'The Forgotten Soldier' By Guy Sajer

I've just finished Guy Sajer's 'The Forgotten Soldier' and thought it moving, gripping and thought provoking. I particularly enjoyed it having read Beevor's 'Stalingrad' and 'Berlin: The Downfall 1945' imediately before. However, previous threads have suggested that Sajer's book may not be entirley factual.

What, if any, basis is there for such a suggestion, and where can I find additional information on Sajer?

TVM and a happy/safe New Year to all,
Hmm, I'm starting to feel rather cheated by Sajer after looking at that site. Still it may be true or it may be someone who has put together the recollections of a number of veterans. Certainly the descriptions of being under almost continuous bombardment and attack are very powerful. I've not been there, but I could imagine it being very similar to what is described in the book...
I wouldn’t feel cheated.

I read the book a few years ago and did some research on the guy. There are only a few people who say it is fiction based on inaccuracies, the vast majority believe on balance it to be true. I side with them. If I were to write a book about what I did in the Army twenty years ago I am pretty certain a lot of the fine details would be wrong. I can’t even remember which squadron I was in 10 years ago in my last regiment.

A damned good book which I am going to go out and buy this afternoon and read again.
TVM for the info gentlemen, and particularly GQ.


Book Reviewer
I have served in two TA regiments and one regular army corps and a mixed badge unit.

These have been spread out over 21 years.

I can't remember which sleeve the lanyard is worn on and whether it goes over or under.

I can only remember 2 CO's names...they were not relevant.

One regiment I cannot even remember seeing a stable belt because nobody wore them.

I challenge Lt Col. Smartarsse to prove I didn't serve.

Case proven, I feel.
I kept a diary over Op Telic 1. That was only two years ago, and when I read it I am amazed with how much is missing and how many gaps there are in the story. Now if I can't recal what happened two years ago when I was taking notes, you have to forgive a few mistakes writing something 20 years later and then having it translated into another language!
Moving though the book was..............what matters is that those amongst us who have been in conflict will easily recognise those who only claim to have been in conflict it's not something you can do over the internet or unless you have a serious 'little black book' of witnesses.

If you feel the man was a 'Walt' then in your view he ultimately amounted to an 'individual' lacking in self respect...if you believe his account to be factual, then he has proven and is believed to be a man of courage and perseverance.
I thought I'd resurrect this thread because the book is out in paperback in Waterstones etc and is worth a read. Also it parallels a thread running that was titled "Who Won World 2" but which has evolved into a critique of the Soviet mass rape claim of Antony Beevor and others.


I recommend the book strongly. Is it fiction or fact? The thread above details an interesting correspondence in the form of a debate fought out in a US Army periodical. Having read the book, I believe that it is factual. The critics point out inaccuracies in the location and unit of the author's (failed) Luftwaffe selection and other glitches. I would argue that a fraudster would not make these errors and would carry out meticulous research. The book may be compared to Quartered Safe Out Here in which George McDonald Fraser writes an excellent introduction that highlights the difference between a historical record and a soldier's recollections, which can be inaccurate with facts distorted through the prism of personal experience. He also states that some names and incidents were changed slightly to spare the pain of relatives of some of those who gave their lives.

Buy it for £7.99 and join the argument!

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