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on 16 February 2006
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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on 6 February 2005
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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on 27 June 2007
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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on 2 March 2007
'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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on 4 March 2012
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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on 25 June 2010
Went into this with the feeling that it would be a book on the heroic deeds of national socialism on the eastern front crushing the red armies ideologies but its so far from that! I found this book to be a truly riveting read from start to finish with a very down to earth perspective of a very brave mans exploits through hell on earth. He never tries to blow it out of proportion and gives an almost relaxed view on what must have been an horrific time in his life for him and his comrades, one can only imagine the true horrors of frontline combat in ww2. My only complaint is how short the memoirs are but still a compelling read recommended to anyone interested in this subject.
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on 28 January 2013
Interesting to read as my father was a member of waffen SS Norge fighting with them all the way back to Berlin where he fought his way out after the death of Hitler, eventually surrendering to Highlanders on the 9th10th May
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on 23 March 2012
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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on 10 March 2013
Very interesting to read about a Waffen-SS soldier, especially one who was a foreign volunteer.I compare this book with another that I recently read, namely 'The Kaiser's Reluctant Conscript'. Gives two totally different views on the same subject, ie war, its reasons, conduct and its whys and wherefores.
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on 19 January 2009
One of the most gripping acurate books of WW2 I have read, a must for readers seeking a no holds barred realistic representation from the German side
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