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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book!
If you are interested in the Second World War, then I promise you that here is one title you will not want to miss!

This exciting and often very moving volume provides the reader with hours of excellent reading and a fascinating insight into the world of escape and evasion in wartime Europe, where no less than a quarter of a million allied soldiers, sailors and...
Published on 28 April 2007 by Michael David Booker

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having collected WWII escape books/stories for a number of years, and after reading so many positive reviews, I decided to add this to my collection. The style of narration coupled with real-life recollections didn't really work for me, and overall I found it a bit of a muddle. There were also elements that were repeated. To hear of men pinned to the floor of a burning...
Published on 20 Mar 2011 by isis 1958


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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book!, 28 April 2007
If you are interested in the Second World War, then I promise you that here is one title you will not want to miss!

This exciting and often very moving volume provides the reader with hours of excellent reading and a fascinating insight into the world of escape and evasion in wartime Europe, where no less than a quarter of a million allied soldiers, sailors and airmen found themselves in captivity following failing to be evacuation at Dunkirk or after being shot down during bombing raids over enemy held territory. Amazingly between 3000 and 5000 of these men actually managed to avoid capture, remained free and many remarkably made it back to Britain to "fight another day" too. This is their story!

John Nichol - one of the co-authors of this excellent book, is no stranger to being on the run in enemy territory - whilst serving as a member of the crew of a RAF Tornado during the First Gulf War, he was "shot down", subsequently captured and became a Prisoner of War, therefore he is able to relate to those brave men of sixty years ago and is suitably qualified to co-write this volume.

Pain-staking research, wading through massive amounts of archive material together with the collation of many eye witness accounts has resulted in a publication that not only explains how allied servicemen found themselves behind enemy lines in the first-place, but continues to cover tales of sheer determination and cunning evasion also. It recalls acts of extraordinary heroism amongst the ordinary men, women and sometimes the children of occupied France, Belgium and Holland, who risked their lives and those of their families and friends in operating safe houses and setting up escape routes to bring our boys back to safety. Not all escapes were successful or without cost however, as the book also proves by providing the reader with rare first hand accounts of torture and interrogation and life in the gaols and concentration camps of the notorious Gestapo and their Nazi colleagues.

This engrossing volume provides a unique insight into a very different aspect of the war. It is without a doubt a must for researchers and enthusiasts bookshelves and is exceptional value at only twenty pounds .
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollercoaster ride!, 12 April 2008
By 
I am not one who normally undertakes writing a review, but having read this book I felt compelled to put 'pen to paper'. The book describes how allied servicemen caught in occupied Europe during the Second World War turned evader in trying to return to England, in short scoring a 'home run' against the Germans and their allies.

The book is compelling, riveting and your emotions sway at the turn of each page. You will undergo the exhilaration and relief of the service men evading capture and 'experience',through eyewitness statements the tension and fear of those who helped the evaders home. The testimonies in this book are as raw sixty-five years on as if they had been written in the immediate aftermath of the war. As a generation we forget that some service personnel and their civillian helpers are still living the hell that was the Second World War. This book reminds us of that and serves as a tribute to their unstinting courage and fortitude in the face of adversity which included incarceration in the concentration camps.

Unquestionably one of the best books I have ever read. Insomniacs be prepared for more sleepless nights if you read this book at bedtime!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good exploration of the escape system, 2 May 2007
By 
Michael MCCARTHY "Editor: The Battle Guide" (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Following the recent genre of retelling history through the words and recollections of those who were there, this book adds further quality information to the WW2 researcher and particularly to the battlefield professional. It carefully examines the aftermath of battle in the air for the large number of allied aircrew who were taken prisoner and who made the courageous decision to escape. How they evaded capture and for many how they eventually made it back to Britain is skilfully examined. It is not a list of the escapes or a reference book but it adds colour and personal detail to the escapers and how they survived. Also how their `helpers' in occupied Europe risked all to assist them. A very readable book in a narrative style with pace and drama.

Mike McCarthy
Editor, "The Battle Guide"
Guild of Battlefield Guides
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 6 Oct 2008
By 
E. H. (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe (Paperback)
Being young and having only briefly covered WWII in history class back in my high school days i knew very little about it, other than the well known facts. That being until i read this book. Not only do you get detailed accounts of evaders but also of missions and events going on at the time. I now found myself contributing the knowledge into conversations. Some of the stories make you feel very proud and try and think of ways you can give people the same feeling when reading your biography in 60 years! By far the best book i have read this year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Run, 13 Jun 2010
By 
David Rowland - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe (Paperback)
Home Run is an enthralling and exciting account of the stranded allied soldiers and shot-down airmen who attempted the long and perilous journey back to Britain from Nazi occupied Europe and the people who tried to help them. It is not just highly readable but is rivetting and I defy you put it down once you have scanned a few pages. It reads more like a thriller than a documentary account. The truth in war is truly more astounding than any fiction. Their sheer persistance and their drive never to give up and to get back to blighty is really impressive and even more impressive is the committment shown by the civilians who risked their lives and that of their families to assist them. A superb book and a must-get for anyone interested in the second world war.

David Rowland
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Book., 9 Oct 2011
By 
Thermic Phil (Sutton Coldfield UK) - See all my reviews
This book gives a detailed account of the immense bravery of those on the run and the people who risked their own lives to help them. The true horror of war and the atrocities of the Nazi regime are never far away. This book should stand as a reminder to all that we should never return to those dark days again. A very well written and researched book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroism, trust, and betrayal., 11 Aug 2011
By 
HuddyBolly (Larnaca, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe (Paperback)
In the 1950s and 60s when the 'war book' genre first became popular, books such as 'The Wooden Horse', 'The Colditz Story','Boldness be my friend','The Great Escape', were essential reading.
They all dealt with escape from POW camps.
This book deals with evasion; an entirely different story; and one that has never before been so comprehensively covered.

By it's very nature evasion involved placing trust in, and relying on the protection of others. The big question was, just who could be trusted?
The vast majority of evaders found themselves in occupied territory, rather than in the Axis homelands. They were therefore surrounded, not only by the enemy, but by people whose hatred of the enemy was even greater than theirs.
To their great credit, thousands of French, Dutch, Belgians and others were prepared to assist allied troops and airmen, even at the cost of their own lives.
The penalties imposed, not only on individuals, but frequently on whole communities, when one of theirs was found to be assisting allied evaders were severe in the extreme. But assist they did!

This book tells the story of the extraordinary heroism of thousands of the ordinary people of the occupied countries; who, with little formal Allied assistance; took matters into their own hands to protect, hide, and assist Allied troops and airmen to escape ,via circuitous routes back to Britain.
It also tells of the terrrible penalty paid by those who were caught assisting allied troops.

Evasion was by definition a tense and dangerous occupation; for all concerned.

One aspect touched on by the book is that of the traitors who sold the lives of their own countrymen and women; often by infiltrating the escape organisations, and then revealing what they had learned to the enemy. These parts of the book make grim reading.

But even worse, is the suggestion; not for the first time, of the malign part played by MI6 and specifically it's Deputy Head, Sir Claude Dansey, in the protection of known and proven traitors revealed to be operating within the escape and evasion organisations.
We are referring to more than finger pointing. Comments by Airey Neave the Head of MI9, which dealt with Escape and Evasion, reveal that amongst those who were forced to deal with him there was little trust in Dansey. Just why he behaved as he did is a matter for conjecture.

For further reading on this subject see my reviews of 'Dericourt, the Chequered Spy', and, 'All the King's Men'; both of which deal with S.O.E. and make similar allegations of treachery within MI6; resulting from the protection of known collaborators, which ultimately cost the lives of hundreds of S.O.E. agents and patriots.

Surely; now that most of those concerned are dead, the time has come for these most serious of allegations; of treachery within the heart of MI6, to be given the thorough investigation that they truly deserve, and that the truth, however hurtful it may turn out to be; be aired.

Home Run is a well written book which deals comprehensively with it's subject; and ultimately gives much pause for thought.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Run With The Fox, 15 Dec 2009
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I suppose that most decent-minded people have a sympathy with the fox as compared to the chase, or even with the fugitive as compared to the hue and cry. That is something separate from having ideological sympathy with the cause represented by the escaper or evader. This book concentrates mainly on the evaders and to a lesser extent on those who assisted them. The book is quite long, split up into easily-digestible gragments or parts, within larger chapters dealing with phases of the Second World War.

The book deals to some extent with the problem the escape and evasion lines caused British Intelligence, but fails to make much of a distinction between intelligence work proper (mainly carried out by MI6/SIS and terrorism, sabotage and assassination etc, carried out mainly by SOE; in addition to that mix was the escape and evasion network of lines, carried out by MI9. Those three aspects of undercover or covert work were often mutually incompatible. MI6's work, by far the most important, often became "contaminated" by its inevitable occasional interfaces with the other two organizations and their less hidden activity. Dansey of MI6 was one of the most ruthless of the "Whitehall warriors" trying to keep the messy and often confused activity of the other two organizations (especially SOE) out of proper espionage activity. This infighting is touched upon but not very well in this book.

I was interested to see how many evaders (probably a minority, though) were ingrates or just did not care for the security of the people who helped them. Americans were often, it seems, badly behaved, provincial minded idiots. and those were the officers!

The escapers who were captured were usually grilled by the Gestapo (though rarely tortured or badly mistreated) before being given over to the German arm corresponding to their own, usually the Luftwaffe. They then (most of them) spent the rest of the war in captivity. The French, Belgian, Dutch etc helpers (whose motives ranged from ideological through simple anti-German patriotic, to simple trop de politesse), if caught, would face imprisonment, sometimes detention in concentration camps, sometimes death. Much of the worst treatment was handed out by non-Germans, as in the case of the Reverend Caskie, whose three years of almost blatant activity in France and elsewhere was ended by detention in Italy in 1943, where the Italians locked him into a mediaeval "bottle cell" just big enough for a human being, a kind of vertical stone coffin. It is sobering to realize that some Americans are still held in slightly but not much better conditions in their own country, in "Supermax" prisons...and for far longer, often for their whole lives. Caskie was one of many escapers and evaders who eventually wrote his own story, The Scottish Pimpernel.

Quite a good read on the whole.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read, 31 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. R. Groves "Page Turner" (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe (Paperback)
I read a lot of WWII books, some of which are a little 'dry' at times and repeat a subject with nothing new to offer. This is the exception - a riveting read with lots of facts I'd never read about before. Lots of different perspectives. Will definitely read further books by these authors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a purchase, 24 Mar 2014
By 
S. C. Tipler "TommyTip" (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe (Paperback)
Bought this book second hand through marketplace at a really good price! Excellent read of great interest to anybody studying WW2 especially the subject of `Evaders`,
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