There are many biographies of former soldiers of the Wehrmacht, many of whom had fascinating and exciting stories to tell, and several of whom were highly decorated. However, few can match Hans Sturm in his astonishing rise from a mere private in an infantry regiment, thrown into the bloody maelstrom of the Eastern Front, to a highly decorated war hero. A young man who had displayed fearless heroism in combat, earning him some of Germanys highest military awards, Sturm hated bullies and injustice, and reacted in his normal pugnacious and outspoken manner when confronted with wrongdoing. From striking a member of the feared Sicherheitsdienst for his treatment of a Jewish woman, to refusing to wear a decoration he felt was tainted because of the treatment of enemy partisans, Sturm repeatedly stuck to his moral values no matter what the risk. Even with the war finally over, Sturms travails would not end for another eight years as he languished in a number of Soviet labour camps until he was finally released in 1953.
GORDON WILLIAMSON is the author of over fifty successful works which deal with various aspects of militaria and military history, and have been translated into several languages. A former member of the Royal Military Police (TA), he has spent several decades studying and collecting photographs, documents, and ephemera, especially relating to World War Two, and has made personal contact with and interviewed many surviving veterans from both sides, including some of Germany's most highly decorated soldiers.