"Kunze Up Front!": A Private's Perceptions from the Bottom Up: The Infantry in World War II
"Kunze Up Front!" is unique in several distinctive ways. It is a first-person report. Many GIs who could have written first-person reports did not survive to write them. The first-person writing attempts to put the reader into the soldier's shoes""the dangers, the emotions, the surprises, the good decisions as well as the bad ones, the bad things that happened as well as the good ones, the consequences of commands that come from the top (headquarters) to those on the bottom who are commanded, and the distant view of a dangerous situation versus the view of the danger to those who are facing it. The book attempts to convey the private's perceptions.
The author's ability to speak the German language was used on many occasions: "Kunze Up Front!" Native Germans could readily place the origin of his German Great-Grandfather by the accent of his language. All communications had to be under the supervision of an officer. Many two- or three-page stories have been written about decisive battles. The Battle of Schmitten will not be forgotten by those who fought there. Our Armor was ambushed, crushed, captured and driven out of town. Then the Infantry was commanded to take it. The activities of various units are related by individuals who fought in them. The command of "Kunze Up Front!" was often used to expedite and assure that the "white flag" message was genuine. The race did not end until we were well into territory reserved for Russian occupation. Soldiers in the war, their relatives, historians and avid readers should find the book to be of real interest.
Proud winner of the 2020 Will Rogers Medallion Award - Western Mavericks Category