The Last Campaign

Henry T. Smith, Author Walker & Company $13.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-8027-0867-0
At dawn on May 1, 1945, nine German infantrymen, the remnants of a Panzer division, desert, trekking back from the Russian front toward the Fatherland. They are feral soldiers, adept at scavenging, stealing, ambushsurviving in the no man's land of war-devasted Europe. This anabasis ends three weeks later, with eight of the soldiers safe, Germany surrendering to the Allies. In his second novel (Death in Small Corners), British writer Smith narrates through the eyes of Jurgen, who in some respect resembles Remarque's Paul of All Quiet on the Western Front. Jurgen lacks Paul's moral passion but he is equally disillusioned and hardened. Where Paul divined a lost civilization, however, Jurgen sees only a lost war. While Smith portrays the waste and tragedy of war in a convincing fashion, it is difficult to summon sympathy for his characters. Foreign rights: Robert Hale. November 11
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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