I recently read two intense books about World War II, and the men who fought on the front lines. Both books are focused on what happened during the months of combat. The different situations they were put into as they followed orders, and their scary encounters with the enemy.
‘In Deadly Combat’ by Gottlob Herbert Didermann.
The memoirs are of a WW2 German soldier who spent almost four years on the Eastern Front. He gives an honest account of the action and horror while being on the front lines during the war. He actually wrote this book for the other survivors of his Army regiment and not for the general public.
As for the Eastern Front, Bidermann describes the enemy in great detail. At the beginning of the German invasion, Russian troops ran from the front lines due to fear of poison gas use since the German soldiers carried gas masks on their hip. The Russian troops were on the defensive and rarely attacked at night. As the war continued, Communist leaders called to sacrifice oneself for Communism as patriotic duty. As the Americans joined the war, Russia received supples and food that they desperately needed.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in World War II and Operation Barbarossa. It’s very well written since you feel as if you are working on the front lines. I gave is book five stars.
‘Earned in Blood’ by Thurman Miller
One of the first U.S. battles with the Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor was the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Pacific Theater, and this autobiography talks about the invasion and the events on this island. This book describes his life, his time in the military, being on the front lines, and his recovery from his time in the Pacific Islands. Miller had a tough childhood, which made him an excellent marine.
I would give the first half of the book five stars and would compare it to “In Deadly Combat” by Gottlob Herbert Bidermann, which I believe is one of the best memoirs of fighting on the front lines. The second half of the book feels rushed and more of a collection of memories. If your interested in the Pacific Theater of World War II or the history of the U.S. Marines, I highly recommend this book. I gave this book four and half stars.