Book – Unless You Have Been There – Paul J. Andert

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(Amazon reviews below)




Amazon Reviews

 Armored infantryman from Africa to Germany, October 8, 2012 – By

John E. Larsen “Larso” (Brisbane, Australia) –

This review is from: Unless You Have Been There (Paperback)

Andert enlisted at seventeen in 1940. He went through the usual training difficulties but emerged a strong and independent man. By the time the US was ready to fight in WW2, Andert was a Sgt in B Co of the 41st Armored Infantry Regt, of the 2nd Armored Division. He fights in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, the Bulge and in the drive through Germany. He has a hard war but with many medals to show for it.

Andert’s experiences in Tunisia and Sicily are quite varied. From using his trench knife on his first patrol, to being shelled and bombed, he is very much in the front line. While his role was to operate from half-tracks in support of tanks, most of his fighting is done the same as any other infantryman. There are some very interesting passages indeed about his time in the Mediterranean theatre. For instance it was commonplace to list those who died accidentially (Andert witnesses several examples) as `Killed in Action’.

Normandy is also a time of high intensity. Andert writes quite a bit about operating in the hedgerows and the unpredictable combat that occurs there. He is wounded too but in the process contributes to a significant success in combat. Interestingly, he twice returns to combat from hospital early and essentially deserts to rejoin his own unit and avoid being posted elsewhere. Andert has some biting things to say about the US replacement system and the officials who ran it. He also has quite a few criticisms of US officership in general and his experiences at the front substantiate these. Worst of all, failures by command caused needless deaths.

To my mind the most compelling section of Andert’s account is the drive through Germany. There are several powerful stories of fanatical resistance, war-crimes and war-weariness. There were stories here that I have not come across the like before. It is also astonishing that so few men had so much asked of them. The information given here offsets the skimming over of Andert’s involvement at the tip of the Bulge, where his division destroys the 2nd Panzer. This said, it would have been fascinating to read more on the realities of two powerful armoured forces clashing head on.

The author is a remarkable man and leader of men. He is forthright in writing of war horror and killing the enemy. It is a raw account, told as if the man was speaking. Some things are glossed over but his delivery, while featuring a few typos and repetition is suited to his subject. Yes, some other memoirs are more eloquent but Andert’s has a powerful direct punch. Having read five accounts by US armoured infantry men, I can say that Paul Andert’s is the most far ranging and revealing of what it was like to be a combat soldier. Recommended 3 3/4 stars.


WWII Combat, January 12, 2011 – By

S. A. crowley _________________(East Coast USA)

A terrific book.
If you are a student of American War in Western Europe or specifically about the 2nd Armored Division, this is a reference book for you.
Full of color and flavor this account gets you real close to the experiences the men dealt with.

Highly praised on my end!


World War Two Odyssey, November 15, 2009 – By

Matthew Huepfel (Spring Valley, WI ) –

This review is from: Unless You Have Been There (Paperback)

The author Paul Andert discribes his odyssey from prewar training through North Arica,Sicily, and Northern Europe. He writes in a simple straight forward way. His writings helped me understand what GIs went through. Andert brings out a very interesting point on how poorly the US Army treated it’s wounded soldiers. It is amazing the amount of chickens#*t combat soldiers had to put up with. Great book!


Good book from a guy who was there., June 20, 2009 – By

C. Steele “Possum Stalker” (Steele, MS) – 

This review is from: Unless you have been there: An infantry soldier’s personal account of his participation as a platoon sergeant, in seven major campaigns and two major … theater of operations during World War II

My wife bought me this book after seeing the author at a local bookstore.
He is not a writer by trade, just a local vet who put his experiences in WWII down into a book.
Should you get a chance to read the book, I highly recommend it. It gives a concise, first hand account of what the times, and war were like for a young American as WWII broke out.
It is honest to point of being blunt, and without any flowery prose or psychobabble to get in the way. Mr. Andert tells it like it was, and keeps you reading.



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A Tulsa School Teacher’s book review and “Thank You.”


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6 responses

  1. Paul Andert is my great Uncle. He is a true man of honor and a Godly man. We are so proud of all that he is doing to continually educate todays youth and to tke a stand on his beliefs.

  2. Uncle Paul is my great great uncle, I have been talking with him on the phone for almost 3 years, and had the wonderful opportunity to meet him on December 9th 2012. We talk on the phone regularly. I have all of his books and he is a very special person in my life. I love to hear his war stories and how he is always encouraging others to do good and to NEVER GIVE UP.
    I love you Uncle Paul.

    Your “Shelbi”

  3. Mr. Andretti, I just saw you on the Glenn Beck show. What a fascinating life you have led. My father flew in B-24’s in India during the war and I have been very interested in WWll because of that. I’ve read everything I can find on the war for years. For the last 15 years I have taken my mother to my Dad’s reunion and loved talking with my Dads buddies that he flew with. What a thrill! Wish I could sit and talk with you. Thank you for everything you did and are still doing. Sincerely, K. McLaughlin. PS. I think Winston Churchill is one of the greatest men in our time.

  4. Sir, it was truly an honor to get to listen to your story on The Glenn Beck show today. My daddy was in the Navy in WWll. He was a great man. Wish he had told me more about what he did, but i knew he had seen alot, it was rough on him, as im older i understand. My family and i honor all veterans and pray for them. Thank you and God bless.

  5. Dear Kim, Thank You for all you said concerning the WWII era which unfortunately it will probably soon be forgotten. A few of us are still doing what we can to keep the memory of WWII alive. May the good Lord help us. Aretha, we honor your dad’s service. My older brother also served in the Navy . I encourage all veterans who I come in contact with to write down their experiences. All of their stories will be important for the younger generation. Regardless of everything, we are still “One Nation” under God. God Bless, Paul.

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