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D-day through German eyes - Holger Eckhertz

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    D-day through German eyes - Holger Eckhertz

    It seems this outstanding book has not been mentionned here yet. It is a collection of first hand accounts by German soldiers who were directly involved on the D Day beaches, collected by a former German PK soldier 10 years after the war. He apparently died suddenly, and his project was forgotten about untill all his papers were rediscovered and published by his grandson.
    The stories are breathtaking accounts by men who were in the front line, and for the most part only survived D day through the most extraordinary of luck, most of their comrades being killed next to them. There are accounts by MG gunners, artillery men, engineer officers, a Stug gunner, and even - rarity- a Goliath tank engineer.
    There are horrendous descriptions of the effects of phosphorous grenades and rockets, and of the Allied navy shelling.
    There are also lots of interesting comments on relations with the French and other more general themes.

    A must read, that will become a classic of WWII litterature.

    The book has over 3000 reviews (more then two times as many as Band of Brothers) and a 4.5 star rating on amazon if that tells you anything: https://www.amazon.com/DAY-Through-G.../dp/B00VX372UE

    JL
    Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

    #2
    Thanks Jean-Loup, this sounds like an excellent recommendation.

    Regards,
    Michael

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      #3
      D-Day

      I second this recommendation, I'm half way through and it's very good so far.

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        #4
        Same Amazon link also has posters raising questions as to the legitimacy of the books accounts.

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          #5
          I clicked on the Amazon link you posted but only see an audio book version available for sale. Is there a printed edition as well?

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            #6
            Originally posted by Remy Spezzano View Post
            I clicked on the Amazon link you posted but only see an audio book version available for sale. Is there a printed edition as well?
            Print edition is on ebay for about $15.Im gonna have me one of these.

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              #7
              I read the Kindle version last Summer . . . just before embarking on my trip to Normandy. Thought it was a good read - and helped make the trip more exciting.
              Never look someone in the eye while eating a banana - Billy Connolly

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                #8
                I just finished reading this book yesterday. I enjoyed it. The last account about the officer and the “typhoon” weapon was surprising. I don’t recall hearing about that anywhere?

                I bought a printed edition from Amazon for around $12.

                I also saw that a few people doubt the authenticity of the book. It may raise some questions but I thought that it was all believable and interesting.


                Frank
                Last edited by Frank Nick; 02-19-2018, 10:38 AM.

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                  #9
                  "Same Amazon link also has posters raising questions as to the legitimacy of the books accounts."

                  I got the impression that a couple of the accounts may be embelished (exagerated numbers of dead, exagerated effects of weapons, etc), but such is virtualy always the case with first hand accounts.
                  I saw one guy on amazon claiming that this book is fiction because the author does not provide evidence it is true in the book. I dont think he has a leg to stand on to make such cliams without more research. The names of the soldiers and their units are provided. Some of these can probably be looked into even though researching German soldiers is very difficult.
                  Considering the book's success, several families of interviewees have probably come back out of the woodwork after 50 years.

                  It would be nice if the author provided a few photos of his grandfathers archive, to prove what he is saying is true.

                  My gut feeling is that these are true interviews, faithfully reproduced, with of course some inaccuracies, etc, linked to the first hand account nature of the texts.
                  I dont think it is honnest for an amazon client to give the book one star and say that it is fiction without being able to prove this claim himself. If he can prove that these soldiers never existed, or that the units were not in the area, or that the descriptions of events do not match the physical evidence, then fine. But that is not the case.

                  JL
                  Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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                    #10
                    I get that. I have not read the book so am withholding opinion until that time, but the publishers previous books have also been called into question many times by readers, including here on the WAF, regarding the authenticity of there narratives. Here is a further criticism of the book. The points raised imo are valid ones'.

                    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...5a&sh=c942ac18

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                      #11
                      The only two main points I see are:
                      -the name Eckhertz does not come up on certain online databases.
                      -why were the accounts not published in 1954.

                      From this they conclude the book is highly doubtfull!
                      The author explains point 2: his grandfather died before he could finish his project. As for point 1, as a person who is used to vainly searching for confirmed people on the Nara or Volksbund databases, I cant take that point seriously.

                      Before shooting the book down in public they could at least contact the author to ask him to adress these questions.

                      JL
                      Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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                        #12
                        Does Sprech Media even have a physical address, or phone number where such questions could be asked? I did an internet search and could find none except for mostly Amazon links of there various books.

                        Is the book more a compilation taken from older post-war publications such as Der Landser?

                        As an aside, can it be said with any certainty if the service records of a PK officer by the name of Dieter Eckhertz exist, or is the name a pseudonym?

                        Imo, the above raises more questions than answers.

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                          #13
                          I am not even completely finished reading the book yet, but after looking into this a bit, I see that there seem to be no newspaper articles of any sort on this book in Germany, which seems very surprising for such a successfull book. Furthermore, the name Eckhertz itself does not even seem to exist, none are listed in the German phone book, or in the Volksbund database for example.
                          So it seems that this book is published under a pen name, which is not suspicious by itself, but does become suspicious when the author does not mention this fact.
                          This doeant make the book fake, but some explanations are definitly needed.

                          I did notice a few things when reading the book. The description of phosphorous weapons is made by several soldiers, in a very similar, and in my opinion, not very believable way. Also, several of the soldiers say they were hit in the face with rifle butts, something which is normaly only rarely found in descriptions of modern combat...

                          Affaire à suivre...

                          JL
                          Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Using a pseudonym isn´t that unusual especially in the German context, as the veterans weren´t sure what could come out of that- f.e. Paul Carell and his ww2 bestsellers, well read and esteemed in this generation. 3.000 comments on Amazon is quite a lot- but as already said here I wonder, too that there is no German book. Maybe they emigrated and the son only used the manuscripts to be published in the USA, as he grew up there? I recall in the foreword that the son said to have published his father´s notes.

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                              #15
                              I could see the use of a pseudonym during the post-war 1950's-1960's as was the case with Paul Karl Schmidt (aka. Paul Karell, aka Paul Carell), but it makes somewhat less sense today. As an aside, unless I am mistaken, the narratives used by Schmidt (Carell) in his books were also largely sourced. Which is yet another point. So Eckhertz's son published his father's notes, but they remain unknown? A story perhaps like the book, The Black March and Peter Neumann who never existed. To a larger extent it is the same overriding trend with books by Sprech Media in general.

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