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On the Devil's Tail: In Combat with the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1945, and with the French in Indochina 1951-54

On the Devil's Tail: In Combat with the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1945, and with the French in Indochina 1951-54
Autor: Paul Martelli
Data publikacji: 2014-06
ISBN: 9781909982093
Wydawca: HELION & COMPANY
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.7 cm
Oprawa: twarda
Liczba stron: 384
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Opis produktu:

This is the riveting true story of Paul Martelli, a fifteen-year-old German-Italian, who fought in Pomerania, on the Eastern Front, in 1945 as a member of the 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS "Charlemagne" and, later, as a soldier with French forces during three years (1951-1954) in the Tonkin area, Vietnam. Paul recounts his time at the Sennheim military training base, where he was introduced to the rigorous discipline of body and mind: he then goes back to 1940, during the German invasion of France, when he was still a boy in Lorraine, hinting at his motivations for enlisting with the Waffen SS. He reveals his and many young soldiers' exciting and often humorous escapades at Greifenberg, his first love with a German girl helping refugees, his experiences and feelings during the combats at Korlin, during the strenuous defense of Kolberg, while regrouping at Neustrelitz and at the German defeat. With a companion he ends up at a castle delivering a group of women camp prisoners to a Russian officer, living in disguise among enemy soldiers until he escapes and surrender to the Americans. After his sentence, imprisonment, evasions and military service in Morocco, Paul is sent to fight in defence of bases north of Hanoi, Vietnam. He survives three years of fierce combats, assaults, ambushes, night patrols, fatal traps and mortal risks but, deep down, he compares his service with the Waffen SS during the last year of war with the inefficiency of the French Expeditionary Force in the Far East and comes out deeply frustrated. At almost 26, he has fought and lost in two wars, both against the communists, be they Soviet or Viet-Minh. Unemployed, and with the ideals of a 'Nouvelle Europe' in pieces, he briefly joins the French Foreign Legion, his last hope, but in the end choses another path. This is a unique memoir, packed with incident and recounting the story of one individual caught up in a series of life-changing events.

About the Author

Vittorino dal Cengio wrote several books about climbing in the Dolomites that were published during the 1980s. He also wrote articles and short stories for a magazine and for Italian newspapers in Canada. After an interlude in 2008 he resumed writing books, this time about social history, authoring three in recent years. He moved to Canada in 1977 in the spirit of adventure after his military service with the Italian Alpine Corps. He holds various technical diplomas from Italy and a BA (joint major in French, History, Political Sciences) from Simon Fraser University.



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