When the Soviet Army took possession of the ground held by the Germans in the Fall of 1944, they also came into possession of a diary that was maintained by a young Nazi officer; the journal served as a window into the desperate world of a defeated army in retreat:
"Everywhere the Russians succeed in wedging into our positions... Losses are very heavy. I have never seen such devastating fire. Oh, if only we had our army of 1941!... In most cases we cannot even bury our dead...Soldiers of the fifth year of war are almost impossible to [order] into attack... We should have long ago ousted our incompetent politicians. We are paying for their stupidity and haughtiness. Hitler is an amateur in almost every field..."