THE EVADERS by Leo Heaps


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Readers of Cornelius Ryan's absorbing A Bridge Too Far (1975) will know that 10,000 Allied troops landed in Holland in September 1944 on the greatest airborne invasion ever undertaken and fought the disastrous Battle of Arnhem--and that 8,000 of them were killed, wounded, or captured. The Evaders is an almost wholly first-person account of 250 men who found themselves surrounded by German troops and assisted by the Dutch Resistance. Heaps who wrote Escape porn Arnhem 25 years ago, covers this ground more sketchily than Ryan, while focusing on a multiplicity of worm's-eye views and his personal dilemma as a paratrooper in enemy territory. Much of his material comes from private diaries, letters, and interviews with about 40 commandos, paratroopers, and Resistance leaders whose audacious paths crossed his during that fateful week in the woods, fields, and houses around Arnhem. Some of these men died, but the survivors of this enclave within the war made some remarkable, often moving escapes with Dutch help. ""I floated down gently from heaven at 1:30 pan. on Sunday, September 17,"" Heaps tells us at the beginning; and, despite Ryan's thoroughness and larger view, there is really no substitute for having been there--and suffered.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1976
Publisher: Morrow