by R. W. Nichelson
Author Reputation Press LLC
Book review by Barbara Bamberger Scott
"Hans read about the invasion in the paper. He became excited with the prospect of finally destroying the communist regime once and for all."
Two young Swedish men who fought against the Russians in 1939 now have the chance to defeat that enemy at the beginning of WWII. They can do this, they believe, by joining the German Waffen-SS. Hans Gruber and Sven Eriksson leave their homes to fight in Germany, soon finding themselves in the thick of battle. Hans is approached secretly by a young Russian soldier seeking asylum from the Communists, their common foe. Hans will save him and other presumed enemies, revealing his generous, open heart. He observes a train full of helpless families bound for death camps and watches in horror as SS men shoot Jewish men, women, and children and pitch them in mass graves. Word that both of the newly married young Swedes have become fathers offers them the impetus to make a daring move as Russia and the Western allies close in on Nazi Germany.
Nichelson’s enthralling story contrasts the joys of young romance with the chaos of merciless, bloody combat. His book is based on real events and charts the historical course of the war between Hitler and the Russians as seen through the eyes of Hans, a participant by choice whose original decision comes to haunt him as he gradually understands the true agenda of the Nazis. Nichelson’s writing is straightforward, demonstrating a knowledge of weaponry, some charming folklore surrounding Swedish courtship in bygone days, and a solid grasp of the historical events on which his tale centers. His characterizations are also strong. Hans is shown as a kind, sensitive young man caught in a moral morass, while his rather rakish friend Sven is brash, brave, and skilled in the soldier’s arts. Nichelson’s book will be of special interest to Swedes and those of Scandinavian origin, as well as all fans of colorful, battle-laden historical fiction.
The Second World War was considered the greatest and bloodiest war humanity has ever endured. And throughout the war millions of people lost their lives. Soldiers and civilians alike died during this swirling maelstrom of death and hate. In his new book “The Swede” the author R. W. Nichelson creates an engrossing tale that shows how war changes men and how courage can be found in the most unlikely places.
“The Swede” follows the adventures of a young Swedish man named Hans. He fears the encroachment of communism into his beloved homeland and as the world descends further into war, he becomes more and more agitated. Having seen the dark side of communism during his time as a soldier in the Winter War of 1939 he grows to hate communism in all its forms.
This pushes him to enlist as a recruit in the German army. He soon finds himself a soldier in the SS, Adolf Hitler’s personal army. There he finds out the darker side of war and the dark deeds committed by his own brothers in arms. This soon leads him to question his own convictions.
Ultimately, he will have to choose between being a good soldier or a good man. It shows a totally unique look at the men who served in the SS divisions. The very divisions that were demonized through the years due to their reputation as Adolf Hitler’s personal army.
The book captures the juxtaposition of war, where men are thrown into the altar of war, and sacrificed for the madness of one man. The story is seen through the eyes of a common soldier as he fights in a war that makes him question the worthiness of his cause and his own humanity.
The prose is quick and concise and captures the harsh realities of war. The author also shows his vast knowledge of military history by effortlessly creating authentic settings that will make you feel as if you were really on the battlefield.
All in all, “The Swede” is an eye-opening look at the Second World War and the incredible courage and determination exhibited by both sides.
Editor-In-Chief, Indie Quill review.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you like Action, a bit of a history lesson and ...
By Matthew Tolleth Indie Author of Stillness Within the Stormon July 14, 2017
If you like Action, a bit of a history lesson and some romance to boot? The Swede captures every element of this. I love history and I love a good story line. What I didn’t expect was to be immersed in the culture of that time period. For me, Robert Michelson painted charismatic pictures of a days in time that never had been glorified from an outside perspective. The time were your enemies’ enemy is your own. A time where you have to make a judgement call on the lessor of the two evils.
War is war, yet this monochromatic novel takes on a plethora of undertones on many different emotional levels. This is a history lesson that sheds colorful light on the unknown foreign volunteering heroes like our protagonists; Hans and Sven. Their objective was to prevent communism from spreading to their own homeland. What they didn’t expect from wearing the SS uniform? Were the atrocities and hate crimes committed against humanity.
Expect technical insight from an outside view on the ending years of WW2. You will be immersed in a strong emotional struggle and personal perspectives of two young volunteers as they transverse the war between Germany and Russian. Only then can you respect their valiant attempt and desire to return home to their families and the future that are awaiting them. Let’s make this a movie!
Lani reviewed The Swede
📷 Little known event during World War II December 31, 2017
I have been to Dover and Normandy to see some of the places where the war took place. A friend told me about this book and reading it brought history to life. The book is about a young man’s life and belief that he is fighting for a better life for all. It is easy to read, shows the human side of man and puts you in the middle of the war action.
This is an event that is not very known in history books and classes. Two young Swedish men, who believed in their fight against the spread of communism, volunteered and joined the German military. The Nazis had other plans in their fight against the Russians and the rest of the world that did not conform to their ideology.
Harsh conditions such as extreme weather, meager food rations, low ammunition, and thin uniforms added to a soldier’s struggle to survive. Family and friends gave them a good reason to take on this fight. The war generated hardships and sacrifices on soldiers in the name of freedom.
Danny Waggener reviewed The Swede
📷 Great untold story about WWII December 14, 2017
If you love World War II history then you'll love this book. Epic story of a part of the war that hasn't been told. Plenty of plot twist and turns and surprises await you. Once you've finished you be wanting more.
📷 An Emotional Roller-coaster! May 19, 2017
Couldn’t put it down. Excellent plot twists you don’t see coming. Pulls at your emotions and heart strings. You will laugh, cry and stay on the edge of your seat wanting more. Got so close to the characters I got mad at the author for what he did to one of the main characters in the story, almost traumatic. I just loved it and I definitely will read it again.
📷 Fantastic Read May 19, 2017
An indulging read, definitely grabs your attention. Not a history person but I find it hard to put down. I can actually picture what is written. Great love story as well.
Gilbert G. reviewed The Swede
📷 An Excellent Read! April 18, 2017
An excellent read. Compelling, engaging, with a huge twist at the end. I highly recommend it.
Love can’t conquer war, but can it survive one?
Find out Now!