Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sven Hassel review

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away, I was a huge fan of Sven Hassel's books. I think I was 11 when I bought Wheels of Terror and that was me hooked. Sven was born in Denmark and died in Spain in 2012. He wrote 14 books in all, claiming that they were based upon his personal experiences as a volunteer in the German army. However, this has been thrown into question, as it appears he may have served in the Danish police during the war.

Whatever the truth of their origins may be, I loved his books. They are all about the 27th Penal Regiment, with the main characters being Sven, Porta, Tiny, the Legionnaire and the Old Man. Their service in the regiment takes them from the frozen wastes of Russia, to the heat of North Africa; from Monte Casino, to the battle for France.

If you want clever plots, with lots of twists and red herrings, read Agatha Christie, but if you like your war stories to be full of blood and guts, Sven is your man.

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