‘The greatest serial escaper of the Second World War’ – The Times
'Endlessly fascinating. Cram's story sizzles with adventure' – Giles Milton, Sunday Times
In November 1941 Lt Alastair Cram was taken prisoner in North Africa as a devastating tank battle unfolded as Operation Crusader struggled to relieve Tobruk. His capture began a four year-long odyssey as he passed through twelve different POW camps, three Gestapo prisons and one asylum. Determined to regain his freedom, he became a serial escapee fleeing his captors no fewer than twenty-one times.
The most dramatic of these attempts was from Gavi, the ‘Italian Colditz’. This maximum-security prison built inside a thousand year old stone fortress was for the pericolosi, those classified as the ‘most dangerous’ prisoners due to their unrelenting desire to escape. It was here that Alastair met David Stirling, the legendary founder of the SAS, and cooked up the plan for the ‘Cistern Tunnel’, one of the most audacious but little-known mass escape attempts of the entire war.
A genuinely new Second World War story, The 21 Escapes of Lt Alastair Cram by David M. Guss is a riveting account of the wartime exploits of the Scotsman. It is a tale of courage in the face of extraordinary odds and a testament to one man's dogged determination never to give up.
'Fascinating' – Daily Express
'An enthralling portrait of true courage' Sunday Express S Magazine