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Messimer, Dwight R.

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ISBN 10: 1557505780 / ISBN 13: 9781557505781
Published by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1994
Condition: very good, very good
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

24 cm, 266, acid-free paper, illus., notes, bibliography, index. Reconstructed from private and official documents, the first complete account of Medal of Honor recipient Edouard V. Isaacs' experiences as the only U.S. naval line officer in World War I to be held prisoner. Bookseller Inventory # 21626

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Escape

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD

Publication Date: 1994

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Printing.

About this title


When Medal of Honor recipient Edouard V. Isaacs died in 1990, at the age of 100, he took with him to the grave one of the great escape stories of World War I. But with this book, Dwight Messimer brings that incredible tale to life for today's readers to enjoy. Reconstructed from private and official documents, it is the first complete account of Isaacs's experiences as the only U.S. naval line officer in World War I to be held a prisoner.
In his lifetime, Isaacs rarely referred to his dramatic escape from a POW camp in Villingen, Germany. The only record of the incident is a brief and incomplete report he wrote in 1919 at the direction of the secretary of the navy.
Fueled by a resolve to aid his country, Isaacs displayed almost superhuman stamina and a steely determination that culminated in a dramatic escape masterminded at the eleventh hour. Facing imminent discovery by the German guards, Isaacs directed the complex plans of eleven prisoners besides himself into a single, cohesive, four-phase strategy that landed the men outside the prison compound and onto their dangerous and separate struggles to reach the Swiss border.
The author calls him a reluctant hero, haunted by a tragic, if misplaced, sense of failure. When Isaacs finally succeeded in his relentless attempts to escape so he could report vital intelligence to the Allies, the war was at an end.
Later in civilian life, after changing his name to Izac, Edouard Isaacs displayed a similar devotion to his country. He served as a U.S. congressman in California between 1936 and 1946, becoming a member of the Naval Affairs Committee and part of a fact-finding group sent to inspect the concentration camps of World War II. When Izac died in Washington, D.C., where he had retired, he was the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War I.
Escape is the result of exhaustive research into archive materials in the United States and Germany including the naval archives in Flensburg-Murwick, the military archives in Freiburg, and the city archives in Villingen. In addition, Messimer conducted thorough interviews with Izac's descendants, who also gave him access to private papers.
This amazing story, essentially untold for close to eighty years, will appeal to everyone who enjoys tales of high adventure, uncommon courage, and human resourcefulness. Readers with an interest in prison-camp conditions during World War I will find a wealth of information here, as will those with specific interests in the elements of, obstacles to, and successful plans for wartime escape.

About the Author:

Dwight Messimer is a history professor at San Jose State University, California, who specializes in U.S. and German naval history.

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Founded and operated by trained historians, Ground Zero Books, Ltd., serves the book collector, the scholar, and institutions. We focus on the individual, and pride ourselves on our personal service. Please contact us with your wants, as we have many books not yet listed in our database.

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