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Escaping Hitler: Stories Of Courage And Endurance On The Freedom Trails

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‘I was on a train, and a German soldier began shouting at me and poking me in the ribs with his machine gun. I just thought that was it, the game was up . . .’Downed airman Bob Frost faced danger at every turn as he was smuggled out of France and over the Pyrenees. Prisoner of war Len Harley went on the run in Italy, surviving months in hiding and then a hazardous climb ov ‘I was on a train, and a German soldier began shouting at me and poking me in the ribs with his machine gun. I just thought that was it, the game was up . . .’Downed airman Bob Frost faced danger at every turn as he was smuggled out of France and over the Pyrenees. Prisoner of war Len Harley went on the run in Italy, surviving months in hiding and then a hazardous climb over the Abruzzo mountains with German troops hot on his heels. These are just some of the stories told in heart-stopping detail as Monty Halls takes us along the freedom trails out of occupied Europe, from the immense French escape lines to lesser-known routes in Italy and Slovenia. Escaping Hitler features spies and traitors, extraordinary heroism from those who ran the escape routes and offered shelter to escapees, and great feats of endurance. The SAS in Operation Galia fought for forty days behind enemy lines in Italy and then, exhausted and pursued by the enemy, exfiltrated across the Apennine mountains. And in Slovenia Australian POW Ralph Churches and British Les Laws orchestrated the largest successful Allied escape of the entire war.Mixing new research, interviews with survivors and his own experience of walking the trails, Monty brings the past to life in this dramatic and gripping slice of military history.


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‘I was on a train, and a German soldier began shouting at me and poking me in the ribs with his machine gun. I just thought that was it, the game was up . . .’Downed airman Bob Frost faced danger at every turn as he was smuggled out of France and over the Pyrenees. Prisoner of war Len Harley went on the run in Italy, surviving months in hiding and then a hazardous climb ov ‘I was on a train, and a German soldier began shouting at me and poking me in the ribs with his machine gun. I just thought that was it, the game was up . . .’Downed airman Bob Frost faced danger at every turn as he was smuggled out of France and over the Pyrenees. Prisoner of war Len Harley went on the run in Italy, surviving months in hiding and then a hazardous climb over the Abruzzo mountains with German troops hot on his heels. These are just some of the stories told in heart-stopping detail as Monty Halls takes us along the freedom trails out of occupied Europe, from the immense French escape lines to lesser-known routes in Italy and Slovenia. Escaping Hitler features spies and traitors, extraordinary heroism from those who ran the escape routes and offered shelter to escapees, and great feats of endurance. The SAS in Operation Galia fought for forty days behind enemy lines in Italy and then, exhausted and pursued by the enemy, exfiltrated across the Apennine mountains. And in Slovenia Australian POW Ralph Churches and British Les Laws orchestrated the largest successful Allied escape of the entire war.Mixing new research, interviews with survivors and his own experience of walking the trails, Monty brings the past to life in this dramatic and gripping slice of military history.

30 review for Escaping Hitler: Stories Of Courage And Endurance On The Freedom Trails

  1. 5 out of 5

    Xanthi

    This isn’t easy reading. It took me a while to finish this book because I could only read it in bursts. Well worth the effort, however. My knowledge of WW2 POW escapes is pretty limited so this book was an education. I found the section about Italy especially interesting and moving. I really liked how the book moved between the retelling of these escape stories, and the author’s travels and treks of the locations, decades later. But best of all we’re the reunions/meetings of escapees or their ch This isn’t easy reading. It took me a while to finish this book because I could only read it in bursts. Well worth the effort, however. My knowledge of WW2 POW escapes is pretty limited so this book was an education. I found the section about Italy especially interesting and moving. I really liked how the book moved between the retelling of these escape stories, and the author’s travels and treks of the locations, decades later. But best of all we’re the reunions/meetings of escapees or their children, with the people who helped, at great risk to themselves.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miles

    Wonderful book that accompanies the Channel 4 series WWII's Great Escapes : The Freedom Trails. Having read the book and watched the final episode in the series, the book is a gripping companion to the series and fills in the gaps the television series simply cannot do. It's impossible to add all the information into a 40 minute episode and this is where books always win out. Very well written, the book is both emotive and informative and along the way we are introduced to prisoners of war who ha Wonderful book that accompanies the Channel 4 series WWII's Great Escapes : The Freedom Trails. Having read the book and watched the final episode in the series, the book is a gripping companion to the series and fills in the gaps the television series simply cannot do. It's impossible to add all the information into a 40 minute episode and this is where books always win out. Very well written, the book is both emotive and informative and along the way we are introduced to prisoners of war who have survived incredible odds and some of the amazing people who helped them escape the Germans. It's incredible to think how these everyday folk risked not only their lives but those of their families. Living in fear of discovery, day by day, the book tells of these heroes. People who never asked for the plaudits or glory, they simply thought they were doing what was right. One of my favourite trails and stories was that of Bob Frost, a rear gunner in a downed Wellington MK3 bomber with a 4000lb bomb on board - destined for Essen. The plane took heavy fire ten minutes from the target and lost hydraulics but they continued on to drop the bomb. The plane went down and Frost landed in a field with a white parachute. He set off and eventually arrived at a village and his first introduction to the Belgian resistance and the Comet line which helped rescue 800 soldiers. Frost made his way out via France and the Pyrenees. There are many more stories in the book, we are introduced to conmen and brave young women who risked everything. If there's one book you should read on escaping captivity in World War 2 then this is the one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Costa Panayi

    My first read about escape stories from WW2 was really interesting! They were gripping at times, a nice variety of accounts from different survivors/saviours, and some horrors of the war described in this book are hard to fathom as well! Overall a great read

  4. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Cooper

    What brave and inspiring stories. These men were so ill equipped and malnourished for the journeys they made. What an amazing read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jan Stamos

    Interesting read, though tedious.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claire Bailey

    What an amazing, inspiring, heartbreaking, eye opener book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Legg

    Loved it, well written and the stories come alive.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Kala

    Gives you insight into the least explored area of WW2. Could be more detailed though.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Noah Dommaschk

    excellent

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joy Ashwell Callaway

    3.5 Stars This novel by Monty Halls is thoroughly researched and deserves credit. His interest and respect for the men that he writes about is apparent. I had no idea about the freedom trails and the massive strength and endurance needed to successfully escape. Halls also shows this by relaying his own experiences on the trails himself. He continuously reiterates the dangers of what these prisoners of war went through. I gave this book 3.5 stars because although I did find it super interesting, I 3.5 Stars This novel by Monty Halls is thoroughly researched and deserves credit. His interest and respect for the men that he writes about is apparent. I had no idea about the freedom trails and the massive strength and endurance needed to successfully escape. Halls also shows this by relaying his own experiences on the trails himself. He continuously reiterates the dangers of what these prisoners of war went through. I gave this book 3.5 stars because although I did find it super interesting, I found some parts quite technical and I did kind of just want the book to be finished in some places. It took me a while to fully finish this book. Some of his prose didn’t seem to overly ‘gel’ together: his descriptions were excellent and quite engaging but his explanations about certain aspects such as technical war information and rolling off facts -although crucial to the story- seemed more forced. Sometimes I didn’t feel it was overly necessary, but in saying that, the topic is quite niche. I did like how there were recounts of events from France, Italy and Slovenia: it shows how many people were affected and the span of WWII. Overall I’m glad I discovered Halls’ work, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known about these feats. The ending was sweet and drew a good conclusion to the story, promoting a sense of reflection for the reader.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Phelps

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luke

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul Mcbrearty

  15. 4 out of 5

    tracey mackenzie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Giles

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judith Ness

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mr C F Mabbott

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zach King

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Cross

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    AmbraHaddock

  23. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Max Thompson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  26. 5 out of 5

    Strut Murdoch

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Fish

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt Smith

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike Traynor

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

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