"…what you might have to go through before you got killed." – Excerpts from Blood Red Snow

I’ve been re-reading a lot of my books because I am giving them ratings for my Amazon bookstore. My goal is to rank at least 700 of the books I’ve read on World War Two history so you can go to my bookstore and read what I have to say about various books before you buy them. I come across many interesting passages re-reading these books so I decided to post a series of brief quotes as they strike me. These quotes are from: Blood Red Snow: the Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front.

This is the most haunting passage in the book:

They were forever telling us at training camp how to service and use our weapons in order to kill our enemies, and we were trained, and proud, to fight for Fuhrer, Volk und Vaterland, and, if necessary, die. But no one told us what you might have to go through before you got killed.

And here are more:

A torn off leg, still wearing a felt boot, hits the ground only a few meters from us; the blood pumping out the leg slowly covers the snow red. We look at each other helplessly, our faces flushed. Despite the cold, sweat is running down my forehead into my eyes.

Now, after exactly three weeks in combat, no one talks of heroism or enthusiasm any more. On the contrary, the only wish is to get out of this death trap alive.

For those who are hit, death always comes as a surprise and much too early.

It (war) destroys everything around it, except war itself.

Our eyes gleam feverishly. Hell is fuming! Fire and glowing steel fall from the sky all around us. If we didn’t know that the devastating shellfire was coming from the Soviets, we could be forgiven for thinking that here, on 13 December (1943), the end of the world has begun.

…among a very few I am still alive. I am convinced that God has heard my prayers, but then I also know that others also prayed and, in spite of that, perished. What is the secret, and the purpose, that might explain why God decides upon different fates?

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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