Congratulations to the estate of Leo Heaps, whose remarkable World War Two memoir, Escape From Arnhem, is out now!

On September 17, 1944, over 8,000 men of the British 1st Airborne Division landed in German-occupied Netherlands as part of the largest airborne invasion ever undertaken. Twenty-two-year-old Canadian paratrooper Leo Heaps was one of them.

Told with authenticity and clarity, Heaps’ personal account of the nightmare battle fought after the paratroopers dropped at Oosterbeek paints a remarkably vivid picture of one of the most dramatic and little-known events of the Second World War.

Captain Leo Heaps volunteered to serve with the British Army early in 1944 and arrived in England in May of that year. Attached to the Dorset Infantry Regiment, he took part in the D-Day assault on Normandy in June. After twelve days, he was wounded and returned to England. In August, he applied to join a British Parachute Regiment and was accepted. A mere three weeks later, Heaps made his first and only jump as the Arnhem assault commenced.

Escape from Arnhem is one of the most visceral diaries of a young men caught up in the horrors of war. Barely out of his teens, Leo Heaps is charged with the responsibility of working with the Dutch underground, while evading capture from the Germans; all set against the backdrop of one WW2’s biggest battles.

From the battlefield to Belsen, Capt. Leo Heaps chronicles a story of capture and escape, unintended heroism and personal loss. It is a life-changing journey that goes beyond the medals and ceremony of war.

Written only a year after the war ended, the images of the Battle of Arnhem are as fresh and raw as the wounds of war themselves and offer a stark reminder of the triumph and tragedy during and after the battle.

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