We Will Not Go to Tuapse. From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade Wall

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wittmann007
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We Will Not Go to Tuapse. From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade Wall

Post by wittmann007 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:38 pm

This is a classic soldier s chronicle, told in unvarnished candour, about the author s experiences as a volunteer with the Wallonian Legion of the German Army and later the 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade Wallonien and the 28th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division Wallonien. However, it also ventures far beyond the usual soldier's story and approaches a travelogue of the Eastern Front campaign, seldom attained by the memoirs of the period. His self-published book in French is highly regarded by Belgian historian and expert on these volunteers Eddy de Bruyne, and Battle of Cherkassy author Douglas Nash. This book merits attention as the SS volunteer equivalent of Guy Sajer s The Forgotten Soldier, a bestseller in the USA and Europe. By comparison, Kaisergruber s story has the advantage of being completely verifiable by documents and serious historical narratives already published, such as Eddy de Bruyne s For Rex and for Belgium and Kenneth Estes' European Anabasis. Until recent years, very little was known of the tens of thousands of foreign nationals from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain who served voluntarily in the military formations of the German Army and the German Waffen-SS. In Kaisergruber s book, the reader discovers important issues of collaboration, the apparent contributions of the volunteers to the German war effort, their varied experiences, their motives, the attitude of the German High Command and bureaucracy, and the reaction to these in the occupied countries. The combat experiences of the Walloons echoed those of the very best volunteer units of the Waffen-SS, although they shared equally in the collapse of the Third Reich in May, 1945. Although unapologetic for his service, Kaisergruber makes no special claims for the German cause and writes not from any postwar apologia and dogma, but instead from his first-hand observations as a young man experiencing war for the first time, extending far beyond what had been imaginable at the time. His observations of fellow soldiers, commanders, Russian civilians and the battlefields prove poignant and telling. They remain as fresh as when he first wrote some of them down in his travel diary, Pensées fugitives et Souvenirs (1941 46) . Fernand Kaisergruber draws upon his contemporary diaries, those of his comrades and his later work with them while secretary of their postwar veteran's league to present a thoroughly engaging epic. Contains c 70 b/w photos, maps.
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krichter33
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Re: We Will Not Go to Tuapse. From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade

Post by krichter33 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:35 pm

Looks great! :D
Klaus Richter

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Re: We Will Not Go to Tuapse. From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade

Post by panzermahn » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:50 am

It is with sadness that the author of this memoir, Fernand Kaisergruber had passed away on 16th of March 2018.

Fernand is probably the last veteran of the Legion Wallonie and one of the few survivors who managed to escape the Tcherkassy pocket in 1944. He is also the last living survivor of the Walloon Guard before his passing

His story was first mentioned (for the English-speaking world) in Doug Nash's excellent Hell's Gate and only recently his memoir was translated to English by Helion Publishing

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Re: We Will Not Go to Tuapse. From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade

Post by John W. Howard » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:58 pm

Thanks for the update PzM. It is always sad when these vets pass away.
John W. Howard

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