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Twilight of the Gods: A Swedish Waffen-SS Volunteer's Experiences with the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division 'Nordland', Eastern Front 1944-45: A Swedish ... Division Nordland, Eastern Front 1944-45
 
 

Twilight of the Gods: A Swedish Waffen-SS Volunteer's Experiences with the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division 'Nordland', Eastern Front 1944-45: A Swedish ... Division Nordland, Eastern Front 1944-45 [Kindle Edition]

Thorolf Hillblad (ed.)
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Few new personal accounts by Waffen-SS soldiers appear in English; even fewer originate from the multitude of non-German European volunteers who formed such an important proportion of this service's manpower. Twilight of the Gods was originally written in Swedish, and published in Buenos Aires shortly after the end of WWII. Erik Wallin, a Swedish soldier who volunteered for service with the Waffen-SS, and participated in the climactic battles on the Eastern Front during late 1944 and 1945, later telling his story to this book's editor, Thorolf Hillblad.

Wallin served with the Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion, 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, a unit composed mainly of non-German volunteers, including Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes. The division enjoyed a high reputation for its combat capability, and was always at the focal points of the fighting on the Eastern Front in the last year of the war. During this period it saw combat in the Baltic, in Pomerania, on the Oder, and finally in defence of Berlin, where it was destroyed.

Erik Wallin served with his unit in all of these locations, and provides the reader with a fascinating glimpse into these final battles. The book is written with a 'no holds barred' approach which will captivate, excite and maybe even shock the reader - his recollections do not evade the brutality of fighting against the advancing Red Army. Twilight of the Gods is destined to become a classic memoir of the Second World War.

About the Author

Born in Stockholm in 1921, Erik Wallin deserted from his Swedish AA regiment at the beginning of 1943, to join the Waffen-SS. By that time he had already participated in two wars - the Winter War 1939-40, and at Hanko in 1941, both as a volunteer with the Finnish forces against the Soviets. In May 1944 he joined the 11th SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, serving in its Panzer Recce Battalion. He served with this unit until the end of the war, and participated in all its engagements - in Estonia, Kurland, Pomerania. Brandenburg and finally Berlin, where he was wounded and fell into Soviet hands. He managed to escape and return to Sweden, to write this book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1132 KB
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1874622167
  • Publisher: Helion (1 Jan 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055POBIM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,397 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff! 16 Feb 2006
Format:Hardcover
This book came to me as a Xmas present and was one of the best books that I got and have read about the SS. Particularly as this is a viewpoint from a foreign volunteer, it captivates the mindset of an SS man and how they coped with the adversity and also the way in which these men thought, as well as fought. It really gets 'under the skin' of the SS, and is in my view recommended reading. My only criticism is that it is a bit on the short side.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
A frank and sometimes harrowing account of one mans experiences in the Waffen SS. This is not, nor does it claim to be a definative history of the 11th SS-Panzergrenadiers, it is instead a collection of wartime experiences of one mans war and how he survived and coped with the rigors of the Eastern Front. It can be brutal in its calm approach to death, but from a man who faced death so frequently that he knew him well. This book lets you remember that not all in life is black and white, an honest account of the horrors of war. Lest we forget.......
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars twilight of the gods 27 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
as owner of over 2oo books on the waffen ss and eastern front i can honestly say this is one of the top three i own. i found the book to be always gripping and interesting with a story of action,honesty and comradeship. this is overall a very good read and would make an excellent addition to any collector of ww11 books
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good buy 2 Mar 2007
Format:Hardcover
'Twilight of the Gods' describes the experiences of a Swedish Waffen-SS man, Erik Wallin, in the ranks of the 11th-SS 'Nordland' division, from Courland to Pomerania, the Oder and finally Berlin, 1944-1945. He served in the mortar platoon of the reconnaissance battalion of this divison manned by Scandinavian volunteers. It is a short book, readable in an evening. One of the most striking aspects of the book is its unapologetic nature, the text is riddled with unabashed references to 'Asiatic Hordes' and 'staunch Nordic defenders of European civilization'. Many readers might well be offended by this. The editor's (who is apparently also a Swedish SS veteran) introduction is annoyingly in the same vein, one would have hoped for a far more balanced and impartial approach. On the other hand, the book describes numerous small-unit actions in detail, during the final desperate battles on the Eastern Front (readers should however keep in mind that this is not a first-hand account, the story was written by the editor based on conversations held with Wallin soon after the war). There are plenty of references to tactics, weapons and equipment to satisfy the military buffs. King Tigers, Panzerfausts, assault rifles etc. all make their appearance. The intense combat scenes are many and vividly related.

If you are looking for a self-critical/remorseful account of a (non-German) SS volunteer, this is not the book for you. If you are more interested in the military aspects of this dramatic closing period of the war, and/or want to know what motivated men such Wallin to fight for an evil regime, then I suggest you read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Dano
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first review; prompted because, like PT's review below, I wondered after reading this what I really expected from an SS soldier's 'point of view' other than (what I got) a lopsided, heroic defense of the indefensible. I also disliked the casual, pathetic, racism but not because I did not expect it (SS?); but rather that the author seems to lack any self doubts as to what they did was in any way wrong. The author clearly forgot (or did not believe) who started it all. There is a strange self honesty also in this because at least the author did not rely on the old excuse of 'not knowing' what was really going on, so I got the impression he agreed with it and, to an extent, enjoyed his war. Probably some lessons for us all to re-learn here.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By PT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a personal account of the bitter fighting on the Eastern Front then this is for you. But(and for me it's a big but)some of the comments are a bit too Sven Hassel and apologistic for me. He only seems to have fought Asiatics and the casual racism is possibly down to the translation or more likely an example of the times it reflects (not sure why I expect a member of the SS to not be racist to a degree). There are several statements about slave labourers and how they were better off being saved from Stalin by the Nazi's and brought to live in harsh but eminently better conditions in the slave camps. I found this kind of subtle (and often not so subtle) "we were the first European army saving Europe from the Asiatic barbarian Red hordes" a little wearing after a while. I'm sure he believed it (he was a volunteer after all) but I don't.

Accounts of day to day life in the SS are not that common and there is lots that is good here but the authors views presented as historical truth left me with a nasty taste in my mouth sometimes.
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