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.