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Adventures in My Youth

A German Soldier on the Eastern Front 1941-45
Written by: Armin Scheiderbauer
Narrated by: James A. Gillies
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author could be described as a veteran in every sense of the word, even though he was only age 21 when the war ended. Armin Scheiderbauer served as an infantry officer with the 252nd Infantry Division, German army, and saw four years of bitter combat on the Eastern Front, being wounded six times.

This is an outstanding personal memoir, written with great thoughtfulness and honesty. Scheiderbauer joined his unit during the winter of 1941-42 and, during the following years, saw fierce combat in many of the largest battles on the Eastern Front. His experiences of the 1943-45 period are particularly noteworthy, including his recollections of the massive Soviet offensives of summer 1944 and January 1945. Participating in the bitter battles in East Prussia, he was captured by the Soviets and not released until 1947.

Adventures in My Youth is a unique memoir - the author originally wrote it only for his daughter. It has never been published in any language until now.

©2003 Helion and Company (P)2017 Tantor
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable.

Not as fast paced as Blood Red Snow but still good and interesting none the less. The timeline can be hard to follow and he seems to jump around quite often. Not upset I spent the money.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alek
  • 2018-01-07

Heartfelt, vivid and sober story

An absolute pleasure, quite eloquently written and performed. Other biographies can learn much from this one.

Compelling story of a pious youth brought up by war. Starkly vivid view of the life in and around the frontline, from the perspective of a junior infantry officer. Subject of crimes was directly dwelled upon at great length, perhaps by the nature of very active frontline career. My impression is that the author was honest throughout, especially considering the fact that this manuscript was not intended to be published.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Philip B. Mcmahon
  • 2017-11-26

Fantastic

Best ww2 autobiography I’ve listened to. And I’ve read/listened to a lot! Very recommended.

10 people found this helpful

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  • JWinchCVT
  • 2019-07-06

World war 2 from a different view

It was really interesting to hear and learn from a different perspective. I was so used to reading books about the Holocaust that I never really stopped to think what it was like from the German soldier’s point of view. It was overall a great story - a little slow in some parts - but very good. I would recommend this to anybody who is interested in WW2.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Troy
  • 2019-01-08

An excellent accout of a young man's experience

A well written story with expertly done narration. There are some disturbing accounts towards the later part of the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Saman
  • 2018-05-02

Different than other war time books ...

After reading a few WWII books, I can sincerely say that this is not a book on blood and gore. This story is more about the author’s overall war time experience from training to melee, injury to recuperation, and correspondence to loved ones back home. In that regard, the story can get quite tedious and repetitive at times. Yet, you still get to experience life in the Wehrmacht and its trials and tribulations through the war years.

It is remarkable that a young 17year old could live through a harrowing experience such as the brutal Eastern Front and yet survive to tell the story years later. Many friends mentioned within the book, including his brother, sadly do not make it to the end of the war. As with all German WWII books I have read, the horrors of the Nazi regime remain absent throughout the pages. Apart from the author’s father who falls foul of the religious edicts of the regime, there is very little else on the Nazi philosophy.

Still, I enjoyed the book. It is different than other WWII books I have read and still yields enormous information. Recommended for the history buff.

3 people found this helpful

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  • DaveP
  • 2018-04-23

Difficult to follow, but worth the struggle

I found the narrator to be difficult to understand at times due to his thick British accent. This made it difficult to follow many of the details involving German names and places. In spite of this, Mr. Scheiderbauer's account of a German soldier on the ostfront is fascinating. A rare viewpoint for anyone interested in WW2.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James L. Adair
  • 2018-03-06

Speed Reader

This is a great book. Howver, the narrator talked so fast that sentences ran together and I had difficulty keeping up and understanding the storyline. It was very diffiicult to follow without serious concentration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ukjackusa
  • 2019-10-28

Not what I expected

Base this review on your own expectations. I was hoping for a German perspective that along with the story, had references of how the author felt during is time in the war. What were they told about how the war was going. Why were they motivated to fight? What was the propaganda? What were the thoughts after the war? How did others feel about ‘losing’ the war.
The is more of a daily diary with little detail about battles he fought, objectives of the battles, the things he witnessed etc.

My context is “D-Day - Through German Eyes” which is a series of interviews conducted in 1955 and gave a lot of perspective on how they felt when fighting the allies and how they felt in 1955 ten years after the war.

1 person found this helpful

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  • G. Stucco
  • 2019-10-19

What a fiasco!

I cannot even begin to tell you what a disappointing experience this audiobook was. As a matter of fact, I will return it asap. The title itself is misleading. One would be inclined to believe that the author was going to describe in detail the battles, experiences and insights he derived from participating in that dreadful war. Nothing could be further from the truth. The listeners will be subjected to an unending and tedious list of details, historical anecdotes, trivial family recollections, and scarce, very scarce (and always brief) combat recollections. I also found the British reader's voice overly-upbeat (and thus not very congruous with the boring narrative) and overall tedious.

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  • J. Whittle
  • 2018-05-12

Not many insights

This is a rather dry diary of a soldiers experience. No insights or emotions are presented, and perhaps the only one given is the complete lack of thought put into agreeing to go to the killing fields, and how few are willing to share the real horrors of human nature in their memoirs, actions one might regret, or feelings of which the writer would be ashamed.

4 people found this helpful