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February 26 , 2008

Landser: German WWII Infantry


I volunteered to sneak up and throw a grenade into the bomb crater containing four Red Army soldier’s as the rest of the company gave me some covering fire. At about five metres away, I threw in the grenade and it exploded. You can imagine the mess. The lone surviving Red Amy soldier stood up with blood pouring from his mouth, nose and ears. He stood there with rifle in hand - before I had time to shoot - he fired at me and I was hit in the shoulder. The force of the round knocked off my feet and I hit my head on some rubble as I fell backwards. I heard the sound of more gunfire as the soldier who had shot at me was shot straight through the head. I heard the loud crack as the bullet hit his head piercing his helmet.

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Landser was the name used for the lower ranks of the German Army. Often overlooked by the more glamorous Lutfwaffe or Kreigsmarine, or even be at the cutting edge technology wise. But, the German infantry played a huge part in the success of Germany in the opening and later battles. They provided the strength and staying power for the German war machine. Even during the famed Blitzkrieg attacks the final outcome was often decided by man against man. Fighting from foxholes, ruined buildings and shattered woods to either defend or take new ground. German infantry fought a tenacious war still remaining an effective force even after heavy losses.

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