Eastern Approaches () is an autobiographical account of the early career of Fitzroy Maclean. It is divided into three parts: his life as a junior diplomat in. Buy Eastern Approaches (Penguin World War II Collection) by Fitzroy MaClean ( ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and. Eastern Approaches has ratings and 97 reviews. Here Fitzroy Maclean recounts his extraordinary adventures in Soviet Central Asia, in the Western.

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The book covers approximately eight years in MacLean’s life. This journey, unlike the previous two, was at the request of the Amclean government. Fascinating firsthand accounts of his conversations with Winston Churchill, Tito of Yugoslavia, and witnessing easterb effect of Stalin’s purges, and the ‘Sovietization’ of Central Asia.

Certainly the grim reality of life for many in the former kingdom of Yugoslavia would have been an awkward fit with MacLean’s witty, breezy, detached narration. Another, in which Maclean has a telephone conversation with Churchill, who uses code words that Maclean not been told about, had me rocking with laughter. Bukharin, friend of Lenin Excellent, amusing, in some places terrifying account of a British diplomat-turned-soldier whose curiosity nearly kills him, repeatedly.

Such memories resurrect the past vividly, reminding us history is not just made up of nation states, war victories, or ideologies, but of individuals from different tribes breaking bread together and a dance with the local maiden under the moonlight, a most ephemeral moment, might linger in your soul forever and ever. Fitzroy MacLean’s adventures make those of James Bond pale into insignificance.

Tim Collins, they’re clearly aiming at the military history crowd. The British has begun to suspect that they backed the wrong guerilla army, and MacLean was sent in to evaluate the partisans, led by the shadowy figure known as Tito. Maclean met a friend David Stirling who only a few weeks before had raised a new crack fighting unit: Oct 05, S. In the spring ofhe took a trial trip, heading south from Moscow to Baku on the Caspian Sea.

View all 4 comments. Maclean was on the point of returning to Jajce when the motor launch arrived, with a crew that included Sandy Glen also, like Maclean, thought to be one of the inspirations for James Bond and David Satow. I find myself well informed concerning the Russian viewpoint during the Bulshevic revolution, and on through the second wor This was a book of my Grandmother’s that I found in a box recently.


Eastern Approaches

Mihajlovic ‘s royalist Cetniks now spelled Chetnikswhich the Allies had been supporting, did not appear to be fighting the Germans very hard, and indeed were said to be collaborating with ftzroy enemy. Want to Read saving…. It crosses the three genres comfortably and well. By the end, Maclean was a Major-General, and a friend of Tito’s. Maclean doesn’t shy away from talking about death as it occurs during his adventures, but it always feels a little removed from the actual experience of it.

Eventually, after an all-night march across noisy stony ground, dodging German patrols as they crossed a fitzriy road, the little group reached Zadvarjewhere they were greeted with astonishment as creatures from another fitaroy “as indeed in a sense we were”.

Fjtzroy, as the only person literate in Russian, Maclean “read out, with considerable expression, and such improvements as occurred to me” the contents of his pass, and was set free. Additionally, the racism implicit in the book is pretty tough, though I think well within the center of white Western views at the time it was written – it’s not so much that he writes bad things about non-Caucasian people, but that he references them the same way that one might expect to see a bird or a piece of livestock described.

The journey produced many such vignettes, some pleasant, others of confusion, discomfort, worry. And all of that is just the opening act! If someone shot my boat up with a machine gun I’d almost certainly crap my pants. It consists of accounts of three sep A thoroughly – almost unexpectedly – good read. A terrific memoir and travelogue. It’s clearly a personal memoir rather than history with an attempt at objectivity, but in general I find memoirs more interesting.

A thoroughly – almost unexpectedly – good read. He discussed the matter with General Alexander and his Chief of Staff General John Hardingwho seemed to think it might be possible, and who gave him a lift to Marrakech to put the matter to the prime minister.

So long, he said, as the whole of Western civilization was threatened by the Nazi menace, we could not afford to let our attention be diverted from the immediate issue by considerations of long-term policy.

Eastern Approaches by Fitzroy MacLean

But what you get instead is a marvellous sense of a man who bounced through the war as a real action hero. He became a part of the S. From Bari on the Italian Adriatic coastapproaches a centre of operations for the Tactical Air Forcehe saw that this would prove difficult, as the German offensive had captured the whole Dalmatian coast. And in the way that only a book can for the bibliophile, it has happily occupied a part of my soul from which no amount of partisans or NKVD troops could ever hope to shift it … thank you dad.


The noise of its engines grew gradually fainter in the distance. The portraits of Churchill and Tito are particularly interesting, adding a human dimension to the grand strategy.

It is a remarkable adventure story and not at all in the same vein as the idiotic History Channel style World War II books that have swamped America in the last few years. apprroaches

Eastern Approaches is the memoir of his early professional life, of first being posted as a member of the British foreign service to Moscow in the late ‘s, and subsequently of lea My first outstanding read of Sitting outside one afternoon, Tito saw a heavy plane and a dozen fighters coming in, and announced that that must be Mr Churchill. Brilliantly and humorously written, breathtaking in its insight in such unique and terrible historical periods Stalin’s purges in pre-war Moscow, the SAS operations in North Africa, and, most enthralling, the strange days of Tito and his partisans fighting the Germans in Yugoslaviaand warmly human, I can’t speak highly enough about what MacLean has done with this book.

He was soon diverted to a more urgent task. By hook and by crook he managed to get himself attached to a special forces command stationed in Alexandria, Egypt, and spent the next couple of years conducting desert raids on the Italian Fascists in Libya and Western Egypt.

This is MacLeans first book, and for me is well balanced. Their operations end in a mixture of farce and failure, but are redeemed in the last chapter by the piratical kidnapping of a Persian general. Somewhere above me the aircraft, having completed its mission, was headed for home. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Maclean accompanied him on this, his first public appearance outside his own country.