Author: Monty Halls
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
‘I was on a train, and a German soldier began shouting at me and poking me in the ribs with his machine gun. I just thought that was it, the game was up . . .’ Downed airman Bob Frost faced danger at every turn as he was smuggled out of France and over the Pyrenees. Prisoner of war Len Harley went on the run in Italy, surviving months in hiding and then a hazardous climb over the Abruzzo mountains with German troops hot on his heels. These are just some of the stories told in heart-stopping detail as Monty Halls takes us along the freedom trails out of occupied Europe, from the immense French escape lines to lesser-known routes in Italy and Slovenia. Escaping Hitler features spies and traitors, extraordinary heroism from those who ran the escape routes and offered shelter to escapees, and great feats of endurance. The SAS in Operation Galia fought for forty days behind enemy lines in Italy and then, exhausted and pursued by the enemy, exfiltrated across the Apennine mountains. And in Slovenia Australian POW Ralph Churches and British Les Laws orchestrated the largest successful Allied escape of the entire war. Mixing new research, interviews with survivors and his own experience of walking the trails, Monty brings the past to life in this dramatic and gripping slice of military history.
The Lost Airman
Author: Seth Meyerowitz, Peter F. Stevens
Documents the story of a World War II American Air Force turret-gunner who was one of two escapees when his team's plane was shot down near Cognac in 1943, tracing his harrowing six-month flight to safety across the Pyrenees under constant pursuit by the Gestapo.
Natural Born Heroes
Author: Christopher McDougall
"Author of the phenomenal national best seller, Born to Run, Christopher McDougall now travels to the Mediterranean where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete and in the muscles and minds of fitness enthusiasts everywhere. While researching Born to Run, Chris McDougall encountered the story of Pheidippides, the legendary ancient Greek 'all-day runner.' Later, when McDougall met a dedicated amateur historian, he saw a connection to one of the most fascinating mysteries of World War II: How did a small band of Resistance fighters surrounded by German troops kidnap a top German general? What he discovered is that ancestral techniques for extraordinary endurance, natural movement, and nutrition allowed ancient Greek soldiers and Cretan shepherds to race across mountains on all-night missions. Inspired by their heroic acts, McDougall sets off to discover the lost art of the hero, both throughout history and across the world. Just as Born to Run inspired casual runners to get off the treadmill, out of their shoes, and into nature, Natural-Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to leave the gym and take their fitness to nature doing cross-training, mud runs, parkour and free-running to bound--and climb, swim, skip, wade, and jump--their way to heroic feats"--
"Britain's fishermen are no ordinary men. Their working day is long, tough, gruelling and dangerous - and now their livelihood is at risk. In his quest to tell their story, Monty Halls spends a year working as a Cornish fisherman in Cadgwith, one of the last defiant outposts of our traditional fishing industry. Through the relentless labour of working his own boat, and the drama of great spiralling storms, Monty experiences a very British way of life that is quietly dying"--Cover.
After being taken prisoner at Tobruk and transported to Italy, the author was determined to escape and learnt Italian by talking to the sentries. His first escape lasted just one week. He then joined a tunnel party and escaped again. After six weeks on the run he was offered shelter in a Tuscan hilltop village, Montebenichi. There he enjoyed five months of freedom, living the lifestyle and ancient customs of these peasant people. While attempting to re-join the Allied armies, Frank and two fellow POWs were re-captured and sent to a brutal work camp in Germany. His defiant attitude exacerbated an already difficult situation. In March 1945, with the Allies closing in Frank took part in 'The Long March', walking for several weeks before being released by American troops. The title of this remarkable and moving memoir results from a notice posted to Frank's amusement in all POW camps saying 'Escaping has ceased to be a Sport.' This is an exceptional Second World War POW account by a man who refused to accept captivity.
Long Walk to Freedom
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publisher: Little, Brown
The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
The Secret Rescue
Author: Cate Lineberry
Publisher: Little, Brown
A #1 Wall Street Journal e-book bestseller! "THE SECRET RESCUE combines all of the elements that draw us to WWII stories: the daring of The Guns of Navarone, the suspense of The Great Escape, and the bravery reminiscent of Ill Met by Moonlight. It's the inclusion of so many women, though, that makes this story unique.'' -- Daily Beast This mesmerizing account of the courage and bravery of ordinary women and men reveals for the first time an astonishing true story of heroic struggle and endurance. When twenty-six Army Air Force flight nurses and medics boarded a military transport plane in November 1943 on a mission to evacuate wounded and sick troops, they didn't anticipate a crash landing in Nazi territory. Emerging from their battered aircraft, the Americans found themselves in Albania, a country rife with chaos and danger. With hunger and sickness as their constant companions, they hid at night with courageous villagers who shared what little food they had, risking death at Nazi hands by doing so. For months, they prayed desperately to be rescued while doing everything they could to survive.
Author: Airey Neave
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
The exhilarating true story of the greatest escape route of the Second World War On a hot afternoon in August 1941, a 24-year-old Belgian woman walks into the British consulate in Bilbao, neutral Spain, and demands to see the consul. She presents him with a British soldier she has smuggled all the way from Brussels, through Occupied France and over the Pyrenees. It is a journey she will make countless times thereafter, at unthinkable danger to her own life. Her name is Andrée de Jongh, though she will come to be known as the ‘Little Cyclone’ in tribute to her extraordinary courage and tenacity. And she is an inspiration. From nursing wounded Allied servicemen, de Jongh will go on to establish the most famous escape line of the Second World War, saving the lives of more than 800 airmen and soldiers stranded behind enemy lines. The risks, however, will be enormous. The cost, unspeakably tragic. Her story is shot through with the constant terror of discovery and interception – of late-night knocks at the door, of disastrous moonlit river crossings, Gestapo infiltrators, firing squads and concentration camps. It is also a classic true story of fear overcome by giddying bravery. Originally published shortly after the war, Little Cyclone is a mesmerising tale of the best of humanity in the most unforgiving circumstances: a remarkable and inspiring account to rival the most dramatic of thrillers. Royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Airey Neave Trust.
When life hands you lemons what do you do? Well complaining certainly doesn't help anything, and nobody really listens anyway. Truth is, most successful people have failed their way to the top. For every successful person that you see, what you don't see is the trail of bankruptcies, failed partnerships, and pricey mistakes that made them who they are today. So does that mean every entrepreneur has to go through the same horrors, heartaches and pain? Is there any way to avoid this? Well one way is to learn from the experiences of others. . . MJ Gottlieb's How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying takes a new and exciting approach to help entrepreneurs by telling them what “not” to do. The book uses fifty-five painstaking, yet hysterical tales throughout MJ Gottlieb’s 21-year journey as an entrepreneur to highlight some of the most prevalent and destructive mistakes entrepreneurs make when running a business today. Truth-be-told, entrepreneurs simply do NOT like to be told what to do. Learning from the mistakes of others however, takes the ego out of the equation so entrepreneurs can learn objectively, while still allowing them to enjoy the freedom of their own experience.
Author: Edward Stourton
Publisher: Random House
The mountain paths are as treacherous as they are steep – the more so in the dark and in winter. Even for the fit the journey is a formidable challenge. Hundreds of those who climbed through the Pyrenees during the Second World War were malnourished and exhausted after weeks on the run hiding in barns and attics. Many never even reached the Spanish border. Today their bravery and endurance is commemorated each July by a trek along the Chemin de la Liberté – the toughest and most dangerous of wartime routes. From his fellow pilgrims Edward Stourton uncovers stories of midnight scrambles across rooftops and drops from speeding trains; burning Lancasters, doomed love affairs, horrific murder and astonishing heroism. The lives of the men, women and children who were drawn by the war to the Pyrenees often read as breathtakingly exciting adventure, but they were led against a background of intense fear, mounting persecution and appalling risk. Drawing on interviews with the few remaining survivors and the families of those who were there, Edward Stourton’s vivid history of this little-known aspect of the Second World War is shocking, dramatic and intensely moving.
We Die Alone
Author: David Howarth
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
A World War II chronicles of Jan Baalsrud's escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway. We Die Alone is an astonishing true story of heroism and endurance. Like Slavomir Rawicz's The Long Walk, it is also an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit.
A diary of adventure in picturesque Sand Bay, The Great Escape: Adventures on the Wild West Coast takes readers on an extraordinary journey as writer and explorer Monty Halls follows his dream of becoming a crofter. With his gigantic (possibly insane) dog Reuben as his companion, Monty raises sheep, pigs and chickens, grows his own vegetables, explores the wildlife, meets the locals, and learns all about life on Scotland's wild west coast. Living his dream is not without its challenges - whether it's renovating an ancient bothy, climbing a mountain called The Inaccessible Pinnacle, or surviving the daily onslaught of midges - but it's a life-changing experience, set in the most beautiful and dramatic landscape in Europe. The Great Escape is a book for anyone who has longed to leave the rat race behind.
The Freedom Line
Author: Peter Eisner
Publisher: Harper Collins
The romance of Casablanca ... the gripping narrative of Eye of the Needle ... both come together in this enthralling true story of World War II resistance fighters and the airmen they saved. As war raged against Hitler's Germany, an increasing number of Allied fliers were shot down onmissions against Nazi targets in occupied Europe. Many fliers parachuted safely behind enemy lines only to find themselves stranded and hunted down by the Gestapo. The Freedom Line traces the thrilling and true story of Robert Grimes, a twenty-year-old American B-17 pilot whose plane was shot down over Belgium on October 20, 1943. Wounded, disoriented and scared, he was rescued by operatives of the Comet Line, a group of tenacious young women and men from Belgium, France and Spain who joined forces to recover Allied aircrews and take them to safety. Brought back to health with their help, Grimes was pursued by bloodhounds, the Luftwaffe security police and the Gestapo. And on Christmas Eve 1943, he and a group of fellow Americans faced unexpected danger and tragedy on the border between France and Spain. The road to safety was a treacherous journey by train, by bicycle and on foot that stretched hundreds of miles across occupied France to the Pyrenees Mountains at the Spanish border. Armed with guile and spirit, the selfless civilian fighters of the Comet Line had risked their lives to create this underground railroad, and by this time in the war, they had saved hundreds of Americans, British, Australians and other Allied airmen. Led by an elegant young Belgian woman, Dédée de Jongh, the group included Jean-François Nothomb, an army veteran who became the group's leader after Dédée was captured; Micheline Dumont, code-named Lily, who wore bobby sox to appear as a teenage girl; and Florentino, the tough Basque guide who, when necessary, carried exhausted refugees on his back over the mountains to save them from the Nazis. All the while, the Gestapo and Luftwaffe police were on their trail. If caught, the airmen faced imprisonment, but their helpers would be tortured and killed. Based on interviews with the survivors and in-depth archival research, The Freedom Line is the story of a group of friends who chose to act on their own out of a deep respect for liberty and human dignity. Theirs was a courage that presumed to take on a fearfully powerful foe with few defenses.
Author: Stella Marsh
A very personal and evocative tale of one man's journey to war, and his work - first as a bomber pilot completing nineteen missions before being shot down,and then evading capture across the Pyrenees to return to duty flying Lysanders with the Special Duties squadron out of RAF Tangmere, including missions for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) . In 1942 his Lysander got bogged down and John was captured, but following the Italian armistice he managed to escape into the Alps through Yugoslavia to rejoin service, this time with No. 1 Special Force due to his unique knowledge of a specific partisan group. The Twisted Florin details the incredible wartime bravery, amazing ingenuity and coincidences with daring and courage long associated with WW2 escape and evasion. It also offers fresh perspectives on the devastating personal effect of the war on servicemen and civilians, on both the home front and in occupied Europe. An unsung hero with no sense of his own achievements just an innate sense of duty in a time of crisis - one of only a handful who came back twice. With a foreword by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF, Chief of the AirStaff.