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Sven Hassel's iconic war vel about the Russian Front. 'An extraordinary book, which has captured the attention of all of Europe' - New York Times 'Legion of the Damned is an incredible picture of totalitarianism, of stupefying injustice...He is graphic, at times brilliantly so, but never brutal or bitter. He is, too, a first rate storyteller' - Washington Post Convicted of deserting the German army, Sven Hassel is sent to a penal regiment on the Russian Front. He and his comrades are regarded as expendable, cann fodder in the battle against the implacable Red Army. Outnumbered and outgunned, they fight their way across the frozen steppe...This iconic anti-war vel is a testament to the atrocities suffered by the lone soldier in the fight for survival. Sven Hassel's unflinching narrative is based on his own experiences in the German Army. He began writing his first vel, Legion of the Damned in a prisoner of war camp at the end of World War Two.
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.