Train to Nowhere is a war memoir seen through the sardonic eyes of Anita Leslie, a funny and vivacious young woman who reports on her experiences with a dry humour, finding the absurd alongside the tragic.
Daughter of a baronet and first cousin once removed of Winston Churchill, she joined the Mechanised Transport Corps as a fully trained mechanic and ambulance driver during WWII, serving in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Italy, France and Germany. Ahead of her time, Anita bemoaned 'first-rate women subordinate to second-rate men' and, as the English army forbade women from serving at the front, joined the Free French Forces in order to do what she felt was her duty.
Writing letters in Hitler's recently vacated office and marching in the Victory parade contrast with observations of seeing friends murdered and a mother avenging her son by coldly shooting a prisoner of war. Unflinching and unsentimental, Train to Nowhere is a memoir of Anita's war, one that, long after it was written, remains poignant and relevant.
With a new introduction by Penny Perrick.
"Train to Nowhere is the most gripping piece of war reportage I have ever read: particularly affecting is her account of the Battle of Colmar, where her descriptions are almost too unbearable to take in. What a writer! Her observations, mixed with dry humour and compassion, place her at the heart of the conflict and somehow apart from it, as a good historian should be. Remarkable." (Joanna Lumley)
"Anita Leslie's dispassionate account of her own extraordinary role in World War II is a rediscovered gem, and her harrowing description of the fighting in Alsace particularly stands out as one of the finest pieces of war reporting to come out of that or any other conflict.... This is a remarkable book." (Ray Moseley, Pulitzer Prize-nominated war correspondent and author of Reporting War: How Foreign Correspondents Risked Capture, Torture and Death to Cover World War II)
"A vivid memoir, beautifully crafted, by a remarkable woman at a unique period in modern history. A young cousin of Winston Churchill, she operated as an ambulance driver from 1940-1945 on the front lines in Africa, Arabia and Europe enduring with humour all the hardships and privations entailed in war by service personnel without rank. Her skills of observation are penetrating and make this book a marvellously accessible account of WWII. Unputdownable." (Mary S. Lovell, international best-selling author of The Mitford Girls)
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