VON RYAN'S RETURN by David Westheimer


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A sequel to Von Ryan's Express, wherein--as many filmgoers may recall--Colonel Joseph Ryan, a P-38 pilot and group commander, managed to escape with 900 fellow officers from a Nazi POW camp in Italy. Now languishing from inactivity in neutral Klosters, Ryan (called ""Von"" for his coldblooded toughness), devises a plan for getting his 900 officers active again and fighting on the front line back in Italy. With a handful of fellow officers, he returns to Italy undercover and is soon killing Germans left and right while looking for the front, and ostensibly seeking a notorious German spy. Ryan is put up by a beautiful, middle-aged Italian countess--she dyes his hair black, takes him on as her chauffeur, and also gives parties for chatty German officers, thereby picking up troop movements and other vital information. But when the countess' cover is blown by Ryan and his men, she leaves all behind and joins them in the hills, whereupon Ryan discovers that a horde of German tanks has been marvelously camouflaged and is about to cut off the British and American troops in a disastrous surprise attack. Getting the message to the Allies takes a heavy toll of German blood, but when Ryan does get through the Allies won't believe him. . . . Long battle-weary patches of tedium, with Von Ryan unfortunately surviving every bullet, knife, and grenade thrown at him--but though lacking any of the sharpfocused train adventure of Express, a sturdy enough mish-mash for WW II action addicts.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1980
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan