In the Eyes of a German Soldier and a General on the Eastern Front in 1941 | Abstract
Journal of Defense Management

Journal of Defense Management
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0374

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In the Eyes of a German Soldier and a General on the Eastern Front in 1941

Andrei V Grinev*

This article is devoted to a critical analysis of the diary of an ordinary German soldier (corporal) Hans Roth and the notes, messages and letters of General Gotthard Heinrici, who were in continuous battle on the Eastern front from June 1941. The value of their epistolary heritage lies in the fact that, unlike post-war German memoirs, they do not bear the stamp of external editing and the correction of self-censorship. On the other hand, the reason for choosing Roth’s diary and Heinrici’s notes was the contrast between the ordinary trench soldier, on whose shoulders all the hardships of combat trials fell, and the general spending most of his time at headquarters, which makes it possible to look at the war from different perspectives, albeit from one side of the front. Despite the sometimes significant differences in the description of battles and military life, both sources paint a picture of war, monstrous in its cruelty and scale of destruction, unheard of hardships and torments that affected not only the active troops, but also the civilians, some of whom Hitler’s invaders condemned to deliberate physical destruction.

Published Date: 2022-05-23; Received Date: 2022-03-14