25 October 2011

Aus Meiner Sicht (From My View) - The Memoirs of Werner Mork - A Private's Life in the Wehrmacht during World War II

This is a very interesting memoir which I came across by chance. It covers Werner Mork's service during WWII in the German Wehrmacht and is available to download free of charge.

Mork served as a driver in North Africa in 1942, in the Tobruk area. Hospitalised for a period in Germany, he was then posted to Corsica and was involved in the battles in Italy - Ortona, Anzio and Monte Cassino. Transferred to the Eastern Front, he later experienced the Russian invasion of Silesia, and was ultimately captured in Czechoslovakia.

I haven't had chance to read the book in detail, but a quick glance through indicates it is worthy of attention. The chapters available are:

  • Driving Supply Trucks in Africa - 1942
  • Driving Supply Trucks in Africa - 1942- Part II
  • Driving Supply Trucks in Africa - 1942- Part III
  • Recuperation in Halberstadt - 1943
  • Mork on Corsica - 1943
  • The Battle of Ortona - 1943
  • The American Landing at Anzio / Nettuno - 1944
  • The Battle of Monte Cassino - 1944 - Part I
  • The Battle of Monte Cassino - 1944 - Part II
  • The War on the Eastern Front - 1945
  • The War on the Eastern Front - 1945 - Part II
  • The War on the Eastern Front - 1945 - Part III
  • Aftermath: P.O.W.

Available from:
The book can be downloaded free of charge on Daniel Setzer's page (he translated the text).
Other selections from memoirs in the original German text can be found on the website of the German Historical Museum.

14 October 2011

A Ship With No Name

This is the story of rescue operations in the English Channel just before, during, and after the D-Day invasion aboard an ocean-going tug, "a ship with no name."

The memoir, written by the executive officer of ATR-3, tells compelling stories of the invasion, the operations of the ship, and the long trek across the Atlantic back to the US. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the book is the involvement of the author in the attempt to rescue men after the sinking of the troopship SS Leopoldville. In one of the lesser known incidents of the war, the Leopoldville was torpedoed by the U-486 off Cherbourg on Christmas Eve 1944, and over 750 soldiers were lost. The narrative also describes the experience of working under extreme pressure and performing to the utmost to pull blown up LSTs or Destroyers to safety from Utah and Omaha Beaches.

The author, Richard Hersey, began his navy career as an apprentice seaman and retired as Commander. He served on the USS Mizar and ATR-3 during World War II and the USS Okanagan during the Korean War. He's still married to the bride he met in New York City after the ship-with-no-name sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1945.

Available from:

You Up There - We Down Here - Luftwaffe Anti-Aircraft Assistants vs. Allied Bomber Crews

In 1944, entire German school classes were deployed as anti-aircraft gun assistants (Luftwaffenhelfer) to support the heavy Flak defending Germany and Austria. These schoolboys were drilled in the use of the 88mm Flak gun to support the soldiers of the Wehrmacht battling the allied bomber streams. The author, Gerhard Oberleitner, was one of these boys, and was deployed near St. Valentin, Austria, to protect the local tank production works, one of the biggest in the Reich.

Letters, reports, documents and above all, the author’s complete diary and photographs do much to support this detailed and extensive account. He describes how it was in the final two years of World War II, both on the ground and in the air, manning the guns and systems of the 7th German Anti-Aircraft Brigade. The author has also carried out research into the operations of bombers of the 15th US Air Fleet - the foes that his unit were opposing, thus providing an insight into both the lives of the schoolboy troopers “down here” and the bomber crews “up

Extracts of the book can be read here.

Available from: