Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

The forgotten soldier

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Tommy Atkins, May 21, 2003.

  1. Tommy Atkins

    Tommy Atkins Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    First things first,Tommy's back,been on a three day pass squire ;)
    Right,saw kai's post re Guy Sajer's the Forgotten Soldier,this is without doubt my favourite book of a personal experience type.I was a little surprised with the brevity of the ending,and have not been able to find out anything re Guy Sajer elsewhere.Also saw Martin's comment re its slightly novelised tone,and can see why it has its doubters.
    So,
    1)Has anyone else got any info on Mr Sajer
    and
    2)Does anyone know if any person,group or whatever has checked the authenticity of the events described ie actions,places etc ?
    Cheers
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,328
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Location:
    London, England.
  3. Doc Raider

    Doc Raider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Doc Raider

    Doc Raider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    0
    AND here...
    http://members.shaw.ca/grossdeutschland/

    I read the book and loved it, but then heard it was fiction. Upset that my fun was spoiled, I did some searching for myself. This is what I came accross.
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2001
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    333
    http://members.shaw.ca/deutschesoldaten/

    Take a look at that site, there is a load of stuff on Sajer. It is a good book but I woulden't use it as a source and would be very dubious of its contents.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    21,637
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    A couple of years ago I read that the book was considered as "Grossdeutschland history". I read the book for the first time 25 years ago.I read it for the fourth time a year ago.

    As for I have read some 50 books or more on the eastern front I don´t find the Sajer book very different, but as it is, I would not make it a source, but I don´t think it is fiction as it has too much of feelings and details that can only happen in the front. I might be wrong but I think fiction is not that realistic for one thing.

    Interesting to see that many people who have studied this say the opposite to each other...some say it´s true, some it it´s false.
     
  7. Tommy Atkins

    Tommy Atkins Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys.
    looked at all the sites,found all interesting especially the one recommended by Stefan.
    I have other books as GD sourcebooks,this one is a personal account and I think we all know regardless of campaign,period in history etc this type of book can't be considered as such,I think you would all agree any personal account written by a soldier of this level,rather than an officer with access perhaps to a far higher level of information at the time and perhaps later with diaries etc,could not be 100 % accurate,plain and simple.Also,if you chose to recall a period of your life,however important,at sufficient detail to write a book from say even 5 years ago I for one feel I could not do this without a great deal of unintentional inaccuracy.I suppose weighing up all the information I have kindly been provided with I can only draw my own conclusions,and no doubt we would probably all have differing opinions,that Guy 'Sajer' certainly was a serving WW2 Wermacht soldier,was possibly/probably in the Grossdeutschland regiment,the basis of the story of the book if you will pardon the use of the word story is true and was fleshed out from some correctly recalled events,some unintentionally incorrect recollections and a certain level of untruths.How this breakdowns by percentage only one person will ever know.
    Knowing now more of the full story and controversy behind the book and reading this info with an open mind,I would like to think the first time I read the book that I allowed a certain leeway with its accuracy,unfortunately I cannot recall.I would like to think now i can read it again understanding it a little more whilst maintaining a certain level of respect for Mr 'Sajer'.I cannot say this for many books I have read.I would still consider it a great work.
    Bloody hell i've gone on a bit :D
    Thanks again to all,what do you guys think ?
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    21,637
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Well put, Tommy!

    BTW, ever thought of going into politics??

    ;)
     
  9. Tommy Atkins

    Tommy Atkins Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL :D :D No Way!!
     
  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    853
    It's a good book from a low ranking soldiers PoV. Sure he will not have alot of datails but--I for one do believe it's a real deal.

    I also do not fully listen to what the so-called "we were all there" experts who "know it all" who are from another historical forum. I think it's the real deal as much as Enemy At The Gates, is not the real deal.
     
  11. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2001
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    333
    I liked the book but was dubious from the start. I would suggest that many war memoirs of this point from the point of view of a man in the field must always be taken with a pinch of salt but sometimes they are accurate and can be good 'sources'. An example I would cite is 'through hell for Hitler' by Henry Metalman. It is an excellent book though it has little about combat (he was a truck driver) and I would reguard it as trustworthy (as much so as a memoir can be) as there is nothing in it that goes against what I know. I generally prefer to go off the 'feel' of a book as well and TFS felt wrong.
     
  12. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    853
    I liked Metalmann's book too and thought it was well written.

    The only book I can accurately say that is a total fake is "Last Letters From Stalingrad." I saw a paperback copy of this book from the 1960's for sale on some book site not long ago for $70.00! And get this, that book sold at that outrageous price rather quickly.

    A hardbound reprint which you can order through Barnes and Nobles also goes for $70.00--which is outrageous. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

Share This Page