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Twilight of the Gods: A Swedish Waffen-SS Volunteer's Experiences with 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Januar 2004

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Few new personal accounts by Waffen-SS soldiers appear in English; even fewer originate from the multitude of non-German European volunteers who formed such an important proportion of this service's manpower. Twilight of the Gods was originally written in Swedish, and published in Buenos Aires shortly after the end of WWII. The author was a Swedish soldier who volunteered for service with the Waffen-SS, and participated in the climactic battles on the Eastern Front during late 1944 and 1945. Wallin served with the Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion, 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, a unit composed mainly of non-German volunteers, including Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes. The division enjoyed a high reputation for its combat capability, and was always at the focal points of the fighting on the Eastern Front in the last year of the war. During this period it saw combat in the Baltic, in Pomerania, on the Oder, and finally in defence of Berlin, where it was destroyed. Erik Wallin served with his unit in all of these locations, and provides the reader with a fascinating glimpse into these final battles.

He writes with a 'no holds barred' approach which will captivate, excite and maybe even shock the reader - his recollections do not evade the brutality of fighting against the advancing Red Army. Twilight of the Gods is destined to become a classic memoir of the Second World War.

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Born in Stockholm in 1921, Erik Wallin deserted from his Swedish AA regiment at the beginning of 1943, to join the Waffen-SS. By that time he had already participated in two wars - the Winter War 1939-40, and at Hanko in 1941, both as a volunteer with the Finnish forces against the Soviets. In May 1944 he joined the 11th SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, serving in its Panzer Recce Battalion. He served with this unit until the end of the war, and participated in all its engagements - in Estonia, Kurland, Pomerania. Brandenburg and finally Berlin, where he was wounded and fell into Soviet hands. He managed to escape and return to Sweden, to write this book.

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We sat round the roughly-made bunker table playing cards, and listening to the front's New Year radio appeals from the highest commanders of the different services. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 58 Rezensionen
66 von 67 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Interesting individual account 13. August 2004
Von R. Nelson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a short, intense account of a specific period of the war. I found this to be a gripping story, and hard to put down. With the number of personal accounts appearing, I also found it interesting that it tracks and crosses with several other personal accounts currently available dealing with the battle for Berlin. The one disappointment is that the story starts in the middle, since the ending was so exciting, I would have liked to read about the beginning. Because it is the story of one person and limited to his view as a member of a mortar platoon, I would recommend reading something with a larger scope to give this book more context. None of this detracts from the book, however, I heartily recommend it.
97 von 111 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The story of a Nordland veteran 10. April 2004
Von P. J. A. Wilde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
'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.
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Superb Personal Account 13. März 2006
Von J. Sims - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a very good book. The combat descriptions are unbeatable, and the author provides a wealth of detail on conditions and circumstances during the last year of the war. As other reviews have noted, the author is not a particularly self aware fellow, meaning that he has some strange views about himself and his mission; but those views are an interesting historical fact in themselves. I recommend this book to any Russian Front buff.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A very unusual wartime account written by a Waffen-SDS soldier 9. Januar 2006
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Thorolf Hillblad's Twilight Of The Gods provides a very unusual wartime account written by a Waffen-SDS soldier: it's one of the few to appear in English, originating from one of the non-German European volunteers. Originally written in Swedish and published shortly after war's end, it tells of the experiences of Swedish soldier Wallin, who volunteered for service and participated in the battles on the Eastern Front towards war's end. Wallin served in different locations in a division which gained a reputation for its combat capability: Twilight Of The Gods documents his experiences.
48 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Swedish Volunteer in the War Against Communism 1. Juli 2006
Von Thorr - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Both Eric Wallin, and the editor, Thorolf Hillblad served as Swedish volunteers in the 11th Waffen-SS PanzerGrenadier Division "Nordland". This was a truly elite division made up of volunteers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and even a few Britons. This divsion was, in 1945, the single most effective unit in the defence of Berlin against Stalin's communist hordes. Wallin's description of the communist enemy is quite descriptive. These were, after all, the same enemy that we fought in Korea and Vietnam. I would have liked this book to be longer, covering his experiences as a volunter in Finland fighting the red invasion in 1939, and his earlier experiences in the Waffen-SS. However, this book is still an excellent addition to those interested in Hitler's preemtive war against Stalin, and communism. Those interested in the non-German volunteers that served in the WAffen-SS may want to read the following: "The Last Knight of Flanders" by Brandt, "European Volunteers" by Strassner, "Campaign in Russia" by Degrelle, "The Patriotic Traitors" by Littlejohn, "Charlemagne's Legionnaires" by Landwehr, "Latvian Legion" by Silgailis, "Galicia Division" by Logusz, and "Waffen-SS Encyclopedia" by Rikmenspoel.
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