Eastern Approaches

Eastern Approaches

Infobox Book
name = Eastern Approaches
translator =

image_caption = Front Book Cover
author = Fitzroy Maclean
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
subject = World War II, Travel literature
genre = Autobiography
publisher =
release_date = 1949
english_release_date =
media_type = Paperback
pages = 550
preceded_by =
followed_by =
oclc = 6486798

Eastern Approaches (1949) is an autobiographical account of Fitzroy Maclean's life from his days as a junior diplomat in the Foreign Office to his travels in the Soviet Union and Central Asia to his exploits in the British Army and 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 Moscow which he receives right away. Once in Moscow, he learns Russian and examines the Soviet system of government. Traveling within the Soviet Union is frowned upon by the authorities, but Maclean manages to take several trips anyway. He first heads south from Moscow and visits Baku, Lenkoran and Tiflis in the spring of 1937. He quickly learns to expect an NKVD escort, 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 Railway to Sverdlovsk and Novosibirsk and then south on the Turksib Railway to Biisk, Altaisk, Barnaul, Alma Ata, Tashkent and 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 Urumchi in Sinkiang, China, to talk to the Tupan (Provincial Governor) there about the situation of both the Consul-General and 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 Africa during World War II, planning and executing raids on Axis-held towns mostly on the coast of Libya and Egypt. In this section he also travels to Persia to 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

Dropped into Jugoslavia by parachute, Maclean meets up with Tito and his Partisans. Maclean spends the rest of the war fighting against the Germans with the Partisans, between trips to Italy and Cairo to meet up with superiors.

ee also

*Fitzroy MacLean
*Special Operations Executive
*Winston Churchill
*Josip Broz
*Partisans (Yugoslavia)
*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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