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Their more unorthodox weapons were lengths of steel wire and knives with double-edged blades, and some of their most prized possessions were gold teeth snatched from corpses. The 'Disciplinary Regiment', a tank company in Hitler's army - without a tank to its name - was fighting a brutal war against the Russians. A bunch of hardened killers in filthy rags, stinking to high heaven, this company was worth an entire regiment of freshly laundered troops from Breslau. Guerrilla warfare on the eastern Front was for them a prelude to the bloody massacre of Russian troops who had attacked the German reserves and occupied their headquarters. Then the 'Disciplinary Regiment' was sent to Hamburg, where their next assignment was guard duty for the bestial Gestapo...
whinnied like a horse and slapped a fist straight into his dish of cabbage. At the end of the meal we feted Bernard with a birthday boozing song. It had nothing whatever to do with birthdays, being almost exclusively preoccupied with sexual contortions and the perversion of a language, but Bernard accepted it as a fitting tribute to a man celebrating his 42nd year on earth. We drank so much there was not one amongst us who had not yet vomited. With an inebriated sense of our own powers, we
shoulder. 'Porta, please . . . I've told you, we desperately need your help. I know you're a resourceful chap, so if you've any useful ideas don't hesitate to trot them out.' Porta looked at him reflectively. 'Well, I did have a sort of idea . . . dunno whether you'll go for it, though.' 'Let's hear it.' 'It's kind of complicated to explain, but what I thought was, if we could get hold of six bodies - well, we've got three already, we picked off some of their snipers, and we can easy get
that,' added Tiny, 'it was Brest-Lit-ovsk. Do you remember Brest-Litovsk? Do you remember--' 'Put a sock in it!' said the Legionnaire, irritably. 'I wish you wouldn't keep looking backwards all the time, it's morbid and unnecessary. Why can't you try looking forward for a change?' 'All right, if that's what you want . . .' Porta closed his eyes a moment, and a smile of beatific lechery appeared on his lips. 'First thing I do tonight, when they let us out of here, is find me a brothel . . . How
could lend 'em round the whole barracks . . .' 11German battalion of Communist volunteers 'Let me see,' said the Legionnaire, 'I was nineteen when I saw my first execution. It was at Casablanca, I remember. Some idiot who'd been twelve years in the army and suddenly gone berserk. Taken it into his head to go galloping off God knows where . . . Thought he could get away with desertion, poor fool . . . Of course, I've seen hundreds of others since then, but somehow you never manage to forget the
lower his gaze or blink. When Lt. Ohlsen did neither, Greinert set off on a circular tour, walking very silently round and round, and round and round, in never-ending circles . . . It was a well-known trick. Most people broke after the first five minutes. Some, the toughest and most experienced, held out for ten. Very very rarely did a man last quarter of an hour. Lt. Ohlsen survived for thirteen minutes. His head was beginning to swim and his arms to grow lead weights. His knees were trembling