To the Gate of Hell
A Memoir of a Panzer Crewman
Imprint: Frontline Books
144 Pages, 6.1 x 9.1 in, 24 pages of plates
- May 2022
- In Stock
- May 2012
- Out of print. Available in digital formats at the links below.
Böttger had volunteered to join the Wehrmacht, but only because this would allow him to receive his Abitur (school leaving certificate) without sitting an exam. He is perfectly honest about his efforts to make his service life as comfortable and safe as possible, for instance becoming a radio operator because it was less hard work than being a Panzer driver and by getting himself postings as a courier to keep out of the front line. He also freely admits to lying about the state of his health to avoid being thrown into the hopeless battles in East Prussia at the end of the war. He was a skilled photographer, and was never without his camera, and his unique collection of color and black and white photographs illustrate this book.
This is a story that graphically portrays the reality of war on the Eastern Front, without heroics and told with contempt for the high command and the Nazi leadership, who were mostly safe at home while Böttger and his comrades suffered and died.