Devil's Guard

Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The personal account of a guerrilla fighter in the French Foreign Legion reveals the Nazi Battalion's inhumanities to Indochinese villagers.

©1971 George Robert Elford (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Overall
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Devilish understanding “Why Vietnam was a bust for USA

Great Vietnam history. Why we walked in to a hornets nest. I really enjoyed a look into the Indochina war in North Vietnam- why didn’t we study and use history’s past lesson

Recommended reading for Vietnamese war history. Well written.

3 people found this helpful

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A must read for every leg, airborne, ranger or SOF member!

I read this on deployment and though my Deutsch has faded into oblivion, I managed to
Work though the pronunciation of the names and most of the words. I listened to the audio book years later and it still reverberates the sentiments I had while fighting terrorism for the US. I passed the book around and everyone who read it has the same thought ,”If we fought like this, the war would be over and I’d be sitting at home with my family right now”. Same fight, different enemy. If you changed the names and places, you could imagine this being written by a rogue special operations unit fighting ISIS or the Taliban.

The story moves quickly, covering a lot of ground but offers just enough detail to imagine yourself in the same position. Yes, there is a fair amount of Nazi/SS sympathizing and from a front line troop looking in on the unforgivable atrocities committed by death camp staff, you can vaguely see their point. If you can understand their Nazi mentality and not let that be the driving force behind the book but see the effectiveness of the guerrilla tactics, the method of bullet for bullet, bomb for bomb, murder for murder, and how an enemy force that doesn’t abide by modern rules of war(Geneva Convention), you will see that their methods were effective and the only way to fight against an enemy like this.

This book is truly a great read for anyone who has served in a combat position. To think that this book was published in 1971, and probably written years before, it’s crazy, even if you think it is a work of fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

It is well worth the listen it's an amazing story with underlying content that point out issues we are having with our community's today

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Spellbinding!

Great story, great narration! can't recall when I have enjoyed listening to a book so much.

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If it is only half true...

I have spent my entire life reading military sagas. Hundreds of memoirs from all of the standard american theatres, Nazi Germany, the Soviets... This is not one of those memoirs. Trust me.

Being written from the perspective of a German SS officer that escaped the Soviet and US stranglehold and found his way in the French Foreign Legion where he became a leader in their brigades of former Nazi solders who are sent to fight to their death in Indochina a decade before the heat of America's involvement in Vietnam...Man was it a refreshing listen.

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One of the best stories of war ive ever listened

One of the best stories of war ive ever listened to. Phenomenal forgotten piece of history. Monsters are sometimes needed to destroy monsters.

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Absolutely Excellent

This is a great inside look at what became of some of the German soldiers after Germany's defeat during World War II, and how they used their mastery of warfare to stay employed as soldiers, albeit with their former enemy as members of the French Foreign Legion. Their expertise in tactics and planning made their battalion one of the deadliest the Legion sent into French Indochina. The Devil's Guard also shows a lot of ingenuity in fieldcraft and guerrilla warfare. The former Nazis employed some of the guerrilla's tactics against the very guerrillas that gave them the ideas. Some people might say that they were cruel, barbaric, or dishonorable for some of the tactics used by the German legionnaires, but that savageness is just what it took to win. They had the stomach and drive to win, whereas the French government (foreshadowing the Americans) did not.

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Violent

I have to be honest; I had a hard time with this whole idea. I couldn’t reconcile the inner moral conflict.

The book is well written, but the story … many of the central characters are Nazi war criminals fighting for France in post WWII Indochina. We get to see “Nazi brutality meets Indochinese brutality.” The main protagonist is also a Nazi, and thinks the Nazis were pretty much okay.

So … to escape war crimes trial, conviction, and execution after the defeat of Germany in WWII, unrepentant Nazi SS and Gestapo soldiers joined the French Foreign Legion (I never realized this was a thing) , escape justice and accountability for war crimes, go to Indochina and use the same inhuman, brutal tactics they used in WWII, but this time against the Indochinese … because the Indochinese used inhuman, brutal tactics (and that makes it okay?) … in a conflict which ultimately became the Vietnam war.

Oh, and every once in a while they are nice when they don’t have to be.

Afterward, having left a swath of further war crimes and death in Indochina, these unrepentant Nazi SS and Gestapo war criminals became French citizens and lived happily ever after. I have to say … this is not okay in my understanding of justice.

Ultimately, this book is about evil.1 vs evil.2, wherein there is a great deal of murder, execution, maiming, rape, torture, and euthanization, with everybody hating each other for it, and justifying further retributive violence.

In essence, this is why we’ll always have war.

I felt like I needed a mental shower after reading it. Reading this book made me feel like I was playing a really violent video game, but in the end, nobody gets to win.

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Make a series out of this!

The entire story was captivating and thrilling. The narrator was perfect. The way this plays out is perfect for a miniseries as long as it is untainted by politically correct film makers. It could be better than The Pacific, Band of Brothers and Generation Kill.

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Read this book many times

I first came across this book in 1981 and bought it from Lancer Militaria. I’ve since read the book several times, gone to the army, gone to war, gone to college, gone back to war... and it’s still a fantastic book. A few things were more clear... and some things were better explained since I’ve matured a bit. I highly recommend this book.