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Stormtrooper on the Eastern Front (Paperback)

Fighting with Hitler's Latvian SS

Military WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front

By Mintauts Blosfelds
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 207
ISBN: 9781526760753
Published: 1st April 2019



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Following the conquest of his native Latvia by the Nazis, the author was given the stark choice: service in the SS or forced labour in a slave camp. So he 'volunteered' to fight for the Nazis. He describes his training and how he became an instructor before being sent into Russia. He nearly perished during the terrible winter of 1943-44 being wounded and finding himself with his friend lying dead on top of him. As the tide turned and the Russians advanced remorselessly through. He was wounded twice more and awarded the Iron Cross for bravery.

With German resistance collapsing, the author had to flee for his life - capture by the Russians meant almost certain death. He surrendered to the Americans but describes the neglect he suffered at their hands. Unable to return to Latvia now occupied by the Russians, he became a Displaced Person eventually settling in the UK.

This personal account was enjoyable to read. I have personally been interested in life under occupation and Blosfelds gives the reader a small glimpse in the beginning of the book.

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Military History Online

An excellent book, and with the many hand drawn maps provided, easy to follow, an accurate record that will give you a valuable insight into that period of the Second World War.

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Arrse, July 2019

This account demonstrates many aspects of WWII and the upheaval of populations that is rarely covered adequately. – Highly Recommended

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The memories of Mintauts Blosfelds edited by his daughter Lisa are a very interesting point of view on the way of thinking and the conflict faced by a boy from the Baltic countries, who were at the center of the war on several occasions. The further interest is given by the fact that Blosfelds is an honest narrator and what he describes is important to understand another point of view on the Second World War.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

This book gives a unique perspective of a defining time in world history, as there are not many books that give an insight of war from the other side. Having been given a stark choice of serve the SS or be shipped off to a forced labour camp, this is a honest and insightful personal story. Becoming a prisoner of war and being neglected by the Americans that he surrendered to, and having to find another country to call home. The book finishes with Mintaut’s entry into a displaced persons camp.

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Edited by Lisa Blosfelds, this is such a readable book I was quite upset that I had to put it down after reading 2/3s in a single sitting. I usually speed-read my way through most of the books I review but, this time, the story had me beaten. It is so well written that I was engrossed by the end of page two and I found myself being educated and entertained as I discovered the real story behind the Latvian SS and the motivation of the soldiers to fight for the Nazi war machine.

Mintauts was born in Latvia in 1924, the perfect age to become an SS 'volunteer'. His choice as simple: forced labour in the slave camps or service in the German forces. The political situation meant that the invasion of Latvia by the German forces was positively welcomed by the majority of Latvians when compared with the constant fear and oppression endured under Russian control. Thousands had simply disappeared and almost the whole Latvian population lived their lives in fear and with meagre diets and little to look forward to from day to day.

The book follows Mintauts' story through his basic training and how he became an instructor himself. While serving on the Russian Front in the terrible winter of 1943-44 he lost a number of friends, was wounded twice, hospitalised and even earned the coveted Iron Cross for his bravery.

Fleeing the Russian advance, the horrors of war did not end with his surrender to American Forces under who's control he suffered further neglect and, unable to return to his Latvian home which was firmly back in the grasp of the Red Army, he ended the war as a displaced person; eventually settling in England. This is an extremely rare first-hand account of life in the SS and is a truly compulsive story.

Lisa, who edited her father's book, is a member of the EYFHS and has undertaken a number of projects on behalf of the society including the 'Enclosure of Reighton' and a three-part parish register set of the same. She is currently transcribing the Parish Records of Speeton for the EYFHS.

East Yorkshire Family History Society

This is the incredible story of one man's battle to survive in a harsh world.......it is a personal tale of a warfare rarely seen.....A fascinating, thought-provoking read...

The Entertainer
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