A Different Perspective

Today, 30th April, marks the 36th anniversary of the death of my father at the not so old age of 65 years. Coincidently, a somewhat younger man chose to end his life on this day in 1945 in a bunker in war ravaged Berlin. He was, of course, Adolf Hitler.

I have been intrigued with the second World War  since happening upon, in a dusty box, in the drawer of my father’s desk, his medals from that campaign. I managed to get hold of a copy of Lionel Shrivers exhaustively detailed, long and fabulous account of the war and its chief protagonist: ‘The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich’.That ingested, my interest had a natural progression, an avid book reader, into fictional accounts of daring do during the hot war amd subsequently its cold war aftermath. Authors such as Robert Ludlum, Ted Allbeury, Len Deighton, began to fill my bookshelves with these tales …. And I loved them all.

Recently, through the wonder that is Twitter, I have latched on to numerous authors, reviewers and bloggers who have been recommended to me and who have made further recommendations themselves.

One such author is a man I would like to think has become a new friend; which friendship may be cemented, or completely undone, at our forthcoming meeting at, what we are calling, #Oxfest. Harvey Black’s background includes time spent working for Allied Intelligence during the 80’s in the heart of the cold war, Berlin. Using his knowledge and experience of things military, he now writes #histfic about the Fallschirmjager regiment, and this is where the ‘Different Perspective’ comes in, from the point of view of the ‘enemy’, his heroes being members of this regiment and, therefore, German.

Now, this is a whole new ball game for me, as all that I have read up until now has been written from the ‘good guys’ perspective i.e. where the allied forces provide the (fictional) heroes. I can tell you that I find this fascinating, educational and downright good rip-roaring stuff. Having read the first episode of his series ‘Devils With Wings’, I now await the handing over of episode 2, signed by the author, at the aforementioned #Oxfest. (There will be a blog about THAT particular event of drunken revelry if I manage to survive the weekend of 19/20 May!!!……with photies, to boot!)

As good as I hope and expect this series will unfold, I am really looking forward to his lordhip producing his, planned, book/books on the Cold War. That is a period of history that could well do with a new chapter or thirty.



Now, another man whom I have met through Twitter and who deals in my ‘Different Perspective’ is Rob Schaefer (@1infanteriediv). Rob is a German fellow whose interest in the factual events from the second World War are published on his German language website and his English language blogsite. He has access to some wonderful photographs and fascinating documents, the perusal of which has occupied many of my reading hours in recent weeks.

Go check him out, it’s wonderful!



Next up: my recently started love affair with Roman HistFic.


About Alun

Interested in politics and sport, but my first love is books, particulary, at the moment, historical fiction.
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2 Responses to A Different Perspective

  1. I am an ex British soldier myself and have felt that icy touch of fear. There were times when I was so cold all i could do was breath in and out and the threat of discovery was based on whether or not hypothermia would take control and give me away.

    So my loyalties are very much with the British Tommy, in my opinion the best soldier in the world, serving with the best army in the world.

    During my time in Berlin and West Germany, which was very much on the frontline at that time, it was probably only the presence of the German Army that stopped the Soviets coming across the Inner German Border.

    We had 3 Divisions, the Dutch and Belgians about 3 each and the US had 5, i think. The Germans had in excess of 12, bigger and better equipped than most. Yes, there were lots of plans to bring reserves to the fight. The US had tanks and equipment mothballed for the troops they would fly over to use, but we were still up against up to 200 Soviet Divisions, plus the GDR, Poland, etc. The Warsaw Pact Airborne troops and Helicopter forces alone equated in size to the British Army Of the Rhine.

    So, I built up a lot of respect for the German Forces while i was there and in particular, the Fallschirmjager came across as just as tough and mean as their forebears back in WW2. Our enemies in WW2, our allies during the Cold War.

    Thank you for your Post Alun, and I look forward to meeting you at #Oxfest.

  2. Thank you for the kind words Alun, I appreciate that. Starting with my new “real life” job today, so I wont be able to post as much as I used to do. Thanks again, maybe we will have the chance to have some sausage and beer together in future 🙂

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