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They Have Their Exits (Pen & Sword Military Classics) Paperback – 19 Oct 2006
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A war memoir of a well-known public figure who was the first British Officer to make a 'home-run' from Colditz Castle. He became a member of the International Military Tribunal at the Nuremburg War Crimes trials and met most of the notorious members of the Nazi hierarchy as they faced justice. He was assassinated by the IRA.
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These escapes landed him in the infamous Colditz camp, supposedly escape proof. He describes his failed escape attempts from here until the big one when he escapes with Luteyn, a Dutch prisoner.
Their journey towards Switzerland is nerve wracking, even to read. Sharing train compartments with SS officers, suspicious locals, relying on forged papers, it must have been torture.
Even when they made it into Switzerland they weren't safe, they still had to travel through France down to the Pyrenees, over to Spain, then Gibraltar and then home.
Years later he was appointed as a legal officer during the Nuremberg trials, he saw the worst of Hitler's henchmen in their cells.
The brutal end to Airey's life at the hands of IRA terrorists in London decades later is all the more tragic considering what he went through.
You must read this book.
I first heard of airey neave when i was stil at school and the ira killed him. My grandfather told me he was the first british officer to escape colditz ( then a popular tv series)
I have read about him in books about colditz but this is the complete story of his escape.
The book carries you right through Switzerland france and spain then to england. The gem in this book tells you what happened to escapers when they got back home, not usually in other escape books ive read.
Airey's writing is serious and doesn't contain the humour that you get in some of these books. This is not a bad thing as it shows that airey didnt see escaping as a sport. Thoroughly enjoyed this book
Some of the recollections of his meeting before the Nuremburg trials were very interesting but the general writing and the description of his escape are very poor. When read, they should like the writings of an early teenage boy that have been reading too many poorly written turn of the century novels. Neave is extremely bias and negative in all his dealings with Germans which poorly slants the book away from real life observations. It is very scant in detail, and seems to jump around a fair bit.
If you want to read this book as an "off it's time" book about the experiences of an Army officer, then read it. If you want a book about the facts/life/stories of the men and escapades at Colditz, I would suggest that you look elsewhere.
A good read
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