• Devil's Guard

    Devil's Guard (Hardback) By (author) George Robert Elford

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    Paperback $7.18
    • Published: 01 March 1972
    • Format: Hardback 350 pages
    • See: Full bibliographic data
    • ISBN 13: 9780450011450 ISBN 10: 0450011453

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  • Full bibliographic data for Devil's Guard

    Title
    Devil's Guard
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) George Robert Elford
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 350
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 220 mm
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780450011450
    ISBN 10: 0450011453
    Classifications

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: Z99.9
    Publication date
    01 March 1972
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Review text
    At some undetermined time in the recent past, George Elford, a zoologist, casually met an "extraordinary" individual, Hans Josef Wagemueller, a former Nazi SS trooper, in a bar somewhere in Southeast Asia, and therein lies the origin of this disquieting document, a conversational memoir of Wagemueller's morally constipated activities as a dedicated anti-Communist mercenary in the French Foreign Legion in Indochina after the defeat of Hitler's Reich and prior to Dien Bien Phu. Reputed to be all true (except for personal names, changed to protect the real identities of Wagemueller himself, now an honored citizen of an undisclosed Asian country, we are told, but still subject to possible prosecution in Germany for war crimes; those SS buddies who also served with him in the Legion; and his dear old publicity-shy mom, still alive and well in Germany), Elford says Wagemueller talked for 18 straight days into a tape recorder. What comes out is a sickening firsthand account of the French war operation, tales not unlike our own Vietnam "turkey shoots" and mass murder atrocities. The enemy is conned into capturing food supplies doctored with strychnine; women are raped, killed, mutilated; men are tortured for information or the hell of it, forced to eat propaganda leaflets, their own excrement, drink machine oil; others get worse treatment: "He ran the fuse down the man's hip, attached the detonator and slipped the charge under the prisoner's scrotum. . . . The man's body heaved as a spurt of blood splashed across his thighs." Although the book occasionally reads like a John Wayne movie script ("Make it straight there, or I will spill your filthy guts right here"), it provides an important insight into the cruelties and crudities of guerrilla war as well as the men who fight these wars; anyone disturbed by the Calley case should get some useful input from Devil's Guard. (Kirkus Reviews)