Book Forgotten Voices


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Jan 21, 2002
My father has bought me some books from the Imperial War Museum North.
I have started to read one of them called 'Forgotten voices of the Great War'
The book tells a brief story about the Great War and is compiled using short transcripts from audio tapes of people from that time including soldiers from both sides,school children from both sides and members of the public from both sides.


Here is an excerpt from the book.

Sergeant Stefan Westmann
29th Division, German Army

During our advance through Belgium we marched on and on. We never dared take off our boots, because our feet were so swollen that we didn't think it would be possible to put them on again. In one small village the mayor came and asked our company commanders not to allow us to cut off the hands of children. These were atrocity stories which he had heard about the German Army. At firts we laughed about it, but when we heard of other propaganda things said against the German Army, we became angry.

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This seems to have been the start of a series. I've also seen one called 'Forgotten Voices of the Second World War' and I believe there's a new one, 'Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust' and a similar one about the Navy.

Never read any of them, but they look interesting. Maybe someday, I don't know when though, with all the other ones I've got piled up to read and a mate who keeps adding to it! :eek:
I have read the book further and it is proving to be even better than I thought it would be. What amazes me about some of the accounts is that in the midst of the terror and misery some excellent humour arises.
I found this one very very funny it describes an incident during the xmas of 1914 when the Germans and the British left their trenches and joined up together in no mans land.

Private Frank Sumpter
London Rifle Brigade

As a sign of friendliness the Germans put up a sign saying " Gott mit uns" which means "God is with us" and so we put up a sign in English saying " We got mittens too". I dont know if they enjoyed that joke.

Reloader : Yes I saw the Forgotten voices of WWII book and plan to buy it soon, if it is anything like this one it will be worth every penny. army;
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Typical Squaddie Humour that Bombardier
Love it !! :cool:o_O
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Tickled me too very funny indeed
We got mittens too

Only the Military could find the time in such dire circumstances to joke like this.
Brilliant humour

@ Bombardier I´m so envious right now ;)

This reminds me of The Seventh Day

I have to get my hands on that movie, the book, everything.

"The best stories are written by life itself" is not a hollow cliché. Memoirs are the best books there is. If I may recommend, Journal of a Soldier of the 71st, Or Glasgow Regiment, Highland Light Infantry from 1806 To 1815. One of the best "books" I´ve read in my life.
"The best stories are written by life itself"

This is very true although the books titled 'Bravo Two Zero' by Andy Mcnab and 'The one that got away' by Chris Ryan, I suspect are exaggerations of the truth.
Mcnab makes no bones about the issues with Chris Ryan during that failed mission by the SAS
Didn´t read those two for obvious reasons :rolleyes: Holt Hartmann Vom Himmel! (I´ve read it in German, no idea what´s it called in UK or US) about the ww2 German fighter ace is a very good book too, and almost all books written by fighter pilots from Chel Ha´avir.

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