Sven Hassel - Liquidate Paris


"I had a grenade in my hand. So, no doubt, did the English private. I tore out the pin with my teeth. Lay there and counted. Twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four…The grenade whistled through the air towards the English soldier. On its way, it passed his grenade whistling through the air towards me. He had thrown at exactly the same moment. But no damage done. We obviously share the same reactions and had both rolled out of range in time to save our skins. I leaped for the machine-gun and feverishly fired several rounds. A second grenade exploded. Almost had me, that time. There was a vivid flash in front of me; my head, safely encased in its steel helmet, nevertheless felt as if it were bursting open at the seams. For a second I felt fear, and then, almost immediately, a mad fury overtook me. Until that moment I had not personally hated my enemy. Killing him had been a necessity. Now it had become a perverse pleasure. I certainly had no intention of dying in the muddy fields of France."