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Blood Red Snow

The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front
Written by: Günter K. Koschorrek
Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gunter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on. As keeping a diary was strictly forbidden, he sewed the pages into the lining of his thick winter coat and deposited them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was when he was reunited with his daughter in America some 40 years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow.

The author was a keen recruit at initial training, and his excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. The horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit; their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front.

This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, over five decades later, the fulfillment of a responsibility he feels to honor the memory of those who perished. Gunter K. Koschorrek was a machine-gunner on the Russian front in WWII. He lives in Germany, having retired from his job as managing director of a sales company.

©2002 Greenhill Books (P)2018 Tantor

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    2 out of 5 stars

A Good Personal Account, Poorly Acted.

The story paints a good picture of one German soldiers personal experiences on the Eastern Front. It is by no means is a chronicle of both sides of the story. With that said, the use of a VERY British Narrator takes away from the effectiveness of the story. I haven't read the actual novel, but the British accent and constant use of colloquialisms like "Bloke" and "Chap" ruins the effectiveness. A Narrator should be an Actor and this role called for a German (or a Narrator who can pull of a German accent at the very least).

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The author cuts out or invents things altogether

First the good. The overall performance of the reader is fantastic. The intimate description of what life was life for an average German soldier on the Eastern Front is quite good.

Now the bad. As someone who is Russian and knows the history of that time period quite well, I am quite disappointed. First off. Author keeps saying that the Russians were using Kalashnikovs. They most definitely were not, as it was not invented until 1947. Then there is absolutely no mention of the Scorched Earth policy and the attoricities the Wermacht (not just SS) committed against the civilian population. Granted, not all soldiers were blood-thirsty murdering thugs that raped and pillaged everything in their way, however I have a hard time buying into the story with Katya. How gentlemanly of men who had just spent months and months living in most terrible of conditions with no women in sight to "just be friends" with a beautiful 18 year old girl.
Basically my gripe with it all is that he portrays them as the most innocent of sheeps and gentlemen. That's not how things went on back then on the Eastern Front.

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Worth reading.

One of the best german eastern first hand accounts I’ve yet found. I would quite put it up there with E.B Sledges edge of your seat read “with the old breed” but it does have something that Sledge didn’t. This book has one of the best first hand accounts of amazing leadership, and very poor leadership and how each can raise the troops up or make them completely fail.

“Two recruits went missing from our barracks in Poland, upon questions their comrades it became apparent they did not desert they were simply gone... this was not an uncommon event in Poland” little tid bits such as these really help put you into the shoes of the individuals and the horrors faced by all sides

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  • S. H. Moore
  • 2019-05-31

Simply one of the best.

Whether you are looking for a German WW2 story. WW2 in general, or just a first hand accounting of war in general, Blood Red Snow is a vivid real telling of some of the ugliest most brutal combat in modern history. Splendid telling of a terrible experience. 5 stars.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tefft Smith
  • 2019-05-29

War is hell!!

A well written, riveting account of the horrors of ground combat and the understandably dehumanizing emotions it engenders in those misfortuned to experience it. Fascinating to experience it vicariously and from a German soldier’s experience, giving me all the more gratitude that I personally was spared the misfortune. Also, it made all the more understandable how the Nazi regime manipulated so many young men and women, thrusting them into the caldron of the total terror of “kill or be killed, brutally.”

3 people found this helpful

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  • fill
  • 2018-08-04

Great Book

Liked the story from a grunts point of view on the Eastern Front. Narrator was good except the English accent. Thought a German accent would have been more realistic but maybe too hard to understand?

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sonia Lopez
  • 2019-12-09

One of the best personal accounts coming out of WW2

I’ve read many many wartime biographies and autobiographies including such classics as the thin red line, helmet for my pillow, with the old breed, samurai, forgotten soldier and this beauty holds its own. The author did a fantastic job balancing foxhole detail with thoughtful and intelligent reflections which show he never really lost perspective on what he was going through. What a masterpiece.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 2019-06-13

Russian Front

Its good to hear the other side of the story. Good narration, (few mispronounced words), but overall great story, interesting

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mathew
  • 2019-05-12

Humanizing the average German soldier

In today's interpretation of history Germany is a nation that must bare the guilt of some murderous mad man who assumed power through means of sedition and went on to try and take over the world. We're sort of encouraged to look at the German citizenry of the time to be in favor of genocide, and imperialism, This book puts a plethora of human faces on the people we've been told were "the bad guys". It shows they were normal people who were turned into the cudgel of the actual bad guys. The author does describe meeting people who bore our archetypal image of a German soldier who is barbarous, but he describes meeting a lot of people who were just normal people dragged into a terrible war. He wasn't in the SS so maybe that's why he wasn't engaging in barbarous acts, but I did feel compassion for the author and his comrades on the front lines.

3 people found this helpful

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  • John F Doherty
  • 2020-03-21

BLOODY HELL!

I can't imagine living (if so lucky) through this lice infested frozen hell. Disemboweled bodies strewn all over.Each moment not knowing if you will be next?

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  • Randall M Long
  • 2020-03-15

excellent first hand account

haunting account of life, death and the tragedy on all sides in a war that hopefully the likes of will never be seen from again. powerful read

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  • Tony Christopher Talley
  • 2020-03-14

phenomenal an unprecedented look

phenomenal and unprecedented look into the German soldiers life an experience. humanizing the soldier and his choices.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-09

Awesome story

This is a great memoir of a german soldier and his comrades. The narrator does a great job . It has intense moments yet I found myself laughing at some events he describes. would recommend.