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Publisher's Summary

Twilight of the Gods was originally written in Swedish, and published in Buenos Aires shortly after the end of WWII. Erik Wallin, a Swedish soldier who volunteered for service with the Waffen-SS, participated in the climactic battles on the Eastern Front during late 1944 and 1945, later telling his story to this book's editor, Thorolf Hillblad.

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 defense of Berlin, where it was destroyed.

Erik Wallin served with his unit in all of these locations, and provides the listener with a fascinating glimpse into these final battles. The book is written with a "no holds barred" approach which will captivate, excite, and maybe even shock the listener - 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.

©2002 Thorolf Hillblad (P)2019 Tantor

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  • S. H. Moore
  • 21-11-2019

A truly unique look at the Eastern Front from a devout Nazi.

Where to start? Performance wise 4 stars. Bruce Mann is a good reader. However, this book sometimes had to much of an excitable tone to it. Kind of got tiring sometimes. I’ve listen to plenty of first hand accounts and 4 from the Eastern Front alone. All them are able to convey the action and emotions without sounding like they are using their voice and tone to convey the urgency and chaos of the action. Perhaps this has some to do with the writing, but the reader came off a bit shouty sometimes. But is pronunciations of slang and military terms was good. This is a pet peeve of many military history listeners. The story is very action heavy. There is no usual tales of enlisting and basic training, it’s straight to the front. I like these types of books. I listen to them in between breaks from very long, heavy, technical works to break things up. It’s is great in that respect. However, being that the story covers a strategic retreat it is the same style of engagement over and over. The contacts get repetitive if you listen in a long stint. I do not really hold this against the book itself, it was the nature of the conflict at that time. Just something to be aware of. Something some readers have mentioned negatively, is that the author, was a FOREIGN WAFFEN SS VOLUNTEER! He is a very strong, committed, Nazi. The narrative is full of racial commentary. It was written right after the war and you can tell. Some of the Amazon reviews condemn this book for it, I think it’s great insomuch that It really lends a sense of authenticity to the story. After all this was a man so possessed to leave his native home, and fight for a foreign country’s cause because he believed in it. In the end while this books has some failings, and the reading lacks (or has quirks), you cannot really discount this book for it much. It is a truly unique, in that it’s breaks from the common man of the Wehrmacht, fightings for brothers in arms and families back home, while secretly detesting the Nazi party and Hitler. This is something that almost all other German memoirs echo. For this fact alone this book is worth reading or listening to. I even added a physical copy to my collect.

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  • Susan
  • 25-01-2020

Fasinating story from the other side

Interesting to hear a story by a true believer in the nazi cause, no apologies made and with many references to the greatness of western socialism. amazing ANYONE could come though those battles alive...let alone multiple battles

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  • J.Brock
  • 09-12-2019

Good hearing another viewpoint, but hard to follow

Hearing about the war from the vantage point of the Germans, and in this case the Swedish Panzergrenadier, is always interesting. You know what happened in the war, and you know that the German's ideology was the most atrocious and diabolical the world has almost ever seen throughout history. Interestingly, those fighting on the Eastern front were fighting to rid the world of the communist scourge that was Russia or "Ivan." That is the gist of this book. However, this book is hard to follow. It's not ordered in any particular way, so it makes it difficult to know what is going on and when. Also, the narrator is a bit shrill in this work.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-2020

SS Propaganda

Egentlig en fin bog, der tydeligt viser kampen på østfronten i 1944/45. Men forfatteren falder over i ren nazi volapyk alt for meget.

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  • Jeremy J
  • 21-07-2020

A Good Listen

This was a good memoir but did have a few faults with it. One of the biggest things is that in the background of the narrator at times, you can hear what sound like pages being turned very subtly. Another thing I wish would have been included was the authors background. What was he doing before 1944? Why did he join the Waffen-SS? Why did he volunteer to fight for Germany? Those things are sadly never addressed. Overall, it was a good book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-07-2020

Post-war Nazi propaganda in part but also history

This is a first-hand report of the last days of Berlin. and in part post war Nazi propaganda. after the war in 1953 he moves to Argentina with the rest of the Nazis and makes the life there.

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  • Michael
  • 21-06-2020

Passionate account of the war

I saw a few reviews which called this book "propaganda", which is absurd. This is the memoir of a man who was completely devoted to his unit, his comrades, and his homeland. The author does an excellent job conveying the intensity of the conflict they faced, and at times my gut wrenched thinking of the suffering he and his men endured. I think any veteran who has felt the bonds that only combat can forge will appreciate this memoir much more than most other war novels.

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  • Debra Faber
  • 15-02-2020

Propaganda piece

This book provides good history if you can look past the Nazi propaganda it contains.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-06-2020

A fully truthful recollection

of what happened in dark end days of world war 2. no hints of chosenite influence An excellent account of an elite Waffen SS unit, made up of Nordic volunteers, in the dying months of World War 2. It took us into the mindset of foreign volunteers and why they signed up; namely to fight the Bolsheviks. It dispels myths that all Waffen SS fighters were inhumane monsters. Instead it paints a picture of an elite fighting force that repeatedly came to the rescue of Wehrmacht units. There aren't very many books written by SS soldiers from World War II, and there definitely aren't many by foreign volunteers in the SS. Erik Wallin was a Swedish volunteer in the SS Nordland Division and saw extensive combat on the Eastern Front. This book doesn't cover his entire combat career, but starts with New Year's 1945 and goes through the brutal end of the war. The combat descriptions in the book range from pretty graphic to fairly mundane, but the unbridled brutality of war comes through very clearly. Even when faced with the overwhelming colossus of the Red Army, Wallin and his fellow SS soldiers seem to maintain a fairly high morale and belief that final victory is still a possibility. This is a pretty quick read , but I certainly wish there was a bit more in some parts as some battles are described in a fair amount of detail while others get much smaller mentions. Some reviewers are angered by Wallin's failure to mention war crimes committed by his side and to praise National Socialism. That seems silly, to me; no one volunteers to fight in a war they believe is evil, so it should be expected that the author would support his side. The 'alleged crimes' are documented in countless texts, the value here is the look inside the mind of a committed, though seemingly not ideologically crazed, Waffen SS soldier It ends with an amazing account of what it was like to be under siege in the hell of Berlin as it was being pounded by Soviet artillery. An account well worth the read. A great addition to anyone's library if they're interested in the Eastern Front.

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  • Alistair Fraser
  • 22-05-2020

Excellent!!!

Fabulous book, this is the second time I've listened to it and enjoyed it thoroughly. I wish Audible would do more like it. Highly recommended!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-2020

Fantastic

It's always great to hear war stories from a personal perspective. This is one of those stories. The retreat and horrific experience, combined with some good detail of this SS soldier. If nothing else, it should serve as a reminder of the personal sacrafice that the ordinary soldier, on both sides, makes.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-06-2020

Addictive

I had withdrawal symptoms when I finished. Excellent inside story of the horrendous war in the East and the trauma suffered by soldiers and civilians caught up in battle.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt.G.
  • 27-08-2020

Short but a good book.

A good book that gets you into the action. The narrator get excited when the action requires him too which adds to the experience.

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