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Saturday at M.I.9: The Classic Account of the WW2 Allied Escape Organisation Paperback – 30 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (30 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848843119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848843110
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Harris on 8 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
Three and a half stars if Amazon would allow such an indulgence...

Subtitled 'The Inside Story of Underground Escape Lines in Europe in 1940-1945' - this pretty much tells you what to expect. This is an enjoyable and interesting read, if written in a somewhat staid writing style. The opening chapters see the author (a future Conservative MP & shadow minister in the 1970s under Thatcher - before being assassinated by an IRA bomb in 1979) - explain a little of the setting up of, or rather the lack of, an organised escape coordination unit in London at the war's start. Neave then subsequently covers, in the most modest of ways, how he managed along with a Dutch officer, to become the first successful British escapee from the notorious Colditz Castle.

After briefly enjoying his freedom in Switzerland and being told by the British Legation there that he is to jump the queue (there were nine other successful British escapees from assorted POW camps ahead of him!) and 'escape' again - this time to Gibraltar, via neutral Spain and unoccupied Vichy France - in order to rendez-vous in London.

Safely home he is assigned to British Intelligence School Number 9 (the IS9(d) team within MI9 referred to thereafter in the book as "Room 900"). MI9 was tasked with aiding resistance fighters in enemy occupied territory and recovering Allied troops who found themselves behind enemy lines. It also communicated with British prisoners of war. IS9(d)was its more secret and executive branch. Based in two rooms at the War Office in Whitehall - including Room 900 - it was concerned chiefly with facilitating escape and evasion.

Neave tells of his first meeting with MI9's commander Brigadier Crockatt:

"...friendly and relaxed. I could imagine him twenty years earlier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JD MCCURDY on 3 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A powerful account by Airey Neaves of his escape from Colditz in WW2 and of the Escape Organisation that worked so unselfish through all types of danger and the ultimate threat of death to bring so many Allied personnel to safety. What I find so tragic is how a brave man like Airey Neave should die in a terror attack after the war. The book is well written and totally readable,conveying a good understanding of what M.I.9 was about to the reader, with photographs it's certainly a book I can recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What can you say about Airey Neave? He escaped from Colditz and then helped to run MI9, assisting the French escape lines to return prisoners of war (airmen, mostly) to Britain. Reading this book was like lifting a veil from a hidden turbulent time in history. The tales of courage of ordinary French, Belgian and Dutch people sheltering runaway British prisoners and smuggling them out of the occupied countries - these are tales to tell our children and our grandchildren. There were catastrophes and triumphs aplenty, Gestapo tortures and deaths. Many of the escape line organisers and helpers were young women. Many gave their lives to the cause. Airey Neave himself was later assassinated in London by the IRA. God knows why they chose to kill him. The guys was a hero. His work helped to rid Europe - the world - of the Nazi scourge. An excellent book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Informative and an interesting read. Airey Neave's personal account of the various escape 'trails' that recovered Allied airmen and soldiers out of enemy territory during World War 2.
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