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Brigadier James Hargest was a decorated New Zealand officer who served during World War I and II. Having fought in the bloody battles of the Invasion of Crete, he went on to lead the 5th Brigade in the Western Desert during Operation Crusader but was captured soon into the campaign. Never one to take a defeat lying down Hargest, determined to escape his Italian Prisoner of War camp “Campo 12”, this journey and its adventures are recounted here in this book of his journey to Switzerland and freedom. Throwing himself back into the fray immediately he served on staff during the invasion of Normandy, but was killed by shellfire in August 1944.
As one of only three men known to British Military Intelligence to have successfully escaped an Italian PoW camp, Hargest was awarded a second bar to his DSO and was later appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.