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Out of the Rat Trap: Desert Adventures with Rommel

Out of the Rat Trap: Desert Adventures with Rommel [Kindle Edition]

Max Reisch , Alison Falls
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

For the Austrian Max Reisch, pioneer international motorist and writer of the 1930s, World War II offers yet more opportunities for adventure. Here is his lively account of his time with a vehicle maintenance unit of the Afrikakorps in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. On forays into the desert at the wheel of a captured Jeep, searching out wrecked vehicles for spare parts, he visits the fabulous oasis of Siwa and digs his way out of the sinister minefield at Minquar Quim. Seeing German defeat as inevitable, he hatches several escape plans and finally, with no experience of the sea, acquires a dilapidated fishing boat and some rudimentary navigation skills. He avoids capture at Tunis and, despite damage to the boat, sets sail for Sicily together with seven comrades (and one small dog). Running the blockade of Allied warships and weathering a sudden storm, his motley crew succeeds against the odds.

About the Author

Max Reisch was a German travel writer prior to the outbreak of World War II, when on being forced to join the army he became a captain and specialist in motor vehicles, which led him to commanding a motor vehicle unit in Rommel's Afrikakorps. His memoir records his time with Rommel and his ingenious escape when the campaign collapsed in 1942-43. Alison Falls is a fluent German and French speaker, translator, and lecturer.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1749 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AZ17V7E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this you might forget there was a war on.
Although this man was a professional travel writer it is clear that the war is just a distraction - his German mindset is impressive to see - and anyone who follows Formula 1 motor-racing will see shades of Michael Schumacher there.
A very enjoyable read - recommended to war historians and motor racing fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Max's Great Escape 29 Jan 2014
I was first introduced to Max Reisch through his motorcycle adventure travelling two-up to India on a 125cc Puch. Apparently also an automobile travel enthusiast, it seems appropriate that like 'The English Patient' adventurer, Count Almasy, he should also find himself in Rommel's employ with the Afrika Korps albeit in maintaining the German vehicle pool.
I picked this up in Foyles interested in the subtitle, 'Desert Adventures With Rommel'. Although Rommel doesn't himself make an appearance, I bought the book as Reisch writes in such an easy, relaxed attractive style, friendly and light-hearted in tone. I can't recall his having a bad word for anyone -including his opponents !
There's little technical or historical detail beyond that which Reisch himself experienced. Whilst he describes well a recce into Siwa in Egypt avoiding Allied troops along the way, it is his time in Tunisia where the Afrika Korps made their last stand that is subject of the title. As the Italian and German armies retreated with an ever-decreasing strip of coast behind them, the Allied navies threw an effective ring of steel in the Mediterranean to halt an Axis Dunkirk, destroying any craft departing for Italy. Less than 700 of the near quarter million trapped Italo-German troops made it out sucessfully and Reisch aimed to be one of them ! It is this account that captivates the reader as Reisch's Great Escape takes shape and his plan is executed attempting to avoid the Allies, coping with violently fluctuating conditions in the Med and figuring out how to get safely to friendly territory in a small leaky under-powered boat. Does he make it ? Read it and find out ! Recommended !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Saint Michael 15 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Naturally I was immediately lured towards this book due to the "Rommel connection", after all it is rare to read first hand from one of his "Afrikaner"! Reisch is a natural author when portraying his own transport related escapades, but I feel he has missed a "trick" by not writing more about the unique conditions he and his comrades experienced during the war against the Allies. Still beggar's can't be chooser's, and it is still rewarding to read of his rare feat of escapology during the impending final defeat of the Axis forces in Africa.
A word of thanks goes to the translator of his manuscript, and I dearly hope many more similar projects (translating of WW2 German memoirs) come to fruition very soon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another world 17 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We are so used to reading about the Second WW from the Allies perspective it is very refreshing to read about life from the other side especially when it is written in such an easy manner. The author would appear to be a very interesting character in his own right and it would fascinating to read about him.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book and quick reading 25 Nov 2013
By RWKJK - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Terrific book more about a soldiers personal experience during the war rather than battle itself. The author account of living conditions and the transportation issues of maintaining a fleet of German vehicles is fascinating. Easy and enjoyable reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book About The Desert War 15 Nov 2013
By Treybien - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Max Reisch's story of his (spoiler alert) successful escape from Allied encirclement is an essential read for anyone who is a fan of the Desert War. Reisch was an adventurer and pioneering motorist prior to the war and carried his knowledge of vehicles and geography over to his role as a motor-pool technician and scrounger. I particularly enjoyed his description and assessment of some of the captured Allied vehicles that the Afrikakorps used for its own purposes. He especially liked the jeep, which the Germans called the flitzer and wrote that it was every German soldier's dream to get one. There isn't much fighting in this book - it is mostly about the fellowship of soldiers - but there is a very good description of a low level air battle that he witnessed over the sea.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book 12 May 2013
By Paypal Test - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a very well written and detailed account of Max Reisch's life as a soldier in North Africa.
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