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Book Review **Check it Out**
Old 02-17-2005, 05:17 PM   #1
sniper1shot
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Default Book Review **Check it Out**

Title: But not for the Fuehrer
Author: Helmut Jung
ISBN: 1-4140-3447-4 (e-book)
1-4140-3445-8 (Paperback)
1-4140-3446-6 (Dust Jacket)
Publisher: 1StBooks Library (?)
Stars: 5
(out of 5)
OK, I know this has been discussed on another thread but I found I was looking all over for info and well, I guess I just like my two bits at the start. Well, what can I say. This book is really good. I found that I could not put it down. It is fairly large, 464 pages though it has NO pictures. The descriptions of weapons, actions, etc are done well enough that no pictures are necessary.
There were a couple of mistakes that I found....the Army that was captured in Stalingrad was the 6th Army NOT 7th. The person in charge of German Intelligence was Admiral Canairis not Canary and he was killed during the war and did not survive it. Though the author made a couple of mistakes he does admit that he is not sure of certain timelines as he is too preoccupied with surviving the battles on the Eastern Front.
One thing I found extremely interesting and found a good read was the brutal honesty that the author describes in his dealings with new weapons, the SS, certain officers and POW's. He admits to dealings that usually are never told in books, ie: Killing of POW's, Killing of German officers, His small units (Platoon) dealing with the rear area MP squads, and what the average German infantry soldier thought of the new weapons. They were scared of them!!! as they could and did cause more harm to the soldier using it than the enemy.
The chapters deal with training, posted to the Eastern Front, Special Duties, Surrender, and Occupation. There are more chapters of course.
WELL WORTH THE MONEY for this book, and I did ask and received an autographed copy. He even sent me change for the book, as shipping was not as expensive as first thought!!
Seriously recommended for all serious readers of WW II.

As usual, any questions feel free to email me of PM me!
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:01 AM   #2
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I put these thoughts on "But Not For The Fuehrer" on another thread, here goes again. I have some problems especially with chapter 12 and 13. He goes to sharpshooter (sniper) school back in Germany, returns as a sniper for 4 months, about the same time as he claims he was trained as a parachutist and dropped behind enemy lines. Plus why would military intelligance take a buck private, (by his own admission, small and physically weak) and train him for one mission.

I almost feel the Canary/Canairis mistake was intentional (old man, memory not to good, but easily corrected by the ghost writer or editor. Yet he remembered small details about weapons etc.

I liked the book, could not put it down. But I have some problems with it's veracity. It was ghost written and may have been embellished, especially being a sniper, special mission, and all the rest, in a short time period. I don't have the book with me at this moment, but I believe he entered the military mid 1943.

I still recommend it, but will be interested if others come to some of the same conclusions. Or maybe I've become a bit skeptical after the "Forgotten Soldier" debates.
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:23 PM   #3
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While I'm sure parts of the story are "embellished" (ghost writers and old age can do that) the majority of Herr Jungs story is very believable. Could he have been sent to a condensed version of sniper school? Sure, all armies have peacetime and wartime POIs with different standards. It probably equates to Advanced Marksmanship. Same with the jump training (which I did find hard to swallow) but if you are pushing a guy out as a door bundle on a one way mission- heck, why not? Other than these two very small parts the rest of the book is easy reading. The breakdown in morale, fear of MPs (KettenHunds) etc... all understandable. The last thing to remember was that he was merely a junior enlisted man so his view of the battle field and the great events that he was caught up in and swept along was very narrow. At that level soldiers live on rumor and half facts (Canary). Still a good example of the expirience of the common man.
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeH
Or maybe I've become a bit skeptical after the "Forgotten Soldier" debates.

Care to point me in the direction of them Jaime? I am reading FS for the first time. Just read the Paula/Templehof bombing episode and thought it perhaps just a little too poignant??


Cheers,
David.
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At Rathau on the Aller, the CO of 5th Royal Tanks advanced on foot to take a cautious look into the town before his tanks moved in. He encountered one of his own officers, a huge Welshman named John Gwilliam who later captained his country's rugby team, 'carrying a small German soldier by the scruff of his neck, not unlike a cat with a mouse.' The Colonel said: 'Why not shoot him?' Gwilliam replied in his mighty Welsh voice: 'Oh no, sir. Much too small.'
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
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Almost from when FS was first published there have been detractors of the book as far as uniform mistakes, unit designation, military nomenclature etc. Most "problems" have been explained away somewhat by the fact that Guy Sajer supposedly spent years in the French army after the war.

I enjoyed "But Not For The Fuerher", it's just that if I have problems with some chapters of a book, it throws the other chapters into suspicion.
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:56 AM   #6
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Thanks Jaime,

I thought FS was lauded as THE war biog, oh well 'pinch of salt' mode to read the rest of it then.

Cheers,
David.
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At Rathau on the Aller, the CO of 5th Royal Tanks advanced on foot to take a cautious look into the town before his tanks moved in. He encountered one of his own officers, a huge Welshman named John Gwilliam who later captained his country's rugby team, 'carrying a small German soldier by the scruff of his neck, not unlike a cat with a mouse.' The Colonel said: 'Why not shoot him?' Gwilliam replied in his mighty Welsh voice: 'Oh no, sir. Much too small.'
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