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D DAY Through German Eyes

The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944
Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
Series: D Day Through German Eyes, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (812 ratings)
Regular price: £18.79
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Summary

This is the hidden side of D-Day which has fascinated readers/listeners around the world.

Almost all accounts of D-Day are told from the Allied perspective, with the emphasis on how German resistance was overcome on June 6, 1944. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers and gun emplacements of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest seaborne invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day? What were their experiences on facing the tanks, the flamethrowers and the devastating air superiority of the Allies?

This book sheds fascinating light on these questions, bringing together statements made by German survivors after the war, when time had allowed them to reflect on their state of mind, their actions and their choices of June 6. We see a perspective of D-Day which deserves to be added to the historical record, in which ordinary German troops struggled to make sense of the onslaught that was facing them, and emerged stunned at the weaponry and sheer determination of the Allied soldiers. We see, too, how the Germans fought in the great coastal bunkers, perceived as impregnable fortresses, but in reality often becoming tombs for their crews. Above all, we now have the unheard human voices of the individual German soldiers - the men who are so often portrayed as a faceless mass.

©2015 Holger Eckhertz (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Detailed and frightening!

I downloaded this purely as had read quite extensively about the allied version of the landings but never from a German perspective. It is broken down into five accounts, one for each of the beaches under the allied code names. The interviews take place 10 years after the landings and have been translated.
Each account is well detailed and gives the reader an insight into the equipment the Germans possessed, their thoughts and feelings at the time, and also how their thoughts have changes in the years since.
The chap who plays the German men is obviously very talented and speaks in a variety of German-accented English and makes their stories come to life.
Hugely interesting perspective and I would recommend to anyone who is fascinated about that particular point in history.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Good performance

If you could sum up D DAY Through German Eyes in three words, what would they be?

Riveting, authentic, eye-opening

What did you like best about this story?

It's pacey and dramatic

What about P. J. Ochlan’s performance did you like?

The reader gave a solid and well angled performance. There narratives from at least six soldiers and he gave each distinct characteristics and nuances so you got a sense of each of their background and disposition from their voice. These people came alive again. The pace again seemed natural but never too slow. Really impressive. When the material is as good as this the reader becomes even more important.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I listen when I drive

Any additional comments?

Worth getting.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A different perspective on D-Day

I’ve listened to a number of books recently concerned with the Second World War largely from the perspective of the Allies and thought it would be interesting to hear what it was like for the German soldiers. This book documents detailed interviews with four German soldiers who were on active service on the French Northern coast on D-Day as they were confronted with the huge onslaught of Allied troops at the invasion points of Omaha and Juno.

Books like this are not enjoyed but are a salutary reminder of just how awful combat is for the men involved. This is a grim listen. The details of the numerous men on both sides who were blown to bits or terribly injured is sickening. The narrative give a realistic account of what it is like to be under bombardment and the terror of close combat.

The four stories are somewhat repetitive in the horrors described and I was glad that it is a relatively short book. There is little relief from this other than the soldiers thoughts about their treatment when captured and their interactions with the civilians in France.

The stories are depicted as an interview with the soldiers narrated as if a German is speaking in English and the interviewer with an American accent so it easy to know who is speaking.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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D-Day ..."Shock and Awe".

Courageous men and boys, brainwashed by Hitler's regime, facing true "shock and awe". Graphic! 😨

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Gripping

This is an important historical record that gives the listener an insight into a common humanity contrasted with Man's inhumanity to Man. The German soldier deserved better than the hubristic Nazi leadership! Fascinating, gripping and moving.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Superb

Excellent performance. Very interesting to hear accounts recorded only ten years after the events. Some of the recollections left me open mouthed. A fascinating record of the thoroughly horrific experience of frontline soldiering whatever the uniform you are wearing.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but I suspect this is fiction

Would you try another book written by Holger Eckhertz or narrated by P. J. Ochlan?

Yes, for the story but I now expect it to be fiction.

What could Holger Eckhertz have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Told us that it was a representative fictionalised account of the events.

What didn’t you like about P. J. Ochlan’s performance?

The German accent was terrible.

Do you think D DAY Through German Eyes needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There is one.

Any additional comments?

I'm a WW2 history enthusiast. I tried to research the locations mentioned in the accounts in this book. I used aerial photographs, wartime maps and Google satellite. The descriptions did not tally in my opinion.

I also compared the Merville battery allied accounts with the one in the book and was not convinced of the historical accuracy of this book's account. All the participants are heroes, which is to be expected. Nonetheless this reads like propaganda.I cannot yet find information about the author or his grandfather.

My take on the book is that it is fiction, albeit representative to some extent of the time and written from German propaganda material. I feel somewhat let down that there is no background on the author. I expected accounts from real people.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Erstaunlich

It was so good that I went straight back to the beginning and went through the whole thing a second time.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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very good

good book about the other side that we rarely hear about
scary experiences written a few years after the event.
listen I will again.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A different view

I found this book very interesting, not only because of the cultural difference but it describes a completely different type of warfare from the normal d-day story. The book describes, in horrific detail, the challenges of defensive warfare. How it felt to be on the receiving end of the allied advance. But I believe the book struck a beautiful balance between describing a terrible battle without moral judgement.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John Lindsey
  • 22-05-16

A work of fiction

Only after listening to this did I learn that it is from Sprech Media , well known for other works that are considered fabrications and thus fiction. Various aspects of this book seemed contrived and I started to question its authenticity. Google Sprech Media and learn the facts.

54 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • raisins
  • 12-06-16

fake

just feels made up. like they read wikipedia and made up a character who is always in the thick of it. the more I listened the more it did not ring true. returned.

38 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Pete Andresen
  • 17-08-18

Surprising insights into D-Day combat

This rare small book is universally applicable to modern combat. It’s worth reading (or on my case listening) by anyone who is in military combat arms, or who aspires to be in combat arms, to fully comprehend the carnage and randomness of warfare.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • agarista
  • 01-11-16

Ludicrous accent

I would rather listen to the German version of this book, if it is to be found on Audible. I can't even begin to understand why it was thought useful to have the interviewee speak with such a contrived German accent. Absolutely ludicrous, especially since many German words were not pronounced accurately. Painful to listen to. I don't think I'll be able to continue listening past the first interview.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Pangs
  • 13-05-16

Absolutely fascinating

What a brilliant concept: a narrated series of interviews with former German soldiers who fought at D-Day. Their accounts are vivid and horrific but hearing these first-person accounts really brings the events to life. I highly recommend.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Macias
  • 09-03-19

Amazing and stunning description

This book does an outstanding job of examining an overlooked perspective of this war. The stories at rich and deep, with beautiful stories of heroism and terror as the Germans tried to beat back an overwhelming force.
The part I love most is the fact that the veterans were interviewed a decade after the war, where they could really recall their experiences well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 10-08-18

Fascinating Perspective

This is such a refreshing alternative perspective to all the writings about D-day. To hear the Germans views of the European front and how they viewed their cause is interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan
  • 09-08-16

A set of honest and frank accounts

A set of honest and frank accounts that allow you to draw your own conclusions on the motives of individuals and politics of the time. Essential reading.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Tomas Lechuga
  • 18-07-16

Great perspective!!

just when I thought I've been through every single book on ww2 and couldn't learn anything else, I run into this book not expecting much and was completely wrapped up in it all the way to the end. it's a fantastic perspective on d day, if your a history buff, you need this book!!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Rick
  • 28-05-16

Surprised

I was happily surprised when I got this book. It is a clever idea to interview the German soldiers that manned the defenses on D day. I was intrigued by the mind set they had. Some of these soldiers were wondering why we where so mad at them, and fought so hatefully. After all the German troops were just protecting the united Europe.
During the ten years that went by, the static troops that held those posts learned what the 3rd riche was really all about and it finally made sense!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful