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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and yet compulsive
In The Devil's Guard, author George Robert Elford has compiled the shocking testimony of an unrepentant Nazi mercenary, fighting for the French Foreign Legion in Indochina. The Devil's Guard follows SS Officer Hans Josef Wagemueller, from fighting the Russians on the eastern front at the end of World War II, through a training period with the French Foreign Legion and...
Published on 22 Nov 2007 by Mr. Tristan Martin

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Throw away trashy paperback
Marketed as fact but obviously fiction. Maybe I'm cynical but some detail didn't feel right and the body count was obviously in the realms of fantasy. Couldn't help but feel there was a touch of fascist propaganda as well.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. D. G. Lang


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and yet compulsive, 22 Nov 2007
By 
Mr. Tristan Martin (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Devil's Guard (Hardcover)
In The Devil's Guard, author George Robert Elford has compiled the shocking testimony of an unrepentant Nazi mercenary, fighting for the French Foreign Legion in Indochina. The Devil's Guard follows SS Officer Hans Josef Wagemueller, from fighting the Russians on the eastern front at the end of World War II, through a training period with the French Foreign Legion and finally to prolonged and intense combat in the jungles of southeast Asia.

The book is in essence a confessional, though perhaps with the antagonist bearing no guilt, only a desire to reveal man's inhumanity to man, in its rawest and most unexpurgated terms. This ultimately means that the reader is confronted with chapter after chapter of how a Nazi and his platoon of fellow ideologues fought, shot, bayoneted, tortured and poisoned the Viet Minh; these scenes are depicted in their unflinching brutality in a way seldom captured by purveyors of war-memoirs, whether they be the literati of the late Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, or Andy McNab's tale of dubious authenticity, Bravo Two Zero.

The Devil's Guard does indeed have the whiff of verisimilitude, not to mention sulphur. However, the book is an "as told to" story, whereby Wagemueller met the author in a bar in the capital city of a small, unnamed Asian country - and then dictated this testament into a microphone over the subsequent eighteen days. As such, the book is entirely uncorroborated, as far as I can determine. If it is fiction, it is an exceptional rendering. If, as this reader believes, the story is essentially true, then author George Robert Elford has succeeded in capturing a remarkable document. A book such as this is a rare artefact indeed. Bloody, uncompromising, disturbingly vicious, relentlessly compelling, The Devil's Guard is a shocking revelation, unmatched in its intensity.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FASCINATING ACCOUNT OF AN UNKNOWN WAR, 11 April 2002
I FIRST READ THIS BOOK WHILST SERVING IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS MANY YEARS AGO. IT HAD BEEN LEFT THERE BY A PREVIOUS OCCUPANT. I READ IT TWICE AND THEN, BECAUSE OF MY ENTHUSIASM, LENT IT TO SOMEONE WHO DID NOT RETURN IT. SINCE THEN I HAVE SEARCHED HIGH AND LOW FOR THIS FANTASTIC, ENGROSSING READ. IT REALLY GIVES YOU AN ACCURATE INSIGHT INTO, WHAT SOME MIGHT SAY IS A FORGOTTEN WAR, A CHAPTER THAT SOME AUTHORITY FIGURES MAY NOT WANT TO BE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. AS YOU READ THIS, YOU FEEL AS THOUGH YOU KNOW THE CHARACTERS, YOU FEEL THIER PAIN, SENSE THIER FRUSTRATIONS AND FEEL SORROW AT THIER LOSSES. THE BLACK HUMOUR DISPLAYED BY THE SUBJECTS IS SHARED WITH THE MILITARY FORCES OF TODAY. THIS IS THE STORY OF HANS JOSEF WAGEMULLER AND HIS FELLOW KOPFJAEGER AND I TRULY WISH I HAD A COPY, AND COPYS OF THE SEQUEL WHICH I DID NOT KNOW EXISTED UNTIL COMING ON LINE TONIGHT. CONGRATULATIONS MR ELFORD, I THOUROGHLY ENJOYED EVERY SECOND.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fact or fiction?, 30 Nov 2011
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Following the end of the Second World War, a group of SS soldiers escaped and ended up fighting in Vietnam as part of the French Foreign Legion. What follows is a brutal and graphic description of jungle warfare. This book is presented as non-fiction, the result of a chance meeting between the author and the main character in south-east Asia which led to eighteen days of interviewing. Whether that is the case, or alternatively it is all a work of fiction, is still disputed. If this book is non-fiction, it is sensationalised and exaggerated, written with the benefit of hindsight to portray the SS soldiers in the best possible light. If it is fiction, it is a thorough and well-researched account of jungle warfare. Historians are not going to use this - there are too many question marks over its reliability for this to be a useful historical record. But for a gripping tale of war and survival in Vietnam, whether true or not, there are few better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fact or fiction?, 24 Mar 2013
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I first read this book some years ago.

Reading it again I find myself unable to accept the story, as I originally did, as pure factual history. I am left trying to decide if the events re-counted ever happened or if the happened exactly as written or if a certain amount of 'artistic license' has occurred.

REgardless of the answer it is a good, well-written story and the comments regarding the reasons for the ultimate defeat of the French in Indo-china should have sounded a clarion call to the US in Viet-Nam, proving to be horrendously prophetic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Throw away trashy paperback, 15 July 2014
By 
Mr. D. G. Lang "Dave78" (Doncaster) - See all my reviews
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Marketed as fact but obviously fiction. Maybe I'm cynical but some detail didn't feel right and the body count was obviously in the realms of fantasy. Couldn't help but feel there was a touch of fascist propaganda as well.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A seemingly factual account, 14 Jun 2011
I was aware when I purchased this book that it was a work of fiction, however the way in which it was written leant itself to a more factual account. Saying this the book was well written with a good story line and attention to detail. I was impressed by the knowledge of the author in relation to military weaponry and tactics. The story is based on the exploits of an SS Officer at the closing moments of the Second World War on the Russian Front. Deciding to escape rather than face capture by the Russians he leads his men west to join the allied lines. The meat of the book revolves around him joining the French Foreign Legion where there are a number of ex german military escapees. His unit is posted to Indo China (Vietnam) a French colony at the end of the war. The book provides a riveting and detailed account of the guerilla war between the french and Viet Minh. The exploits of the 'German' Legion provide a brutal and chilling account of this now forgotten war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Guard (Kindle Edition)
I would suggest you take any historic fact from this book with a pinch of salt as there is several conflicting and confusing reports of former SS troops serving at that time with the Legion but once you see past this and take the work as fiction it really was a superb read and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in military history or Vietnam of that era.

The writer is very skilled in making you feel sorry at times for the evil SS which I was surprised at. He is also skilled at telling a very gripping story of jungle warfare and the various weapons and tactics used and he has clearly some personal military history himself or he has done his homework very well.

It's been a very long time since I have purchased a Kindle book that I looked forward to every night before bed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 4 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Guard (Kindle Edition)
Read this many years ago and then rediscovered it. Could not put it down a great book. 6 stars l
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5.0 out of 5 stars a good book, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Guard (Kindle Edition)
I read this book for the first time 40 years ago it was just as good 40 years later on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 14 Jan 2014
This review is from: Devil's Guard (Kindle Edition)
If you looking for a great read about military history then look no further, this book is insane at the best of times bordering on unbelievable. I couldn't put it down and had it finished within the day.
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Devil's Guard by George R. Elford
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