The ashes of World War II were still cooling when France went to war in Vietnam. In that struggle, its frontline troops were the misfits, criminals and mercenaries of the French Foreign Legion. And among these, none were so bloodstained as the veterans of the German SS.The ashes of World War II were still cooling when France went to war in Vietnam. In that struggle, its frontline troops were the misfits, criminals and mercenaries of the French Foreign Legion. And among these, none were so bloodstained as the veterans of the German SS.Read Less
One of the best books I have ever read. Should be back in print. I never knew former SS soldiers fought in French Indo China (VIETNAM) for the French Foreign legion. I guess SS soldiers as the 'good guys' would never get printed, but this is such a moving story of an unbelelivable struggle beginning in Russia at the end of WWII. A page turner form the beginning. I never give over 4 stars, this one deserved it.
Aug 15, 2008
War in Vietnam before the Americans
George Elford relates the story of a Waffen SS officer who escapes Allied occupied post WW II Germany, joins the French Foreign Legion along with many of his former SS colleagues, and ends up leading a battalion in the French IndoChina War. The narrative flows very easily from Elford, making it difficult to put down the book. The many months of campaigning in the jungles of IndoChina are graphically portrayed, and the narrative sticks with the jungle fighting without getting tied down with the French military bureaucracy. We follow the German characters through the tales of their battalion commander, as he expounds on the lessons they have learned from fighting partisans in Russia through fighting the Viet Minh. Excellent history to prepare anyone interested in reading about the origins of the Viet Nam War.
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