Under The Wire Hardcover – 1 Apr 2005
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"A story of bravery in the face of brutality, of comradeship, of a never-say-die attitude; and running through it is a sense of humour that cheers up the grimmest situation" (THE TIMES)
"A life of adventure that will inspire and astonish... Ash is a writer who makes his readers feel as if they're right there beside him through it all" (HOMER HICKAM, author of THE ROCKET BOYS)
"A remarkable story... brilliantly told and with all the authentic sights, sounds and smells of the World War 2 prison camp" (TONY RENNELL, author of THE LAST ESCAPE)
"Well written and exciting... in this remarkable book...there are passages...that make the reader want to stand up and cheer" (CHARLES ROLLINGS, author of WIRE AND WALLS)
"An astonishing tale - totally spellbinding. I always knew Bill Ash was a special guy but never realised how special... Perhaps his greatest achievement was to emerge from the horrors of the war with his faith in ordinary people enhanced" (ALAN PLATER) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The remarkable wartime adventures of an American Spitfire pilot, legendary escape artist and 'Cooler King'...See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Instead, I got so, so much more.
Bill Ash's life is remarkable by anyone's yardstick. From his earliest childhood in Depression-era Texas, he was a hero, ready and eager to take on any bully. While America watched as Europe fell to a maniacal Hitler, he made a decision to personally take on the biggest bully in modern history.
Remarkable? Brave? Courageous? Yes, all of these adjectives describe the heroic life of Bill Ash.
But his life, and his story -- told so extraordinarily well by Ash and his co-writer, Brendan Foley -- is also funny, human and a lesson in living one's life with heart and a true moral compass.
There is as much Huck Finn and Jack Kerouac in Ash's war stories, as there is John Wayne.
Like all great tales of history, UNDER THE WIRE does more than offer adventure after adventure (and WOW, what adventures Bill had!)
The book offers a sense of the times, a sense of the politics, insights into the dangers, the choices, the cat-and-mouse existence of a Prisoner of War.
Bill played cat-and-mouse with the Third Reich, and did it brilliantly.
And I have never read an adventure story with so much genuine humor!
UNDER THE WIRE is a glorious tribute to the sort of person we long for, but never really see anymore: a true hero.
And it's a great, entertaining read.
Shot down in 1942, he spent the rest of the war in prisoner of war camps where he rubbed shoulders with many of the fifty servicemen who were to be murdered by the Gestapo in the aftermath of the Great Escape. Ash made numerous escape bids of his own, and became so familiar with solitary confinement that he is said by some to be the model for Steve McQueen's "cooler king" character in the film The Great Escape.
This book is another in a crop of memoirs penned by veterans of World War II in their twilight years, but it is exceptional in several ways. Ash is candid about his motives for fighting; he reveals hot-headed fury at those who had started the war, something unusual in a generation of writers who tend to censor the emotional content of their work. Never afraid to reveal his feelings, Ash is always witty and ironic: he has a dry and humorous style, and while this book is thoroughly modern and easy to read, it evokes wartime life as vividly as if it were yesterday.
I recommend this riveting book, which compares favourably with Jeffrey Wellum's recent masterpiece First Light.
As the numbers of surviving WW2 participants is now growing increasingly smaller a few more of this ilk are beginning to appear, sometimes from long-lost diaries and other written records, and 'Under the Wire' is a recently published story of one of the many experienced pilots and volunteers from the USA who offered their services to the Allies to aid Britain at a time of its greatest need - it then stood alone as the sole defender against Nazi intentions towards total European domination.
Bill Ash is not a name previously known or mentioned as one of the many known WW2 heroes. He volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and flew Spitfires, possibly the most iconic aircraft of its day, and was shot down in 1942 and captured by the Germans having been betrayed. The book is the story of that portion of his life including periods of torture, being sentenced to death as a presumed spy, reprieved but later sent to the infamous Stalag Luft III where he encountered Douglas Bader (the subject of 'Reach for the Sky') and several of those actually involved in the real 'Great Escape'. He, himself, was involved in several escape attempts.
The book is the story of just five years of one man's life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book about a highly unusual man. His comments on Wg Cdr Paddy Barthropp DFC, a great Battle of Britain pilot when in the hands of the Gestapo, are worth the cost of the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Alan C
Not my usual read but well worth it! I'm glad it was recommended to me!Published 5 months ago by Mr. Sd Peak
An incredible story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. His way of writing is so addictive, I coudn't put the book down, his writting made me laugh outloud in several... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alejandra
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Military
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Canada
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Historical > United States
- Books > Biography > Political > Britain
- Books > Biography > Political > Countries & Regions
- Books > Biography > Political > United States
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Europe
- Books > History > Military History
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Battles & Campaigns
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Countries
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Prisoners of War