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All Posts, Military History

Author Guest Post: Diana Tritton

Colonel Strutt comes to the rescue

After enduring the horrors of WWI on both the Western and Eastern Fronts, the very last thing Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt expected to happen afterwards was that he be asked to rescue the Imperial Habsburg family from Austria. He was more than shocked. He was appalled. He and millions of soldiers had put their all into annihilating the Central Powers Why should he give aid to his former enemy? Nevertheless, those were his orders.

Very few books give any indication of what life was like on the Salonika/Macedonian Front during WW1. Strutt’s diary gives us a glimpse of the deprivations and danger he and his colleagues endured. He was seconded to be the official liaison officer between the French and British contingents, but because of his fluency with languages, he found himself rallying the troops of all nationalities that were dredged up to fight there by Military HQ. It was a desperate and important job. At the end of it all, he just wanted to go home to his wife. But that was not to be.

I have not shortened Strutt’s description of what he experienced on the train journey from Salonika to Vienna, because it gives the reader a very good look at what the civilians had suffer for the last four years. It also exposes the underlying leitmotif of Strutt’sorrow of all he has personally lost. Central Europe had been his stamping ground before the war. It cut deep to see the destruction and ruination of a way of life he had enjoyed so much.

When he meets the Imperial couple, his reluctance makes a dramatic volte face. He is astonished by them and his reluctance to help them turns into a fervent desire to see them to safety and thus a secret adventure begins.

Colonel Strutt’s Daring Royal Mission is available to order here.