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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Blitzfreeze by Sven Hassel (My Goodreads Review)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Our usual crowd of vagabond heroes are at it again. The characters of Porta, Tiny, the Legionnaire and, of course, Sven the Danish writer who tells these stories in the first person singular.

These soldiers are in Hitler's German army on the Russian front. They are a cannon fodder and a penal battalion of political deviants, murderers and other criminal elements. Sven is a deserter who fled to Denmark, his country of birth. When Germany occupied the country in 1940. He got a knock on the door for going AWOL.

All the men of the penal battalion have their own stories to tell. Some of the antics are so comical; you will hold your stomach trying not to laugh. These are kind moments during leave or lulls in the battle of the Russian steppe. The other side of the coin is the horror of the war and the violent and often heart-breaking things that happen to the men as they become more brutalised in their endeavours to survive the madness and Hell on Earth about them.

There are many Sven Hassel stories with the same characters we all grow to love. They are meant to have really existed. However, perhaps some of the stories are made up more with old friends entered into the tales. Great read and easily hooks many readers for this type of genre.



C.A. Powell
The Black and Tan Summer: Ireland's Turbulent Year of 1920


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