Stalingrad, Kursk and Bobruisk are names synonymous with untold suffering and death, and the men of Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 244 fought at each of them.
Werner Gösel was deployed as a dispatch rider on the staff of Stug.Abt.244 during Operation Barbarossa. After being trained as an officer, he returned to the front and was wounded during the opening stages of the Stalingrad battle, inadvertently avoiding the fate of his unit. After recovery, he served with Sturmgeschütz-Batterie 395, a unit that existed so briefly that Gösel’s report may be the only one ever recorded. With the reorganisation of Stug.Abt.244 in early 1943, Gösel was recalled to his old unit and participated in the Battle of Kursk and the subsequent irreversible retreat. His tenure as adjutant from August 1943 onward and consequent tight bond with the gruff battalion commander enables Gösel to provide an insight into the functions and working methods of an assault gun battalion. In summer 1944, now a battery commander, Gösel was captured during a break-out attempt from the Bobruisk pocket and returned from Soviet captivity five years later, only to encounter problems faced by many ex-servicemen in post-war East Germany.
Part autobiography, part unit history, this book reveals the vital role played by assault guns in the Wehrmacht’s conduct of warfare on the Eastern Front.