Category: Uncategorized

Book review – Konrad Jarausch (ed), Reluctant Accomplice [the letters of Konrad Jarausch] (Princeton/Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011)

This book is an edited collection of around 350 letters sent by German NCO Konrad Jarausch during his active service. They cover the time from 1939 until his death of typhoid fever in Russia on 27 January 1942.[1] In September 1939, Jarausch was mobilised from the reserves to serve with the V/XI battalion of the […]

Book Review – Georg Grossjohann, Five Years, Four Fronts (New York/USA: Ballentine, 1999)

Five Years, Four Fronts is Georg Grossjohann’s memoir that covers his service in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War.   Grossjohann served with the 21st Infantry Division in Poland, 161st Division during the invasion of France, the 332nd Division during the time between the end of the French campaign and start of Operation Barbarossa […]

Book Review – George Raugh, Unlikely Warrior A Jewish Soldier in Hitler’s Army (New York: Macmillan, 2015)

George Raugh served as a telegraphist in the communications section of the 2nd Battalion,158th Infantry Regiment, 282nd Division of the Wehrmacht.[1] He saw service in western Ukraine and Romania from December 1943 until his capture by the Russians in August 1944. His story is remarkable as he was one-quarter Jewish and under German race laws […]

Book Review: Gottlob Bidermann, In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier’s Memoir of the Eastern Front (Kansas: University of Kansas, 2000)

Reading the marketing blurb on the flap copy for this book, it appeared to promise little more than a Sven Hassle action novel. The first paragraph tells that ‘in the hell that was World War II, the Eastern Front was its heart of fire and ice. Gottlob Herbert Bidermann served in that lethal theater from […]

Activity report for the Mentioned in Dispatches podcast, February 2017 to end of March 2021

Since February 2017 to end of December 2020, 202 episodes of the podcast have been broadcast. Between the launch of the podcast on 13 February, 2017 and the end of March 2021, podcast episodes have been downloaded 373, 897 times. The average number of downloads per programme is 1,851. The activity over the last four […]

Book Review – Friedrich Reiner Nieman, Feldpost [Denis Havel (Ed.)] (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Fonthill, 2016)

Feldpost is a collection of letters from Friedrich Reiner Niemann who served with the 58th Infantry Regiment that was part of the German 6th Infantry Division during the Second World War.[1] The correspondence covers his life and front line experiences on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945. Niemann came from a well to do […]

Book Review: Helmut Altner, Berlin Soldier (Stroud: History Press, 2008 [1948])

 Helmut Altner’s memoir covers his period as a 17-year-old conscript soldier fighting in the defence of Berlin from his enlistment on 29 March 1945 to his capture by Soviet forces on 3 May. He initially joined the Grenadier and Training Replacement Battalion 309 that was part of the 309th ‘Berlin’ Infantry Division formed in February […]

Book Review – Martin Poppel, Heaven & Hell, The War Diary of a German Paratrooper (Staplehurst: Spellmount, 1988)

  Martin Poppel’s Heaven and Hell is his account of his service in the German Fallschirmjaeger (Parachute hunters) during the Second World War. He enlisted in 1938 as a recruit in the 1st Parachute Division and saw action in Poland, Norway and Holland before being promoted to Second Lieutenant in December 1941.  Until October 1943, […]

Book Review: Herman Schmidt, Diary of a German Soldier 1939-1945 (Amazon, n.d.),

Herman Schmidt’s Diary of a German Soldier 1939-1945 is more a memoir rather than a diary; the title is misleading. Schmidt was drafted into the German army in September 1939 at the age of 39.[1] The majority of his service was in various menial roles around the horse supply unit for the 18th Army in […]

Book Review – John Stieber, Against the Odds (Dublin: Poolbeg Press, 2016)

John Stieber’s account covers his time as a private in the Herman Goring Division, fighting on the Eastern Front July in late 1944 and 1945. He was born in 1926 of Czech-Austrian parents and grew up in England and Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s as his father ran various sugar refineries. In 1939, aged […]

Book Review – William Lubbeck, At Leningrad’s Gates (Philadelphia, PA/USA: Casement, 2006)

This is the chronological memoir of William Lubbeck who served throughout the Second World War as a ranker and officer in the German 58th Infantry Division. He served as a forward observer for the heavy weapons support company (13th Company) of the 154th Infantry Regiment and he went onto command that formation. He saw service […]

Activity report for the Mentioned in Dispatches podcast, February 2017 to end of December 2020.

Since February 2017 to end of December 2020, 189 episodes of the podcast have been broadcast. Between the launch of the podcast on 13 February, 2017 and the end of December 2020, podcast episodes have been downloaded 346,741 times.  To date (31 December 2020), we have had 129,330 complete downloads and 217,411 partial downloads.   […]

Book review: Armin Scheiderbauer, Adventures in My Youth: A German Soldier on the Eastern Front, 1941-1945 (Solihull: Helion, 2003)

Armim Scheiderbauer was born in 1924 in Styria, south-east Austria, his father being a Protestant minister. In August 1941, Scheiderbauer was drafted into the German Army and became an officer cadet. From summer 1942, he served for all his time in uniform as an infantry officer with the 252nd Infantry Division where he was a […]

The Combat Morale Podcast

I have established a new podcast titled the Combat Morale Podcast. It aims to explore what makes combatants fight (or not) in armed conflict. The podcast has a very broad remit covering all conflicts, asymmetric and conventional and seeks to be multidisciplinary hosting interviews with experts drawn from psychology, sociology, history policy and the armed […]

A ‘mere six weeks’? A comparative study re-examining the longevity of infantry officers’ frontline service during the Great War

My latest article in War in History examines the length of time officers actually served in infantry units during the Great War Veteran testimony after the Great War and current popular legend states that regimental officers in frontline infantry battalions during the Great War served around six weeks before death or injury ended their service. […]

Book Review – Uwe Timm, In My Brother’s Shadow (London: Bloomsbury, 2005)

Uwe Timm’s book explores the life of his brother Franz-Heinz, a member of the Waffen SS and the impact Franz-Heinz’s death had on his parents and Uwe’s relationship with them in post-war West Germany.   Born in 1940, Uwe was the youngest of three siblings in a middle-class Hamburg family. Franz-Heinz was Uwe’s senior by […]

Book Review – Alfred Novonty, The Good Soldier (Bedford, Penn: Aberjona, 2003)

This book is the memoir of Austrian Alfred Novotny that covers his service in the Wehrmacht from 1942 to 1945 and subsequent time as a post-war Soviet captive. Novotny was born in Vienna on 1 April 1924. His father was a truck driver for a diary and also an active Social Democrat.[1] Before the war, […]

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