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I Somehow Survived

I Somehow Survived

ed by Klaus G Forg
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
Most veterans books about WW2 sold in this country are about Allied soldiers but this book is a look at the other side. Five stories of people who survived the war, four German soldiers, one a Norwegian woman who fell in love with a German sailor from the occupying forces and had to live with that. Also, in this country we call the old soldiers veterans whereas in this book they consider themselves ‘Survivors’.

The first story is the longest taking our storyteller from recruit out to the Eastern Front. While there he saw, and it would appear participated, in many atrocities against the Russian people. His unit moved from those duties to front line duties and the battles around the Crimea. The casualties, on both sides, were huge and the struggles to keep alive and stay with German forces were fierce.

The next three stories are remarkably similar even though they were in different theatres and different branches of the German services. One joined the Luftwaffe with the intention of becoming a pilot. He did not get his wish and ended up with the Luftwaffe artillery reflecting on the fact that had he become a pilot he probably would not have survived the war.

The last story is one that happened across occupied Europe and bears more to do with human natire than war. A young Norwegian lass falls in love with a German sailor. This of course is not popular and her father, who is with the Resistance wants nothing to do with her and she is ostracised by the community. Not wanted in Norway she goes to Germany with her young man and marries him. He has to return to his unit in Norway leaving his wife in Germany, where she is treated with suspicion. A difficult time for her but she survived.

Not the happiest of books and these people went through hell as the Germans gradually lost the war, but they survived and as old men and woman have the chance to tell their story. It is good to read the ‘other side’ now and again and it is worth it to read about life in the German armed forces, initially fighting to conquer, latterly to survive as they are forced to withdraw back into Germany.

3.5 Mr MRHs

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