Escape Artist

Escape Artist

The incredible Second World War of Johnny Peck

by Peter Monteath

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/09/2017

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The never-before-told story of World War II escape artist extraordinaire, Johnny Peck.



In August 1941, an eighteen-year-old Australian soldier made his first prison break - an audacious night-time escape from a German prisoner-of-war camp in Crete. Astoundingly, this was only the first of many escapes.


An infantryman in the 2/7 Battalion, Johnny Peck was first thrown into battle against Italian forces in the Western Desert. Campaigns against Hitler's Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe in Greece and Crete followed. When Crete fell to the Germans at the end of May 1941, Peck was trapped on the island with hundreds of other men. On the run, they depended on their wits, the kindness of strangers, and sheer good luck.


When Peck's luck ran out, he was taken captive by the Germans, then the Italians. Later, after his release from a Piedmontese jail following the Italian Armistice of 1943, and at immense risk to his own life, Peck devoted himself to helping POWs cross the Alps to safety. Captured once more, Peck was sentenced to death and detained in Milan's notorious, Gestapo-run San Vittore prison - until escaping again, this time into Switzerland.


Historian Peter Monteath reveals the action-packed tale of one young Australian soldier and his remarkable war.
ISBN:
9781742235509
9781742235509
Category:
Biography: general
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01-09-2017
Publisher:
NewSouth Publishing
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
328
Dimensions (mm):
234x153mm
Peter Monteath

Peter Monteath (born 1961) is Lecturer in Modern European History at Flinders University of South Australia. Professor Monteath's research interests are in modern European and Australian history.

He has a particular interest in prisoners of war, internment, and the German presence in Australia and has written extensively on these subjects.

With Jean Fornasiero and John West-Soob, Monteath co-authored Encountering Terra Australis: the Australian Voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders (Wakefield Press, 2004) which won the 2004 Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Book Prize.

Monteath co-authored with Valerie Munt Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose (Wakefield Press, 2015) which was shortlisted for the 2016 Prize for Australian History.

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