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Running from the Gestapo: 2000 miles over land and sea, by Luc, Niels, and Ian de Brouckere

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by ColHessler, Sep 6, 2022.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
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    Length: 120 pages

    This is the story, based on fact, of two men fleeing the German invasion of Belgium in 1940. They link up in the small coastal town they are from and go on an odyssey from there to Dunkirk, through France to Spain, and back again. The authors worked from their family history to tell us this. It's a dad and his two teenage sons that worked to give us this.

    We start with Gustav, a teacher in the Belgian coastal town of Knokke. He takes his class on a field trip to the Ardennes. Two days after they get there, the Germans invade, and they take trains and buses to get home. When Belgium surrenders, Gustav hooks up with Louis, a fisherman whose boat was seized. The two men buy bicycles and make their way to Dunkirk. From there, they make a journey down to the Spanish border, dodging Germans along the way. The Guardia Civil arrests them, and with another man's help, they break out and head back north, clear back to Knokke. With this other man and a nurse, they borrow a boat and make a five day trip to England. The Luftwaffe strafes them, but they make it.

    The authors then tell us about the fates of the people, from Gustav joining the Canadian Army, to Louis being a Royal Navy navigator. Gustav helps liberate his hometown.

    The story moves along quickly, so don't be surprised if you can finish it in one sitting.

    A couple of nitpicks. They spelled Guardia as Garda, which is Irish. They also talked about an "exuberant" price, when they should have said "exorbitant." They also say Gustave was with the Canadian Army in North Africa in 1944 when he was transferred to England. I think they meant Italy, since by 1944, the African Campaign was over.

    It's a good effort and they worked hard to come up with something not heavy, but still informative. Give it a try. 4 stars out of five.
     

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