This first-ever biography of of Lt. Cdr. Mike Cumberlege DSO & Bar, Greek Medal of Honour, murdered in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Feb/March 1945, recalls a man who was `truly Elizabethan in character-a combination of gaiety and solidity and sensitiveness and poetry with daring and adventurousness-and great courage.' Cumberlege came from a maverick sea-going family. He was highly resourceful and lived by his wits, skippering ocean-going yachts for wealthy Americans before the war. In 1936 he married Nancy; their relationship was close and, with the sea, forms a thread in the book. From 1940 Cumberlege and served in undercover roles in the Royal Navy in Marseilles and Cape Verde and was on the staff of General de Gaulle in London. Posted to Egypt in 1941 in the SOE, he formed a para-naval force of fishing vessels, took part in fighting in Greece, attacked the Corinth Canal, escaped from Crete, was wounded and returned three times to Crete clandestinely. On a second operation to destroy the Corinth Canal in 1943 he was captured. Tortured in Mauthausen concentration camp, he was transferred to Sachsenhausen and spent 21 months in solitary confinement. The book contains unique material gathered from the family and from well-wishers in places as far apart as Ukraine, Australia and the USA.
Robin Knight has written for a living all his career. He is a graduate of Dublin and Stanford universities and was a foreign correspondent for an American news magazine for 28 years based in London, Moscow, Johannesburg, Rome and Washington DC. From 1997-2003 he was Editorial Writer at BP plc. Since then he has owned and run Knightwrite Ltd. He is the author of six books, most recently `Pangbourne College-Spirit in Changing Times' published by Profile Books in 2016 ahead of the school's centenary.
Introduction; 1 Christmas Day 1944; 2 Childhood, Boyhood and Youth; 3 Oh I Shall Buy a Sailboat; 4 The Good Ship Landfall; 5 Going to War; 6 Into Battle; 7 Hitting Back; 8 Operation Locksmith; 9 Points of No Return; 10 Living Not Long Enough: A Postscript; Appendix: Mike Cumberlege and his Poetry; Acknowledgements; Bibliography; Endnotes; Index.