Hope & Oblivion

THE LONG HOLIDAY (249 pp.)—Francis Ambrière, translated by Elaine P. Halperin—Ziff-Davis ($3).

It was six weeks after the massive German attack on May 10, 1940, which ended the "phony" war and routed the French army. The captain of Francis Ambrière's fleeing battery led his 200 men to some woods, distributed rations and said: "My friends, good luck to you, and every man for himself." Ambrière, armed with an 1872 model revolver and six cartridges, started towards Switzerland. That day he ran into some German machine guns and became one of the 1,500,000 French soldiers behind...

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