- Eastern Approaches
name = Eastern Approaches
image_caption = Front Book Cover
language = English
World War II, Travel literature
release_date = 1949
media_type = Paperback
pages = 550
oclc = 6486798
Eastern Approaches (1949) is an
autobiographicalaccount of Fitzroy Maclean's life from his days as a junior diplomatin the Foreign Officeto his travels in the Soviet Unionand Central Asiato his exploits in the British Armyand SAS after being elected an MP. Another possible title for this work is " Escape To Adventure", which may prove to be another book altogether or simply a different title than the version above. Further research is required to establish this claim, however it may simply be a later edition as 'Escape' was printed in 1950, one year after 'Eastern Approaches'.
All place names are spelled as in the book.
Part 1: Golden Road
Fresh out of Cambridge, Maclean spends two years at the Paris embassy. He loves the fast pace of Paris life, but eventually longs to travel to points east. Against the advice of his friends (and to the delight of the Foreign Office), he requests a posting to
Moscowwhich he receives right away. Once in Moscow, he learns Russian and examines the Sovietsystem of government. Traveling within the Soviet Unionis frowned upon by the authorities, but Maclean manages to take several trips anyway. He first heads south from Moscow and visits Baku, Lenkoranand Tiflisin the spring of 1937. He quickly learns to expect an NKVDescort, and to have to go through unofficial channels to get where he wants to go. His second trip, in the autumn of the same year, takes him east along the Trans-Siberian Railwayto Sverdlovskand Novosibirskand then south on the Turksib Railway to Biisk, Altaisk, Barnaul, Alma Ata, Tashkentand finally Samarkand.
On returning to Moscow, Maclean gets to witness the week-long show trial which came to be called the
Trial of the Twenty-One. He goes into great detail, spending 40 pages on the trial, its prominent figures and its twists and turns.
Maclean's final trip is the longest and the only one undertaken at the request of the British government. They send him to
Urumchiin Sinkiang, China, to talk to the Tupan(Provincial Governor) there about the situation of both the Consul-Generaland the British Indian traders in the region.
Part 2: Orient Sand
The middle section of the book details Maclean's adventures with the SAS in
Northern Africaduring World War II, planning and executing raids on Axis-held towns mostly on the coast of Libyaand Egypt. In this section he also travels to Persiato help the military command there by arresting General Zahidi, at the time the head of the Persian armed forces in the south.
Part 3: Balkan War
Jugoslaviaby parachute, Maclean meets up with Titoand his Partisans. Maclean spends the rest of the war fighting against the Germans with the Partisans, between trips to Italyand Cairoto meet up with superiors.
Special Operations Executive
Special Air Service
Inspirations for James Bond
* MacLean, Fitzroy (unk). "Eastern Approaches" (1999 reprint ed.). Penguin Global. ISBN 0-14-013271-6.
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