The background to the books
The Road of Slaughter: The Latvian 15th SS Division in Pomerania, January-March 1945
The Road of Slaughter has taken five years to write, painstakingly assembling translated accounts of survivors and involving several research trips across Poland and Germany just before Covid hit. English translations of the memoirs of 15th SS Division Colonel Vilis Janums, Major Jūlijs Ķīlītis, chaplain Kazimirs Ručs (later Monsignor) and many others bring vivid and often-shocking eyewitness testimony to events in the Polish country villages of Podgaje-Flederborn and Landeck-Ledyczek. The original orders from the ‘road of slaughter’ are reproduced from the Division's War Diary in the National Archives in Riga revealing a catalogue of chaos, confusion and carnage. The combination of powerful storytelling by elderly veterans who spent the rest of their lives in the UK and archive accounts written thirty years after the events make for frank but gripping accounts of the realities of war.
Blood in the Forest: The End of the Second World War in the Courland Pocket
I spent two and a half years writing Blood in the Forest making several trips across Latvia gathering interviews, pictures and stories. Many of the museums helped me enormously and allowed me to use their pictures. Blood in the Forest: the end of the Second World War in the Courland Pocket was published by Helion in 2017, and is also available from Amazon and all good bookshops. There's a slideshow of pictures from the book below...
Fire and Ice: the Nazis' Scorched Earth Campaign in Norway
My first book - Fire and Ice, published by The History Press - was an exploration of the scorched earth destruction of Norway in 1944 by the Nazis. Seventy years later, I crossed the Arctic gathering dramatic stories of this terrible time from people who had been there and whose families were affected. They told of relentless bombing, sudden death and survival in sub-zero temperatures. These scorched earth stories take the reader into the heart of a brutal conflict set in a landscape of intense beauty through stories never before told like this in English. Below are two galleries of the people and places featured in Fire and Ice. All pictures copyright Vincent Hunt except where stated.