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Home > Author > Leo J Hellmann
Leo J Hellmann

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Member Since: Sep, 2006

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  Leo J Hellmann           

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My life was a bit of a mixed grill

Background Information

My father was a Dubliner and my mother – a Berliner. She left the Reich in 1935, when she was 25 years old, and met my father in London.  Her half-brother, Willi, joined the SS before the war.  He was a Sergeant in the 2nd SS-Panzer Division Das Reich.  Willi was taken prisoner towards the end of the war and sent to Siberia.  When I visited him in Hamburg he introduced me to some of his comrades, who gave me an interesting perspective of the war.

When I finished university I joined the army as an officer cadet.  After my commission I joined an Artillery Regiment.  In 1971 I was in charge of Infantry Troops on the border of Northern Ireland.  We arrested four armed IRA-men.  It was shown on a TV news bulletin.  A few weeks later we discovered explosives, destinators and a copy of the terrorist handbook in a cottage on the side of a hill, overlooking Carlingford Lough.  When I was in India in late 1971 and 1972 the Bengalis from East Pakistan (now: Bangladesh) separated from the Punjabis in West Pakistan.  Their air force attacked Indian airfields, but surrendered to Indira Ghandi two weeks later.

I retired as a Captain when I was 28 years old, and joined a show jumping team as a horseman.  Later I set up a travel company, which operated camping tours in Western and Eastern Europe.  Transport was one of my interests; especially heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and I started a heavy haulage company.

During my life I lived in Germany and had an off-licence business in Warsaw, Poland.


Birth Place
Dublin,  Ireland
Additional Information

My wife is Russian and her father, Dima, was a T 34 tank driver in a Guards Tank Army during the Second World War, and fought on the Eastern Front. He was a valuable source of information for me. I have a draft of my next book ‘Mad dogs and Irishmen’.

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