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A sobering portrait of the absurdity of the Nazi regime and the atrocities committed by Hitler's secret police, now relaunched with a stunning new look.
A sobering portrait of the absurdity of the Nazi regime and the atrocities committed by Hitler's secret police.
'Frighteningly vivid, a most strongly felt piece of writing' IRISH TIMES
After months of fighting a savage war on the Eastern Front, the 27th Penal Regiment - men considered little more than criminals - are joined by German reserves.
A garrison has been attacked and occupied by Russian troops. The German soldiers have been slaughtered. Sven Hassel and his comrades are ordered to get behind Russian lines and massacre those responsible.
But this is only the beginning... Because then the orders change: the regiment are sent to Hamburg, where their next assignment is guard duty for the mercilessly cruel Gestapo...
In essence this is an expose of the absurdity of war, and a moving plea for peace. As such, it takes its rank with far milder books, such as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT - NEWSDAY
He is graphic, at times brilliantly so, but never brutal or bitter. He is, too, a first-rate storyteller - WASHINGTON POST
Hassel's books of war are the most powerful I have ever read
Born in 1917 in Fredensborg, Denmark, Sven Hassel joined the merchant navy at the age of 14. He did his compulsory year's military service in the Danish forces in 1936 and then, facing unemployment, joined the German army. He served throughout World War II on all fronts except North Africa. When the war ended in 1945 he was transferred between Russian, American and French prison camps, and upon returning to Denmark, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason. He began writing Legion of the Damned during his time as a prisoner of war. His fourteen World War II books, which draw on his own encounters and experiences as a soldier, have sold over 53 million copies worldwide and have been published in more than 50 countries. He peacefully passed away in Barcelona in 2012, where he had resided since 1964.