Hey everyone, I have three journals from my grandfather (German) as he wrote hourly from the frontlines as a German Anti Tank Reconnaissance Cartographer.[FONT="] [/FONT] Because he was in charge of mapping the front lines, he wrote and wrote a lot. A publisher is offering to publish it as a book but it is very low offer - and becuase we don't know much about how special this may be we are hesitant. The journals are full off info and gory details - some info even could change history (this is what the greman translator told us) Here is a sample -- any feedback would be great as to what we should do with these journals -- PS - we also have all his map drawings. [FONT="]_______________________[/FONT] [FONT="] [/FONT] Page 3 At Orel Wide Russian plane, oppressive loess canyons, which cut treacherously deep, like cracks in a glass pane, into the black soil. Forever humid and swampy, they are the threatening breeding ground for malaria, and the other fever epidemics, for which there are no names yet. Along a poor strip of woods and sparse huts extents here the HKL. The ground is scared and the grass scorched by thousands of impacts from the many months of position fighting. Over the badly torn up trenches lies a tropical heat. In the flickering heat across lie the Russian shelters. It’s very difficult to keep your eyes open, because the heat is heavy and the extremities like lead. The half hour before noon with its tempting (page 4) calm is the most critical of the entire day. One is waiting for the return of the meal runner, dosing and only a breath away from falling asleep. Then all of a sudden a hissing coming across from the other side, crashing with a thunder beyond the cover. It’s the same every noon; nevertheless you’re startled out of your dreams every time. The images of home and all the longing thoughts are abruptly torn apart… One to two hours is hissing, rolling and thundering. Here and across on the other side stand the stinking smoke plumes from the impacts, waves of smoke and fumes in all colors, which the forever blowing wind mixes into a dirty grey, evenly flecked by blinding white shrapnel clouds. Then the fire falls asleep slowly. --- The nights are damp and cold and (page 5) full of restlessness. After the fireworks by the artillery every evening to honor the departing day, it becomes livelier in the fore field. The heavy weaponry has been laid to rest and now it’s the great moment for the small guns, for Pak (probably anti-tank weapon), Mg and rifles. In the fore field late troops from here and across fumble through the darkness. In glaring white flares are hissing in the night sky. Like a startled chicken cackles a “Maxim”(medium machine gun) somewhere. We respond more Mg’s join in and in a few minutes the whole chicken coup is in a great flurry, a hellish racket throughout the sector. It often takes hours before friend and enemy calm down, most of the times the night is over by then and again you had to forget about sleeping. (page 6) Unforgettable are also the air raids in the Liwuy-sector. Starry nights. The oppressive calm after the evening’s infernal noise of the artillery duel, the few quite minutes, when you can write a letter in the shelter-then suddenly a fine singing in the air: the “Iwans” (coll. for Russians) are coming! The singing becomes a rattling haul, which will now fill the air for hours. Each night the same, fascinating picture, hundreds of lightning bursts-white, red, green-splatter the sky, long yellow-orange stripes shoot into the sky, accompanied by the hard knocking of the 2 cm anti-aircraft artillery. Then glaring white magnesium lights are falling from above, a fluorescent screen. Or with red flames a fire sizzles on the ground jumps back up 50 or 60 meters and then remains as yellow-white (page 7) balls like a burning Christmas tree, and that’s also what we call these American tracer shells. Only there’re no gifts under it but infantryman. Each movement has died down, in order not to reveal more to the Russians than he can see already, because the dawn lies above the sap trenches and ditches. Then a slurping and gurgling from above, which becomes a booming hissing, a tremendous bang, the earth trembles, a shinning drizzle of glowing splinters cut through the air…once…twice and once more. Then the plane hurtled above our heads. In the neighboring trenches the flames now shooting to the sky until there are no more bombs. Now the lightning bursts are coming from above, (page 8), he is shooting with onboard weapons, from below attack the multi-colored bursts from our Mgs and 2 centimeters with crashing and thundering, a tremendous spectacle, like judgment day. Whoever is calm enough and does have an eye for this wild, twitching picture, will keep these nights at Liwuy-in spite of everything- in good memory. Difficult days! The Russians full well knowing how important the “Kunatsch-Sector” is, throws enforcements into the trenches day after day, pulls up heavy guns and does now also have the damn “Stalin-Orgel”( multiple rocket launcher) positioned across. Fine drizzle in oppressive heat. Warm as piss fever air! People sick with malaria stumble back in noticeable numbers. (page 9). The roads are bottomless, the trenches a singular bog. Damn positional fighting! My shelter is about to drown, not a dry speck anywhere! Now the sun is shining again and the reds, who probably just like us suffered like dogs during these rainy days, are becoming totally, meanly aggressive. By night he breaks into our fore most advanced trenches with tank support, during the day he is struck back. That’s how it goes for 3 days when we full of righteous wrath tier of the whole thing and in a nightly assault maneuver bring a small piece of forest, point of origin for all the evil, into our possession through bitter close-range attack. When at dawn the (page 10) whole affair starts to look more than precarious, the excellent “Do Geraete” bring help and support. We sit on the other side and the terribly crumpled forest in thoroughly in our hand, no force in the world will be able to expel us from here! Here we have been sitting now for a week, a burned out Russian tank is built up to become the forward B-point, the forest is packed with the most modern weapons. The Reds run up a few times a day but only get their heads bloodied. The position is ideal and almost impossible to capture. He also seems to understand this and in the next days and nights he hardly bothers us. Now that again isn’t right either, for me personally this calm is suspicious. (page11) The leadership as well doesn’t appear to trust the peace, because sound locator and surveillance posts are doubled. After two more days, everybody up here knows that the reds are planning something devilish for us. On the third day this becomes a certainty, on the fourth day the entire combat position including the important “B point explode under Russian tanks. I want to tell the story how everything played out in detail and it was reported to the Corps. On June 30th: Russian officer with marching orders is in front of our positions, which apparently scrutinizes the tank and later takes photographs. June 6th and 7th. Conspicuous enlargement of the dirt berms along the entire length of the enemy trench facing us. (page12) July 7th.: A deserter testifies, that at this position a mine tunnel is being built, which is only missing 20 meters before completion. July 12.: 15 meters from our on barbed wire line a metal post sticking out of the ground is observed. Simultaneously the tank is sized up anew from the Russian trench. With the first observation alone the presumption occurs the Russian could be pushing ahead with a tunnel towards the tank. Therefore a screening trench of 3 meters in depth is dug and manned with a sound locator. Because of the testimony of the deserter on July 10th a counter bombardment with 9 heavy “T” mines is tried, which despite being executed on a 10 meter width does not bring any results, the examination of the craters does not provide ( page 13) any evidence of a tunnel. Three more counter blasts don’t bring any results, a fourth one is being prepared for the evening of the 14th. Our artillery and heavy weaponery conspicuously range on the fore field sector, Spanish riders and S rolls are standing by as a precaution. It is a terrible feeling, to sit there and wait for the havoc, which could rage upon us at any moment. To abandon the position is out of the question, therefore it’s time to write your will and to wait for the eruption of the volcano with frazzled nerves. A very terrible situation! Here indeed hours turn into minutes and minutes into hours, time is crawling, it makes you crazy! (page 14) I could scream, and fume and howl out of rage. Here helps no dirty joke and no cursing, the men are staring into nothing, numb and catatonic they are waiting for the catastrophe. On the 14th at 7pm, there is the sudden detonation about 25 to 30 steps to the right and forward of the tank. After a few seconds a second even bigger one at the same spot and right afterwards two more in a distance of about 80 steps from the tank. The above present battalion leader and a few men thrown over by the wave of the detonation, the crew in the forward trenches in buried. The screening trenches however did not cave in, the main pressure of the tremendous explosion escapes without doing a lot of damage upwards. Except for a few scratches ( page 15) it did nothing to me or my men. With the sudden onset of fire from all weapons an assault unit tries to penetrate the position. He is turned around with hand grenades and rifles;-the small and large Mgs which are buried under collapsed earth berms are not functional- and thrown out in close combat. While doing this we even take a few prisoners, who will tell interesting things later on in the interrogation. Besides a dozen wounded and 3 dead we got away with a black eye this time. Position combat-mine combat! Now we are there! Now I am only missing gas. – Additionally we find out from the attack the following. - Origin of the tunnel was the fore most Russian trench across for our position. Strong pioneer forces for deployed for the construction of the tunnel, which on the 14th had a length of 170 meters. In the tunnel 20 men were working at a time, the work itself was executed with an earth cutter which had the shape of a horseradish cutter. Therefore almost silent work was accomplished in the soft clay. At the end of the tunnel, in the actual explosive chamber were-according to prisoner testimony-a 1000 kilogram load planted, which was detonated on the 14th. The whole mine incident counts among the most devious form of combat by the reds. Hardly a day has passed in this singularly brutal campaign where the reds did not bring us losses through one or the other devilish plan. (Page 17) The following is a small sample: Tow wire balloons and phosphor grenades are not new anymore, we already made their acquaintance in the winter also the about 50 different kinds of mines are old acquaintances. New on the other hand are the mine traps. Especially cunning Bolsheviks cross the German lines at night and at possible and impossible points put up sign with German writing: “Attention mine trucks drive on the right!” The right side of the road is mined of course and the truck meets its destiny.