- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Matador (1 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848767072
- ISBN-13: 978-1848767072
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 20.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,028,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Devils with Wings: The Green Devils Assault on Fort Eben Emael Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
First off we follow Paul, as he completes his training, enduring tough physical exercise and intensive weapon training. He survives everything that his instructors throw at him and after completing his parachute training he is posted as an officer to the famous fallschirmjaeger parachute regiment. Here he meets Max, a tough and experienced NCO who takes Paul under his wing.
They form a close relationship while cutting their teeth in Poland, where Paul comes to the attention of his senior officers and he and his company are selected for a special mission sanctioned by the Furher himself.
Paul and Max find themselves back in training, this time working with gliders and preparing to attack Eben Emael, the formidable Belgium fortress. Paul and Max must use all of their training and experience to guide their company though the mission that is critical to the Furhers plans in the west.
I have always avoided fiction books about the Second World war, a bad experience with them as a teenager had put me off so I approached this book with some trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I enjoyed the story because even though I had heard of the attack on Eben Emael I didn't really know any details about it.
The story is well paced and very well researched. The authors own military background comes though in his writing especially when it comes to the banter between Max, Paul and the rest of the company. The relationship between Paul and Max is a real strength of the book and I'm looking forward to this developing in further book.Read more ›
It turns out that I waited with unneccessary trepidation. I'll forego the plot rundown as it's given in other reviews. I'll focus instead on strengths and weaknesses.
The strengths of the novel are:
The characters, who are believable and sympathetic and have an excellent interplay and arc. Their cameraderie and humour is just what you might expect from such a unit and shows elements of the author's past and knowledge. Choosing to write a story from the persepective of the Germans in the war is a brave move, I think, and to make them reasonable and sympathetic (which I realise many would have been) despite all the prejudices of the reader is a masterful feat.
The story. The story and the pace at which it is told keeps the reader turning to find out what happens next. At no point did I hit a lull that gave me pause. For me, regardless of the training and the actual assault that form the bulk of the book, the best (and most tense) part was the flight of the gliders and the build-up to the main show. The main strength within the story itself is the sheer detail, which most clearly of all shows the author's astounding knowledge and understanding of the subject.
The weaknesses for me were:
The editing. This is something I am aware that I suffer from in my own work and is the bane of almost all self-published and small press publications.Read more ›
The book takes us from the training of Paul (Max is already an experienced NCO) it shows the immense training regime these guys endured and excelled at, how these men became one of the most elite units of WW2 and achieved some of the amazing feats that they did. The book then takes us on some relationship building early missions, to the point that they are selected for the Special Mission (by the Little Austrian Himself).
I'm not going into what happens on the mission, its success or failure or anything else, buy the book read it, you can find out the facts on Wiki, but the amazing writing ability of Harvey would be missed, the atmosphere, the daring the drama, all are brought out on a tale well woven and well paced and so well written.
Recently there has been a resurgence of WW2 fiction writers, i have been a fan of this era of fiction since my first Commando comic as a kid, and now i enjoy authors like James Holland, Robert Radcliffe, Guy Saville & James Delingpole, to be truthful Harvey is instantly among the best of them with this debut title, it really is page turning book, and oh so brave to make your hero a German (the only other author of note with the cojones to do this was Alex Scarrow with A Thousand Suns).
Book 2 Silk Drop is out in April.. its a date to ring in the book buying diary, I'm buying it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The idea of a historical novel about the glider assault on Eben Emael is fantastic on paper. Extraordinary daring, amazing technical feats etc should make for a rip roaring... Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2013 by Fun and Games
When I first picked up this book I thought not for me , but after a few pages I could not put it down. The research that the author has done has to be commended ! Read morePublished on 6 July 2012 by The no BS man
The cover of the book looks cracking; it's only a shame it [the book] didn't fulfil my expectations. Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 2012 by Adler
Although I have tended to review gentler books, I do actually enjoy reading a good action/thriller type of novel, so when Devils With Wings came to my attention it was definitely... Read morePublished on 9 May 2012 by Book reviews
Now this is my kind of book. Well written and well researched. Really atmospheric and miles better than the likes of Sven Hasssel. You will not be disappointed. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2012 by Ludwig B
My husband and I have both read Harvey's book and really enjoyed it. It's an easy read, good characters that keep you interested, and some classic quotes. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2012 by Anne Waite
I downloaded the Kindle edition of this book after meeting the author at a book signing. I am not a big reader of military fiction but was persuaded to try the book by the obvious... Read morePublished on 21 Dec. 2011 by cat whisperer
This is Harvey Blacks Debut novel, `Devils with Wings' and it follows the exploits of Paul and Max, members of the elite fallschirmjaeger parachute regiment (yes the Germans) The... Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2011 by Parm
As a lover of war history and all things relating to the first and second world war, I was pleasantly surprised by this fiction account of the assult on Eben Emael was a lovely... Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2011 by torrenstp