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Summary

Born into a working-class family in London in 1919, Victor Gregg enlisted in the Rifle Brigade at 19, was sent to the Middle East and saw action in Palestine. Following service in the western desert and at the battle of Alamein, he joined the Parachute Regiment and in September 1944 found himself at the battle of Arnhem. When the paratroopers were forced to withdraw, Gregg was captured. He attempted to escape but was caught and became a prisoner of war; sentenced to death in Dresden for attempting to escape and burning down a factory, only the Allies' infamous raid on the city the night before his execution saved his life. 

Gregg's fascinating story, told in a voice that is good-natured and completely original, continues after the end of the war. In the '50s he became chauffeur to the chairman of the Moscow Norodny bank in London, involved in shady dealings and strange meetings with MI5, MI6 and the KGB. His adventures, though, were not over - in 1989, on one of his many motorbike expeditions into Eastern Europe, he found himself at a rally of 700 people in a field in Sopron, at a fence that formed part of the barrier between the Soviet Union and the West. Vic cut the wire, and a few weeks later the Berlin Wall itself was destroyed - a truly unexpected coda to an incredible life lived to the full. 

This is the story of a true survivor.

©2011 Victor Gregg (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

What listeners say about Rifleman

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An Eye Opener

Victor Gregg's account of his life is a powerful reminder of how privileged we are to have , on the whole , not had to endure what that amazing generation of men and women went through . It is hard not to like Gregg's personality , despite his occasional lapses into conceit, his honesty, trenchant self criticisms, and above all humour redeems it entirely. He could easily have airbrushed out the Novotny post war episodes , but he's too honest to do so, he doesn't come out of it looking that well in my opinion, but all our lives are if we're honest chequered, As with many of these WW2 biographical , as a man one is left with a combination of (almost) envy with relief , few of us have been put to the test or experienced such a sense of profound camaraderie, but neither have we had to endure the appalling horrors of war and the losses derived from it . If these stories were more widely known amongst the under 30s there would, I am sure, be a greater sense of pride and appreciation of their country, and the defacing of war memorials etc would be unthinkable . I'd highly recommend this book .

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captivating

a captivating story ,with a no holds barred account of war on the battlefield and the fight afterwards

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Brilliant Epic

Amazing honest story not only of war but of humanity...Its such a shame we are losing this generation

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WOW! What an amazing life story

Hard to believe that Victor's life is real and so packed with adventure! A sincere account of one man's life, spanning World War and espionage.

Loved listening to it, especially his own reading.

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Superb

One of the best stories and narration, that I have heard for a long time.

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great book and story about a real hero and real ma

great book and story about a real hero and real man who knows what it means to fight for king and country

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant read

what an incredible account of a soldier's life. From childhood to retirement in one book. I have learnt so much through this one book. Brilliantly composed, thank you for sharing this with us all.

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The reason I love books

Every once in a while, you comes across a story too compelling to stop. Every once in a while, you meet through words, a person you would love to have known.. Every once in a while their story is so truthfully told and so well narrated that you feel compelled to write a review that others might also enjoy this.

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Honest and no nonsense

i enjoyed this. I used to be interested in military history but this showed another side of those battles and the after effects of brutality on the man after those battles. Vic Gregg had a life defined by the pursuit of adrenaline, unable to stop after his wartime experiences. He was self aware enough in the end to sort it out but the parallels with today's vets of the 21st cy wars is clear.

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Gripping stuff

loved it. its well read and an incredible story. very honest and faithful account. this should be a film.