- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Escape from Arnhem: A Glider Pilot's Story Hardcover – 18 Feb 2010
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
About the Author
Written by Godfrey John Freeman, born 4th June 1924 in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire; Died 9th January 1999 peacefully in The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, Leaving his two sons Mark and Karl and their mother, his former wife, Sheila Freeman.
Top customer reviews
Escape from Arnhem by Godfrey Freeman tells the amazing true story of a member of the Glider Pilot Regiment and his escape from an enemy POW hospital. After being captured after the Battle of Arnhem, he feigned injury and was located to a POW hospital which was previously a summer palace belonging to the Dutch royal family. Freeman describes the strong bonds that developed between the incarsarated troops and the playful jokes that were passed around the wards. Freeman writes with a refreshing sense of humour and mentions how the German guards were often the butt of the jokes. When four of the men from Freeman's own ward made their bid for freedom the remaining troops did all that they could to give their friends as much time as they could before the alarm was raised by telling the Germans that they were having a shave or in the shower. However, this dogged spirit was often tested to its limit and Freeman recounts a number of events that are a sobering reminder of how horrific war really is. On a number of occasions, Freeman had to watch friends die from shrapnel wounds; a fact which further contributed to his unending desire to escape...and escape he did.
After a failed attempt where the group were almost caught, Freeman along with a few other troops from the ward managed to make it out of the enemy hospital by climbing down a hosepipe. From here, they were temporarily housed by a Dutch farmer who gave them civilan clothing and bicycles to aid their getaway. Upon hearing of the troops escape, they were soon contacted by the Dutch underground and given the directions to get them into allied territory. The ensuing trek through enemy occupied land is absolutely gripping and the author creates a superb feeling of suspense which makes you feel as if you are there with him. On one occasion, Freeman and a fellow troop were forced to ride right through a heavily armed German patrol and hope that they weren't stopped. When camping during the night, the group were just 100yards from a German 88 gun and were often woken by its thunderous noise firing at the allied lines. If this wasn't enough, they had to avoid the German search lights and machine gun nests knowing that one wrong move would cost them all their lives.
The book is also interspersed with flashbacks to Godfrey's childhood and we learn that, even from a young age, he had a strong desire for freedom and he regularly escaped from boarding school to sneak into the nearby village. We also learn about Freeman's training and early days in the army from his first days in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry to his developing career as a glider pilot in the Glider Regiment. Freeman describes his experiences of the iconic Horsa Glider and the awe that he felt when viewing a small fleet of allied Typhoons that bombed the German front lines.
However, although I enjoyed the book there were a few drawbacks which prevented me from giving it the full five stars. Firstly, I managed to finish it after two days because the book is extremely short. With a length of only 140 pages, I felt that the book was over far too quickly and I would have loved to read more about this amazing man. Also, Freeman does have a tendancy to sometimes dwell too long on exactly what he had for breakfast on the day before the escape and whether it was one sausage or two...no I think it was definitely one sausage. This is all fine and dandy but, after reading such a descriptive and suspense filled account of the escape, the mood is somewhat marred by his recollection of how poor a cup of coffee was the following day. This by no means spoils the book but it did make me wonder whether Mr Freeman had a word count he had to adhere to.
Nevertheless, this is a genuinely touching and lovingly crafted book (if at times a little long-winded) that should appeal to all readers, whether you have an interest in military history or not. Recommended. 7.5/10
It's a thin book running to 160 pages and this is padded out with previous experiences such as growing up that have little relevance and seem to be there to pad out the book.
All that said, it's not a bad read, it's well written, has a lot of humour and I enjoyed reading the book. However for the asking price it's not really worth it when better books are out there. If your looking for a book that gives you more detail on Arnhem look elsewhere. On the other hand if you want something of an adventure story that is light and fast to read this may well be for you
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1901 Onwards
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > Air Force
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Europe > Netherlands
- Books > History > Military History > Armed Forces > Air Forces
- Books > History > Military History > Veterans
- Books > History > Military History > World War II 1939-1945 > Battles & Campaigns > Arnhem
- Books > History > Military History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs