Books: Corporal's Inferno

THE CROSS OF IRON (456 pp.)—Willi Heinrich—Bobbs-Merrill ($4.50).

The war novelists are getting their second wind. In two months, half a dozen or so tales of combat action have seen print. The latest, a German entry titled The Cross of Iron, is the most savagely powerful portraiture of men at war on the eastern front since Theodor Plievier's Stalingrad. Possibly because they belonged to the winning side, U.S. writers tend to see war as a personality-developing experience in which a man can forge his own identity. As a loser, the German writer must salvage for his hero both identity and meaning from...

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