Blood, Dust & Snow (Hardback)
Diaries of a Panzer Commander in Germany and on the Eastern Front
New and Noteworthy!
WWII History Magazine
‘The infantry is only a few metres ahead of us when suddenly, on the left of our tank, a Russian stands up. The swine had pretended to be dead when our infantry came past him! That’s an old classic, pretending to be dead and then firing from the rear. But that isn’t a good idea when facing tank-men like us… floor the accelerator! Turn left and run over him!
'An utterly gripping first-hand German account of the war on the Eastern Front.' - Dan Snow
“Unvarnished, absorbing, gritty and pulling no punches. One of the best accounts of war on the Eastern Front I have ever read.” - Peter Caddick-Adams
"An erudite, well-written, thoughtful account of the harsh realities of combat on the Eastern Front in World War Two" - Roger Moorhouse
The war on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945 was the bloodiest combat theatre in the bloodiest war in history. Oberleutnant Friedrich Wilhelm Sander experienced this bloodshed first-hand when serving with the 11th Panzer-Regiment. This regiment made up the core of the 6th Panzer-Division, one of Hitler’s top armoured formations, which was involved in most of the major campaigns on the Eastern Front; campaigns such as Operation Barbarossa and Operation Winter Storm.
Sander recorded his experience of these campaigns in astounding detail in some recently-discovered diaries covering the period from April 1938 to December 1943, translated here for the first time by historian Robin Schäfer. Written during the fighting, these diaries not only offer an honest assessment of the war on the Eastern Front, but also provide an insight into the mind of a young and highly politicised officer, and offer an intimate glimpse into the close-knit community of a German Panzer crew.
A brutally honest, immediate and unfiltered personal account, Sander’s translated diaries make for some uniquely fascinating reading about some of the most important campaigns of the Second World War. Supported by more than 100 photographs and maps from the period, Blood, Dust & Snow will be of great interest not only to readers studying the war on the Eastern Front, but also to any historian researching the Second World War.
"The entries are thus mainly from 1941-1943, and are graphic and unfiltered, giving you an authentic view from a National soldier".The Armourer – May 2023
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Joseph Bruce
I enjoyed reading this book alot. I am history buff and the world wars are a topic I am especially passionate about. This was a side of the war that I had not heard as much about, so this was an eye opening book for me. I loved following along with the panzer soldier through his daily events throughout the war. I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone with a passion for history. Thanks for letting me read it!
As featured on World War II TodayWW2 Today
5 out of 5Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)
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A hit for me, would happily recommend to other WW2 history buffs.The History Fella
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Review as featured inWWII History Magazine (US)
An invaluable contribution to the growing library of German World War II accounts, "Blood, Dust and Snow: Diaries of a Panzer Commander in Germany and on the Eastern Front" is a riveting read from beginning to end. Impressively candid, detailed, and informative, "Blood, Dust and Snow" will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in the Eastern Front battlegrounds of World War II and has the highest possible recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II Military History and Biography/Memoir collections.Midwest Book Review
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A visceral account of combat on the Eastern front. At times the descriptions are brutal, bloody and completely realistic but if they weren't we wouldn't understand the suffering as well as we might.NetGalley, Simon Clayton
This is the first diary I have read and as you might expect, at times it doesn't flow. Combine that with missing pages and sections, and the narrative can fragment. That said, this book does not suffer as a result. In fact, it adds an air of authenticity.
You can sense and feel the challenging environment it was written in. You smell the cordite, the blood, the frozen and sodden earth. You hear the screams of terror, of pain, of suffering. The descriptions are detailed, graphic and create images in the mind of incredible clarity.
Given the diary starts pre-war, the pace is somewhat slow initially and that may put some readers off. Don't be deterred, as it picks up pace and grit quite quickly. Recommended
Will be of great interest to the WWII researcher, historian, librarian, and enthusiastic buff anxious to experience what it was really like facing the fierce, resolute Soviets defending their country, fighting to the last man.ARGunners.com
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Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Ron Baumer
An intriguing look at the war in the eastern front during WW2. The use of diary entries to give a first hand insight into the thoughts and feelings really makes the book interesting and gives you a feeling of being there. A great read for the WW2 enthusiast.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Patrick Carmen
An account of the real war fought by a German soldier. No excuses and banter about right and wrong just some guy trying to get through a true disaster of monumental proportions. This book starts with the training of a panzer soldier in the late 1930s before the Russian front and the carnage to come. The story is a war diary found after the war and thank goodness it survived. No one would believe the circumstances the armies on both sides endured and the fact that so many never made it home on both sides is disturbing. If you want to read a truly action packed book with actual war time exploits then IMO this is one of the best. The German soldier who wrote it ends his diary in 1943 severely wounded. This book breaks the myth that the German army soldiers never had written accounts after the battles for security reasons. Maybe its true but read this if you want to know the carnage and bravery of war. Its amazing there were survivors at all.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Arthur Bradford Morrill III
Few war diaries will present events, experiences and the thoughts of combatants as effectively as this wartime diary does though a riveting, very personal narrative that describes the combat experience and sense of the participants moment by moment. His photographs and maps of the time further add to this diary’s historical value.
Interestingly, the writer is a Panzermann (tanker) and, depending on emergencies in combat, an infantryman, but also a dedicated National Socialist who grew up from his earliest years in that environment. However, upon his transfer to the bloody Ostfront (Eastern Front, i.e., Russia, et.al.) and his long, tough service there, he realizes increasingly becomes aware that the assertions and promises of the Third Reich are at odds with what he is experiencing. Thus, the diary not only talks about his daily experiences in war, but it also reveals the evolution in his thinking throughout it all.
Schafer did an excellent job translating the diary entries into English, in such a way that you feel as close to the action as it's possible to get without actually being there. You experience the biting cold, and all the hardships associated with the infamous Eastern Front. This is an excellent reading choice for those, like myself, who enjoy reading first hand accounts.NetGalley, Spencer Wright