Rifleman: A Front-Line Life from Alamein and Dresden to the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Rifleman: A Front-Line Life from Alamein and Dresden to the Fall of the Berlin Wall

by Victor Gregg

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Born into a working-class family in London in 1919, Victor Gregg enlisted in the Rifle Brigade at nineteen, was sent to the Middle East and saw action in Palestine. Following service in the western desert and at the battle of Alamein, he joined the Parachute Regiment and in September 1944 found himself at the battle of Arnhem. When the paratroopers were forced to withdraw, Gregg was captured. He attempted to escape, but was caught and became a prisoner of war; sentenced to death in Dresden for attempting to escape and burning down a factory, only the allies' infamous raid on the city the night before his execution saved his life.

Gregg's fascinating story, told in a voice that is good-natured and completely original, continues after the end of the war. In the fifties he became chauffeur to the Chairman of the Moscow Norodny bank in London, involved in shady dealings and strange meetings with MI5, MI6 and the KGB. His adventures, though, were not over - in 1989, on one of his many motorbike expeditions into Eastern Europe, he found himself at a rally of 700 people in a field in Sopron at a fence that formed part of the barrier between the Soviet Union and the West. Vic cut the wire, and a few weeks later the Berlin Wall itself was destroyed - a truly unexpected coda to an incredible life lived to the full.

This is the story of a true survivor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408817575
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 02/07/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Victor Gregg was born in London in 1919 and joined the army in 1937, serving first in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine and the Battle of Alamein, and then in the Parachute Regiment at the Battle of Arnhem. He was repatriated in 1946 and now lives in Winchester.

Rick Stroud is a film, television director and author. He lives on a houseboat in London.
Victor Gregg was born in London in 1919 and joined the army in 1937, serving first with the Rifle Brigade in India and Palestine, before service in the Western Desert. Later, with the Parachute Regiment, he saw action in Italy and at the Battle of Arnhem, where he was taken prisoner and sentenced to death in Dresden, where, ironically, he was saved from execution by the Allied bombing of the city. He was demobilized in 1946.

He wrote a trilogy of memoirs: King's Cross Kid, about his working-class childhood in London between the World Wars; Rifleman, about his life on the front line from Alamein and Dresden to the Fall of the Berlin Wall; and Soldier, Spy, about his life as a demobbed soldier returning to civilian life and all the challenges that entailed.

He wrote Dresden, A Survivor's Story to mark the anniversary of the bombing of Dresden that took place between 13 and 15 February 1945.
Rick Stroud is a writer and television director who has directed such actors as Pierce Brosnan, John Hurt, Ian Holme, David Suchet, Celia Imrie and Joanna Lumley. Earlier in his career he was the associate producer of Brideshead Revisited. He has won an Emmy and been nominated for a BAFTA. He is the author of The Book of the Moon and The Phantom Army of Alamein: How the Camouflage Unit and Operation Bertram Hoodwinked Rommel, and with Victor Gregg has written Rifleman and King's Cross Kid. He is currently working on a book about the kidnapping by the SOE of General Kreipe from his headquarters on Nazi occupied Crete. He lives in London.

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