I Was a Stranger | A Story of Friendship
As commander of the 4th Parachute Brigade, John Hackett was in the vanguard of the attack on Arnhem on 17 September 1944. A week later, when his depleted and poorly supplied force was at its last gasp, he was badly wounded in the stomach and leg. It is this moment, with the battle almost spent and the narrator reduced to helpless dependence on others, which marks the starting point of the book – for I Was a Stranger is not so much a tale of derring-do (though its descriptions of the fighting are vivid) as a story of friendship. The heroism it celebrates is not that of soldiers, but of a household run by three women in a town under German occupation.