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This is an unrelievedly brutal novel about the American armored drive across Germany towards the close of World War II in which the author fully exploits every conceivable instance of sadistic sex and perverted savagery Focusing on the American Captain leading the spearhead and the German Lieutenant fighting a delaying action the author particularizes the war into a personal conflict between the two. Lieutenant Reader first sees Brandon at the head of the troops in the Bavarian forest and selects him, as a symbol of the conquerors, as the man he will eventually kill. Having been ""on the point"" since Normandy Brandon feels that his days are numbered. He becomes increasingly afraid of dying and finds that he can no longer justify the war. His commander Colonel Mullahy, whose talks to the troops are reminiscent of General Patton's famed exhortations, assures Brandon that the point of war is to win. But Mullahy has made his own war more comfortable in the company of the Frenchwoman Jeanne Barbier who travels with the American forces in her mania for killing Germans. As the battle progresses to the Danube military maneuvers are highly detailed and the psychopathic behavior of the rapist Chico is explicitly annotated. Two days before the war's end Brandon and Raeder's forces meet again. In a last effort at sanity Brandon walks to the German line of fire with a white flag and is killed by the crazed Lieutenant. Only on the most superficial and mechanical level can The Deathmakers be compared to The Young Lions -- the publisher's claim.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1960
Publisher: Simon & Schuster