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THE COMMISSAR is a shocking insight into the brutalities faced by ordinary soldiers and the atrocities committed in the name of survival. Now relaunched with a stunning new look.
Dispassionately we stared at the bloody scene. It had become an everyday sight.
The 27th Penal Regiment care nothing for Hitler's war. They fight only to stay alive. But then they uncover the Soviet Army's biggest secret. A Russian commissar has hidden 30 million dollars of gold somewhere behind enemy lines.
In a madcap scheme, Porta brokers a deal with the commissar: free passage for the Russians in return for a share of the gold. To find it, Sven and his comrades must be prepared to lie, steal and go behind the lines of the deadly Russian army...
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
The story shudders from page to page while the devoted friends live precariously from year to year, until only the one survivor is left to write this book. And a gripping book it is - CHICAGO SUNDAY TRIBUNE
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.