Wolfgang Faust was the driver of a Tiger I tank with the Wehrmacht Heavy Panzer Battalions, seeing extensive combat on the Eastern Front in 1943-45. This memoir was his brutal and deeply personal account of the Russian Front’s appalling carnage.
Depicting a running tank engagement lasting for three days, Faust describes how his Tiger unit fought pitched battles in the snows of western Russia against the full might of the Red Army: the T34s, Stalin tanks, Sturmovik bombers and the feared Katyusha rocket brigades. His astonishing testimony reveals the merciless decisions that panzer crews made in action, the devastating power of their weaponry, and the many ways that men met their deaths in the snow and ice of the Ostfront.
First published in the late 1940s as ‘Panzerdammerung’ (‘Panzer Twilight’), this memoir’s savage realism shocked the post-war German public. Some readers were outraged at the book’s final scenes, while others wrote that, ‘Now, at last, I know what our men did in the East.’
Today, ‘Tiger Tracks’ stands as one of the great semi-autobiographical accounts of warfare in World War 2: a crescendo of horror, grim survival and a fatalistic acceptance of the panzer man’s destiny.
The only other surviving memoir by this author is ‘The Last Panther’ – an astonishing account of panzer warfare in the final hours of the Third Reich