In November 1942, two nights after the Battle of El Alamein, a young British army officer was captured by German forces. As the Nazis deliberated about what to do with him and his peers, Richard Carver had particular reason to be afraid: unknown to anyone else, he was the stepson of Lt-Gen Bernard Montgomery, who had just inflicted the first serious land defeat on the Third Reich...
This enthralling wartime story tells of Richard’s internment in a POW camp in northern Italy – the same made famous by Eric Newby – and of his subsequent escape. Having decided on the high-risk strategy of making his way back to Allied HQ in the south, he embarked on a gruelling 500-mile journey through German-occupied territory, evading capture again and again and ultimately being saved by a family of brave Italian peasants who jeopardised not just their own lives but those of an entire village to hide him.
In the winter of 1943, a year after he had disappeared, Carver staggered back into army HQ, gaunt and exhausted – to be greeted by a delighted but characteristically gruff Monty with the now infamous words: Where the hell have you been?
This is a tale of great adventure and derring-do – a reminder of a lost age when, in the face of terrifying challenges, a generation rose to extraordinary feats of valour in the service of a cause greater than themselves
About the Author
Tom Carver was a longtime foreign correspondent with the BBC. He lived with the mujihadeen suring the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, walked with the Kurds over the mountains of Iraq and reported on the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian war. He was latterly the BBC's Washington Correspondent and continues to live in Washington working as a writer and consultant. He is the step-grandson of Field Marshal Montgomery.
"An utterly compelling account of how one POW kept his identity secret from the Nazis and evaded capture, relying on the bravery and kindness of strangers. A terrific read." Andy McNab "One man's extraordinary odyssey of escape through wartime Italy: riveting and remarkable." Ben Macintyre, author of Agent Zigzag "Tom Carver's excellent book gives us a better understanding why our most well known World War II General was the complex man he was." General the Lord Guthrie, Chief of the Defence Staff, 1997-2001 "An escape story in the finest English tradition. Beautifully written and poignant to the end - deserves to become an instant classic" David Loyn, BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent "This account of Monty's step-son's exploits in the Second World War is a gem. It reminds one of the gallantry and devotion to duty of a generation that has nearly left us." Patrick Cordingley, Commander of the Desert Rats, Iraq, 1991