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Let Me Tell You a Story book. Read 23 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. September, Przemysl, Poland. No one has explained to.
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They first met in Beirut when covering the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in Forty years later, they reverted to the same conversation when the Pole approached him to help edit his life story with a view to an English language readership.


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They can provide a helpful perspective that you, entangled in your memories, perhaps cannot. I was a good listener and I suppose as a reporter and a military historian, given the slightest opportunity, I've been doing much the same sort of thing ever since. If I asked Andrew the right questions he would tell me the right stories, fascinating tales full of anecdotes and shrewd observation.

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I ended up filling seven notebooks. To fully understand the places and events in his friend's memoir in the summer of Smith travelled to Poland, doing extensive research into the history of the Polish underground, the weapons of the day, even the layout of Warsaw's sewage system which the insurgents used to evade the Germans.

At one point Borowiec himself was a sewer courier delivering vital despatches from one quarter of the city to another by passing under German positions. He sometimes had drag himself for hours through the stink and slime of faeces filled crawl spaces.


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Looking back, he talks about it calmly in matter of fact tones. Of course afterwards if we could find water we washed ourselves. But often there was no water so we continued to stink. In the end it didn't matter. What mattered was that it taught me that you can endure much more than you ever think you can. Whether talking about childhood, the war experience of his adolescence or his life afterwards he is sparing with the adjectives and metaphors.

He is adept at the verbal short cut that delivers vivid description in a few words. Borowiec, like his friend Colin Smith, spent much of his professional life covering the major conflicts of the second half of the 20th century. Even the Congo, just after the Belgians left a very evil place to be, couldn't compare to what happened in Warsaw,' said this frail veteran who is all too aware that the chances of him living this long and eventful life were once very small indeed.

He has dedicated his compelling memoir 'For all the Warsaw boys — especially the ones who never grew up'. The judges of the Pol Roger Duff Cooper prize for non-fiction and poetry published in the United Kingdom in have called in Warsaw Boy for their consideration. Now that Macmillan has republished its paperback edition of Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia and Zion , each of the four military history titles shown above are available in both paperback and eBooks format.

Excerpts and reviews are accessible through the list of titles on the right-hands side of the page. Wingate, who had recently turned 41, was arguably the most innovative general Britain ever produced and certainly the most eccentric. I hope of course this will wet your appetite for the book I wrote with the late John Bierman, author of Righteous Gentile , the best of the Ralph Wallenberg biographies. Our Fire in the Night , first published in by America's Random, is currently under option to a New York based film producer who has now renewed the option four times.

A script has been written but how close we are to the start of filming I wouldn't dare to venture. His fictional protagonist is Dorrigo Evans, an Australian army doctor and when Singapore surrendered in one of the , Australian, British and Indian prisoners who fell into Japanese hands. The 'narrow road' of the title is, of course, the infamous miles of death railway from Bangkok to Rangoon on which over 12, of the half starved 60, prisoners used as slave labour died of malnutrition, cholera, sheer exhaustion and the habitual brutality of their guards whose punishments included crucifixion.

Let me tell you a story

It is tribute to the power of Flanagan's prose that he was able to win the plaudits that he did out of an atrocity that has been visited so many times in both fact and fiction. In Singapore Burning - Heroism and Surrender in World War Two I tell the largely untold story of the hard fought campaign down the length of the Malay Peninsula that lasted almost two months and preceded the fall of the 'impregnable' British naval base at its foot. Smith knows how it feels to be a soldier and his story is unforgettably told,' wrote Neal Ascherson in the Observer.

Churchill called it: 'The worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history. There were also moments of great valour. The inevitability of the British defeat can mostly be blamed on hubris. Rarely was an enemy so underestimated. They thought they were better than their Asian opponents in every way: better equipped, better trained and probably genetically better suited for modern warfare.

How could myopic Japanese pilots hope to compete? Then in the space of 90 minutes their aircraft sank the Prince of Wales and the Repulse , the two battleships sent to remind Tokyo who ruled the waves. They went on to establish total air supremacy. Beneath this formidable umbrella their dour infantry glided south on bicycles along roads from which their enemy had sometimes already been scattered by the only tanks in Malaya.

Let Me Tell You a Story: A Memoir of a Wartime Childhood

The British had not thought them necessary. Ought to be recognised as one of the most successful histories of the Western Desert and North African fighting yet to have appeared. The book starts in the summer of with Mussolini's attempt to invade Egypt, describes the massive defeat of the Italians by much smaller British forces and the beginning of German intervention under Erwin Rommel.

But of course, the climax is the battle itself when, after three years of war, Bernard Montgomery's 8th Army ended the Wehrmacht's unbroken run of victories and inflicted the first major land defeat on Hitler's war machine. In December Penguin published the main battle extract as one of their eBook Shorts for which I wrote a new introduction and epilogue. I stared out over the wing at the circular whirr of the two Merlin engines and watched the ground move slowly 30ft below me.

The aircraft needed a wide arc to turn on the ground and was unresponsive, dull witted and massive. It was impossible to think of her once performing acrobatics, corkscrewing in the air like a swallow avoiding a sparrow hawk. The engines were switched off, but the roar still echoed and we shook our heads as if our ears were deceiving us.

He had said this hundreds of times before but his voice retained a frisson of awe. What happened that day was another extraordinary twist in the story, one that by then I knew I could write. But a memoir did not seem enough and would be a sack of dry bones.

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What did they feel? How did they react to what happened to them? So I have written a novel to make the story breathe. It needed to live just as they did. If I have done them an injustice in imagining how it was for them I hope they forgive me. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.

Looking for Strangers: The True Story of My Hidden Wartime Childhood by Dori Katz

Please subscribe to sign in to comment. A wartime memoir of family heroism and endurance The long and winding road that led Caroline Preston to pen this second World War odyssey Wed, Jun 28, , Updated: Wed, Jun 28, , Caroline Preston. Men of the Royal Air Force in high spirits beside a Lancaster bomber. More from The Irish Times Books. TV, Radio, Web. Sponsored All charged up for a change.

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