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Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany 1937

Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany 1937 [Kindle Edition]

Dan Waddell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Eccentric and improbably entertaining" (The Economist)

"Amusing, touching and chilling" (Christopher Hirst The Independent)

"Cricket and Nazis! Can there be a more enticing combination of subjects to read about? A wonderful story... A story begging to be told" (Marcus Berkmann Daily Mail)

Book Description

The real story of a moment of sporting history, when an English cricket team took on Nazi Germany in 1937

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9968 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (8 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HNW6VW4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful innings 12 May 2014
By Stephen
This fascinating story of the 1937 tour to Germany by the Gents of Worcester is a jewel. The cast of characters numbers aristocrats and eccentrics on the English side and dastardly Nazis, straight from an Indiana Jones film, on the other. But there are touching accounts from less stereotypical figures like German Felix Menzel, who both played and made the tour possible, and the 16 year-old virgin tourist Peter Robinson, who drinks beer for breakfast, visits a night-club and tries cigarettes for the first time.

1937 Berlin provides a sinister background - 'we could always hear the sound of machine guns' - and an early close-up of a nation descending into a self-made hell. Cricket provides a neat moral contrast between the gentlemen amateur Englishmen clad in whites and the ruthless Nazi regime in its black SS uniforms. The divergence in values starts with vociferous appeals of 'Aus' at every half-chance, and goes far deeper and more insidiously into the whole fabric of the government and society they are visiting. But both sides were guilty of mixing politics and sport and the context of coming war is clear- one shadowy English ringer arrives from 'nowhere' and is later SOE - draw your own conclusions, Mr Bond.

The author, a cricketer himself, writes knowledgeably and fills in the inevitable lack of documentary evidence with speculative but stirring accounts of the matches. He writes in a genial, self-effacing style - he would probably smile ironically and blush to be at #1 in German history, as he is now - which comfortably lurches between historical eras and contemporary asides on the state of cricket today. As a 'gentleman amateur' he is also modest about the hard sleuthing required, passing it off as almost a lucky find. He is also a master of the digression - 'because he can' - and the sideways anecdotes that spin off his main pitch are just as entertaining as the main thrust.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read. 31 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure about this purchase because it is a bit different from what I usually like to read, but Dan Waddell has provided a fascinating account of a rather unusual event. His writing flows smoothly and is often amusing, and he has clearly done a lot of research.

I would recommend this to anyone - but it I would specifically point it towards anyone who has an interest in that period of history, or anyone who has been on a cricket tour.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written 12 May 2014
By Nike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating history. I like quirky stories like this, just as I love Boris Johnson's journalism. Always spot on and intelligent. The book does the same to reveal the complexity of a great nation and of course our cousins, who sadly got the wrong leader. We should always stand up to bullies who use the nationalist agenda to promote their cause.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What a film or docudrama this would make 27 July 2014
Other reviewers cover the essence of this remarkable story which I much enjoyed. If I rate it 4 stars not 5, it is because it is a bit research-heavy at the outset - a character comes to the wicket and we get a potted biography which perhaps holds up the action. Once we are in Berlin it begins to flow. In fact, much of what happened is sketchy, pulled together from local press accounts and fairly thin letters/journal entries - not the author's fault who has done a wonderful detective job. Indeed, as a successful detective novel writer himself, I guess Dan Waddell must have been itching to take the creative approach. It has all the ingredients - a cast of players out of PG Wodehouse, a Hitchcockian train journey, Berlin nightlife which clearly involved some ladies (of the night?) being invited to watch the game, a 'not cricket' approach to the game by the opposing Nazi captain whose best player might just have been Jewish.........
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cricket in Nazi Germany 29 Dec. 2014
In 1937, the Gentlemen of Worcestershire cricket side crossed into continental Europe for a cricket tour. Their destination? Nazi Germany. It was a clash of cultures which Dan Waddell explores in this book. Finding source information was difficult, so it is inevitable that there is some guesswork, but that makes the story all the more interesting. Was one of the players a spy, their task to report back to the British government? Once the first chapter is over – there are too many jokes which jar with the more serious history – it becomes a well written, interesting and engaging account.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy Dan Waddell's fiction 14 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy Dan Waddell's fiction, so was tempted by this diligently researched account of a historical event. To be honest, you need to be a cricket fan to enjoy this book; if you are and have an interest in the events leading up to the second world war, there is a lot to appreciate here and I thoroughly recommend it. As an amateur genealogist, I am impressed by the quality of the research. As a reader, I found it hard to put the book down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Read 7 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm only about 90% through this, but I'll leave the review now.

Fantastic effort this, such an excellent piece of research, no doubt pieced together bit by bit, but reads as a flowing account of the story. If you like cricket you'll like this - 100%.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. 4 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mind-boggling account about cricket in Nazi Germany in 1937. I never knew that such a thing happened. I guess not many other people did either. Excellent read.
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