was under pressure to present our forces in a certain way, with a lot of embellishment."I personally love the frankness of the interviewer, the questions are direct and allow each soldier to recount their experiences, but he also asks tough questions about things such as; the common use of the 'soldiers cocktail' by the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, a mixture of morphine and amphetamines that allowed soldiers to be able to fight for days. He also asks about personal reactions to scenes they witnessed such as American soldiers who had been executed by the SS. Some of the best questions challenge each person's decisions and morals and provides a deeper insight into their experiences.The book gives you a great insight into the motivations and pride of the soldiers. I particularly loved the account of 'The Luftwaffe Pilot' in book 2. This particular account is a must read about the ideological belief that existed and made them such effective soldiers and the retrospective feelings they felt ten years on. Some of the accounts are still so raw;I would like to take a break from this discussion....no, i am not saying stop the interview, but I am stressed.I must pause Herr Eckhertz, because this memory distresses me, and i have not spoken about this to anyone until now, not even my wife.This is my first review and I have clumsily tried to make it way more articulate than I actually am, however, these accounts give readers a chance to be gripped by what happened to just ordinary men who happened to fight on the 'other side' of D-day. In each account it was tense, horrific, sad and the same testament to the futility and wastefulness of war. I really felt for some of these men, what they experienced and what they had to live with for the rest of their lives. A must read for those interested in military history.
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  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    This is a remarkable and fascinating series of interviews with German soldiers who served on the Atlantic Wall in Normandy on the day of the Allied invasion of France in 1944. Most of what we read and see about D-Day or the entire Second World War itself is depicted from the Allied perspective. This short but powerful book gives a fresh look at a battle that seems to many of us quite familiar. The horrors of the battle, the fear and also the compassion present on the German side are presented wi This is a remarkable and fascinating series of interviews with German soldiers who served on the Atlantic Wall in Normandy on the day of the Allied invasion of France in 1944. Most of what we read and see about D-Day or the entire Second World War itself is depicted from the Allied perspective. This short but powerful book gives a fresh look at a battle that seems to many of us quite familiar. The horrors of the battle, the fear and also the compassion present on the German side are presented without varnish in these memories of ordinary soldiers, many of whom thought they were defending a united Europe and couldn't understand why the Allies wanted to kill them. It's a remarkable work. A follow-up volume exists, and I'll be reading it soon.
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  • Paige Ellen Stone
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely fascinating book. I was born in 1950, and grew up in a world where people with German sounding names or who were of obvious Japanese descent were held in suspicion. I even remember when I was maybe seven, when a friend and I were playing with a toy metal tank. The turret came off and my friend's dad picked it up, saw that it was made from and inverted Maxwell House Coffee can and it said, "Made in Japan," and he threw it out! My friend's dad was a U.S. Marine who saw action at What an absolutely fascinating book. I was born in 1950, and grew up in a world where people with German sounding names or who were of obvious Japanese descent were held in suspicion. I even remember when I was maybe seven, when a friend and I were playing with a toy metal tank. The turret came off and my friend's dad picked it up, saw that it was made from and inverted Maxwell House Coffee can and it said, "Made in Japan," and he threw it out! My friend's dad was a U.S. Marine who saw action at Guadalcanal during the war. We, my friend and I, had no idea what his dad was so upset about. I remember dating, later marrying a woman whose maiden name, which I won't disclose here, was discussed by my parents when I first met her. Her family had said they were Swiss, but my parents were sure they just didn't want it known that they were probably of German descent. Crazy!But it served to create in me a fascination with WWII and how it happened and how did this one diminutive man almost achieve world domination? I read so many books on WWII but never had the chance to read things from the German side. This book is the first of two volumes of interviews with soldiers who were on the German front during D Day. The actual interviewer was the father of the man who edited these books.He did an excellent job. If you are a student of history, this is a must. They say the history books are written by the victors, but this book and its companion volume present a compelling view of what it was like to suddenly see this enormous armada coming onto the beach, to hear of the terror that offshore shelling by Allied battleships and cruisers unleashed for hours before and during the assault. Many of the interviewees are quite honest in how frightened and confused they were. In volume one, some even speak of what happened when they were captured and taken as prisoners. It turns out that many were sent to England and/or the United States, were treated very well, and some even stayed!No bones about it, this is not a book for the squeamish. There are very graphic descriptions of the damage done to humans and even animals as a result of the assault. There is also, from some, a begrudging admiration for the creativity and tenacity of the Allied forces. I read this book and its companion volume very quickly. It is well organized and is not edited down to make it a "nice" read. This book is about the horror of combat, the confusion of war and the bravery of men on both sides The reader can almost hear the explosions, smell the cordite and sweat in the bunkers. Highest recommendation, but not for the squeamish.
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  • Amanda--A Scientist Reads
    January 1, 1970
    This is a short graphic compilation of the average German solider's perspective of multiple beach landings on D-day. Having read and watched a lot from the allies' POV, it was interesting to hear the information the average German soldier knew about the landing, and how they as an individual and as a larger group reacted when the shells started to fall. Their shift when they view the full beach and it goes from an "attack" to an invasion and how that affected many of their group psychologically. This is a short graphic compilation of the average German solider's perspective of multiple beach landings on D-day. Having read and watched a lot from the allies' POV, it was interesting to hear the information the average German soldier knew about the landing, and how they as an individual and as a larger group reacted when the shells started to fall. Their shift when they view the full beach and it goes from an "attack" to an invasion and how that affected many of their group psychologically. Each account was a personal interview approximately 10 years after the June 6th 1944. I wonder how much of the recounting was still colored by the story being made available to the victors, as nothing negative is said about being captured or sent to camps in other countries?
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    This book will change the way you think about war. One arbitrary atrocity after another, this book tells it like it is. It's random. It's horrendously random. It's randomly horrendous. Based on interviews of German soldiers who fought in France on June 6 1944, it's a surprisingly dispassionate series of accounts. But the clinical detachment does nothing to hide the brutal horror of it all. Pair with Keegan's more academic, more thoughtful "The Face of Battle" for a transformative synthesis.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    This book gave to me exactly what I was looking for when I read the description, the Normandy invasion through German eyes. When I read about Normandy, which is usually my go to timeframe, I often wonder what the Germans were thinking during that time. While this is a small sample of five German Soldiers telling their story, it gets the point across on what they felt, what they saw, and which direction they felt the war was going before, as well as after the war. I highly recommend for anyone lo This book gave to me exactly what I was looking for when I read the description, the Normandy invasion through German eyes. When I read about Normandy, which is usually my go to timeframe, I often wonder what the Germans were thinking during that time. While this is a small sample of five German Soldiers telling their story, it gets the point across on what they felt, what they saw, and which direction they felt the war was going before, as well as after the war. I highly recommend for anyone looking to gain another perspective on the Normandy invasion.
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  • Hatim Qa
    January 1, 1970
    It is always good to see through things from the point of view of others and I think that this book captures this idea very well. In this compilation of interviews one thing that I found to be repeated by the interviewees is that Americans will probably do the same if they were in their place. It is a thought provoking and quite gruesome look at the war. كتاب فيه مقابلات مع عدة ألمان ممن حاربوا يوم D Day وهو اليوم الي نزلت فيه قوات التحالف الأمريكية في نورمندي لتحرير فرنسا من الإحتلال الألماني، It is always good to see through things from the point of view of others and I think that this book captures this idea very well. In this compilation of interviews one thing that I found to be repeated by the interviewees is that Americans will probably do the same if they were in their place. It is a thought provoking and quite gruesome look at the war. كتاب فيه مقابلات مع عدة ألمان ممن حاربوا يوم D Day وهو اليوم الي نزلت فيه قوات التحالف الأمريكية في نورمندي لتحرير فرنسا من الإحتلال الألماني، الكتاب فيه وصف لكمية العنف في ساحة المعركة لكن ما شد إنتباهي هو تكرار عدة ممن تم تسجيل مقابلاتهم بأن الأمريكان كانوا ليقوموا بالشيء نفسه إذا ما تبادلوا الأدوار. في ظل كمية المواد الإعلامية التي لا تُعطينا سوى وجهة نظر واحدة للحرب العالمية فإن هذا الكتاب به كمية لا بأس بها من المعلومات لكن من وجهة نظر مختلفة.
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  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    I am a great fan of WWII nonfiction, including military and political history, biography, and memoir, as well as historical fiction of the period. I found this book utterly absorbing, a series of interviews of German soldiers and their first-hand accounts of the events of D-Day. This is not for the faint of heart or those readers who eschew graphic violence. Each of the accounts is intriguing in its own way. The interviewees vary in age, education, experience, and role in the military, but there I am a great fan of WWII nonfiction, including military and political history, biography, and memoir, as well as historical fiction of the period. I found this book utterly absorbing, a series of interviews of German soldiers and their first-hand accounts of the events of D-Day. This is not for the faint of heart or those readers who eschew graphic violence. Each of the accounts is intriguing in its own way. The interviewees vary in age, education, experience, and role in the military, but there are common threads which the author discusses in his postscript; not among those of the author, but which I noted, was the wish these men expressed that the stories they told be preserved and not forgotten. Some of the voices seem a bit stilted or reserved, but the reader must keep in mind that these are translations. The account I found most engaging was that of Martin Eineg, a young infantry private stationed in the area of Juno Beach; he was only 17 when he was assigned to the Atlantic Wall in France so, ten years after D-Day when the interview was conducted, he was still well short of thirty. His account is particularly detailed and grisly, and, in the end, he was captured by the British forces and eventually sent to a POW camp in Yorkshire where he was well-treated by his English guards but was threatened by fellow German prisoners who wanted to stage a breakout. Permitted to live outside the camp after a period of good behavior, he lodged with an elderly English woman, and remained in the country voluntarily for two years after the war before returning to Germany. This is the same young man David Eppenstein mentions in his very excellent review who was astonished that the Allies did not need horses or mules for transport. I'm looking forward to the second book of interviews.
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  • Ivan
    January 1, 1970
    During the Second World War Mr. Dieter Eckhertz was a German war reporter, who on the tenth anniversary of the D day in 1954, interviewed 5 German soldiers he has met when the ‘Atlantic Wall’ was being built and survived the D Day; or as Germans referred to it ‘The Invasion of France’ or ‘The Normandy Attack.’It shall be pointed out the remarkable conviction of every one interviewed, that they were defending France and with it a United Europe.Also deserves to mention that all 5 interviewees are During the Second World War Mr. Dieter Eckhertz was a German war reporter, who on the tenth anniversary of the D day in 1954, interviewed 5 German soldiers he has met when the ‘Atlantic Wall’ was being built and survived the D Day; or as Germans referred to it ‘The Invasion of France’ or ‘The Normandy Attack.’It shall be pointed out the remarkable conviction of every one interviewed, that they were defending France and with it a United Europe.Also deserves to mention that all 5 interviewees are consistent affirming that there was not aerial support from the Luftwaffe neither enough from tanks or heavy artillery. Every one manifest that this invasion was completely unexpected. Since Mr. Eckhertz died in 1955, D Day through German Eyes is a compilation done by his grandson of those interviews.In a plain language and easy reading, the book describes the destruction and killing done by the allies during that one day in the Normandy beaches and the astonishment of the German soldiers when they got acquainted of the huge amount of all kind of ships and landing barges in front of the beaches, plus the diversity and quantity of aircrafts and tanks.One question, just one: Who provided the large manpower required to build all these bunkers and fortifications?
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  • Joel
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a collection of interviews with German soldiers who were at Normandy on D-Day by a German journalist. Amazing to hear the experience from the other side then we normally see it portrayed. What stuck out to me was how the soldiers interviewed we're not necessarily sympathetic to the Nazi cause, but they were thinking they were defending Europe from invaders.
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  • Chris DiLeo
    January 1, 1970
    A captivating read, especially for military buffs. The book is a series of interviews with Germans who fought on D-Day. It is brutal in its honesty and quite fascinating (and horrifying). The book is not aggrandizing war—it is simply telling it as it was through people who were there.
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  • Joshua O'connor
    January 1, 1970
    I believe this book is a work of fiction, as does historian Jonathan Gawneon in his Amazon review dated October 28, 2015. I further FEAR it is neo-Nazi propaganda.
  • Daniel Pryjma
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting book. I liked how it just let the soldiers tell the story from their perspective without rewriting it, it's just a collection of interviews. Also, the way the soldiers have come around to their previous way of thinking. Definitely recommend it.
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  • John Doyle
    January 1, 1970
    This book adds depth to the cliche that history is written by the victors. I've read a lot of WWII history and none of it had captured the perspectives of mainstream German soldiers in the way D Day Through German Eyes does it. In interviews with German soldiers who manned artillery bunkers on D Day in Normandy, Eckhertz captures the echoes of German propaganda in the soldiers' earnest accounts of defending a united Europe against British and American aggression. The book is a short worthwhile r This book adds depth to the cliche that history is written by the victors. I've read a lot of WWII history and none of it had captured the perspectives of mainstream German soldiers in the way D Day Through German Eyes does it. In interviews with German soldiers who manned artillery bunkers on D Day in Normandy, Eckhertz captures the echoes of German propaganda in the soldiers' earnest accounts of defending a united Europe against British and American aggression. The book is a short worthwhile read for any history buff.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fascinating nonfiction read consisting of interviews of German soldiers who attempted to stave the invasion of the Allies at Normandy on D-Day. The Germans were not surprised that the Allies invaded France in the summer of 1944, however, they were surprised that the Allies did not attempt an invasion through Pas de Calais, which is where they geared their defense. This first book is extremely graphic in the soldiers' descriptions of the decimation of their comrades by Allied weaponry. This is a fascinating nonfiction read consisting of interviews of German soldiers who attempted to stave the invasion of the Allies at Normandy on D-Day. The Germans were not surprised that the Allies invaded France in the summer of 1944, however, they were surprised that the Allies did not attempt an invasion through Pas de Calais, which is where they geared their defense. This first book is extremely graphic in the soldiers' descriptions of the decimation of their comrades by Allied weaponry. It is likewise very graphic in the description of the slaughter of the first wave of Allied soldiers to storm the beach.The commentary at the end of the books is interesting because the editor delves into the general belief system of the German soldiers who survived. The editor concluded that three common themes emerge in the beliefs of those who were interviewed: 1. Germans wanted to defend a 'Unified Europe' 2. They were shocked at the aggression exhibited by the Allies and, 3. They were overwhelmed by the military superiority of the Allies.I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone interested in WWII history. The German perspective helps paint a broader picture of the events of June 6, 1944. It is truly amazing that anyone was able to survive that day, but, at the end, in addition to brilliant strategy, it was a numbers game that helped the Allies gain a foothold in France.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    A straightforward and simple perspective of D-Day from the less-often heard side that reminds you why war stinks.
  • Nicolette Harding
    January 1, 1970
    The authors grandfather interviews German soldiers in 1955, 10 years after visiting batteriers or Atlantic Wall they built on the shores of France. I've never met a German who would speak openly if not at all about the time period so this was interesting to read. Most striking was one soldier says running back to his tank he saw a fellow German soldier lying.dead with a dead Canadian soldier. The German said they looked the same, he couldnt tell them apart except for their uniforms. It.only regi The authors grandfather interviews German soldiers in 1955, 10 years after visiting batteriers or Atlantic Wall they built on the shores of France. I've never met a German who would speak openly if not at all about the time period so this was interesting to read. Most striking was one soldier says running back to his tank he saw a fellow German soldier lying.dead with a dead Canadian soldier. The German said they looked the same, he couldnt tell them apart except for their uniforms. It.only registered to him ten years later. The wall of iron they saw on the horizon, the Americans completely mechanized war machine, (while the Germans sti relied on.horses to move supply) and the unfathomable use of oil were all apparent to the Germans looking to the sea that morning. They knew they were beat. Lots of new insight!
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  • Anna Ballard
    January 1, 1970
    This book was very interesting as it gave the personal stories of the men on the front lines (in the bunkers) one from each of the five beaches. It was in interview form as the man planning the book was a journalist, interviewing the men about ten years after the war. The stories were quite similar as they were in the bunkers that were supposed keep the invaders off the beaches. The last one was a lieutenant in charge of a battery for bigger guns (which had not been delivered yet) and was a litt This book was very interesting as it gave the personal stories of the men on the front lines (in the bunkers) one from each of the five beaches. It was in interview form as the man planning the book was a journalist, interviewing the men about ten years after the war. The stories were quite similar as they were in the bunkers that were supposed keep the invaders off the beaches. The last one was a lieutenant in charge of a battery for bigger guns (which had not been delivered yet) and was a little farther back. All of the units were overrun, of course, and two of the men were taken prisoner. I was undecided whether to rate it 4 or 3 stars. It was slow reading because most of the men had such similar experiences that it was quite repetitive. But it was interesting to get their thoughts, ten years later.
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  • Hector Altamirano
    January 1, 1970
    I've always been curious to hear about German side of the war, I'm tired of the whole media demonizing Germans when they, as the Americans, British and rest of the allies, were mostly just soldiers performing their duties for their country. These were not SS soldiers and maybe most or many of them didn't even know how crazy was Hitler and maybe never even supported de Nazis. This book is a great piece of story that should be read by more and more people so we can have a better understanding of t I've always been curious to hear about German side of the war, I'm tired of the whole media demonizing Germans when they, as the Americans, British and rest of the allies, were mostly just soldiers performing their duties for their country. These were not SS soldiers and maybe most or many of them didn't even know how crazy was Hitler and maybe never even supported de Nazis. This book is a great piece of story that should be read by more and more people so we can have a better understanding of the pain and awfulness of both sides in a war, and become citizens of the world, rather than being the nationalistic pricks most of us are.
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  • Clinton Grider
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting to see this battle through the eyes of German soldiers for each of the beaches. Instead of an overall strategic look at things, the book is translated from interviews done with German soldiers who were stationed on the beaches on D-day. Since most of the material I have read had been from the Allied side of things, it was enlightening to read something from the German side and see the feelings of their soldiers in the trenches. Although reading about how horrifying it was for th Very interesting to see this battle through the eyes of German soldiers for each of the beaches. Instead of an overall strategic look at things, the book is translated from interviews done with German soldiers who were stationed on the beaches on D-day. Since most of the material I have read had been from the Allied side of things, it was enlightening to read something from the German side and see the feelings of their soldiers in the trenches. Although reading about how horrifying it was for the Allied soldiers to secure their landings through German eyes, just made it seem that much more horrific.
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  • Todd
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed reading about D Day from the German soldiers that were there and were lucky enough to live through it. Were stories from a soldier that defended each beach in their own words from an interviews that took place ten years after. Interesting to find that these soldiers saw themselves as defending France from invaders. They didn't view themselves as occupiers of France but defenders of a unified Europe. Was also interesting to hear about the many Russians that fought for Germany. Reco Really enjoyed reading about D Day from the German soldiers that were there and were lucky enough to live through it. Were stories from a soldier that defended each beach in their own words from an interviews that took place ten years after. Interesting to find that these soldiers saw themselves as defending France from invaders. They didn't view themselves as occupiers of France but defenders of a unified Europe. Was also interesting to hear about the many Russians that fought for Germany. Recommended read.
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  • Pj Schneider
    January 1, 1970
    A great read from a different perspectiveThis book was easy to read and I had a hard time putting it down. It isn't often you get to hear the other side of a battle story. This puts into perspective the German soldier's views and mindset that led up to the invasion and during the early hours of combat on that historical day.
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  • Joseph Burtnick
    January 1, 1970
    Detailed and revealingThe detail the author is able to convey about the events of June the 6th is nothing like I have read before. Each story is different and gives a perspective to the war from the German point of view.
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