by David Guss
A genuinely new World War II story, this is a riveting account of the wartime exploits of Alastair Cram. Cram was taken prisoner in North Africa in November 1941, which began a long odyssey through 12 different POW camps, three Gestapo prisons and one asylum. He fled his captors no fewer than 21 times, including his final successful escape from a POW column in April 1945. Perhaps the most dramatic of his attempts was from Gavi, the “Italian Colditz.” Gavi was a maximum-security prison near Genoa for the pericolosi, the “most dangerous” inmates because of their perpetual hunger to escape. It was here that Alastair met David Stirling, the legendary founder of the SAS, and cooked up the plan for what would become the “Cistern Tunnel” escape, one of the most audacious but hitherto little-known mass escape attempts of the entire war.