"Drawn from letters, diaries and memoirs, this impressive study presents a rounded, detailed picture of the daily life" for frontline Nazi soldiers (Publishers Weekly).
Stephen G. Fritz explores the day-to-day reality of the average German infantrymanor Landserduring World War II. Through letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, most of which describe life on the Russian front, Fritz presents a richly textured portrait of the Landser that illustrates the complexity and paradox of his daily life.
Although clinging to a self-image as a decent fellow, the German soldier nonetheless committed terrible crimes in the name of The Third Reich. When the war was finally over, and his country lay in ruins, the Landser faced a bitter truth: all his exertions and sacrifices had been in the name of a deplorable regime that had committed unprecedented crimes.
With chapters on training, images of combat, living conditions, combat stress, the personal sensations of war, the bonds of comradeship, and ideology and motivation, Fritz reveals war through the eyes of these self-styled "little men."