Ghosts of the Ostfront


in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, History, Politics

I’m surprised I have never mentioned Dan Carlin’s historical podcasts here yet. I got a lot out of “Blueprint for Armageddon“, his six-part history of WWI (source of this account). Listening to his thoroughly-researched and passionately-delivered work has led me back to a number of books by serious historians as well as primary accounts. Those include G. J. Meyer’s A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 which I have gone through more than once as an audiobook and Ryan Cornelius’ The Last Battle about the fall of Berlin in 1945.

On the Greyhound trips to Ottawa and back, Myshka and I listened to three of the four episodes in “Ghosts of the Ostfront” — a macabre but instructive account of the Nazi-Soviet war from 1941 to 1945.

There are lots of reasons to be interested in the eastern front in WWII, but the familial connections were at the forefront of my mind. The series does a good job of explaining the situation faced by those in countries between the two great powers during the war, including all those who became double victims oppressed by both the Soviet and Nazi autocracies.

Carlin and his research and production team have lots of other great stuff, from a free discussion with favourite historian and thinker James Burke to his detailed history of the life of Genghis Khan to the unbelievable story of the Anabaptist takeover of Munster in 1534. His preference for the bloody ought to be noted, but to me his work doesn’t seem to revel in violence for its own sake but more to try to discern the broad lessons of history.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan September 3, 2018 at 3:56 am

This account of German church bells being melted down for ammunition during WWI is quite memorable. I thought of it when I saw this article today about a church bell installed by a Nazi mayor, with a swastika and Nazi slogan cast onto it

. September 3, 2018 at 3:59 am

“In one case in northern Germany, where the authorities prevaricated, local residents took matters into their own hands, broke into the church tower and removed the swastika with an angle grinder. A note was nailed to the church door: “Spring clean 2018,” it read.”

Unbekannte flexen Hakenkreuz von Kirchenglocke

Die Kirchenglocke mit dem Hakenkreuz in Schweringen sorgte für Diskussionen. Die Gemeinde hatte im März entschieden, dass die Glocke trotzdem wieder läuten soll. Nun haben Unbekannte das Hakenkreuz entfernt.

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