For the Austrian Max Reisch, pioneer international motorist and writer of the 1930s, the Second World War offers yet more opportunities for adventure. Here is his lively account of his time with a vehicle maintenance unit of Rommel’s legendary 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 of Minqar Qaim. Seeing German defeat as inevitable, Reisch 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. Out of the Rat Trap is a rare and fascinating insight into the Afrikakorps and an entertaining account of a daring escape from the Allies in the Western Desert.