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Sven Hassel was born Sven Pedersen at Frederiksborg, Zealand, Denmark on April 19th 1917.  He served in the Merchant Navy until he joined the Danish military service in 1936, a year later he moved to Germany and after many attempts to join the Wehrmacht (only German citizens could, at this time serve their country), he was accepted into the 7th Cavalry Regiment, on condition that he became a naturalized German.  Having fought in the battles for Poland he attempted to escape in 1940, not returning to his unit after a short leave and was tried for desertion.   His life was spared and he was transferred to a Sonderabteilung, a penal unit, where he had to fight to stay alive every day.  These penal units very often had the most dangerous missions to complete (as there men were regarded as the lowest of the low and extremely expendable) and in the most arduous of conditions.  He was wounded several times during his war service.  He was awarded the Iron Cross, 1st and 2nd class, and a number of other medals.  By the end of the war he had served on all fronts except North Africa and had reached the rank of Lieutenant.  He was caputured by the Russians in 1945, and spent four years as a prisoner of war in Russian, American, French and Danish prison camps.  It was during this time that he started to write.  In his books, he describes the adventures and troubles (very often gruesome) through a first-person narrator.  The books describe the exploits of a 27th (Penal) Panzer Regiment.


  • The Legion of the Damned (1953)
  • Wheels of Terror (1958)
  • Comrades of War (1960)
  • March Battalion (1962)
  • Assignment Gestapo (1963)
  • Monte Cassino (AKA The Beast Regiment) (1963)
  • Liquidate Paris (1967)
  • SS-General (1969)
  • Reign of Hell (1971)
  • Blitz Freeze (1976)
  • The Bloody Road to Death (1977)
  • Court Martial (1979)
  • OGPU Prison (1981)
  • The Commissar (1985)


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