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They came from burgundy - Keith Janes

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They came from burgundy - a study of the bourgogne escape line
Keith Janes
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

The first book to recount the stories of every single Allied serviceman (including more than a hundred and fifty American aircrew) helped by one of the major escape lines of World War Two, complete with details of their helpers. Escape lines - which should more properly be called evasion lines - can be described as organisations that helped stranded servicemen make their way from enemy occupied territories back to friendly territory. Of the three major escape lines running through France during the Second World War - the Pat O'Leary line, which covered most of the country, the Comete line, which ran from Holland and Belgium through France to the Pyrenees, and Bourgogne - Bourgogne (aka Burgundy) is the least well known. Escape lines are a largely unrecognised, or at least often overlooked, episode of the Second World War. For those who were involved - the helpers (mostly French, Belgian and Dutch civilians) - or who benefitted from them (mostly British, Commonwealth and American servicemen) this was a personal war, which was, and remains, almost unknown to the outside world, despite the tragic loss of so many of those concerned. To the families of the servicemen saved, it must have seemed like a miracle to have their loved ones returned safely to them. For the helpers and their families who were caught, it often meant death. This comprehensive study is based around contemporary reports and documentation, as well as extensive personal research by the author and others. It describes the evasions of the more than three hundred Allied servicemen helped by the Burgundy line, together with details and the eventual fates of many hundreds of their helpers. They came from Burgundy will appeal to those interested in history, specifically Second World War escape and evasion.

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Keith Janes has been researching World War Two escape and evasion since 1999, shortly after discovering the story of his late father's experience as an escaped POW. He has visited France on numerous occasions, meeting helpers and their families, and followed some of the many routes us-ed by evaders to cross the Pyrenees to Andorra and Spain.

'Even though over 70 years have passed since the end of the Second World War, there are still many dark corners within it, where our knowledge of little-known events is small. Keith Janes, in this book, has, however, managed to throw a veritable searchlight on the vitally important work that was carried out in Occupied France by the men and women of the Bourgogne escape and evasion line who, at great risk to themselves, managed to pass so many RAF and USAAF downed airmen to safety.
This book is a magnificent tribute to all those who were involved with Bourgogne, both the helpers and those whom they were helping to escape the Nazi tyranny. A meticulously researched account, it is a must for anyone with an interest in the Second World War.'
Oliver Clutton-Brock

'Keith Janes is to be congratulated for producing such a comprehensive picture of one of the lesser known - but most effective - rseaux of the war. His encyclopaedic knowledge of escape lines in France, arising from an earlier study of his father's experiences following Dunkirk, make him expertly placed to write this book. His diligent turning over of stones has shed important new light on the secret - and immensely dangerous - business of returning escapers and evaders to Britain during the darkest days of the Nazi occupation of Europe.'

author and lecturer - Dr Robert Lyman FRHistS

'Keith Janes' great talent as a historian is his determination to drill down to the truth - which often turns out to be infinitely more interesting and surprising than any work of fiction could be. The result is a book rich in incident and excitement. He has performed the great service of rescuing a World War Two story that was in danger of disappearing over the edge of history, and his book gives us a new set of heroes and heroines to admire from that extraordinary period.'
journalist and author. - Edward Stourton

Keyword Index
World War, 1939-1945 - Underground movements - Europe, Western.|Escapes - Europe - History - 20th century.|World War, 1939-1945 - Secret service - Great Britain.
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