Wolfgang Faust was the driver of a Tiger I tank with the Wehrmacht Heavy Panzer Battalions, seeing extensive combat action on the Eastern Front in 1943-45. This memoir is his brutal and deeply personal account of the Russian Front's appalling carnage.
Depicting a running tank engagement lasting 72 hours, Faust describes how his Tiger unit fought pitched battles in the snows of Western Russia against the full might of the Red Army: the T34s, the Stalin tanks, the Sturmovik bombers, and the feared Katyusha rocket brigades. His astonishing testimony reveals the merciless decisions that panzer crews made in action, the devastating power of their weaponry, and the many ways that men met their deaths in the snow and ice of the Ostfront.
First published in the late 1940s, this memoir's savage realism shocked the postwar German public. Some were outraged at the book's final scenes while others wrote that "now, at last, I know what our men did in the East".
Today it stands as one of the great semiautobiographical accounts of warfare in World War II - a crescendo of horror, grim survival, and a fatalistic acceptance of the panzer man's destiny.
Originally published in the German Federal Republic as Panzerdammerung (Panzer Twilight).
The only other surviving memoir by this author is The Last Panther - an astonishing account of panzer warfare in the final hours of the Third Reich.
Tanker view of frantic battles
I enjoyed the frank descriptions and insights of a lower enlisted man’s view. Very clear description of the operation of armor and the in-the-moment tactics.
I did not care for the narrator. I wanted to hear the voice of a soldier, not an overly-dramatic actor.
Awesome book, very detailed & descriptive. Only complaint is that I wish it was longer and encompassed the author’s entire military career. He also talks a little about the rampant drug use in the German army during WW2 (PERVATIN). Not as good as Ernst Jünger’s book(Storm of Steel) but I haven’t for d one yet that is. Definitely worth checking out