To the Gate of Hell

A Memoir of a Panzer Crewman

Armin Böttger

Until seriously wounded on the Eastern Front in August 1944, Armin Böttger experienced the horrors of the Second World War from the perspective of a panzer radio operator. In his very personal account, Böttger relates in a sober and realistic manner the fighting and experiences on and behind the front.
Date Published :
May 2022
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
48 pages of plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399075060
Pages : 144
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Until seriously wounded in August 1944, when he was badly burned when his tank was hit and caught fire during fighting in southern Poland, Armin Böttger experienced the horrors of the Second World War on the Eastern Front from the perspective of a tank radio operator in the 24th Panzer Division. In this memoir he gives a full and honest account of his wartime career, encompassing both the hellish terror of combat and the everyday annoyances and injustices of army life in wartime.

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.

About The Author

ARMIN BÖTTGER served as a Panzer radio operator in the German Army during the Second World War, seeing service in France, Italy and in Russia. Despite suffering terrible wounds on the Eastern Front in August 1944, he survived the war to become a Professor of Odontology in Berlin.

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