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No Drums – No Trumpets

BBy: Alec Le Vernoy (580.11/35763)
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd ISBN: 0-7181-3021-9

When the Germans invaded France in 1940 Alec Le Vernoy was ayoung medical student in Paris – full of the ideals0and vigour of youth. By the time the war ended in 1945, those idealshad been severely tested by his experiences in France, North Africa and Germany. In No Drums, No Trumpets Alec Le Vernoy tells of one of the most fascinating stories to have emerged from the Second World War.

After the Fall of France and escaping from a German field hospital, Alec set sail for Africa from where he hoped to join de Gaulle and the Free French in London. His failure to do so signalled the start of a series of extraordinary adventures as Alec, seeking no to join the British forces in the Mediterranean, became involved in clandestine operations of espionage and sabotage, constantly risking his life harrying German units and supply lines. Twice imprisoned by the Vichy regime, he managed to escape both times, using his wit and grim determination to survive. But Alec’s luck eventually ran out and, under sentence of death, he was deported to Germany and the notorious concentration camp – Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen.

Alec’s experiences in the death camp took him to the brink of human endurance. From the relatively privileged position of hospital orderly, he witnessed the savage brutality of the SS guards towards the Jews and other prisoners. His vivid and moving account of the daily struggle for survival sheds new light on the running of the camps and the plight of the inmates. But even Sachsenhausen could not hold Alec for ever. Escaping with his life, as so very few did, he made his way through wartorn Germany to freedom and a chance to fight with the Resistance against the invaders of his country and the oppressors of Europe.

Exciting and compulsively readable, No Drums, No Trumpets is an extraordinary story of courage, daring and endurance by one of the war’s unsung heroes.

March 2008


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