It was known as the Comet Line. It was the greatest escape route in the Resistance Movement and in its three years of life it saved over 800 airmen and soldiers from captivity, returning them safe to Britain. Andree de Jongh, dubbed the 'Little Cyclone', was the young Belgian girl who created the route from Brussels to Bilbao. And there can have been few stories to match hers in terms of courage, inspiration and loyalty in the most appalling wartime conditions. The Germans invaded Belgium in May 1941. Following Dunkirk, many British soldiers were left behind and kept safe from detection by Belgian resistance fighters and sympathisers. Through visiting wounded soldiers Andree de Jongh made links with a network of safe-house keepers who were trying to work out ways to get the soldiers back to Britain. In August of 1941, she turned up in the British consulate in Bilbao with an escaped British soldier, having smuggled him by train from Paris to Bayonne and on foot over the Pyrenees - thus the Comet Line, the fastest escape route for stranded soldiers in mainland Europe, was born.
Originally published in 1954, Little Cyclone is a true story of extraordinary bravery, betrayal, tragedy and triumph. A World War Two classic republished in our acclaimed Dialogue series.