The British Partisan: Capture, Imprisonment and Escape in Wartime Italy

The British Partisan: Capture, Imprisonment and Escape in Wartime Italy

by Michael Ross


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In this action-packed account, the author, a Welch Regiment officer, describes his remarkable Second World War experiences. These include his baptism by fire in the Western Desert against Rommel’s armor in 1942, the spontaneous help of nomad Arabs when on the run for ten days behind enemy lines, his capture and life as a POW in Italy.

Ross and a fellow officer made the first escape from Fontanellato POW camp only to be recaptured on the Swiss border. During his second escape, Ross fought against the occupying German forces in north Italy alongside the Italian partisans, who nearly executed him initially. He avoided recapture for over a year before finally reaching Allied lines.

The reader learns of the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of local Italians helping and hiding Allied soldiers. Ross’s story has a poignant conclusion as, while on the run, he fell in love with a prominent anti-fascist’s daughter whom he married after the war.

Originally published as From Liguria With Love, this superbly written and updated memoir is a powerful and inspiring tribute to all those who risked their lives to help him and his comrades.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526750358
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 07/26/2019
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Michael Ross, an undergraduate at the outbreak of the War, immediately volunteered for military service and was commissioned into the Welch Regiment. This classic memoir, originally published in 1997 as From Liguria With Love and now updated by his son David, describes his experiences in North Africa, where he was captured, and Italy, both as POW and as an escapee, fighting alongside the partisans. Ross was Mentioned in Despatches for gallantry.

After the war, he returned to Italy and married Giovanna, the daughter of the family that had hidden him from the enemy for many months. He later served in Korea, Hong Kong and Berlin before transferring to HM Diplomatic Service. The final years of his career were spent in North America and South Africa as a consular officer. Retiring in 1982, he and Giovanna divided their time between their homes in London and Bordighera, Italy. After 66 happy years of marriage, Michael died in 2012.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations ix

Preface x

Introduction xi

Part I A Soldier 1

Chapter 1 Despatch to a Desert Fort 3

Chapter 2 Enemy Threats 8

Chapter 3 The Storm Breaks 13

Chapter 4 Survivors Escape 19

Chapter 5 Forced Night March 27

Chapter 6 All Contact Lost 33

Chapter 7 Life (and Near Death) with the Arabs 39

Chapter 8 In Enemy Hands 48

Part II A Prisoner 59

Chapter 9 Doom and Gloom 61

Chapter 10 Inmates of a Monastery in Southern Italy 70

Chapter 11 Human Relations Under Strain 82

Chapter 12 Escapes and the Aftermath 87

Chapter 13 A Taste of Freedom in Northern Italy 93

Chapter 14 Enemies Become Friends 117

Part III A Lame Dog 129

Chapter 15 On the Run to the Southern Front 131

Chapter 16 Change of Plan - Westwards through France 139

Chapter 17 Chance Meeting with the 'Resistance' 151

Chapter 18 Refuge in 'Llo Di Mare' - a Riviera Villa 164

Chapter 19 At Large with Partisans 180

Chapter 20 Flight to Freedom 197

Postscript 210

Index 217

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