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At the end of WWII, a few ragged survivors, led by Oberleutnant Leo Speer, flee the Soviet steamroller. A last-ditch attempt to escape a million and a half vengeful Soviet troops as they loot, rape, and burn their way across Germany.
His last assignment was to command the defense of Elsberg to prevent the Russians from crossing the bridge over the Oder that stood between them and Berlin. After a series of valiant and epic battles, Elsberg falls, and Stalin’s men enter the town like a scavenging hold of locusts. Hiding in a dank basement between the ruins of the town hall, the few survivors wait for the enemy to move on before they make their escape. Yet they are trapped behind legions of Soviet troops, butchering their way west toward Berlin.
Speer leads them northeast through enemy-held territory, toward Hamburg, once his hometown. Their best chance of survival is to cross enemy lines, reach American or British forces, and hope they will prove less brutal than their Russian allies. The countryside crawls with enemy troops, and there is worse to come. A SMERSH unit, the feared executioners charged with executing suspected spies. Because he held up an entire army in front of the Elsberg Bridge, they make Leo Speer a particular target for capture and execution. His name comes to the attention of Lavrenty Beria, the dreaded Secret Soviet police chief, as well as General Secretary Joseph Stalin. SMERSH is ordered to kill him at all costs, no matter what it takes
A full-length novel by the bestselling author of the popular SEAL Team Bravo stories, Heroes of Afghanistan, Raider, Echo Six, and Devil's Guard titles.