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Escape from Arnhem: A Glider Pilot's Story [Hardcover]

Godfrey Freeman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Feb 2010
This is the remarkable true story of a young army glider pilot's experience of the last days in the defence of Arnhem Bridge, his eventual capture and then escape to be adopted by the Resistance, the hair-raising journey through occupied Europe and his eventual return to the UK.After capture Freeman was first taken to Apeldoorn where he was hospitalized, claiming shell-shock. Although quite sane, he feigned trauma with escape in mind, until being punished for aiding the escape of four Allied inmates. Then he was put on a train bound for Germany, from this he escaped and eventual made contact with the Dutch underground. He is given civilian cloths and a bicycle and rides overnight to Barnveld where he stays with a schoolmaster and church organist. Then another cycle ride to a farm where he sleeps in the hayloft and finally still on his bike, he rides through the German front lines. He eventually is returned to RAF Broadwell by Dakota to resume his part in the war, from capture to freedom within a month.The text is interspersed with flashbacks to the author's childhood and early training, capturing the true spirit of a typical modest and yet outstandingly brave young man of the wartime era. Written by Godfrey John Freeman, born 4th June 1924 in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire; Died 9th January 1999 peacefully in The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, Leaving his two sons Mark and Karl and their mother, his former wife, Sheila Freeman

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation (18 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848841477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848841475
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Written by Godfrey John Freeman, born 4th June 1924 in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire; Died 9th January 1999 peacefully in The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, Leaving his two sons Mark and Karl and their mother, his former wife, Sheila Freeman.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly enjoyable WWII memoir! 2 Mar 2010
By M Jones
As an avid reader of military history books, I have read a number of military memoirs from all periods of history in the last few months. By happy coincedence, I stumbled across this book while searching the newly released history books on Amazon. After reading the blurb, my interest was stirred and I decided to take the plunge on this interesting looking book. I rifled through it in two days and I'm happy to report that this is a heart-warming, suspense filled and well written account from a man who played the leading role in his very own real-life Great Escape.

Escape from Arnhem by Godfrey Freeman tells the amazing true story of a member of the Glider Pilot Regiment and his escape from an enemy POW hospital. After being captured after the Battle of Arnhem, he feigned injury and was located to a POW hospital which was previously a summer palace belonging to the Dutch royal family. Freeman describes the strong bonds that developed between the incarsarated troops and the playful jokes that were passed around the wards. Freeman writes with a refreshing sense of humour and mentions how the German guards were often the butt of the jokes. When four of the men from Freeman's own ward made their bid for freedom the remaining troops did all that they could to give their friends as much time as they could before the alarm was raised by telling the Germans that they were having a shave or in the shower. However, this dogged spirit was often tested to its limit and Freeman recounts a number of events that are a sobering reminder of how horrific war really is. On a number of occasions, Freeman had to watch friends die from shrapnel wounds; a fact which further contributed to his unending desire to escape...and escape he did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wish it was better 13 July 2014
I am afraid I can not agree with the 4 star rating of others. It gives very little detail on the battle really only covering the surrender and then going back to talk about the march to the bridge. I would say less than seven pages all told.

It's a thin book running to 160 pages and this is padded out with previous experiences such as growing up that have little relevance and seem to be there to pad out the book.

All that said, it's not a bad read, it's well written, has a lot of humour and I enjoyed reading the book. However for the asking price it's not really worth it when better books are out there. If your looking for a book that gives you more detail on Arnhem look elsewhere. On the other hand if you want something of an adventure story that is light and fast to read this may well be for you

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading 8 Jan 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a number of books on Arnhem all of which give a slightly different view from both sides I have also be lucky enough to visit Arnhem three times and tour the battle sites. I enjoyed this book as it provided a view from a Glider Pilot who I feel are often over looked. I enjoyed the way the story was told going from the present - Arnhem - to the past - what got him there. I am proud to add this to my collection.
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