Another rip-roaring World War II history by prize-winning author Jeff Steel. Bill Adlam’s hair-raising escape from Dunkirk, his dramatic commando raids and his storming the D-Day beaches reads like fiction. It all happened. Bill escaped the Dunkirk disaster via a bayonet charge into Nazi machine guns. He was presented with the Military Medal ‘for gallantry under fire’ by King George VI. Bill volunteered for commandos: he thrived on adrenaline. Number 4 commando took him to a surgical strike in the north of Norway. The stated objective: to destroy oil installations. It was a feint. Ian Fleming of the Secret Intelligence Service had masterminded the raid. Its objective: to help break the Enigma Code. Number 4 Commando then sent him on a raid to Dieppe to spike naval guns to enable a landing by Canadian forces. Bill’s commanding officer was Lord Lovat: cousin to Ian Fleming and (allegedly) template for the fictional James Bond. Bill’s prowess as a commando saw him headhunted to a top-secret location in the wilds of Scotland. Here he trained others in the dark arts of ‘butcher and bolt’. On D-Day morning Bill passed over the sands of Normandy in minutes. The next two months saw him up against Hitler’s elite army and Waffen SS divisions. The reader will ask the same question that Bill asked: how would he ever come out alive?
Jeff Steel is a child of World War II London and is now based in Melbourne. His deep interest in the war has led to many heart-rending interviews with those who took part. His first book 'No Heil Hitler' as ghost writer, told the compelling story a young boy's Odyssey through the horrors of Nazi-occupied Poland. It won the Philpott Prize for a (then) unpublished manuscript. His recent WWII titles – Bombs and Barbed Wire and Best of Times, Worst of Times – both true stories of Bomber Command, were published by BSP in 2021.
Linda Nash and her parents arrived in Melbourne in 1964. Growing up in, Gloucester, England, she knew her father had been a commando in World War II, yet he never spoke of it. Linda was intrigued by an old newspaper cutting depicting her father as the first Territorial (reserve) soldier to receive the Military Medal. She always suspected there was more to her Dad’s war hero past … Jeff Steel proved her right.