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Legion of the Damned by Sven Hassel

Legion of the Damned

Part of the Sven Hassel War Classics Series
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This legendary war novel/memoir is being reissued for a new generation to enjoy and be amazed at. Sven Hassel was a Dane who joined the German army and as well as being a prisoner of war was also imprisoned for treason once the war had ended. He began writing whilst in prison and his hugely successful, eye-opening and engaging 14 war thrillers are all based on his first hand experiences. Graphic, unflinching, at times brutal but always powerful and true storytelling at its best. This one is the Russian Front when the German soldier was used as expendable cannon fodder. It is an iconic anti-war novel which is also very exciting.

If you like Sven Hassel you might also like to read books by Wili Heinrich, Tom Holland and Leo Kesser.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Legion of the Damned by Sven Hassel

'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, cannon fodder in the battle against the implacable Red Army. Outnumbered and outgunned, they fight their way across the frozen steppe...This iconic anti-war novel is a testament to the atrocities suffered by the lone soldier in the fight for survival.


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

Hassel's books of war are the most powerful I have ever read 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 An extraordinary book, which has captured the attention of all of Europe--NEW YORK TIMES

About the Author

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 the Second World War 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 14 Second World War 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.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th May 2014


Sven Hassel

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


256 pages


Action Adventure / Spy
eBook Favourites

Second World War fiction



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