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Conquering Moscow: The unbelievably true story of Xaver Meier, edited by Stephen Schnabl

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by ColHessler, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Length: 291 pages, including pictures.

    This is the story, in the man's own words, of his time in the German Army from the time he was drafted in 1941, to the end, when the Russians released him from captivity.

    We start in 1938, when Meier's native Austria is taken over by Nazi Germany. He is no fanatic, but he realizes what he must do to get along. He joins the SA in 1940, and gets his draft notice just after New Year's, 1941. He is trained as a machine gunner, and goes into Russia with the 7th Infantry Division. He finds himself with an anti-tank company using captured Russian 76.2 mm guns as well as 37mm Pak guns.

    He gets typhoid fever and gets convalescence time in a hospital, before going back to be part of the Battle of Kursk, Operation Citadel. He gets wounded, and after more hospital time, gets an assignment clearing trees near his native village. In early 1945, he gets put into a tank commanders course, but ends up in the infantry where he's wounded again. The Russians capture him, and threaten him and the other prisoners with Siberia, but Meier is released and sent home to Austria.

    Meier went into good detail about his time, and makes for good coverage about day to day life.

    If there's a problem, it's with the translation. Mr. Schnabl gets a bit literal in translating things. He puts "Panzer" down as "tank", such as "Tank III" and Tank IV." He also translates the German Granatwefer as "Grenade launcher" when it's really a "mortar" he's describing. The strangest one for me is where he says "1.46 inch Pak" when he could have left it as 3.7 cm or 37mm Pak.

    The pictures at the end illustrate the weapons and vehicles such as the Kettenkrad.

    It's a good effort overall, and I give it 4 stars out of 5.

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