The devastating true story of a young Franco-German soldier trapped in the lethal machinery of total war on the Eastern Front in the Second World War.
An international bestseller, this is a German soldier's first-hand account of life on Russian front during the second half of the Second World War.
When Guy Sajer joins the infantry full of ideals in the summer of 1942, the German army is enjoying unparalleled success in Russia. However, he quickly finds that for the foot soldier the glory of military success hides a much harsher reality of hunger, fatigue and constant deprivation. Posted to the crack Grosse Deutchland division, with its sadistic instructors who shoot down those who fail to make the grade, he enters a violent and remorseless world where all youthful hope is gradually ground down, and all that matters is the brute will to survive. As the biting cold of the Russian winter sets in, and the tide begins to turn against the Germans, life becomes an endless round of pounding artillery attacks and vicious combat against a relentless and merciless Red Army. A book of stunning force, this is an unforgettable reminder of the horrors of war.