Gajinn Lijepo sam ga i pristojno pozdravio i divio se njegovoj privatnoj sobi. Tko je, do vraga, prljava svinja koja je napunila ovaj lonac govnom? Bili smo naviknuti raditi u kamenolomu, dok ne bismo pali mrtvi. Selo smo napustili u satnijama. Jedan stari Rus je rekao: Dva dana kasnije, kad smo dobili zamjene, i dalje nije bilo ni traga ni glasa od Porte, i iskreno smo oplakivali svoj gubitak.
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Start your review of Legija prokletih Write a review Shelves: historical-fiction , military , hf-ww2 , War is hell. Sherman said it, but it might just as well have been said by a German tank soldier on the Eastern Front in the Second World War. Partially auto-biographical, and partly historical fiction, Legion of the Damned is the story of one such soldier, Sven.
He hates the Nazis. And then that unit is sent to join the invasion War is hell. And then that unit is sent to join the invasion of the USSR. We also see the profound wrong-ness of the Nazi regime. The book is entertaining and, at times, very exciting. One of my very favorite sections was the description of the great tank battle at Kursk from the perspective of Sven within his Tiger tank.
As I read I could feel him almost peeing his pants in sheer terror! The real magic of the book, however, is not in the depiction of the fighting or in the often amusing stories of Sven and his comrades behind the lines. The real magic is in the slow, everyday, callous loss of humanity among Sven and his comrades.
The most moving part for me is when Sven and his tank finally kill a particularly hard to kill Russian soldier. Their tank spooks this soldier out of his foxhole. Sven opens up with teh machine gun but misses. Then The Old Un and Stege join in. They even break out the flame thrower. They try and try and try, but no one can get poor Ivan.
No one can kill him. It becomes a point of pride. Finally they trap him in a house and set it ablaze, killing the Russian. At that moment, Sven realizes what had happened: "A point of honor. How could I? How could I kill a man just for the sake of my pride? But that is what I did, and I regret it. War with its everlasting murdering and noise and flames and destruction had stealthily poisoned me. The strain and stress are taking a brutal toll. He and his comrades were, in fact, the walking dead.
They had lost that spark that makes them vital and human and were just automatons. And by it was only worse. I think that is the story that Sven wanted to tell with his books. And, as a German, he was uniquely positioned to tell that story.
War is hell. It is dehumanizing. There is nothing glamorous or romantic about it. It is dirty and miserable and terrible. War is hell, and we should all remember it. What better legacy for a former Wehrmacht Unteroffizier to leave behind? Great message and at times very exciting to read.
It was the perfect book to read on a travel day.
Legija prokletih/Sven Hasel
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