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Whizzbang

Ernst Junger War Diaries

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Whizzbang

I know of the book Storm of Steel but seem to recall that Ernst Jungers full war diaries were also published in German (Helmuth Kiesel as editor).

 

Does anyone know if these were ever translated into English and, if so, where copies can be bought ?  

 

Many thanks in advance 

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David Filsell

Remains untranslated sadly. I und erstand in puts his writing of Storm of Steel - which was published in a number of variants after the Great War.British publishers took no onterest in the book. However. there is a new book based on his WW2 diaries (he was based in Paris in a strange liaison role with the French literati - to keep him out of trouble which has has just been translated in English. 

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Whizzbang

Thanks for the info David 

 

that is indeed a shame - hopefully it will be translated very soon

 

i have just spotted a book on Amazon pencilled in for September 2019 called “Blade of a Sword: Ernst Jünger and the 73rd Fusilier Regiment on the Western Front, 1914-18” by Matthias Strohn (Osprey). 

 

Although there is no synopsis it looks interesting 

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David Filsell

Blade of the Sword is not due to be published until September. The author is highly thought of and I anticipate/guess that it might well employ much from the diaries .

I must say, that having spoken to a number of prospective publishers and translators about an English edition of the Junger diaries, sadly, there proved to be little interest in the book. 

 

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trajan
On 03/01/2019 at 19:17, David Filsell said:

Blade of the Sword is not due to be published until September. The author is highly thought of and I anticipate/guess that it might well employ much from the diaries .

I must say, that having spoken to a number of prospective publishers and translators about an English edition of the Junger diaries, sadly, there proved to be little interest in the book. 

 

 

Any further new on this one David? Also, I had associated Osprey with short if usually well-researched and referenced booklets - so this will be a full-length thing? 

 

I am re-reading the Hofmann translation of Storm - had quite forgotten just how many German editions there were of the book before the 'final, definitive' edition! Interesting to look at the short regimental history - the Errinerungssblaetter - while doing so. 

 

Julian

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David Filsell

Nothing so far. I think Hoffman version is  a crock. The history of the book is interesting. There's no doubt cloth was cut by Junger to suit the 'environment' though.

Edited by David Filsell

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trajan

Thanks David - which English-language edition do you recommend? I can manage most elementary German texts but not certain that I want to wade through several versiosn for what I hope to learn. Namely, as you might be aware from https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/269738-war-diaryhistory-prussian-fusilier-regiment-no-73/?tab=comments#comment-2738588, I am trying to track down any truth in the story that a group of men from the 73rd were murdered by French soldiers after being captured with sawback bayonets... This is the only reference I have found to such an event that names an actual unit

 

Julian

 

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Martin Feledziak

Julian

 

I think the other translated version of storm of steel is by Basil Creighton from 1929. I have searched many times to find a copy but they are rare. 

So I make do with the 2004 Hofmann (Penguin Classic).

 

As I do not read German I have to rely on those with the skill. To be fair I found "Storm of Steel" one of the best I have read,

But I am not a serious war reader.

 

I did read your post about the sawback account but have not heard of such a thing before. Obviously any "machine gunner" or "Sniper" was likely to receive a different reception when captured compared with a "normal" fighter.

 

Whilst you flick through see what you think of these two lads.

I am fairly certain JUNGER mentions them at Monchy.

 

1661819167_GotMituns.jpg.5f54a802ebafbb8e619698ce2d7ed761.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Maureene

Both editions are available online, although the Hofman edition is Archive.org Lending Library format, which has a waitlist of 6 (when I looked) 

 

The Storm Of Steel: From the Diary of a German Storm-Troop Officer on the Western Front by Ernst Jünger, Reprint of the 1929 translation [by Basil Creighton of the 1924 German edition]. Archive.org.

 

Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger. Translated by Michael Hofman 2003, from the 1961 German edition. Archive.org Lending Library (with current waitlist)

 

Cheers

Maureen

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Martin Feledziak
30 minutes ago, Maureene said:

Creighton

 

Wow. Great Maureen.

 

I have just downloaded that for tomorrow’s reading.

 

P.S

 

I have the 2004 Hofmann as a PDF if anyone needs it.

 

you have to love the internet and people who can squeeze stuff from it .

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trajan
7 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

... I did read your post about the sawback account but have not heard of such a thing before. Obviously any "machine gunner" or "Sniper" was likely to receive a different reception when captured compared with a "normal" fighter. ... Whilst you flick through see what you think of these two lads.

I am fairly certain JUNGER mentions them at Monchy.

 

1661819167_GotMituns.jpg.5f54a802ebafbb8e619698ce2d7ed761.jpg

 

Yes, I find it odd that there were lots of rumours going around the German army about men with sawbacks being mutiated and/or killed when captured, and All Quiet on the Western Front talks about it. But the report claiming this happened to men from the 73rd is the only one I know of that names a unit specifically.

 

Those two boys - could very well be the ones mentioned in Junger! He remarks that the older one (Emil?) went to Germany. Must look back for the page - and check the Errinerungsblaetter

 

Julian

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trajan
5 hours ago, Maureene said:

Both editions are available online, although the Hofman edition is Archive.org Lending Library format, which has a waitlist of 6 (when I looked) 

 

The Storm Of Steel: From the Diary of a German Storm-Troop Officer on the Western Front by Ernst Jünger, Reprint of the 1929 translation [by Basil Creighton of the 1924 German edition]. Archive.org.

 

 

44 minutes ago, Maureene said:

A review of the 2003 edition  translated by Hofman,  in The Telegraph

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3601190/A-Homer-for-the-20th-century.html

Comparing the two translations "Hofmann is better."

 

Many, many thanks Maureene!

 

Julian

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trajan

Well, a quick search of the 1929 PDF version revealed nothing about sawbacked bayonets or a massacre of soldiers carrying these...

 

On p. 34, though, we have:


"There were two French boys, orphans, one eight, the other twelve years old, who became attached to the
troops in the most extraordinary way. They wore nothing but field grey, spoke fluent German, and saluted
all officers in the prescribed manner. They spoke of their fellow-countrymen contemptuously and called
them ‘ Schangels ’ as they heard the soldiers doing. Their great desire was to go into the line with their company.
They were proficient in drill and fell in on the left of the company at roll-call, and when they wished to accompany
the canteen orderlies on an expedition to buy provisions at Cambrai they duly asked for leave. When
the 2nd Battalion went to Queant for a few weeks’ training, one of the two, called Louis, was, by order of
Colonel von Oppen, to remain behind in Douchy, so that no occasion for false reports should be given to the
civil population. During the march he was nowhere to be seen, but when the battalion arrived he jumped out of
one of the transport waggons, where he had hidden himself. Unfortunately,some of the more thoughtless of the
men used to take them with them into the canteen for the amusement of teaching them to drink. Later, I believe,
the elder was sent to a N.C.O. course in Germany.
"

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Martin Feledziak
6 hours ago, trajan said:

Louis

 

I feel confident that they are the boys refereed to by JUNGER.

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Martin Feledziak

I can't actually see the name Creighton credited on the PDF for the version identified as 1929.

but here is just a quick example of two paragraphs which are open to interpretation in the translation.

 

Page 206 in the 1929 book

 

314593755_206Creighton.jpg.02d329365e4dd5a02127fac05fc1e426.jpg

 

Page 134 of Hofmann

1378944479_134Hofmann.jpg.9ad16ad760fe66fff87036866ee7c1bd.jpg

 

obviously clear to see what Hofmann saw in the German text he was reading. The red Ribbon on his cap being a target identifier.

BUT not clear what was meant in the 1929 translation of the German text Creighton was reading perhaps implying it was an identifier of rank.

 

 

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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trajan

Well, need to se the German text! But while I see what you mean in general, Creighton is more accurate in talking of the red (hat) band, and Hoffman wrong in talking of a " 'red ribbon' on my cap'

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GreyC

The red band on his cap stands for infantry. It should have been covered for safety and camouflage reasons with a Mützenverdeckband. "cap-concealing-band"

 

I can´t find an officer with Mützenverdeckband off hand in my collection, here is a plain soldier of IR 162 with one, though. There were those with a whole for the 2nd cockade and those which covered it as well like this one.

GreyC

75948345_xMutzenverdeckband_IR162.jpg.d86b3a1e38db5ddad165f045c04fb27f.jpg

Edited by GreyC

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Martin Feledziak
13 minutes ago, GreyC said:

officer

 

That is great, so the red band means infantry and not any indication of rank.

The below image  is Junger himself on the left - would this be a red band on his hat ?

 

Junger.jpg.f50dfca68a786de6fcea7a28dcf91961.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

incidentally there is a £400 version of the hardback - with the Mottram introduction -  on offer on a popular site. ( well out of my price range )

it has some sample pages displayed too.

now I can see that the PDF kindly posted by Maureene, with the exception of the introduction  is a word for word reprint.

 

 

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GreyC
31 minutes ago, Martin Feledziak said:

would this be a red band on his hat ?

Yup. And wearing this makes a good aim for the enemy. That´s why Mützenverdeckbänder were issued early on, but there were also unofficial ones. The offical ones usually had a hole for the cockade.

GreyC

Edited by GreyC

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Martin Feledziak

Thanks GreyC- that solves the issue.

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trajan

Hi GreyC - predictive texting did you wrong there... a 'hole' not a 'whole' - and there is a whole lot of difference! But thanks for clarifying things about the band aspect...

 

Having got back to the Hofmann version, I wish he didn't use terms like 'grunts' - a Vietnam-era USA phrase. He also talks of 'Territorials', by which I assume he means Landwehr/Landsturm? NOT being pedantic here... Nobody would ever call a Roman legionary anything other than a legionary, or an auxiliaryman an auxiliaryman...

 

Perhaps GreyC and or Maureene know of a German version on-line? 

 

Julian

Edited by trajan

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trajan
19 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

 

I have the 2004 Hofmann as a PDF if anyone needs it.

 

Wouldn't mind that if possible -easier to search!

Julian

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