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on 7 August 2004
Leon Degrelle was the pre-WW2 leader of the Belgian "Rexist" (from "Christ the King" or "Christus Rex") movement, a basically pro-Fascist Catholic party and organization which, after German invasion and occupation, joined with National-Socialist Germany as a far preferable alternative to both a Stalinist Soviet Union and a mediocre, money and class-ridden USA and UK. Degrelle personally fought on the very front lines of the Eastern Front for years almost to the very end. He then managed to get away, first to Scandinavia (in 1945 under German occupation to a later date than Germany itself) and then, flying a German plane, to Spain. The plane was attacked by British fighters and, running low on fuel, only just made it to Spain, crash-landing on the beach at San Sebastian, only a few miles from the French frontier. Degrelle was granted political asylum and lived the rest of his life happily and productively in Francoist Spain despite being under sentence of death in his native land. What is so very important about this book (amid the plethora of "histories" by people like Andrew Roberts and Martin Gilbert) is that, firstly, the author lived this history and, secondly, he puts forward another view to the usual SS=atrocity canards. This is, to a very large extent, "secret history" today. The book shows that the SS motto "Meine Ehre heisst Treue" (Loyalty is my Honour) has a great deal of truth in it.
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on 29 August 2014
I should have bought this book a few years ago but knowing a bit about Degrelle I thought it would be a politically based account and did not bother, a very big mistake on my account.
While reading the book Degrelles views and beliefs come across but at no point are they pushed in your face or made to be the focal point.
In a way he is to be admired for not compromising his beliefs and being prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs, if only politicians would show some of his commitment.
Back to the book. Degrelle paints the people, isbas, rivers, sky and all the surrounding features, with wonderful colour, unlike other writers who leave you with a black and white image in your head.
The main part of the book is about the Cherkassy encirclement and the desperate fight of 160,000 men to escape. For further reading I suggest HELLS GATE by Douglass Nash.
Degrelle while being highly decorated and having the wound badge in gold glosses over or dismisses his own actions and concentrates on the actions of his men, detailing the close combat and what they came up against with the Russians.
He does not hold back with graphic detail, such as the time he found a young German soldier who had had both his legs sawn off at the knees by the Russians but in his last moments had dragged himself a few meters in the hope of being saved.
The last couple of chapters deal with the total collapse of the front and in my view give the most vivid account of what it was like.
I can highly recommend this book. In a world where you can be a hero for wiping your backside, I leave you with a quote from the book.
'You, reader, friend or enemy-watch them come back to life; for we are living in a period when one must look very hard to find real men, and they were that, to the very marrow of their bones.'
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on 16 December 2014
A book that has stood the test of time, first published in the 1980's. Written by an anti-communist patriot, this is much more than an account of the attempt to extinguish bolshevism in Operation Barbarossa. Degrelle's lyrical and even poetic style takes time out from combat and shows the highly educated and previously successful Christian man he was.
Even though drawn from most European nations, the SS was vastly outnumbered by the USSR, which was also aided by the "capitalist" British Empire and the USA, something that is never fully explained in works of history ...
So bolshevism triumphed in Europe (and further afield) with the results we see all around -- perhaps especially in those nations that "won" the War ...

This however is not about larger issues relating to WW2 as the catastrophe that increasingly people are now coming to see it, but an account of the Belgian SS-Wallonie at war, written by their Commanding Officer as a tribute to them. Even casual WW2 readers will appreciate this classic book and the man who penned it.
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on 6 February 2015
A fantastic tale of horror and heroism, written by the man who witnessed both. He and his comrades suffered terrible conditions and great loses. An amazing story told ( I feel) brilliantly and not always in stereotypical,staunch Ss fashion.This would make an amazing movie
A must read for those interested in WW2 or those who just love a fast moving tale of daring do
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on 14 August 2015
Well written, highly interesting account of the Wallonian Waffen SS, hard to put down, thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommended to readers who like to hear the truth of ww2 from those who fought it.
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on 20 August 2014
Unbelievable story of degrelles military exploits how he survived is quite remarkable fantastic descriptive account of the walloons combat in the war ,truly horrific battle experiances ,a must read for Eastern front enthusiasts.a very brave man amongst very brave volunteers ss or not . Great read at a very cheap price .
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on 29 January 2016
Now newly republished as The Eastern Front.
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on 6 November 2013
It would be futile for me to attempt to describe this book - but for anyone who wishes to understand the lot of the infantryman - just read it !
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on 3 September 2014
A good account of the dreadful conditions of the fighting on the eastern front in WW2.the comradeship amongst the Walloons (all volunteers )is an amazing story
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on 1 March 2015
Excellent book.
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