The New York Times, US:
…An extraordinary book, which has captured the attention of all of Europe.
…In essence this is an expose of the absurdity of war, and a moving plea for peace. As such, it takes its rank with far milder books, such as “All Quiet on the Western Front”.
La Notte, Italy:
…contains a dramatic beauty in all its brutality.
The Washington Post, US:
The Legion of the Damned is an incredible picture of totalitarianism, of war, of stupefying injustice, and one can only look in awe at the objectivity with which Hassel writes. He is graphic, at times brilliantly so, but never brutal or bitter. He is, too, a first rate storyteller. Unquestionably the book is a testament to indestructibility of man.
Neue Zeitung, Germany:
The exquisitely depicted scenes are on a par with Homer’s production of the battle for Troy.
Boston Sunday Herald, US:
The publishers say that this is “a documentary novel which has captured the attention of all of Europe.” We say that it may capture the attention of the world, because it is a strong and moving exhortation against that “filthy business” called war.
Berlingske Aftenavis, Denmark:
His writing skills are very uncommon and undaunted.
Columbus Dispatch, US:
Searing account of War’s Blackest Horror -This is not a story of war, but of people.
Freiheit, Ramat-Gan, Israel:
The safe sense of dramatic antithesis has made Sven Hassel into a new Hemingway.
Hull Daily Mail, UK:
The strength and skill of Mr. Hassel’s pen is uncanny. His reward is of one of the most impressive war books ever written…No one has written a more damning tract against wars and those who wage them. In the process, the world has gained a writer with the deft touch of the master penman. More please, Mr. Hassel.
Morgenavisen, Bergen, Norway:
Sven Hassel’s books glitter and sparkle of redemptive humor. He has an inimitable flair for dramatic antitheses where the gloomy solemnity corresponds with the brightest wit. He mastered the genre as few or none others.
Christian Herald, US:
Sven Hassel’s writing has the lasting proportions of greatness.
De Telegraaf, Amsterdam, The Netherlands:
Sven Hassel is an extraordinary storyteller.
Mitchell Daily Republic, US:
Hassel presents his best scenes with the restraint and emotional control of Hemingway.
Diario de Barcelona, Spain:
Sven Hassel compares favorably with Ernest Hemingway. His macabre humor is brilliant.
The News and Courier, Charleston, US:
Hassel presents a vivid picture of the horrors of war to warn people everywhere never to let another group of gangsters win control and plunge the world into a new holocaust.
Alan Silitoe, UK:
Hassel’s books of war are the most powerful I have ever read.
Florida Times Union, US:
Sven Hassel rates among the truly great war book writers.
Hassel recounts his experience as a soldier of slaughter and brings the reader into the parallel hell of the barracks and that of fighting through horror, sadism and madness.
Herald Tribune, US:
In this, his first novel, as one assumes it is, the craftsman is apparent. His next book, if he chooses to go on writing, will be something to look out for…This is the story of the men who neither plan nor cause wars, but must fight them. The story is narrated in a simple and appealing literary style, somewhat similar to that of Ernest Hemingway.
Chicago Sunday Tribune, US:
It is a book that should be required reading not only in English, but also in German and Russian and Chinese and in the language of any country with an army. No ordinary novel of war, this has the special quality of being an accurate account not only of armies fighting but of the opposed loyalties of individuals fighting within themselves while remaining loyal -not to a dreadful system – but to the known and treasured friends…But basically the story shudders from page to page while the devoted friends live precariously from year to year, until only the one survivor is left to write this book. And a gripping book it is.
Sven Hassel confirms that war is a searing blasphemy, the most atrocious a sick mind can imagine.