In these ten stories of Second World War battlefield action, Gordon Brown pays tribute to the courage of a whole generation. Some are stories of decisive action taken in searing heat of combat. On D-Day Company Sergeant Major Hollis of the Green Howards VC stormed a pill-box alone, overcoming its defenders and thus paving the way for a crucial advance to higher ground, while Sergeant Hannah VC, single-handedly fought a fire in a bomber returning from a raid on invasion barges at Antwerp in 1940, as machine-gun ammunition exploded all around him, thus saving the aircraft and its remaining crew. Others are stories of great danger faced again and again. Over many months Graham Hayes and Geoffrey Appleyard of the Small Scale Raiding Force, carried out daring and innovative actions on enemy shipping in Africa and then the Normandy coast, while John Bridge, a physics teacher turned mine and bomb disposal officer, repeatedly practised his carefully acquired skills and knowledge in the most terrifying circumstances from 1940 to 1945, defusing bomb after bomb, mine after mine, always aware that there were no second chances if things went wrong. Perhaps the most daunting and mysterious form of courage he encountered in working on this book was the kind that sustained individuals working on their own on clandestine operations far behind enemy lines. Major Hugh Seagrim GC, in occupied Burma and Violette Szabo in occupied France are only two of such stories of sang-froid and sheer guts.
About Gordon Brown
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Published November 3, 2008
by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, War.