Spartacus Review

Volume 52: 27th February, 2011

Second World War

Title: The Long Walk

Author: Slavomir Rawicz


Publisher: Constable & Robinson

Price: £7.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Second World War Websites


Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer. On 19 November 1939 he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation he was sentenced to 25 years in the Gulags. After a 3-month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter he escaped with 6 companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death. In June 1941 they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and freedom 9 months later in March 1942 after travelling on foot through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert. First published in 1956, this is one of the world's greatest true stories of adventure, survival and escape.

Title: The 16th Durham Light Infantry in Italy

Author: Peter Hart


Publisher: Pen & Sword

Price: £12.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Italy and the Second World War


The 16th Durham Light Infantry were supposed to be just an 'ordinary' battalion. But their experiences as they fought their way up through Italy show that there is no such thing as 'ordinary'. They struggled to break out from Salerno, then across the countless rivers and mountain ranges that seemed to spring up to bar their way to victory. They learnt their military skills the hard way facing determined German opposition every step of the way. These were no "D-Day Dodgers" but heroes in their own right. But there was another battle being fought as they struggled to maintain their morale day by day, as their friends died and their seemed to be no end in sight. This is their story.