Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by TIM E, Sep 2, 2001.
Has anyone read the book
Scorched Earth by Paul Carell
What did you think ?
Not yet, but Paul is a very good author....
Hello. I think Paul Carell's book "Scorched Earth" ranks right up with all his other works. A well researched book that puts the reader right up there in the "front seat" in terms of viewing and witnessing the action, first hand. I found it to be a non-judgemental, accurate, work, that tells the story as it was, without embellishment. Of course, I thought the same of all Carell's books. Best wishes, John.
Paul Carrel's book is essential for the library covering the period from 1943 through the early part of 1944. A somewhat lengthy coverage of the Battle of Kursk is included though at present there is much new information on this major tank battle. Although there are new Wehrmacht histories being written and personal accounts from the vets fighting on the Ost Front, I would simply say.....buy a copy and enjoy a good read......'
I wanted to buy it this weekend when I went to the bookstore, but sadly I didn't have enough money.
Mt friend, look in the used book stores or try and locate a small paperback volume. Mine is a bit tattered now but is about 1 1/2 inches thick, and unfortunately because of it's size the maps really suck......too small, but you can still get a sense of the proportions, which in my case I redid the maps for a small 3-ring binder I have on the War on the Ost Front years ago.
Good luck !
Tellll me about not having the funds available--ive had to pass on a mint Spanish Cross in Silver and a mint Condor Legion Tank badge. all because I have almost no money available.
Hey Carl :
You'll make it I know. Thanks for the priovate mail and please send those other URL's of the firms mentioned for the fighter clasps if available. The main problem I think is monies for everyone and where to place our own priorities.
Thanks and your welcome. I also forgot to send you the URLs and I have a few listed for you on the posting about AT guns in this same forum.
Thnak you kind sir !
Most welcome...and nowunfortunately, I have to take leave as I have to get ready for work.
I know I'm a bit late with this one but I'm a great fan of Paul Carell's work. By the way I think the name is a pseudonym ?
Anyhow, 'Scorched Earth' is superb and is part of a trilogy, the others being 'Hitler's War on Russia' ( both published in UK by Harrap in the '60s, beautifully illustrated ) and the 'Bildband' ( photo album ) published by Ullstein in Germany. All three are essential to any Eastern Front library. The bad news is that they're very scarce and sought-after with dealers asking high prices. If you see an original copy in dustjacket - buy !!
Better late than never. All I know is that his works are very good ones and his books are hard to come by--at least in my neck of the woods.
Hmmm... I think I may have to respectfully disagree with you gentlemen. I have read Scorched Earth, (although none of Carrell's other volumes) and was not as impressed as the rest of you. It seemed Carrell was writing alot of his own story. It read more like a novel than an actual history. Carrell didn't seem to ever cite any sources, and there were never any numbers given.
And the biggest thing- on many occasions Carrell wrote about what soldiers were thinking and how they felt. I always wonder when I read this in a history- how did Carrell find out what all those people were thinking? Veterans' accounts only go so far...
Any feedback? Did I get a bum copy? (I think my version is from Schiffer- not at home right now to check...)
Hello again, Crazy.
Interesting comments, and as ( I'll freely admit ) Carell's books rank among my all-time favourites, I thought I'd do a little 'digging'.
Paul Carell's real name was Paul Karl Schmidt. Born in 1911, he was University-educated and joined the NSDAP (SA) in 1931, transferring to the SS in 1934 ( SS No 308263 ). He then joined the Foreign Affairs Propaganda Ministry under von Ribbentrop and by some adroit manouevring was largely responsible throughout the war for the content of the now-legendary propaganda magazine 'Signal'. By this time, his official rank was SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer.
After the war, he escaped prosecution and continued his journalistic career under an assumed name, editing 'Crystal' magazine and writing his series of war accounts.
He gathered material for these books during the late '50s, early 60s. Due to his 'interesting' background, veterans , who were reluctant to speak to anyone else , would speak to 'Paul Carell' . At this time their memories of the very-recent past were still very clear.
For obvious reasons, he agreed not to divulge their names.
Today, he is largely vilified in Germany as a 'Nazi Apologist' and heavily criticised for omitting any mention of the Einsatzgruppen, SS atrocities, etc etc and generally glorifying Third Reich aggression.
So there you are - not his experiences, not novelised but certainly 'journalism', a melange of veterans' reminiscences. . . . .
I still like the books - but I'd like to hear anyone else's views ?
Good stuff, Martin. I had read before somewhere that Carell had soemthing to do with the german army. That would certainly color his writing a bit- but I certainly didn't get the sense of a Nazi apologist. He didn't talk much about nazi war atrocities- but how many american historians talk about atrocities in Vietnam?
I got the idea that he was getting info from somewhere- I only wish he would have cited more! Even some sorts of anonymous "veteran recollection #141" or something.
Overall Carell's book is pretty good- the atmosphere and tone of the campaigns really do coem across. I just always want lots of citations!
more comments, anyone?
Well I guess I knew they were veteran accounts and din;t even think of the need for references/bibliography as several older WW 2 accounts from Germany do not list them......true, can be aggravating. Have you seen his bildband ? Still by today's standards one of the best graphic accounts available. forget
schiffer pubs, their duplicating sucks. Look for the German originals. It is sad that Paul never got around to writing the last part of 44 through the end of the war. Of course if you want the German version of the Ost Front battles, he is the author to read.
Yes, I forgot to say that he died in June 1997.
I think you're right about Schiffer ; I leafed through their reprints in a bookshop and decided that the original Harrap publications were far superior. But, I kid you not, they can be very difficult to find.
I think a person would have to find the bildband in an out of print type book store. My copy slighty worn, torn, ripped and faded was the first paperback copy printed......
Lemme guess- these original versions you two speak of are in German, right?
I would guess that because I don't speak or read any... and that's just my luck! But any info on better english versions would be great!
And on the citations thing- ideally, this is what I like- (unfortunately no specific example- at work right now!)- veterans accounts and first hand info WITH footnotes from the author clarifying or correcting the first-hand accounts. The ideal mix of first hand info AND accuracy.
Erich- bildband? is that his photographic collection?