Danish author Sven Hassel (Wikipedia, official site) has passed away at the age of 95. (Danish - Translation) Hassel fought for the Germans during WWII and became famous after publishing Legion of the Damned, a semi-autobiographical account of the war. He went on to write thirteen more books following the adventures of his convict battalion, incuding Wheels of Terror which in 1987 was made into the movie The Misfit Brigade staring Bruce Davison and David Patrick Kelly (clip). He will be remembered fondly by all who browsed the bookshelves of charity shops as young men.
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
Writer, traveler, and kidnapper of Nazi generals, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor -- Paddy to friends and fans -- is dead at 96. A silver lining: his biographer Artemis Cooper reports that the long-awaited final installment of his trilogy recounting a year-long walk across Europe as a young man in the 1930s, "has existed for some time, and will be published in due course."
Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself "Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone." - Clay Hunt died March 31 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The article states he had been dealing with "survivors guilt" and frustrated by a difficult disability claim process from wounds received in Iraq.
He was considered a shoo in for an equestrian medal in in the ’36 Olympics but went to war instead. He led the last cavalry charge against artillery and tanks of the British army. Known as Commandante Diavolo, he waged guerrilla warfare in Eritrea alongside his beautiful and heavily armed lover Khadija, daughter of an Ethiopian Muslim chieftain. He served as a diplomat for thirty years and more than once saved lives during military coups. He retired to Ireland (for the horses, of course) where he rode and hunted fox well into his nineties. Please pause for a moment for the passing of Amedeo Guillat, the most decorated soldier of the Italian army. [more inside]
25 years in a non-existant war In 1979, a Khmer Rouge guerrilla fled to the hills of Cambodia when his village was attacked by Vietnamese troops. He and a small group of friends and family lived in the dense forests for 25 years, emerging in 2004 to discover that the war was over and that Pol Pot was dead. They had been fearful of any human contact, believing everyone to be the enemy.
Harry Potter: RIP Private Harry Potter from the Worcestershire Regiment was killed in action at Hebron on 22/7/1939 aged 19 years, 10 months old. This is a genuine photo of the grave of a British soldier that died during the time of the “Arab Rebellion” and is buried in the British military cemetery in Ramla Israel.
A soul legend is dead. Edwin Starr, 70s soul singer, who wrote the seminal "War" has died of a heart attack aged 61.
There is one more star in heaven.
There is one more star in heaven.