By Victor Sebestyen
The defining moment of the Cold War: 'The beginning of the end of the Soviet empire.' (Richard Nixon)The Hungarian Revolution in 1956 is a story of extraordinary bravery in a fight for freedom, and of ruthless cruelty in suppressing a popular dream. A small nation, its people armed with a few rifles and petrol bombs, had the will and courage to rise up against one of the world's superpowers. The determination of the Hungarians to resist the Russians astonished the West. People of all kinds, throughout the free world, became involved in the cause. For 12 days it looked, miraculously, as though the Soviets might be humbled. Then reality hit back. The Hungarians were brutally crushed. Their capital was devastated, thousands of people were killed and their country was occupied for a further three decades.The uprising was the defining moment of the Cold War: the USSR showed that it was determined to hold on to its European empire, but it would never do so without resistance. From the Prague Spring to Lech Walesa's Solidarity and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the tighter the grip of the communist bloc, the more irresistible the popular demand for freedom.
Three Little Ships
By Lilian Harry
Lilian Harry's engrossing wartime saga about the heroes and heroines of Dunkirk.During just nine days in the early summer of 1940, nearly eight hundred 'little ships', from lifeboats and passenger steamers to small private yachts and dinghies, set off across the English Channel to rescue almost half a million men trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Among them were three very different craft - a London fireboat from the docklands of the East End, manned by skipper Olly Mears and his crew; a small pleasure steamer from the River Dart in Devon, commanded by twenty-one-year-old Robby Endacott, an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy who grew up on the banks of the Dart; and a small motor yacht owned by Portsmouth solicitor Hubert Stainbank and crewed by his sons, Charles and Toby.As each boat ferries exhausted men from the beaches to the waiting ships, under incessant fire from enemy aircraft and in a sea awash with debris and bodies, the men are unknowingly united by a powerful driving force - the urgent need to find one man, brother or son, who matters more to them than anyone else. Each of these missing men has a family, a wife or a sweetheart at home who is anxiously waiting for news...One sweetheart in particular is determined to play her own part in the rescue.