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THEY HAVE THEIR EXITS stands in the premier division of military memoirs, and not just of the Second World War. Not only were Airey Neave's wartime experiences of an extraordinary breadth, but he had the literary ability to record them.
Wounded and captured at Calais in May 1940, Second Lieutenant Neave wasted little time before attempting to escape. Always a thorn in his captors' sides, he earned his place in the 'escape-proof' Colditz Castle. Undeterred he had the distinction of being the first British officer to make a home-run, via Switzerland, Vichy France and Spain.
Soon back in France working with the French Resistance as a member of MI9, rescuing Allied airmen, he found himself playing a leading role saving stranded survivors of 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem.
Neave's extraordinary memoir continues even after Germany's surrender. Having arrested the directors of the mighty Krupp empire, he served with the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal where he came into personal contact with leading Nazis, gaining a unique insight into their characters and deeds.
If ever there was a great and true story well told, it is They Have Their Exits. Reprinted once again it is a fitting memorial to a man of exceptional energy, initiative and courage.
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