Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:40 pm
I have not even seen the book, but that of course is no bar to my commenting. Over the years I have seen or read several very knowledgable people warn that this book, not surprisingly, is not revealed truth, and in fact contains a considerable number of obvious errors.
Someone whose opinion I valued (perhaps our own Jack!) commented that this book was compiled in considerable haste by intelligence officers (American?). A book like this, even if fairly well done, will unavoidably have a greater or lesser number of errors. I use the German Army Handbook compiled by British intelligence, it is quite useful, and mostly accurate, but contains errors, inaccuracies, and oversimplifications.
I have collected some internal materials from US Army Military Intelligence on the German Army of the Kaiserzeit, and they contain some glaring errors. When I started assembling my roster of the officers and men of Garde=Reserve=Pionier=Regiment (Flammenwerfer), I only had two names, my father, and that of the founder and CO of the regiment, Maj. Dr. Bernhard Reddemann, and at first I had the latter wrong, as US Military Intelligence had his first name quite wrong, and I think I have an internal document from US Military Intelligence from 1928, and they still had it wrong. There was a Leutnant Reddemann in the unit, and they promoted him to regimental commander, it seems. (I now have about 1200 men in my unit roster.)
As an aside (one of my specialties), if anyone has the name of a officer or a soldier of the flame regiment, or another German flame unit (there were one or two), contact me; I will happily look him up and tell you if I have anything on him, and also add him or the new information to the roster. As the unit had surprisingly few casualties (the oft-exploding FW or the Flamm=Pionier burning up and writhing in pain are largely literary inventions, thank you Alistair Horne), and not that many men passed thru the unit, although it was quite large, about 15 companies, plus the use of someone else's battalion as a depot unit.
If anyone has a Militaer=Pass oder Soldbuch from this unit, the provision of a copy will instantly provide the donor with a free pass to Paradise and a seat to the right of the Prophet (Blessed be His Name!), never mind the access to the oft-cited (and quite comly) 72 virgins. Additionally, I would be happy to provide a copy of another equally choice Militaer=Pass. I once sent a copy of my father's to a leading German collector, and he was so swept away that he sent me five choice ones, including one from the Sturm=Batalliion Nr. 5 (Rohr) that taught me valuable things about that unit; specifically, where they got their machine-gunners from.